A recent discussion on the OGEMID list about “elite arbitrators” prompted one participant to humorously compare the discussion to the frequent flier programs of airlines. This led to some fanciful speculation by in-house counsel of arbitration institutions offering their own loyalty programs, awarding us with “Frequent Arbitrating” points. For example, would there be free “upgrades”…

In last week’s post, I mentioned how some outspoken in-house counsel have undeservedly acquired a reputation for being anti-arbitration for having advocated improvements. I tried to explain how most in-house lawyers will want to be perceived as “dispute resolution neutral,” i.e., open to whatever type of procedure may best achieve the party’s goals. So what…

Two recent incidents reminded me of just how much, in international arbitration, impressions and even reputations can completely miss the mark. One was a discussion I recently had with a well-known arbitrator who only half-jokingly commented on my “anti-arbitration” view, although he then qualified me as appearing more moderate than my fellow members of the…