Arbitration is a real alternative to dispute resolution

Founded in 1976, ATR has established itself as an essential business firm in Tunisia and more widely on the African continent. Interview with Walid Ben Amor, managing partner, and Imen Enneifar, partner and head of corporate and M&A, to take stock of the market trends.

Decision makers. What developments do you see in dispute resolution?

Walid Ben Amor. In recent years, the use of arbitration has become widespread. As a result of our recommendations, our clients, especially foreign investors, see arbitration as a guarantee of confidentiality, impartiality and speed in resolving their disputes. Recourse to ad hoc or institutional arbitration has indeed taken place in the settlement of disputes, especially by the insertion of the arbitration clause during the drafting of contracts, and a little less by the arbitration compromise after the appearance of conflicts.

However, institutional arbitration has taken the lead in international arbitration, as is the case for the arbitration of the ICC, the CMAP, UNCITRAL, etc. Among these international institutions, there are those that are distinguished by their competence and professionalism, and especially by a very reduced rate of sentence cancellation. For example, the CCI offers much stronger guarantees with a reduced rate of only 1% or 2%. This reliability and durability of the decision is essential and further secures the use of this private alternative dispute resolution.

The firm is also at the forefront of personal data protection…

Imen Enneifar. This is a subject that is particularly close to my heart and that is emerging on the African continent.  Tunisia has established an important body of legislation on the subject, the 2014 constitution expressly protecting personal data. As an important trading partner of the European Union, this is an important framework for our customers, whether they are Tunisian or foreign investors. The number of cases before the National Institute for the Protection of Personal Data (INPDP) has thus increased significantly in recent years, with companies becoming aware of the risk of sanctions. On the other hand, if the law has significant legal implications, it remains limited by the lack of follow-up by the competent courts, which have thus issued no criminal sanction in the context of complaints to our knowledge. This issue of the protection of personal data is nevertheless expected to gain importance and become increasingly transversal. That is why, in the long term, we want to have IT teams in each department of the firm to best support our clients in this new discipline.