Heuking successfully defends award of damages – appeal against Higher Regional Court’s ruling dismissed

The Frankfurt-based arbitration team led by Heuking Partner Daniel Froesch and Senior Associate Oscar Weller successfully defended the setting aside petition filed against a DIS arbitration award that had previously been won by Heuking in enforceability proceedings before Frankfurt/Main Higher Regional Court.

On March 23, 2023, the Federal Court of Justice also dismissed the appeal against the ruling of the Higher Regional Court as inadmissible (Case I ZB 59/22) thanks to the efforts of Federal Court of Justice lawyer Dr. Thomas Winter.

The case involved the Kazakh client’s claims for damages and liquidated damages associated with a major construction project in Almaty. The arbitration court had largely granted the client’s claims.

The respondent argued in the enforceability proceedings before the Higher Regional Court, among other things, that the arbitral award violated procedural ordre public. One of the grounds brought forward included the fact that the arbitration court failed to have the testimony of the only witness in the arbitration proceedings translated into the language of the proceedings by a sworn interpreter, instead relying on the translation of a non-sworn individual from our client’s sphere.

The Frankfurt Arbitration Division dismissed the objection. Although the parties to arbitration proceedings are generally free to agree on formal requirements for the translation of witness statements, such an agreement was lacking in the case at issue. It would not constitute a violation of the ordre public if the arbitral tribunal, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, did not have the witness testimony translated into the language of the proceedings by a sworn interpreter, but by an individual in the sphere of one of the parties to the arbitral proceedings.

The ruling of Frankfurt/Main Higher Regional Court (Case 26 Sch 19/21) is published at BeckRS 2022, 23047. A press release issued by Frankfurt/Main Higher Regional Court about the decision can be found here.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:
Daniel Froesch,
Oscar Weller, LL.M. (both Litigation), both Frankfurt

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