Number of new arbitration cases in Brazil increases 600% in a decade

Posted lundi, novembre 14 2022
Number of new arbitration cases in Brazil increases 600% in a decade

In the period between 2020 and 2021, arbitration proceedings recorded the staggering value of R$ 120 billion in new cases. According to data provided by the Arbitration in Numbers and Values report, led by professor and lawyer Selma Lemes, the number of proceedings increased by more than 600% in the last decade.  

"The significant rise in arbitration cases in the last decade is due to its promotion as an alternative dispute resolution method that proved to be extremely favorable for disputes involving complex issues and that demanded a greater agility of resolution. As the parties began to include arbitration clauses in their contracts and to experience its benefits, we were able to verify the strengthening of the institute" explains Camila Biral, dispute resolution partner of renowned law firm Demarest Advogados. 

In addition to the massive number of new cases, the values involved in the proceedings are rising. A conflict between Petrobras and the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) recently reached the record value of R$ 2 billion and became the largest arbitration in Brazil.  

Arbitration discussions added up to BRL 64.52 billion and BRL 55.20 billion, respectively - in 2020 and 2021 -, often related to the power sector and to public-private partnerships (PPPs) that involve the public administration as party.  

"In terms of values, the increase in the figures involved in the proceedings is related to the main matters that have come to be judged through arbitration. At first we were able to verify a large number of arbitrations proceedings related to construction and infrastructure contracts. Then there was the increase of cases involving corporate law, intellectual property, agribusiness, among others" adds Ms. Biral.  

According to her, these are reflections of the benefits experienced by supporters of the alternative means of conflict resolution, as “[I]t's ideal for the parties to be able to count on specialized judges in the matters discussed, greater dedication of such judges to analyze the documents brought by these parties, neutrality of the arbitration forum in international disputes, the possibility of choosing the law by the parties and the confidentiality maintained in the arbitration procedure."