Arbitration is a method of alternative dispute resolution that has a number of advantages to offer. When a dispute occurs between parties, they can agree to submit their difference to an Arbitral Tribunal composed of one or three persons. Such a dispute can derive from or be connected to a contractual or other relationship that exists between the parties. On the basis of the Request for Arbitration and the parties’ ensuing explanations, the Arbitral Tribunal will render a binding decision, an ‘arbitral Award’. If necessary, this Award may be enforced.

An arbitration proceeding may only take place with the explicit agreement of all the parties involved. This agreement can either be inserted as a clause in an existing contract or the parties may enter into a specific agreement to arbitrate once the dispute has arisen.


A CEPANI arbitration offers a number of benefits:


An arbitration proceeding monitored by CEPANI lasts on average 8 months to one year. This limited period of time is due to the fact that the arbitral Award is final and not subject to appeal, the simplicity of the proceedings and the availability and expertise of the arbitrators. In the case of a dispute of limited financial importance (< 25,000 EUR), the time period is limited to approximately four months, due to the fact that only one arbitrator is appointed and that the proceedings are conducted, in principle, entirely in writing.


Contrary to proceedings before the judicial courts, CEPANI arbitrations are strictly confidential. Arbitrators have a duty to work with the utmost discretion. When the parties are heard, the hearings are not public. Moreover, the arbitral Award is only published with the explicit permission of all the parties.


Arbitrators are always appointed in an arbitration on the basis of their having the required expertise.

  • COST

In a CEPANI arbitration, the costs are determined by a scale based on the amount in dispute. CEPANI works with fixed fee schedules that allow the parties to receive an advance estimate of the cost of the arbitration proceedings that they are about to initiate. The lack of appeal and the simplicity of the proceedings also allow the parties to reduce the costs.

Please find below different model documents used in CEPANI arbitration proceedings.
For the proceedings:
For the arbitrators:
  • Timetable for the Proceedings

Parties, particularly companies, turn to arbitration because it allows them to obtain a decision more quickly than they would with judicial proceedings. Therefore, one of the first tasks of the sole Arbitrator or the Arbitral Tribunal is to set, together with the parties, a Timetable for the proceedings (Art. 22, Par. 3 of the Rules). It is essential that arbitrators ensure the Timetable contains short time periods, and that these are adhered to rigidly. Any request for an extension submitted to the CEPANI Secretariat needs to be justified.
The CEPANI Secretariat regularly informs the parties of any decision of the sole Arbitrator or Arbitral Tribunal which will affect the duration of the proceedings (the Timetable for the proceedings, a request for a postponement or extension …).

  • VAT

Some arbitrators are required to apply VAT to their fees, whereas others are VAT exempt.
CEPANI is willing to recover VAT when the arbitrator indicates that he/she is subject to VAT within the first month following his/her appointment. If the arbitrator does not do so, he/she will need to claim the VAT payable directly from the parties.

  • Arbitration expenses

When the arbitrators have agreed on the Award, each arbitrator should notify the CEPANI Secretariat immediately of the amount of arbitration expenses personally incurred (administration, transport, hotel costs …).

At the same time, the Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal should inform the CEPANI Secretariat of the cost collectively incurred by the Arbitral Tribunal (translation costs, room hire …).

  • Fees

An advance payment is set by the CEPANI Secretariat in line with the fees and administrative costs to be paid in keeping with the amount of the Arbitration Request according to the scale annexed to the CEPANI Rules.

The arbitrator is only appointed once the entire advance has been paid.

If, in the course of the arbitration proceedings, it becomes apparent that the amount requested by the parties no longer corresponds to the initial amount at stake in the dispute, the sole Arbitrator or Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal must ask the CEPANI Secretariat to readjust the advance payment. Arbitrators should therefore not wait until the end of the proceedings to ask for the sum to be adjusted if so required. The parties are only notified of the Award once the entire payment has been covered. Any delay in communicating information that calls for an increase in the initial advance payment will result in a delay in the notification of the Award.

When the amount claimed by the parties has not been specified, the first task of the sole Arbitrator or Arbitral Tribunal is to quantify this sum.

When there is an Arbitral Tribunal, the Chair receives 40% of the payment made, after deducting administrative expenses and arbitrator’s expenses (administration …), and the other arbitrators each receive 30%. If another arrangement has been made by the arbitrators, the CEPANI Secretariat should be notified of this.

In the event of an amicable agreement being reached by the parties before the end of the proceedings, the amount of the advance payment to be made to the arbitrators and any amount to be refunded to the parties depends on the work already carried out by the arbitrators.

This amount is determined by the CEPANI Secretariat.

If, in the course of the proceedings, it becomes apparent that the dispute is particularly complex, the sole Arbitrator or the Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal may notify the CEPANI Secretariat, which will examine the possibility of requesting an additional advance payment.

  • Notification

The sole Arbitrator or the Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal informs the CEPANI Secretariat of each ruling made during the proceedings. The Secretariat then sends a copy to the parties.

The parties are informed of the Award exclusively by the CEPANI Secretariat. The arbitrators should therefore neither notify the parties of the Award nor even give a date on which the parties will be informed of the Award.

When notification is made, the CEPANI Secretariat asks the parties if they would like the award to be deposited at the Registry of the Court of First Instance of the place where the Award was rendered.

  • Parties

Once proceedings with the sole Arbitrator or arbitrators commence, the arbitrator(s) must ask the parties to provide the following details: name, function or legal form and address of the person or company, telephone number, fax and e-mail address to be used for correspondence. This is especially relevant when the parties are trading companies. This information should be forwarded to the CEPANI Secretariat as soon as possible.

  • Arbitral Tribunal

When several arbitrators are appointed to rule on a specific dispute, all correspondence with the CEPANI Secretariat takes place exclusively through the Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal.

The Chair or the sole Arbitrator may question the CEPANI Secretariat on the practicalities of carrying out arbitration proceedings, or even as to the legal interpretation of certain provisions in the CEPANI Rules.

  • Arbitral Awards

The sole Arbitrator or the Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal should submit a number of copies of the Award, duly signed and dated, to the CEPANI Secretariat; this number shall correspond to the number of parties involved.

Furthermore, to facilitate the safekeeping of the Awards rendered pursuant to CEPANI arbitration proceedings, the sole Arbitrator or the Chair of the Arbitral Tribunal must submit the Award on CD-ROM to the CEPANI Secretariat.

An Arbitrator appointed for an arbitration of a dispute of limited financial importance abides by the same rules of good conduct as any other arbitrator appointed by CEPANI. He/She has to sign the Declaration of Independence. The same rules apply for the calculation of fees.