Nadine Balkanyi-Nordmann is a former attorney with a private law firm in Switzerland, specializing in commercial and banking law, and dispute resolution. She currently works for UBS AG as Managing Director and General Counsel EMEA for Wealth Management & Swiss Bank.
Globalization in international business has great impact on the crossborder relationship between the involved parties and it is evident that disputes in various jurisdictions have arisen and still arise. Simultaneous proceedings in various countries have become a fact in international commercial litigation and arbitration.
In many cases it occurs due to various factors1 that all lead to proceedings—be it litigation or arbitration—involving the same parties and causes of action but pending in the states of different jurisdictions. Bringing simultaneous proceedings in international litigation is often considered a necessity in order to face such challenges as involvement of different countries, applicability of different laws, involvement of different causes of action, and assets located in different countries. Commencing parallel proceedings is sometimes even considered inevitable in order to produce the best possible result for the client.2
Although simultaneous procedures might be necessary, various problems are created by double or even multiple suits. Obvious problems are the need for several full-blown substantive hearings in various jurisdictions, the fact that evidence which is available in one procedure might not be used in another one, the well-known reality that costs rise tremendously, and the fact that parties involved are substantially burdened from a temporal perspective. Most of all a serious problem arises when a party tries to enforce a judgment (or an arbitral award) despite the existence of a parallel procedure involving the same parties and causes of action.