SLOVENIA

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1. ARBITRATION

In 2008 Slovenia enacted the new Slovenian Arbitration Act (Zakon o arbitraži) which reflects the UNCITRAL Model Law, including the recommendations adopted by UNCITRAL in 2006 concerning the written form requirements of arbitration agreements and interim measures of protection.

The Arbitration Act (Act) regulates various types of arbitral proceedings when the seat of arbitration is within the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. Specifically, this means that the provisions of the Act are applicable to commercial as well as to non-commercial disputes which can be resolved through arbitration. The Arbitration Act applies both to domestic disputes and disputes involving international elements. The provisions of the Act shall apply to all types of arbitral proceedings, regardless of whether the arbitration is conducted under the auspices of an arbitration institution or by an ad hoc tribunal.

In Slovenia, there is one notable permanent arbitral institution attached to the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia (Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije) – the Ljubljana Arbitration Centre, as well as specialized arbitration courts attached to certain institutions, notably the largest Slovenian insurer (Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d.), and the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

The Ljubljana Arbitration Centre is an autonomous and independent institution acting as the central arbitral institution in the Republic of Slovenia and administers disputes for both the domestic and international business communities through arbitration or other forms of ADR. New modern arbitration rules have entered into force on 1 January 2014, which brought the centre into line with other big regional and global institutions.

The Act requires that the arbitration agreement entered into by the parties be in writing. It can be a separate agreement or form part of another agreement. An arbitration agreement is deemed to be in writing if it is concluded between the parties by way of an exchange of letters, facsimiles or telexes or by such other means of telecommunication which produces a permanent record of the agreement. It is also considered to be in writing if it is sent from one party to the other or by a third person to both parties and if no objection was raised in good time. An arbitration agreement is also valid if a bill of lading contains an express reference to an arbitration clause in a charter party. It will also be deemed to be in writing if one of the parties states in its statement of claim that an arbitration agreement was entered into between them, and the other party does not deny this in its statement of defence at the latest.

Further, the Act allows the parties to agree that all previous or future disputes arising out of the parties’ contractual or non-contractual relationship shall be settled through arbitration. Generally all pecuniary claims are arbitrable, as well as any other disputes in respect of which parties are allowed to settle. Disputes regarding personal status, e.g., marital disputes and adoption or parental issues, are not arbitrable. In addition, claims that would normally be decided by regulatory or supervisory authorities such as patent, trademark or antitrust disputes are not arbitrable.

The parties are free to agree on the substantive law, the procedural rules, the seat, language, number of arbitrators and their method of appointment, and other aspects of arbitration.

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, an arbitral tribunal may, upon request of the other party, order such interim or protective measures against a party as the arbitral tribunal may consider necessary in respect of the subject matter of the proceedings. The party that has requested such measures may also apply to the competent national court for the enforcement of such measures. It is not incompatible with an arbitration agreement for a party to apply to the state courts before or during arbitration proceedings for an interim measure of protection or for a court to grant such claim.

Arbitral awards are considered final and binding upon the parties involved in the arbitration, and an arbitral decision possesses the same effect and validity as a judicially imposed judgment. In general, a domestic arbitral award may be challenged (setting-aside proceedings) before the District Court in Ljubljana, on the following grounds:

-the party concluding the arbitration agreement had no legal capacity or capacity to act;

-the arbitration agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it, or failing such indication, under Slovenian law;

-a party was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator(s), or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present its case;

-the award was made in a dispute not falling within the terms of the statement of claim or contains decisions beyond the scope of the statement of claim;

-incorrect composition of the arbitral tribunal or the proceedings were not in accordance with the parties’ agreement;

-the subject matter of the dispute is not arbitrable under Slovenian law; or

-the award is in conflict with the rules of Slovenian public order.

2. ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN ARBITRAL AWARDS

The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards are carried out in accordance with the Slovenian Private International Law and Procedure Act. Furthermore, most international arbitral awards are decided in accordance with the applicable provisions of the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

Arbitral awards that are enforced under the provisions of the Private International Law and the Procedure Act must fulfil certain criteria. Generally, this requires that the party seeking enforcement submit to the competent court:

-the original arbitral award or certified copy thereof;

-the original arbitration agreement or certified copy thereof; and

-a certified translation of the arbitral award into Slovenian, or another official language recognized by the Slovenian Courts.

The request for the recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award should be filed at the District Court. In the event that the court establishes that no obstacles exist for the recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award, the court may issue an order for enforcement of the foreign award. Any appeals to an order recognizing a foreign arbitral award must be filed within a period of 15 (fifteen) days after the order recognizing the award is issued.

Slovenia is a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration, with the reservation that the Convention will only be applied to those arbitral awards which were adopted after the entry into effect of the Convention. Slovenia is also a party to the 1961 European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, as well as to the 1965 Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.

PRACTICE TIPS

PROCEDURE AND ASSUMPTIONS

TYPE OF PROCEEDINGS

Very limited. Document production is only allowed according to the applicable arbitration rules.

The procedural costs depend on whether a sole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal of three members is appointed, the complexity of the case, and the administrative charges.

The following estimates are based on the procedural costs of the Rules of Arbitration of the Permanent Court of Arbitration Attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia:

Assumption: international dispute, sole arbitrator appointed and an amount in dispute of EUR 1,000,000: Procedural costs: registration fee of EUR 1,000; administrative fees of EUR 9,500 and fees for a sole arbitrator between EUR 20,400 and EUR 30,600.

Assumption: international dispute, sole arbitrator appointed and an amount in dispute of EUR 10,000,000: Procedural costs: registration fee of EUR 1,000; administrative fees of EUR 18,000 and fees for a sole arbitrator of between EUR 63,600 and EUR 95,400.

Assumptions based on an amount in dispute of EUR 1,000,000: preparation of

2 filings, attendance at 1 hearing, correspon- dence with client: around EUR 4,200.

Assumptions based on an amount in dispute of EUR 10,000,000: preparation of 4 filings, attendance at 3 hearings, corre- spondence with client, in total: EUR 8,000.

Arbitration Proceedings

Approximate Duration

-The costs of arbitration depend on the arbitration agreement and the amount in dispute, the amount of documents, number of witnesses and whether expert opinions are required.

-The costs of arbitration also include the fees of arbitrators and administrative charges.

-In the case there is an arbitral tribunal with three arbitrators, the fees double.

-The arbitrators usually have large discretion regarding the award of costs. However, in practice the award on costs often depends on the outcome of the case.

-The award of legal fees is usually not determined by reference to a statutory tariff.

Approximate Costs

PROCEDURAL COSTS

Simple case

Complex case

ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)1

Simple case

Complex case

The Permanent Court of Arbitration Attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia is the only general and permanent arbitral institution in Slovenia with a noticeable caseload of commercial matters.

DOCUMENT PRODUCTION

The usual duration of arbitration proceedings is up to 2 or even 3 years. According to information received from the Ljubljana Arbitration Centre, the proceedings became shorter in the last few years and it is not uncommon for proceedings to be completed within 9-12 months.

Approximate Duration

The fee for recognition decisions is EUR 16 – EUR 35, regardless of the disputed amount.

The fee for enforcement proceedings is EUR 44 and above, depending on the manner of filing and number of additional means of enforcement.

Simple case: (assumption based on an award of EUR 1,000,000): Approx. EUR 780.

Complex case: (assumption based on an award of EUR 5,000,000): Approx. EUR 780.

Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

For enforcement of awards under the New York Convention, the creditor must provide the court with the authenticated original award or a duly certified copy thereof and the original of the arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof.

Depends mainly on the type and basis of the proceeding. Under EC Regulation 44/2001, proceedings are shorter than under usual proceedings under the Private International Law and Procedure Act or under the Arbitration Act (New York Convention).

It takes approximately 1 to 3 months until a decision on recognition and enforcement is rendered in first instance.

The duration of execution proceedings depends mainly on whether the debtor has executable assets and whether execution measures are opposed by the debtor.

Approximate Costs

COURT FEES

ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)

1 As provided by default by the Attorney’s Tarrif. Attorneys and their clients are allowed to agree on certain other fee-structures, e.g. hourly rates.

The information in this chapter was correct as of 1 January 2018. If you have any questions about the content of this chapter,

or would like further information about arbitration in Slovenia, please contact

CONTACT

MAIN OFFICE

Bleiweisova cesta 30

SI - 1000 Ljubljana

+386 1 438 00 00

ljubljana@wolftheiss.com

www.wolftheiss.com/offices/slovenia

ŽIGA DOLHAR

Associate

Wolf Theiss, Slovenia

+386 1 438 00 00

ziga.dolhar@wolftheiss.com