Our arbitration team from Belarus successfully represented the interests of one of the leaders on the worldwide pharmaceutical market in an arbitration under the rules of the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC).
Sorainen provided full-scale support (from the pre-arbitration stage to advice on enforcement) of debt collection from a Belarusian distributor, who failed to pay for the goods delivered under a EUR 3 million contract for supply of pharmaceutical products and biologically active additives. Eventually, the client was forced to commence arbitration at the VIAC.
The contract was governed solely by German law, explicitly excluding the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.
Apart from the nationality of the respondent, there was no Belarusian element to the case. Due to previous experience, our team argued the case based on German law without the engagement of external counsel, delving into such issues as limitation periods, burden of proof in supply contracts, reduction of contractual penalty and statutory interest.
Throughout the entirety of the proceedings our team maintained a constructive rapport with the other side (represented by the liquidator), which substantially contributed to the efficiency of the proceedings:
- (a) fast-track (expedited) proceedings were applied, which, being an opt-in provision, is a rarity for arbitrations under VIAC rules
- (b) the parties jointly nominated the sole arbitrator
- (c) the parties agreed not to hold any oral hearings, as well as only one round of submissions exchange
As a result, less than six months after transmission of the case file to the sole arbitrator, the client received a binding arbitral award, in which claims such as principal debt plus interest thereon, contractual penalty and the legal costs claimed by Sorainen were granted.