4/30/13: New Highlights from London Eversheds Y-ADR/YIAG Event

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More than 80 members of the Young International Arbitration Group, which is sponsored by the LCIA,  and CPR's Y-ADR group, met at Eversheds office in London on Feb. 6 for a young practitioners and in-house counsel symposium.

The two groups co-hosted the session, “A Symposium for Young Practitioners and In-House Counsel.”  CPR's Olivier André, Special Counsel and Director of Dispute Resolution Services at CPR, participated in a panel and co-chaired the event.  

His co-chairs included: Matthew Cumberpatch (Lead Counsel, Recovery and Litigation Unit of the Corporate, Recovery and Litigation Team at EBRD). Alasdair Murray (Senior Counsel at BP Legal). Kevin Smith (Senior Legal Counsel at Global Litigation-EMEA at Shell), Tom Spencer (Senior Counsel at GlaxoSmithKline). Felix Weinacht (Head of Industry Litigation at Siemens).

John Heaps, chairman of host Eversheds and a member of the CPR Board of Directors, gave the opening remarks.

The panel discussion was lively and inclusive, with views from in-house counsel that shaped many of the topics addressed.

Those topics included the perceived advantages and disadvantages of arbitration from the in-house view.  On that subject, there was broad consensus on the fact that arbitral proceedings take too long, largely as a result of the protracted process of appointment and constitution of the tribunal and the absence of, or lack of willingness by arbitrators to entertain, summary judgment or like remedies and procedures.

The panel discussed the use of escalation clauses, which some in-house counsel considered to be a "waste of time" from a legal perspective although helpful in fostering a spirit of collaboration between the commercial players at the drafting stage.

The group also examined whether arbitral proceedings could be more streamlined by better use of preliminary issues, or by doing away with either oral or written witness testimony.  It discussed whether in-house counsel would be prepared to risk giving up that right.  

Finally, the panel examined the importance in-house teams attach to the question of gender and other diversity.