Hearings in SCC Arbitrations
Hearings are an important part of any arbitral proceeding. Though parties may agree to decide their dispute on documents only, the majority of cases administered under the SCC Rules include hearings conducted in person. The participation of witnesses and experts by videolink/conference is also possible subject to permission of the arbitral tribunal. Depending on the complexity of the case, hearings may vary in length, from one day to a week, or even longer.
Generally, hearings in the SCC arbitrations are conducted either at specialised hearing facilities such as the Stockholm International Hearing Centre, or in any other suitable conference centre. Another option for parties to consider when choosing a suitable facility for their hearing may be to hold their hearing at either the law firms of either Counsel or one of the Arbitrators.
Please note that the SCC does not provide hearing facilities.
Place of Hearings
A hearing may be conducted both at and outside the legal seat of arbitration.
For instance, in arbitration seated in Stockholm, a hearing may be held in any other city convenient to the parties and the tribunal. The Swedish Arbitration Act 1999 will still apply regardless. In practice, the SCC has had arbitrations seated in Stockholm while the hearings have been held in Paris, London, and other cities of the world.
Costs of Hearings
The costs relating to any hearings held in Stockholm (or elsewhere) are borne by the parties. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the parties to organise any relevant logistical matters, including booking hotels, conference rooms, catering, audio-visual equipment, court reports, and interpreters.
The parties have autonomy in relation to how much the hearing will cost and what kind of technical and logistical requirements are required. The SCC does not provide any standard requirements in relation to hearings.
Court reporters can be retained through various language-service agencies. Many independent service providers can be also found in EU and USA. Please note that all Court Reporters are in the English language. An alternative, for those arbitrations conducted in a language other than English, it is recommended that recordings be taken of the hearing and transcriptions be made thereafter (please note, that this will not be simultaneous transcription like Court Reporters).
Stockholm, as an international hub for both business and arbitration, has a variety of meeting and hearing centres that can fit the individual needs of the parties. For parties looking for the full service in relation to their hearings, the SCC recommends the Stockholm International Hearing Centre (SIHC).
The SIHC provides a full service hearing centre, specifically geared towards arbitration hearings. The SIHC has three unique locations in central Stockholm. Each centre has hearing rooms of varying size depending on the requirements of the hearing. Furthermore, the SIHC provides catering, audio-visual equipment and hotel packages to suit the needs of the parties. The SIHC also provides the parties with their own project manager who is in charge of organising the relevant logistics for the hearing, as well as finding the right “fit” for each party’s needs. More information about the SIHC can be found here.
Alternatively, conference facilities, such as Näringslivets Hus and many hotels in Stockholm have dedicated meeting rooms that can be used for arbitration hearings. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to organise hearings at a law firm in Stockholm, which can significantly reduce the costs in relation to the proceedings.