Mark Twain once wrote that a person with a new idea “is a crank until the idea succeeds.”1)Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, in Following the Equator (1897). The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “crank” as “an annoyingly eccentric person.” Innovations and new ideas on the verge of implementation seem to arrive almost weekly in international arbitration. They…

Last week GAR released the shortlist for its 2017 award for “best innovation by an individual or organization”. What is notable about this year’s shortlist is that of the ten innovations on the list, six directly address transparency and/or diversity in international arbitration. From an online directory of African arbitration practitioners, to the launch of “Dispute…

The cover of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy famously features a “Don’t Panic” button. In the weeks leading up to the Brexit vote, some English law firms posted reassuring articles on the possible effects a vote to leave would have for dispute resolution in London. “Don’t panic” seemed to be a common theme. Yet…

The Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce began the new year by announcing two interesting and even bold innovations. The ICC Court will now, according to the ICC’s own press release, “publish on its website the names of the arbitrators sitting in ICC cases, their nationality, as well as whether the appointment…

The New York Times has just published a three-part series of investigative articles about arbitration practice in the United States, casting it as machine of repeat-players used by large companies to deprive ordinary citizens of access to justice. It is a pity the writers did not look deeper under the hood of that machine. Had…

Fellow Kluwer arbitration blogger, Duarte Henriques, recently started a Facebook page dedicated to discussing topical issues in international arbitration. The page regularly features “memes” all aspects of the practice. Below are a few. When international arbitration meets social media, no one is spared. – – – – – – – – – – – –…

The 2015 International Arbitration Survey is out. Subtitled “Improvements and Innovations in International Arbitration,” the most recent effort by Queen Mary / White & Case has a lot to say about efforts to date to improve the practice and what more can be done. The survey’s methodology and sample size have themselves been the subject…

The Vienna International Arbitration Centre turns 40 today. VIAC was created four decades ago to serve the needs of users engaged in commerce between East and West countries. Parties were facing the problem of arbitration clauses that were defective because they relied on the background of their countries, and were not enforceable for purposes of…

Dear Readers, you may have noticed the dearth of recent posts, for which we make no excuses. It is late summer for the northern hemisphere contributors. At this point, most of us are lingering poolside at the Kluwer International Arbitration Resort and Amusement Park, sipping procedural cocktails in the waning light as the children take…

Vienna can be a confounding place for an outsider. In one moment, the city projects itself confidently into an innovative, international future and yet in the next moment can appear irrevocably bound to traditions. Being forward-minded in dispute resolution, Vienna is host this week to the IBA-VIAC International Mediation and Negotiation Competition, a four-day event…

In April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what may have become the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system”.1 Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate…

Time Sensitive Over the next two weeks, two surveys will be gathering input from dispute resolution professionals on the challenge of enforcing settlement agreements across borders. The surveys are intended to provide empirical data to aid the decision making process for the proposed UNCITRAL convention on the international enforcement of settlements reached in mediation. IMI…

With hopes that those in the northern hemisphere had a fun summer packed with arbitration-related events for themselves and their families, below are the answers to this year’s summer quiz. The answer keys to the crossword and the word hunt were published in August. While a Ph.d is not required to read the Kluwer arbitration…

Below are the answer keys to the international arbitration word search and crossword puzzle that accompanied the August 14, 2014 post Summer Arbitration Quiz 2014. The answers to the quiz itself will be posted in early September. Reminder: the first person to submit correct answers to the Summer Arbitration Quiz (or the one who comes…

Mid-August is that time in the northern hemisphere when absence from their cases makes vacationing arbitration professionals fidget at the beach or in the mountains. What to do after you have breezed through volume VII of Gary Born’s salacious yet authoritative “50 Shades of Arbitration Procedure”, discovered hundreds of folding patterns in the ICDR arbitration…

Arbitration service providers often seem to handle parties, especially in-house counsel, with gentle kid gloves. A good example is any “roundtable of in-house counsel”, which is now as common at arbitration conferences as children’s tables are at weddings. Just like at weddings, the adults occasionally wander over to check on things and ask, “did you…

In a case my business had a few years ago, the parties’ contract specified expedited procedures under the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules. Immediately after the request for arbitration had been filed, the case manager of the ICDR, the AAA’s international branch, sent the parties a letter to warn us about this.(1) She pointed out that…

UNCITRAL’s Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) will begin its 47th session today, July 7 , in New York. Among the items to be discussed is a proposal for a multilateral convention on the enforceability of international commercial settlement agreements reached through mediation. (See also this link.) The proposal, which has been put forth by…

Critical negotiation moments punctuate the entire timeline of an international arbitration, from before it starts to even after it is over. And when these moments arise, a practitioner’s ability to negotiate effectively can sometimes be as important as their mastery of the subject matter. After all, what use is technical skill if you cannot deploy…

This is a response to yesterday’s post by Duarte Gorjão Henriques, “Incorporating IBA Guidelines Into A ‘Code of Ethics’: A Step Too Far?” My unambiguous answer to his title question is “right direction, not far enough!”. My response is from the perspective of an in-house counsel involved in negotiating dispute clauses in cross-border contracts. Henriques,…

This morning, a colleague in Asia forwarded me an article with news of the latest efforts by Singapore to establish itself as a preferred location for international dispute resolution: an ambitious initiative by the country’s Law Ministry to make Singapore a regional destination for international commercial mediation, and plans to create a Singapore International Commercial…

“The Gang of Four” (and I’m not making this up) is the name taken by four of Europe’s leading arbitration institutions to describe their loose affiliation for discussing common issues and sharing best practices. The “Gang” consists of the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Milan Chamber of Arbitration, the Arbitration Institution of the Stockholm…

Improving the search for information about arbitrators Last week I received an invite to a summer gathering organized by English mediator, David Richbell. One of the events is “Speed dating: Senior mediators including, amongst others, Michel Kallipetis, Liz Birch, Nicholas Pryor available for ten-minute personal interview.” Imagine how such an innovative method for choosing an…