ICC YAF: Do We Need New Voices? The Role of Young Lawyers in a Changing Landscape

On March 30, 2017, Hogan Lovells and the Harvard International Arbitration Law Students Association  (HIALSA) co-sponsored an ICC YAF breakfast and panel event held at Harvard Law School in conjunction with the Harvard International Arbitration Conference, which was titled The Future of International Arbitration: Rising to the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow. The panel featured moderator Quinn Smith, Partner at GST LLP; Valeria Tiffer, Legal Affairs Officer at the WTO; Juliana de Valdenebro, Foreign Associate at Hogan Lovells; and Kabir Duggal, Senior Associate at Baker McKenzie.

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Mr. Smith opened the discussion by noting that the need for new voices in international arbitration has only grown as a result of the political and economic changes that have cast doubt on the future of international trade and arbitration. Each of the panelists spoke about the important role that young lawyers can play in moving the profession forward and deciding how international arbitration will adapt to the new players that are coming onto the scene, such as third-party funders. The panelists also focused on how young lawyers can change the present reality that it is the law firms, and not necessarily the clients, who are the most hesitant when it comes to appointing younger, more diverse, and less well-known arbitrators. Law firms are the ultimate repeat players in international arbitration, and young lawyers have the ability to ensure that the profession does not get stuck in the past.

Attended by over 50 law students and practitioners from multiple countries, the event highlighted the ability that young lawyers from all over the world have to ensure that the future of international arbitration is a bright one.