Arbitration updated in Spain

Spain has published a new arbitration act based on UN models to make it the first choice for Latin American businesses that want to arbitrate within the EU.

The act, which becomes law on 26 March, is part of a raft of new Spanish legislation intended to modernise the country’s legal system and capital markets. The Spanish government also introduced new laws on securities, corporate governance, insolvency and civil procedure.

The act was drawn up by three Spanish law professors and Shearman & Sterling’s Paris-based Spanish arbitration expert Fernando Mantilla-Serrano, who said that, although the inspiration was political, this 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.