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A Call from an Arbitration Activist

I woke up one morning and found myself on the barricades.

It probably happened gradually. I just wasn’t paying attention. Nevertheless, here I am. On the barricades.

I’m still a bit lost up here. The barricade is definitely outside my comfort zone. No security blanket in sight. Only a discomforting sense of urgency, and a nagging feeling that we are on the verge of losing something important.

What drove me up here? I ask myself. Probably a number of things.

I am here because of think-tanks with high-pitched voices, lashing out at international arbitration on the basis of cases not yet decided.

I am here because of a lack of perspective in the debate on the pros and cons of internatio [...]

‘Arbitrator Intelligence’ Is Here!

On Monday, September 22, Arbitrator Intelligence officially launches! This blog post gives some basic background about the project, explains how to use the site, and asks for your help in fulfilling our “Wish List.” When you are done reading, visit the site here!

The goal of Arbitrator Intelligence is to promote transparency, fairness, and accountability in the selection of international arbitrators by increasing and equalizing access to critical information about arbitrators and their decision making. Arbitrator Intelligence is currently in a preliminary start-up phase, organized around a Pilot Project.

The Pilot Project

While later phases of Arbitrator Intelligence will develop a num [...]

Summary Judgment in International Arbitration – No Longer Dismissed?

and Irina Tymczyszyn, Bryan Cave LLP

An M&A dispute between Travis Coal Restructured Holdings LLC (“Travis”) and Essar Global Fund Limited (“EGFL”) and related parallel proceedings in England and New York have shone the spotlight back on the issue of summary judgment in international arbitration. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“New York Court”) was due to decide whether it should confirm or vacate an award including a summary finding. In the meantime, the English Court adjourned enforcement proceedings of the same award in England pending the New York court’s decision (Travis Coal Restructured Holdings LLC v Essar Global Fund Limited, [2 [...]

Harvesting Data to Shape the Future of International Dispute Resolution

and Michael Leathes

Among the early words of wisdom expressed by Sherlock Holmes in the first of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 56 novels, A Scandal in Bohemia in 1891, was this classic line:

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

And so it is with dispute resolution. There is a paucity of reliable statistics out there to enable users of dispute resolution services, as well as advisers, providers, educators, adjudicators and policymakers, to understand how best to prepare and steer ourselves for the future. And even if we take the few nuggets of mediation data that have b [...]

International Arbitration in a Time of Global Upheaval

A few weeks ago, the day before the Obama Administration and the EU announced dramatic new sanctions against Russia, an international tribunal announced a $50 billion award against Russia in favor of a group of oil investors. The current violence engulfing Iraq has multiple satellite arbitration disputes over oil sales to Turkey. Recent violence on the Crimean Peninsula implicates massive oil fields off the coast of Crimea that will soon spawn international arbitration claims against the Ukraine, Russia or both. Last Spring, China positioned an oil rig near islands whose control is disputed with the Philippines. The move triggered not only a Philippines-China diplomatic row, but also an UN [...]

Enforcement of Arbitration Awards in Ukraine: Chances are Measured

Ukraine has a reputation of a country with an imperfect justice system. No wonder that the country is also pictured by many arbitration practitioners as one unfriendly to arbitration, though refusals to grant the leave for enforcement of arbitral awards in Ukraine are relatively rare – 10% and 18% of all requests considered in 2013 and 2014 respectively, according to the Statistical Report “Ukraine. Arbitration-friendly jurisdiction: 2013-2014” prepared by Cai & Lenard.

Ukrainian courts sometimes refuse to leave to enforce arbitral awards, and sometimes the reasoning of the refusal is very much controversial. For example, in 2014, a court refused to grant the leave to enforce an LCIA aw [...]

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