Judgment in the Court of Appeal, 9 March 2016, Case No. Ö 8635-15
Summary: Section 4 of the Swedish Arbitration Act provides that a court may not, upon the objection of a party, review a dispute covered by an arbitration agreement. This principle applies also to counterclaims that fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement, even where the main claim does not. In this dispute, the main claim did not arise under the shareholders’ agreement, but the claimant raised the arbitration clause in the shareholders’ agreement as an objection to respondent’s counterclaim. The Court of Appeal found that the counterclaim fell within the scope of the shareholders’ agreement, including the arbitration clause. The respondent argued that the parties had orally agreed that certain disputes – including the counterclaim – would be exempt from the arbitration clause. The court dismissed this argument, noting that the shareholders’ agreement provided that amendments and addenda must be made in writing.