To warm up the discussion if and how a bargaining process should be structured, I would like to present a recent, very illustrative case. I will be very specific when opening the black box, and I will open it quite a bit. The case was an ICC arbitration proceeding. The language was English, but everything else was Greek. The parties were Greek companies (although one was foreign controlled). Both co- arbitrators were Greek law professors. The applicable law was Greek law. Only the Chairman, I, was from Switzerland. The hearings were fixed by the parties to take place in Athens, although the formal seat of the arbitration was in Zurich.
Considering the backgrounds of the parties, the panel members and most of the witnesses, I felt pretty lonely. I was the only person in the whole proceeding that was not a Greek national, and I did not speak Greek. I had the additional handicap that I was unable to read the applicable legal acts and court decisions in their original form, as they were written in the Cyrillic alphabet. I had translations of some texts, but they were unofficial and of doubtful quality.
The case turned on the early termination of a very substantial supply contract for pharmaceutical products. Under the contract, the respondent ordered and committed to take delivery of a large amount of special pharmaceuticals over a certain period of time. The pharmaceuticals were manufactured in accordance with an agreed delivery schedule.