Suppliers with less bargaining power often accede to arbitration (or adjudication) clauses which make bringing or defending a claim prohibitively expensive.
In such cases, it is especially important when acting for the potential claimant (and subject to the overall viability of the claim), to offer a cost-effective solution to allow the claim to get off the ground. This may include assessing whether the arbitration clause is likely to be found effective or pathological, and whether it may be permissible and advisable to launch court proceedings instead (which can often be more economical especially in their early phases).
It is also helpful to be able to rely on advice which is simultaneously excellent in relation to both the jurisdiction in which enforcement is likely to be sought (e.g., Bulgaria) and the jurisdiction whose governing law the parties have agreed to apply.
We recently acted for a potential claimant in such a situation alongside their existing Bulgarian counsel to advise on the interplay of the arbitration rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and Bulgarian law and on the mechanics and prospects of a claim. We regularly and successfully collaborate with clients’ existing counsel to achieve the best results for such clients.
© New Balkans Law Office 2018