Ian Gatt QC chaired a panel of distinguished arbitration practitioners at the CDR Spring Arbitration Symposium held in London on 27 April 2017.
The panel, comprising Wendy Miles QC (Debevoise, London), Paul Stothard (Norton Rose Fulbright, Dubai), Jason Yardley (Jenner & Block, London), Patricia Nacimiento (Herbert Smith Freehills, Frankfurt) and Kirit Javali (Jafa & Javali, New Delhi), discussed the topic of “Ensuring the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards” in a relaxed “Question Time” style format.
The panel commented on the importance of undertaking due diligence before the commencement of proceedings in order to ascertain for clients and funders whether there were identifiable and enforceable assets, and the use of third parties to assist in asset tracing. There was a comparative discussion of the ability to preserve assets pre-award in various different jurisdictions. Panel members also gave first-hand illustrations of problems and solutions they had encountered in enforcement proceedings, ranging from different approaches to the public policy ground for refusing enforcement to various local idiosyncrasies which need to be observed.
The panel members shared their experiences of funding enforcement proceedings and also trying to monetise awards by selling them on. There was a general recognition of the fact that whilst global enforcement was a reality, local knowledge and properly informing the arbitral tribunal of the requirements of the local courts in jurisdictions where recognition and enforcement might be sought was essential.
Philippa Charles was one of the panellist speakers in the session that discussed the energy market and disputes in that sector. The session was chaired by Brandon Malone, Chair of the Scottish Arbitration Centre.
Philippa’s presentation focused on time and cost efficiencies in energy disputes. She referred to recent user group survey data highlighting the need for arbitration and litigation processes to be used in conjunction with ADR processes, including but not limited to mediation, to give client parties the most effective outcomes. At present, the ADR offerings from major arbitral institutions seem to be underutilised and there is clearly scope for the arbitration community to make better use of the tools already available to meet the users’ wishes.
The other distinguished speakers on the energy panel were Peter MacDonald Eggers QC of 7KBW, who spoke engagingly about quality and sampling issues in commodities disputes, Mark Clarke of White & Case, who tackled the issue of arbitrability in energy disputes, Gordon Nardell QC of 20 Essex Street, who highlighted some of the real risks of Brexit for disputes in the energy sector, and Luis Agosti of Cornerstone Research, who delivered an analysis from an economic perspective of the European gas market and the circumstances which continue to give rise to gas price review disputes.
A full summary of the conference can be found here – Changing times in arbitration, energy disputes and award enforcement
A focus on the energy and commodities section of the symposium can be found here – The nuances of energy and commodities arbitrations
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