Rules of arbitration/rules of mediation of the arbitration office for commercial disputes
I. Code of procedure of the arbitration office for commercial disputes of Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Frankfurt am Main Bar Association
Amicable settlement of disputes in economic affairs between enterprises by means of composition is one considerable economic interest. Against this background, Frankfurt am Main Bar Association and Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry are founding an arbitration office for commercial disputes providing the following rules of conduct:
1.1 The subject matter of the arbitration proceedings according to these rules of conduct can be disputes resulting from the commercial activity of the two parties. The arbitration office shall also be responsible for corporate law disputes concerned with a commercially active company.
1.2 At least one party must be a member of a German Chamber of Commerce and Industry or be represented by an attorney-at-law. In disputes under corporate law, the fact that the corporation is a member of a German Chamber of Commerce and Industry shall suffice.
2.1 Both the CCI and also the Bar Association shall provide a branch office on their premises.
2.2 The branch offices shall consult the parties in all questions concerned with the arbitration proceedings. In particular, they shall assist the parties in the selection of the arbiters upon request.
Start of the proceedings
3.1 The party requesting arbitration shall make a written application for holding of the proceedings to one of the branch offices, proving the prerequisites of competence (§ 1). The application is to be submitted in duplicate. It is to contain the parties, their dispute relationship and the claims being made and to be provided with copies of all the decisive documents and evidence. For a party represented by an attorney, the application is also to contain a briefly summarised legal assessment of the subject matter of the dispute.
3.2 To the extent that the applicant requests arbitration proceedings with three arbiters (§ 4, 4.1), this is to be applied for additionally.
3.3 The branch office informs the opposing party of the application, combined with the request to inform within a period of three weeks whether it agrees to arbitration proceedings. If the approval is not received by the branch office within the said period, no arbitration proceedings shall take place. The applicant is informed about whether the opposing party has agreed to the proceedings.
3.4 If there is agreement between the parties that arbitration proceedings are to be held, the parties are requested to pay the lump-sum of costs according to § 7 no. 7.1, for determination of an arbiter and for conclusion of an arbitration agreement in the sense of § 6.
4.1 As a rule, the proceedings are held with a single arbiter. By application of both parties, proceedings with three arbiters are also possible.
4.2 The arbiter is neutral, independent and unbiased and obliged to extensive confidentiality. He must have the qualification for the post of judge. If the proceedings are held with three arbiters, it is sufficient if one of the arbiters has the qualification for the post of judge.
4.3 The parties can agree on an arbiter, but they can also apply to the branch office that an arbiter be appointed by the latter. If arbitration proceedings with three arbiters are applied for, each party nominates one arbiter. Thereafter, the two arbiters jointly name a referee as the chairman.
4.4 Apart from an application by the parties, appointment is made by the arbitration office if the branch office is not informed of an arbiter to whom the parties have agreed and who fulfils the preconditions of §§ 4 and 5 within a period of 2 weeks after application for the arbitration proceedings. In arbitration by three arbiters, appointment is done by the arbitration office if one of the parties does not appoint an arbiter within 2 weeks of request by the branch office. There is also appointment by the arbitration office if the two appointed arbiters cannot agree on a chairman within 2 weeks. The appointment is done in each case by the branch office at which the application for holding of the arbitration proceedings has been received. The decisive matter for compliance with the period shall be receipt by the branch office.
4.5 The parties can replace the arbiter(s) by mutual agreement at any time.
Neutrality of the arbiter
5.1 Anyone who has consulted or represented the parties before the start of the proceedings in connection with its object of dispute is ruled out as an arbiter.
5.2 During the arbitration proceedings, the arbiter must not represent or consult either of the parties in whatever matter of dispute. In connection with the subject matter of dispute of the arbitration proceedings, the ban on representation shall survive the closing.
5.3 During the proceedings, the arbiter must not be in a business relationship with either of the parties. Anyone connected with a person for joint exercising of a profession who is affiliated to one of the parties pursuant to § 5.1 to § 5.3 is also ruled out as an arbiter.
5.4 The arbiter may only be active in the same matter as a referee with the approval of both parties.
5.5 The parties engage not to name the arbiter as a witness in subsequent court proceedings for facts disclosed to him during the arbitration proceedings.
6.1 Over and above the measures initiating the proceedings (§ 3), the arbitration office shall only become active if the parties have engaged in writing to attempt to have their dispute arbitrated according to these rules of arbitration (arbitration agreement).
6.2 The arbitration agreement is to contain the agreement that barring of the claims in the disputes by limitation has been inhibited for the time from the conclusion of the agreement until three months after the end of the arbitration proceedings.
7.1 Taking the value involved in dispute and the expenditure to be expected for it, the branch office charges a once-off lump-sum for costs of 100.-- Euro to 500,-- Euro. This amount is increased by the turnover tax valid at the time if the branch office’s activity is liable to turnover tax. The lump-sum shall be paid in advance by both parties in equal shares.
7.2 Each arbiter shall receive a fee per hour according to the following table:
Value in dispute
Sole conciliator, Chairperson
Assessor, with three conciliators
up to Euro 25,000.00
from Euro 25,000.00 to Euro 100,000.00
more than 100,000.00
7.3 The parties are further obliged to reimburse the necessary expenditure incurred by the arbiter and the branch office. This also includes turnover tax to the extent that a turnover tax duty exists.
7.4 The parties are liable towards the arbitration office for the lump-sum of costs and its expenditure as joint and several debtors.
7.5 During the arbitration proceedings, each party bears its own costs and the costs of its own representation. A separate compensation between the parties on the basis of a judicial decision or contractual agreement is not ruled out by this. It is deemed agreed that the costs connected with the implementation of these proceedings are necessary for a party within the meaning of preparation of proceedings pursuant to § 91 Code of Civil Proceedings, to the extent that civil law proceedings about the dispute become pending after failure of the arbitration proceedings.
7.6 An agreement concluding the arbitration proceedings is to regulate the distribution of the costs of the arbiter and the branch office between the parties. If there is no such regulation, the arbiter shall be deemed authorised to make a binding decision on the distribution as an expert arbitrator pursuant to § 317 German Civil Code.
7.7 If the proceedings fail, the parties shall bear the arbiter’s costs in equal shares.
Course of proceedings
8.1 If the opposing party has approved the arbitration proceedings and the applicant has been informed of this (§ 3), arbitration proceedings are only continued if the arbitration agreement pursuant to § 6 has been signed and the lump-sum for costs pursuant to § 7 no. 7.1 has been paid in. If this is not done within three weeks, the branch office can declare the end of the arbitration proceedings.
8.2 If the preconditions of § 8 no. 8.1 have been fulfilled, the arbitration office serves the application for arbitration proceedings on the opposing party and requests that it replies to it within two weeks of receipt in writing and in duplicate. The reply is to reflect its own position in a factual regard and contain copies of written evidence. The reply from a party represented by an attorney is to contain a summarised legal assessment of the subject matter of dispute from its point of view. For reasons of acceleration of the proceedings, service can also be done beforehand.
8.3 By agreement with the parties, the arbiter determines the venue of the arbitration proceedings and sets a date for a hearing without delay, to which the parties and, if applicable, their representatives are to be summonsed. At the hearing, the parties’ interests and the dispute and legal situation are to be discussed and an agreement aimed for.
8.4 The proceedings are not public. Confidentiality of the proceedings shall be secured by all the parties involved in the proceedings.
8.5 The further course of the proceedings is determined by the arbiter at his free discretion, observing the principles of neutrality, equity and justice. In this context, the wishes of the parties shall be taken into account.
8.6 At any time, the arbiter can request that a party provide him with further information. Documents presented by the parties are to be taken into account. The arbiter can inspect the subject matter of dispute on site.
8.7 The parties are obliged to further the progress of the proceedings at all times. No party has a claim to insight into the arbiter’s files.
8.8 At all stages of the proceedings, the arbiter shall aim for an amicable settlement of the dispute. The arbiter shall inform parties not represented by a lawyer about the legal backgrounds and consequences of the proposal for an agreement.
8.9 By express request of the parties, the arbiter can
• make a proposal for a composition,
• explain the chances of success of judicial proceedings from his point of view,
• make an arbitration award about the entire dispute situation or parts thereof to the extent that the parties have concluded an arbitration agreement beforehand.
Ending of the proceedings
9.1 The proceedings shall end when the agreement ending the dispute has been concluded or if at least one of the parties declares the arbitration to have failed in writing to the arbiter and the other party. At a hearing, a verbal declaration of failure suffices.
9.2 If the arbiter sees no prospect of success of the proceedings, he can also end the proceedings at any time. The decision does not require substantiation. If three arbiters are involved, unanimity shall be necessary for the ending of the proceedings.
The arbiter shall inform the parties of the possibility of replacement of the arbiter by mutual agreement (§ 4 number 4.5).
9.3 The arbiter shall record the outcome of the proceedings in minutes. He shall notify the branch office when the arbitration proceedings have been ended. The notification is to contain reference as to whether an agreement was achieved between the disputing parties.
9.4 In the event of conclusion of an agreement, the arbitration proceedings shall be deemed ended on the date of signing of the agreement. To the extent that the ending of the proceedings or failure of the arbitration is declared to the parties when they are present, this shall be deemed the date of the ending of the proceedings. If one of the parties of the arbitration proceedings is not present, the arbitration proceedings shall be deemed ended at the time at which the arbiter has informed this party of the ending of the proceedings in writing.
10.1 Liability of the bar association, the CCI, their executive organs and employees for actions or omissions of the arbiter has been ruled out. The arbiter can limit his liability to the scope admissible by law in the arbitration agreement.
10.2 Liability of the bar association, the CCI, their executive organs and employees shall be limited to malice aforethought and gross negligence.
These rules of arbitration shall take effect on the day after publication.
These rules of arbitration were resolved on 21.06.2000 by the plenary meeting of Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry.