On October 16 the Spanish arbitration community received a much expected piece of news: the creation of the Madrid International Arbitration Center (CIAM).

The Madrid International Arbitration Center is the result of combining the international activities of the top three Spanish arbitration institutions: the Madrid Court of Arbitration (CAM), the Civil and Commercial Court of Arbitration (CIMA) and the Spanish Court of Arbitration (CEA). Besides which, the Madrid Bar Association (ICAM) has joined the project as a strategic partner, and the future inclusion of the Madrid Bar Association's Court of Arbitration is scheduled.

The Madrid International Arbitration Center will have the jurisdiction to administer two types of international arbitration proceedings: (i.) arbitration proceedings arising from agreements in which the parties stipulate the Madrid International Arbitration Center as the administering court, and (ii.) arbitration proceedings originating from agreements in which the parties consented to arbitration administered by any of the four propelling entities as administering institutions and which are signed on or after January 1, 2020. To enable this second route, the four institutions mentioned will amend their Regulations to include this renvoi clause to the Madrid International Arbitration Center.

Details of the Madrid International Arbitration Center's procedures will shortly be announced in the media, it is expected to meet the highest international standards.

What we do know at this point is that the Madrid International Arbitration Center's plenary session will consist of thirteen professionals with recognized standing in legal circles and in the arbitration community: José María Alonso, José Antonio Caínzos, Begoña Castro, Adolfo Díaz-Ambrona, Josef Fröhlingsdorf, Elena Otero-Novas, Urquiola de Palacio, Giulio Palermo, Pilar Perales, Dámaso Riaño, Julio César Rivera, Francisco Ruiz Risueño and Juan Serrada.

To lead the Madrid International Arbitration Center, the plenary session has appointed José Antonio Caínzos as chairperson and Elena Otero-Novas, Urquiola de Palacio and Juan Serrada as deputy chairpersons.

Additionally, the secretary, which is about to be appointed, will have the combined support of three deputy secretaries: Adolfo Díaz-Ambrona, Dámaso Riaño and Francisco Ruiz Risueño.

Madrid, a prominent seat of international arbitration

The new Madrid International Arbitration Center has appeared, in short, with a clear commitment to become the internationally prominent Spanish arbitration institution, as may be seen from the mechanism devised by the top Spanish arbitral institutions, designed to keep feeding international cases constantly from those propelling entities to the new institution.

Additionally, the creation and bringing into operation of the Madrid International Arbitration Center is expected to mark a new milestone for the promotion of Madrid as a seat of international arbitration, thanks to the key support of the Spanish arbitration community funneled through Club Español de Arbitraje. A long sought-after goal, achieving a unique boost in 2020.