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Since its establishment in 2004, the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution and the Arbitration Court have handled 836 arbitration cases. Under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration, a party can challenge an arbitrator if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality or independence. The Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution has recently published a statistics for the time period from 2004 to 2014, showing that only fourteen challenges have been filed during the first ten years. Of these fourteen challenges, twelve were dismissed, one declared inadmissible, and only one challenge was upheld. The successful challenge concerned a case where the respondent had nominated a co-arbitrator who was a partner in a law firm whose web page mentioned the respondent’s group and the family owning that group among the high-profile clients of the law firm.


Dr. Urs Zenhäusern is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team at Baker McKenzie in Zurich. He practices mainly in the areas international arbitration and litigation. He advises clients on antitrust law and sports law, as well as legal matters related to unfair competition and distribution, agency and licensing contracts. He is a frequent writer and speaker at seminars on litigation and arbitration law, as well as intellectual property law topics. He has also been appointed as lecturer at the University of Fribourg and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and for the MBA Post-Graduate Program at the University of St. Gallen. Dr. Urs Zenhäusern can be reached at and + 41 44 384 1243.