Spain forges new laws in modernisation move

Spain has published a new United Nations-based act aimed at making the country the first choice for Latin American businesses hoping to arbitrate within the European Union.

The Arbitration Act, which becomes law on 26 March this year, is part of a raft of new legislation the Spanish Government is bringing into force in an attempt to modernise the country’s legal system.

Spain’s capital markets are also set to re-jigged as the Government introduces new laws on securities, corporate governance, insolvency and civil procedure.

The Arbitration Act was drawn up by three Spanish law professors and Shearman & Sterling Paris based Spanish arbitration expert Fernando Mantilla-Serrano.

According to Mantilla-Serrano, who is also a member ICC International Court of Arbitration, while the inspiration for the new act was political, this motive did not affect the drafting of the act.

“The aim was political, and I was prepared to receive political instructions, but the way the law was drafted was purely technical,” he said.