Large multinational firms frequently involve more than one corporate entity in the performance of cross-border contracts. It is likewise common for a number of parties to participate in a single economic transaction through multiple contracts, or for contracts to continue in force following the sale or other disposition of a business. These scenarios can generate complex disputes which involve the conduct of multiple parties, some not signatories to an arbitration agreement, or at least not to the same arbitration agreement. In these circumstances, the involvement of third parties in an arbitration may be essential to the twin goals of efficiency and justice, and can even lead to the early resolution of a dispute. Joining such third parties to an arbitration, however, can be procedurally complex, particularly when they are unwilling participants.
This article appeared in the 2011 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: International Arbitration; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. (www.glgroup.co.uk)