Date: 01.06.2003
Country: Arbitral Award
Court: Arbitration Centre of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce
Parties: Unknown
A Costa Rican company in the hotel industry engaged a Costa Rican accounting firm to prepare an insurance claim for damage to one of its hotels caused by a flash flood. The accounting firm submitted to the insurance company a damage report two weeks before the deadline for lodging the claim. The insurance company notified the Costa Rican company that the damage had to be specified in a more detailed manner. Instead of forwarding this communication to the accounting firm, the Costa Rican company hired another accounting firm to do the job. The first accounting firm, which was paid only part of the agreed fee, brought an action against the Costa Rican company claiming it had breached the contract by unilaterally terminating the agreement without informing it of the insurance company’s remarks thereby preventing it from supplementing its report.

The Arbitral Tribunal, while basing its decision on the law of Costa Rica, also referred to the UNIDROIT Principles “not as a source of law not agreed upon or invoked by the parties, but instead for their doctrinal value”.

As to the merits the Arbitral Tribunal decided in favour of the plaintiff. In stressing the duty of the parties to act in accordance with good faith when performing their contract, it referred among others to Article 1.7 of the UNIDROIT Principles.