On June 2, 2016, King & Spalding, Arnall Golden Gregory, and the Atlanta International Arbitration Society’s Young Practitioners Group co-sponsored an ICC YAF cocktail and panel event held at King & Spalding’s Atlanta office. The panel, styled as a roundtable on “Atlanta’s Global Companies and International Law,” highlighted the experience of four prominent in-house counsel with roles in managing cross-border dockets touching on international law and foreign law. With nearly 70 people in attendance from private firms, companies, law schools, and arbitral institutions, the event was a diverse cross-section of Atlanta’s international law community.
“Each of the panelists reinforced the importance of cultural understanding, language skills, and “know-how” in terms of working effectively with local counsel and opposing parties who hold different legal backgrounds and perspectives.”
Four in-house counsel spoke, from Delta Air Lines (Gary Bunce), InterContinental Hotels Group (Carolyn Dinberg), AT&T (Nicole Levy), and JAS Freight Forwarding (Eugenia Molinelli). The panel was moderated by the VP of Global Commerce for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Jorge Fernandez. After giving a lively introduction about the growth of international business in Atlanta, including the legal challenges faced by the city’s many global companies, Mr. Fernandez asked the panel to share their experiences in navigating the ever-shifting legal environment across numerous countries. Each of the panelists reinforced the importance of cultural understanding, language skills, and “know-how” in terms of working effectively with local counsel and opposing parties who hold different legal backgrounds and perspectives. In closing the panel, Counsel for the ICC (SICANA) in New York, Rocio Digon, mentioned the important strides taken by Atlanta in recent years to improve its profile as a center for international arbitration, including modernizing its arbitration laws and constructing a dedicated hearing facility, the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation.
The event served to highlight that the US Southeast is a rising center for international business and commerce. Metro Atlanta is home to approximately 3,000 international facilities, employing more than 169,000 people. Some 70 countries are present in metro Atlanta, representing 79 full & honorary consulates and trade offices, and 38 binational chambers of commerce.