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Request for revision of arbitral award upheld due to newly obtained evidence

20 December 2016

Authors: Nathalie Voser; Annabelle Möckesch

In a German-­language decision of 21 November 2016, which was published on 9 December 2016, the Swiss Supreme Court upheld a request for revision of an international arbitral award due to newly obtained evidence in the context of bribery. This is only the third time that the Supreme Court has upheld such a request.

In the arbitration proceedings, the respondent had argued that the agreement on which the claimant relied for its payment claim was null and void because its only purpose was to transfer bribes. However, the respondent did not succeed in proving this allegation because the claimant withheld relevant banking documents, even though the arbitral tribunal had ordered their production. Five years later, the respondent's legal successor obtained a relevant banking document in the course of criminal proceedings and filed an application for revision relying on that newly obtained evidence.

The Supreme Court found that the document, which existed at the time the arbitral award was rendered, would have allowed the respondent to prove its allegations of bribery in the arbitration proceedings and, on the basis of the arbitral tribunal's own reasoning, would have changed the outcome of those proceedings. (Decision 4A_412/2016.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration



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