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Find Lawyers in Chile for International Arbitration

Practice Area Overview

International commercial arbitration is an alternative method for dispute resolution on business issues. Given that arbitration is sufficiently autonomous from local courts, it contributes to create enough legal certainty by ensuring the freedom of the parties and the neutrality of judges. It also helps to save costs and time.

The basic requirements for a conflict to be subject to this type of arbitration are: (1) having a commercial nature, which is understood according to the legislation of the country where the arbitration takes place; (2) it must be international, which generally implies that the parties come from different states or have agreed to litigate in a different state; and (3) has to be arbitrable, that is, the matter of the conflict can be subtracted from the knowledge of the state courts according to the law of the state seat of the arbitration.

The specific manner in which the arbitral procedure shall be conducted will depend on the rules of procedure chosen by the parties. These rules include those of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). In the case of arbitrations arising from investment agreements between a State and private investors, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is generally available.

Lawyers in an international arbitration procedure lead the defence strategy, which is generally divided into a preparatory phase where parties choose the seat of arbitration, the names of the arbitrators, and the language applicable; a phase of discussion, in which the parties submit their arguments – both written and during oral hearings; and the phase of the submission of the award, which also includes challenging and executing of the arbitration decision.

The choice of the arbitration seat may determine the level of intervention or collaboration of the local courts in the arbitral proceedings. Chilean law has completely integrated the UNCITRAL rules. Therefore, state court activity in arbitrations is reduced to recognise, challenge, and enforce arbitral awards, as well as other exceptional cases of intervention regulated by said law. In our country, the only impugnment action that may be filed against an arbitral award is a formal petition for nullification.


El arbitraje comercial internacional es un método alternativo para la resolución de disputas sobre negocios. Al ser un mecanismo lo suficientemente autónomo del poder de los tribunales locales, el arbitraje contribuye a generar certeza jurídica al garantizar la libertad de las partes y la neutralidad de los jueces; como a ahorrar costos y tiempo.

Los requisitos básicos para que un conflicto pueda someterse a este tipo de arbitraje son: (1) ser de carácter comercial, lo que se entiende de acuerdo a la legislación del país en donde se desarrolla el arbitraje; (2) debe ser internacional, lo que generalmente implica que las partes provengan de estados diferentes o que hayan acordado litigar un estado distinto; y (3) debe ser arbitrable, es decir, que de acuerdo a la legislación del estado en donde se desarrolla del arbitraje, la materia del conflicto pueda sustraerse del conocimiento de los tribunales estatales.

La forma específica en que se sustanciará el procedimiento arbitral dependerá de las reglas de procedimiento elegidas por las partes. Entre estas reglas destacan las de la Comisión de las Naciones Unidas para el Derecho Mercantil Internacional (CNUDMI/UNCITRAL), las de la Corte Internacional de Arbitraje de la Cámara de Comercio Internacional (CCI/ICC) y las de la Corte de Arbitraje Internacional de Londres (LCIA). En materia de arbitrajes sobre acuerdos de inversiones entre un Estado y los privados, puede generalmente recurrirse ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias Relativas a Inversiones (CIADI).

Los abogados en arbitrajes internacionales lideran la estrategia de defensa, la que se divide generalmente en una fase preparatoria, en que se elige el lugar del arbitraje, los nombres de los árbitros y el idioma; una fase de discusión, en que las partes presentan sus argumentos por escrito y por audiencias orales; y la fase de dictación del laudo, que incluye también la impugnación y ejecución de la decisión arbitral.

La elección de la sede del arbitraje determinará el nivel de intervención o de colaboración de los tribunales locales en el procedimiento arbitral. La ley chilena ha integrado completamente las reglas de CNUDMI/UNCITRAL, por lo que la actividad del estado en los arbitrajes se reduce al reconocimiento, impugnación y ejecución forzada de los laudos arbitrales, como a otros casos excepcionales regulados por dicha ley. En nuestro país, el único recurso que puede interponerse contra un laudo arbitral es una petición de nulidad. 

Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés Baker McKenzie
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Related Practice Areas: Arbitration and Mediation
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