The new international survey on arbitral practices has just been released. Now in its fourth iteration, the survey has come a long way since its inception in 2006 at the School of International Arbitration of Queen Mary, University of London. While the first three surveys purported to measure in-house counsel attitudes about arbitration and the…

LONDON OLYMPICS, August 1, 2012 — Badminton officials took the extraordinary step today of tossing out four teams for deliberately trying to lose their preliminary matches. The eight disciplined players were found to have conducted themselves “in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.” Imagine immediate (and less severe) consequences for…

Here are some recent issues colleagues or acquaintences tell me they are facing with international arbitration, without (or with slightly altered) information that might identify a particular proceeding or party. My own comments follow each. I invite readers to amplify with their own views on how to handle these situations, or compare with issues they…

This is the time of year when law students and young lawyers begin to apply for their summer internships or jobs in international dispute resolution. Many – probably most – will carefully draft their curriculum vitae to show their serious commitment to relevant academic studies, experience in international disputes or with law firms, and participation…

Conventional wisdom holds that one of the virtues of international arbitration is the ability to blend divergent procedures, generally referring to civil and common law traditions. The IBA Rules of Evidence, for example, seek to strike a balance among different legal cultures. “Harmonization” and “flexibility” are the terms commonly used to refer to this mixing…

Even when I think I know what I’m doing (be it self-confidence or self-deception), I still find checklists can be useful. Sometimes they can help validate or compare processes with others, but mostly they are good at making sure I haven’t forgotten some critical step. Below is a checklist for when someone – a business…

This month marks two interesting developments in arb/med. First, as Kluwer wants you to know, they have added a mediation blog in addition to the arbitration blog. Well, it’s about time. Second, September heralds the much celebrated debut of the ICC’s new “Arbitration and ADR Rules”, at least for people who celebrate such things. As…

Last week’s summer quiz on international arbitration and mediation provoked a happy flurry of answers from around the world from a broad range of practitioners. Before we get to the answers, here are some interesting observations from the empirical data that we unintentionally gathered. Conclusive Empirical Data about International Arbitration and Mediation Practitioners (“Practitioners”) As…

If you live or work somewhere in the northern half of the planet, odds are that at some point this summer you’ll find yourself on a beach, cityscape, mountain, or other scenic destination surrounded with children relaxedly drawing on their coloring pads, and grandparents working attentively at their crossword. What about those of us who…

I write this post on a train on the way home from a seminar held by the Milan Chamber of Arbitration (CAM) to introduce a new rule and guidelines that could be seen as a necessary next step in the trend towards greater efficiency in arbitration. Before commenting on where these new developments might take…

Conferences on arbitration frequently include a session on “drafting” dispute resolution clauses for international contracts. The term drafting is also included in the title of many articles, book chapters, and entire books. While the actual content that follows this topic heading is often helpful, especially for non-specialist in-house counsel and transactions lawyers, the term itself…

Dear Counsel, Thank you for taking the time to present your firm’s international arbitration practice, and also for the copies of the brochure and monthly newsletter. The many recent wins by your firm and the published articles demonstrate convincingly that you are quality professionals with a high-standing in the community. I’m certain it was not…

The Arab Spring transforming the societies of the Middle East has raised more than a few questions among us in-house folk about what this will mean for dispute resolution in the region. Will civil institutions, in particular the courts, be a reliable mechanism in the coming years for upholding contractual rights, including agreements to arbitrate…

The goal had seemed an impossible one for many years. And then, recently, a tribunal in Berlin came close to breaking the famed barrier. Their noble effort was thwarted only by the Teutonic lapse of the chair who, on the verge of declaring the proceedings closed at 4 minutes and 43 seconds, spontaneously suggested terms…

Certain practices are as unwholesome as they are repeated with hard-headed stubbornness that they merit the denomination “worst practice”. A good New Year’s resolution for those engaging in international arbitration would be to pledge to stop engaging in them. I’ll limit myself to throwing stones at my own glass house: the worst practices committed by in-house counsel like myself and the lawyers we appoint.

British legal thinker Richard Susskind famously hypothesized in his book, End of Lawyers?,that the practice of lawyering will not actually end so much as gravitate towards extremes of “commoditized” legal work at one end and “bespoke” work on the other. The commoditization of some dispute resolution work has already begun to occur via the process…

A recent discussion on the OGEMID list about “elite arbitrators” prompted one participant to humorously compare the discussion to the frequent flier programs of airlines. This led to some fanciful speculation by in-house counsel of arbitration institutions offering their own loyalty programs, awarding us with “Frequent Arbitrating” points. For example, would there be free “upgrades”…

In last week’s post, I mentioned how some outspoken in-house counsel have undeservedly acquired a reputation for being anti-arbitration for having advocated improvements. I tried to explain how most in-house lawyers will want to be perceived as “dispute resolution neutral,” i.e., open to whatever type of procedure may best achieve the party’s goals. So what…

Two recent incidents reminded me of just how much, in international arbitration, impressions and even reputations can completely miss the mark. One was a discussion I recently had with a well-known arbitrator who only half-jokingly commented on my “anti-arbitration” view, although he then qualified me as appearing more moderate than my fellow members of the…