The parties are free to select a place of arbitration in their arbitration clause. The place of arbitration determines which national arbitration law (lex arbitrii) will govern the proceedings and which courts will have supervisory powers over the arbitration. In choosing a place of arbitration parties will tend to select a neutral venue, i.e. in neither of the parties’ countries, with an arbitration friendly legal and judicial system. Ease of access and the general price level of services, as well as international arbitration expertise of the local bar are also important factors to consider. The choice of the place of arbitration may have a profound impact on the cost of an arbitration but also on the validity or enforceability of an award.

If the parties have not chosen a place of arbitration, it will be determined by the arbitral institution or, in an ad hoc setting, by the arbitral tribunal if the parties give them that power. If nothing is foreseen and the parties cannot agree on how to select the venue the issue may have to be decided by a court.

Landolt & Koch’s knowledge of the arbitral laws of many jurisdictions and our ongoing study of international arbitral case law, gives us the necessary perspective to propose to our clients the most appropriate venue and to develop with them negotiating tactics to persuade the contractual counterparty to accept the proposition.