Head of International Arbitration Philippa Charles spoke to John van der Luit-Drummond at The Legal 500 for its podcast series looking at the issues facing lawyers practicing at the UK independent bar. The first bonus episode focused on the impact Covid-19 has had on international arbitration. As well as Philippa, it featured Owen Lawrence, CEO of the International Arbitration Centre, Andrew Stevens, a junior barrister at 4 Pump Court, and Jern-Fei Ng QC of Essex Court Chambers.

The discussion ranged across the challenges of arranging and preparing for virtual hearings, as well as their conduct, and focused on the ways in which practitioners can work constructively to make those hearings work well for all participants.

Overall, the general feeling was that virtual hearings would remain a common (and perhaps preferred) choice for shorter hearings, and for full hearings where there is no overwhelming need for them to take place in person.

 

Philippa commented:

“However challenging the new approach may be, the panellists noted that the skills to be deployed are all skills which we have been gradually developing. The pandemic has essentially accelerated the process to encourage a more energy-efficient and environment-friendly approach to the conduct of proceedings.  As one participant put it, the key to managing these changes well lies in the mindset the participants bring to the challenge. By focusing on the right tools to make case management effective, the difficulties posed by the pandemic can be overcome.”

You can listen to The Legal 500 Podcast, Bonus Episode 1, here

 


 

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