In my Newsletter no. 5 of November 2021, “The Universality of Arbitration”, I referred to a new digital publication, TAO, by an Argentine specialist with strong links to Spain, published through the prestigious TDM/OGEMID platform, which joins the world of daily news services in the field of international arbitration, where “IAreporter” and “GAR” stand out, as well as others of a more general nature such as “Global Arbitration News” – a blog of “Baker & McKenzie” – and “Law360“, which belongs to “LexiNexis”.

Diego Alonso Massa, an Argentinian lawyer – with postgraduate studies in Geneva, Montreal and Quebec -, I noted in my aforementioned “Newsletter” that “he had closely followed the complex issue of corruption”, citing his latest contributions. I also highlighted his reports on current awards at different stages of their proceedings, with special emphasis on proceedings submitted to ICSID, (“Washington Convention”, ratified by 157 Contracting States). Such cases are becoming increasingly important for Spain, and our Law firm Lupicinio International Law Firm is closely observing developments in this area.

Following the successful launch of TAO, we have become one of its most keen subscribers, being confident that its work – always objective, impartial and independent – could yield great results in Spain, especially after the positive start of the new “Madrid International Arbitration Centre”, MIAC, now headed by José María Alonso, following the successful first three years under Jose María Caínzos‘ leadership.

Diego conducted an insightful interview with the former Dean of ICAM, (see here), on the establishment of a solid case law by our “Tribunal Constitucional” in favour of this means of dispute resolution, after moving beyond past anomalies of the “Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid”, wrongly prone to various and inappropriate annulments. I also recall another interview (see here), published after a long talk with Professor José Carlos Fernández Rozas, in which he referred to other Spanish priorities such as our growing links with arbitration in the Ibero-American region.

Furthermore, we were able to enjoy a good twenty reports involving our country, either as the seat of arbitration – as shown by the case concerning the ‘Sultan of Sulu’s Heirs – or related to Spanish companies as plaintiffs (see the cases Pey Casado, Marina d’Or,Diaz Gaspar´) or our country as defendant, which became more and more frequent, in important cases which can be consulted here, (Antin‘, ‘NextEra‘, ‘OperaFund‘, ‘Hydro Energy 1 and HydroxanaUranium mine in Salamanca, Cube Insfrastructure, ‘Green Power’ (see here and here) before ICSID, SCC and other Tribunal and Courts in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, etc.).

Diego Alonso Massa invited an additional contributor to his project, South African and Stockholm-based specialist, Dean Ehrlich, and has created a new, now fully autonomous publication, “Investment Arbitration News”: iarbnews.com, which is now offering free subscriptions for the next few weeks, on its revamped website, to better break into this competitive world in which he wants to succeed with a specialized publication focused on the enforcement of investor-State arbitral awards.

Perhaps because of his second profession as a linguist – sworn translator of English, and translator of languages – and his past work before courts and international Organisations, he has announced that he will soon begin publishing articles in Spanish, and also in Portuguese, two of the nine languages he works in. Its aim is to contribute to the strengthening of the Spanish-Portuguese arbitration community, something in which prestigious institutions such as MIAC, CEA and CIARglobal strongly believe.

Personally, I am pleased to know that Diego Alonso Massa has moved to Madrid. This will enable him to continuously monitor and report to the public what the best Spanish specialists, – lawyers, judges and international arbitrators – think and say, contributing in this way to the priority, shared by all of us, of cementing Madrid as an attractive and effective international arbitration hub, and a Spanish language arbitration seat, which still has a long way to go.

Certainly, I believe that it will be very positive for Spain that iarbnews remains aware of the cases that are of most interest to our country, in a direct and in-depth manner. This has been the case with the last post, “High Court of Australia clarifies the distinction between recognition and enforcement and execution, finding that Spain’s accession to the ICSID Conv. entails a waiver of immunity from jurisdiction to recognise and enforce, but not to execute the award“, (see here).

In it, Diego provides a thorough analysis of the decision handed down by the High Court of Australian on 12 April 2023, in the ‘Antin’ case, and rigorously discusses the intricacies of the terms extensively analysed in the High Court’s judgement that led to so many dramatic headlines in the Spanish media, such as ‘Bienes de Navantia en Australia, en la lista de embargos a España’ in ABC, or “Australia tumba el plan legal de España para no pagar laudos” in El Confidencial, both appeared on 13 April 2023.

In his very useful and complete “backgrounds“, Diego goes back, bypassing all politicisation as is happening in Spain, to the origins of the great crisis we are currently going through, which began with the approval of Royal Decree 661/2007 by Zapatero’s first government, granting financial compensation, which later proved to be exorbitant, to attract national and foreign investment in order to encourage a faster development of alternative sources of energy, basically solar and wind power. So much so, that even during his second term, yet another Zapatero government enacted Royal Decree 1565/2010 restricting the rights acquired by investors, which allowed foreigners to resort to the competent Arbitration Tribunals. Indeed, the claims would escalate in amounts and in number of cases following the new restrictions that Rajoy’s government was forced to further impose by means of Royal Decree-Law 9/2013 as part of an attempt to reduce the enormous budget hole that was still being incurred.



More information:

Lupicinio International Law Firm

C/ Villanueva 29
28001 Madrid
P: +34 91 436 00 90



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