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Three Crowns Announces Official Launch

founding-partnersThree Crowns announced its official launch scheduled for Monday, April 7th, with offices in London, Washington DC and Paris. With the official launch just a few days away, Roger Alford caught up with Luke Sobota, one of Three Crowns six founding partners.

Roger – Why did you leave your prior firms and create your own firm?

Luke - In various discussions, the founding partners discovered a common vision about a different way to practice international arbitration. We believe that clients will benefit from dedicated and focused teams with hands-on partner involvement from start to finish, and that a smaller structure would permit flexibility in staffing and pricing.

Roger - Three Crowns i [...]

Using Trade Remedies to Enforce Arbitration Awards: The WTO-Consistency Question

Simon Lester has a thoughtful response to my earlier post about using trade remedies to enforce arbitration awards. He questions whether conditioning GSP benefits on compliance with arbitration awards is consistent with WTO obligations. My answer is essentially yes. Because there are so many issues at play, I thought it best to respond in a new post rather than respond in the comment section to his post.

First, there is no question that granting preferential treatment for developing countries does not violate MFN rules. That was settled with the so-called Enabling Clause. The real question is whether a particular GSP-scheme is consistent with the Enabling Clause. The Enabling Clause p [...]

Using Trade Remedies to Enforce Arbitration Awards

As I discuss in a recent article published in the Santa Clara Journal of International Law, one of the most significant developments signaling the convergence of trade and arbitration is the use of trade remedies to enforce arbitration awards. This is done primarily when a developed country threatens to remove preferential trade benefits to a developing country if that country does not honor its international arbitration commitments.

The WTO allows (but does not require) developed countries to grant preferential trade benefits to “promote the development, financial and trade needs of developing countries.” Many developed countries—including Australia, Canada, the European Union, and t [...]

Arbitrating Bangladesh Labor Rights (Part II)

As reported yesterday, the recent tragedies in Bangladesh factories have resulted in a major breakthrough with the signing of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Thus far, leading retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Benetton, and Calvin Klein are on board. Notably absent from the list are leading U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart and Gap.

As noted in my previous post, I have been arguing for years that international arbitration could serve as an important procedural tool for promoting human rights in global supply chains. I applaud the commitment of these retailers to join with leading labor rights groups and enter into a binding agreement to im [...]

Arbitrating Bangladesh Labor Rights

BangladeshThis week 170 garment workers in Bangladesh died after the Rana Plaza building collapsed. A few months ago 112 garment workers in Bangladesh died after the Tazreen Fashions garment factory was destroyed by fire. Both tragedies were the result of inadequate fire and safety standards.

These tragedies could not have come at a worst time for major retailers that purchase garments from these factories. For months the International Labor Rights Forum and other labor rights groups have encouraged garment retailers to sign a binding agreement that would create a system of rigorous inspections, transparency and oversight. Thus far, they have had limited success, with only the parent company of [...]

Gary Born’s International Arbitration: Law and Practice

Gary Born’s latest addition to the international arbitration literature, International Arbitration: Law and Practice, is a nice bookend to his magisterial two-volume work on the same subject. Rather than simply condense his 3,000 page tome into a 500-page summary, he has done something completely different: offer a concise, ready-reference, black-letter guide to international arbitration.

The text is brief and clear, offering a concise outline of the subject. But the book goes further, presenting charts, checklists, tables, statistics, and flowcharts. It is precisely the kind of book that my students would buy to prepare for my final exam on international arbitration. It is also the k [...]

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