The ICC YAF Report

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.

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Atlanta’s Global Companies and International Law

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.”

20160602_183143Four 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.

ICC YAF: Settlement in International Arbitration

On October 5, 2016, Dentons US LLP sponsored and hosted an ICC YAF cocktail reception and panel event at the firm’s New York office. The panel, which took the form of an interview-style discussion on “Settlement in International Arbitration,” highlighted new statistics, trends, and issues in planning for, reaching, and enforcing settlements in international arbitration. With over 75 people in attendance from private firms, companies, law schools, and arbitral institutions, the event brought together representatives from all corners of New York’s vibrant international arbitration community.

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“Meriam Al-Rashid (Partner, Dentons US LLP) stressed the importance of settlement to business relationships and the issues lawyers must navigate in helping achieve a beneficial settlement”

The panel of four, consisting of Ulyana Bardyn (Deputy Counsel, ICC), Andrew Behrman (Partner, Baker Botts LLP), Corina Gugler (Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), and Viren Mascarenhas (Counsel, King & Spalding LLP), was moderated by Dentons Managing Associate Diora Ziyaeva. In her opening keynote address, Meriam Al-Rashid (Partner, Dentons US LLP) stressed the importance of settlement to business relationships and the issues lawyers must navigate in helping achieve a beneficial settlement. Then, Ms. Ziyaeva asked the panel to draw on their settlement-related experiences at all stages of disputes in international commercial and investment arbitration, including the use of hybrid or ‘multi-tier’ dispute resolution clauses, the role of arbitrators in settlement talks, and issues in enforcement of settlement agreements reached in arbitration. The final Q&A culminated in lively discussions of the roles that third-party funders can play in settlement in international arbitration. The event brought this important yet little-discussed topic to the forefront of the New York international arbitration community and was an opportunity for all players in the community to share and reflect on their practices.

ICC YAF: Startups and Dispute Resolution

San Francisco.

Beautiful weather, Golden Gate Bridge, origin of Hippie Culture, Silicon Valley, and Innovation.  These are just a few of the images that come to mind when we hear of this city (other than place of arbitration).  The ICC YAF focused on the last two images at Baker and McKenzie’s San Francisco office on 2 May at the ICC YAF event titled, “Startups and Dispute Resolution.”

Joining the Roundtable discussion were in-house counsel at the hottest startup companies headquartered in San Francisco and a seasoned international arbitration practitioner with experience counseling startup and tech companies: Liza Kostinskaya, Legal Counsel at Gusto, Victor Song, Associate General Counsel at Fitbit, Inc., and Dan Tan, Principle at Dan Tan Law.  The discussion was moderated by Teresa Michaud, Partner at Baker & McKenzie.

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The discussion took a novel approach, and diverged from the traditional topics at ICC YAF events.  The Roundtable focused on the various legal issues emerging companies face, including employment and tech disputes, and how dispute resolution could play an integral role in a companies’ overall growth/business strategy.  The audience was delightfully proactive and engaged, which facilitated a lively conversation.  After the discussion, one of the panelists commented, “I think I will go back and take a look at the dispute resolution clause that we use.”

Sounds like success.

 

 

Reflections on the Changing Landscape of International Arbitration: a Conversation with José Ricardo Feris

 

New York, New York 24 February 2016

What is a young professional to do in this highly competitive, fast-paced, ever-so-changing and uncertain time in the legal profession, including the field of international arbitration?  The Deputy Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration had answers to this and other questions at the ICC YAF event co-organized with NYIAC on February 24th titled, “Reflections on the Changing Landscape of International Arbitration: a Conversation with José Ricardo Feris.”

Jóse Ricardo Feris gave the audience a snapshot picture of his legal career – how he became involved in arbitration, how he was able to grasp (and create) various opportunities, and how he came to his current home in the ICC Court Secretariat.  He also shared information on new ICC initiatives and spoke of the growth of arbitration and diversity of cases at the ICC.  Responding to a question from a young practitioner regarding the lack of diversity in the profession, he replied that the quest for diversity is a reflection of society as a whole, and that the responsibility must be shared by all players, including counsel, users, and institutions.  He added a more hopeful perspective by saying that the composition of players in arbitration in the younger generation is quite diverse, and time (along with hard work from males and females) will give way toward greater diversity.

He ended the interview by offering candid advice to young practitioners of arbitration, which departed somewhat from the usual advice one hears (i.e. work hard and sacrifice).  His advice: “do not feel that you have to begin your career in arbitration in the top arbitration practice at a large firm, whatever you do when you start your career can have added value, whether it be M&A, securities, or IP, do not limit yourself and think there is only one way to make a career for yourself, do what you can to educate yourself more, to raise your profile, and most importantly, take chances.”

Nikole LeeICC Deputy Director

ICC YAF: Close Friends or Forbidden Friends?

Miami, Florida 31 October 2015

While the rest of the country was out at Halloween parades, trick-or-treating or crashing parties, approximately fifty young arbitration practitioners gathered at The Jewel Box in downtown Miami on Halloween 2015 for an event titled, “Close Friends or Forbidden Friends”, co-organized by ICC YAF and the University of Miami’s International Arbitration Institute.  Deputy Secretary General of the ICC, Jóse Ricardo Feris, welcomed the guests by introducing himself as Marie-Antoinette’s husband (with the appropriate wig in place), and joked that he did not know whether he would remain alive as he shared two panels with Marie-Antoinette (a.k.a. Julieta Ovalle Piedra). In his capacity as Global Co-Chair of the ICC YAF, he thanked the International Arbitration Institute and Lady Justice of Arabia (a.k.a. Marike Paulsson) for joining forces with ICC YAF and hoped it would set the stage for future collaborations. Marike Paulsson also stressed the importance of institutions collaborating, working towards a cure for arbitration, and searching for transparency and a system of checks and balances when arbitrator bias perverts the system.

“the panel took a look into the future on the role of technology for arbitration, which led to a debate about drones, online dating and video-conference enabled lying”

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Julieta Ovalle Piedra and Quinn Smith moderated the first roundtable discussion on “Close Friends or Forbidden Friends,” joined by André Chateaubriand Martins, Rocío Digón, Elina Mereminskaya, Mélanie Riofrío Piché, and Ignacio Zapiola.  The panel addressed circumstances under which experts in arbitral proceedings could be excluded, arbitrator misconduct and morally questionable behavior, and the close and forbidden friends in arbitration, specifically mentioning existing relationships between arbitrators and counsel, Facebook friend status and the angst for disclosure. Finally, the panel took a look into the future on the role of technology for arbitration, which led to a debate about drones, online dating and video-conference enabled lying.

The second roundtable discussion focused on bias of judges and arbitrators, featuring the Honorable Joseph P. Farina, Retired Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit,the Honorable Judge Adalberto Jordan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Honorable Judge Lisa S. Walsh of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Jóse Ricardo Feris, and Julieta Ovalle Piedra, and was moderated by Marike Paulsson.  The panel discussed the views from the bench on who should cure or protect the system of arbitration: the institutions, the judiciary or both.  In the end, the conclusion was clear: all of the players in arbitration as a community were responsible.  Even without Halloween candy, the conclusion was sweet.

–  Contributed by Marike Paulson

 

ICC YAF: Limitations on Arbitrability

Washington, D.C. 10 December 2015

 IMG_7066We hear the phrase, “the sky is the limit” (or rather, “the sky has no limit”?).  But we all know that sometimes this much optimism is just not true.  On December 10, 2015, the eve of the Joint Colloquium, approximately sixty young arbitration practitioners gathered at Hogan Lovells LLP in downtown Washington, D.C. to attend an event titled, Limitations on Arbitrability: When the Sky is Not the Limit.  The event was co-organized by ICC YAF, Young ICSID, and ICDR Y&I – the “young” crowd of professionals in international arbitration. The keynote speaker, Eduardo Siqueiros, spoke on the issue of rule of law in arbitration, delving into great detail on the factors corporations consider in selecting where to invest.  He entertained questions from the audience on the role of the rule of law in investment decisions and the recent Hogan Lovells’ Report on the subject.  Following the keynote, Stephen Drymer, Dyala Jimenez, and Baiju Vasani joined Patrick Pearsall who moderated a discussion on (you guessed it!) limitations on arbitrability.  A mix of civil law/common law and private practice/government backgrounds gave the topic an interesting angle as the speakers debated whether the issue of arbitrability was a “bucket” or “umbrella” within which admissibility and jurisdiction can sit.  Corruption, MFN clauses, provisions of NAFTA and the Energy Charter Treaty also made guest appearances in the animated debate.  What was the conclusion regarding whether the sky was the limit in arbitrability? In classic lawyering fashion – “it depends.”

 – Nikole Lee, ICC Deputy Director