P.R.I.M.E. Finance aims to provide a transparent, effective and uniform way of settling disputes on the international derivatives markets. What exactly does P.R.I.M.E. Finance offer?
With the growing complexity of financial products, the task for courts and arbitrators to efficiently decide on disputes related to financial products has become increasingly difficult. Established in 2012, the Panel of Recognized International Market Experts in Finance (P.R.I.M.E. Finance) is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands that provides expert services to help resolve disputes in the financial sector.
P.R.I.M.E. Finance comprises a panel of over 100 internationally recognized experts in derivatives and financial arbitration. Amongst its experts are judges, bankers, regulators and academics. A key focus of P.R.I.M.E. Finance is providing arbitration services, but the panel also offers mediation, judicial training, expert court opinions and other recommendations on legal reform for international derivatives markets. One of the goals of the panel is to create a central database of international precedents and source materials through the publication of arbitral awards.
P.R.I.M.E. Finance’s effectiveness is yet to be comprehensively tested, but the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has recognized P.R.I.M.E. Finance as one of seven arbitration centers for dispute resolution in the ISDA Arbitration Guide. This will likely bolster the image of P.R.I.M.E. Finance arbitration as alternative dispute resolution method in the derivative markets.
What are the most important characteristics of P.R.I.M.E. Finance arbitration?
The P.R.I.M.E. Finance arbitration rules are based on the UNCITRAL rules, but also provide for expedited proceedings and – in matters of urgency where parties cannot wait for a tribunal to be assembled – emergency proceedings. Expedited proceedings will result in a substantive award, but the timeframe of the proceedings is shortened. In emergency proceedings, parties can request an emergency arbitrator to grant provisional measures. In the context of international derivative trading, this can prove to be very useful. In addition – in cases where the Netherlands is chosen as the seat for arbitration – the P.R.I.M.E. Finance arbitration rules provide for referee arbitration proceedings, allowing for an enforceable arbitral award to be rendered within 60 days.
As part of P.R.I.M.E. Finance’s goal to create a database of precedents, arbitral awards are published without the consent of the parties involved in the arbitration. However, a party can unilaterally object to an award being published within one month after the receipt of that award. Although it is too early to tell how popular this option will become, the desire to avoid publicity will likely drive many parties to object to the publication of awards.
More information on P.R.I.M.E. Finance can be found on primefinancedisputes.org
Yke Lennartz is a partner and Jessica de Rooij is a senior associate in the Amsterdam office of Norton Rose Fulbright.