The views of lawyers involved in international commercial and investment arbitration are being sought for a new international arbitration survey from Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL).
Conducted by QMUL’s School of International Arbitration and sponsored by White & Case LLP, the 2012 survey aims to examine whether a “harmonised international arbitration procedure is emerging, by canvassing the views of experienced arbitration practitioners from all over the world,” comments Professor Loukas Mistelis, Director of the School of International Arbitration at QMUL.
Entitled “Current and Best Practices in the Arbitral Process,” the survey is the fourth carried out by QMUL since 2006, and seeks to conduct a major investigation into arbitration practices and trends worldwide. Corporate attitudes towards arbitration, recognition and enforcement of foreign awards, and corporate choices in arbitration in key and emerging markets were past survey themes.
There are two significant differences between this survey and those done before. First, this survey concerns the arbitral process itself, rather than corporate user attitudes towards arbitration. Second, this survey reaches out to arbitration counsel and to arbitrators, in addition to inside counsel. This should provide a much broader universe of respondents, along with greater empirical evidence for what actually occurs in arbitration and what works and what does not.
The following topics will be explored in the 2012 survey:
• Arbitrator selection: The preferred methods of selecting arbitrators, experiences in interviewing potential arbitrators and expectations regarding the conduct of such interviews.
• Organising arbitral proceedings: How procedural meetings are convened, the use of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration, experiences and expectations regarding the role of the tribunal secretary, methods for expediting arbitration proceedings and the use of fast-track arbitration.
• Interim measures and court assistance: The frequency of interim measures applications to tribunals and courts (including security for costs applications), the level of compliance with tribunal-ordered interim measures and the power of arbitrators to order interim measures ex parte.
• Document disclosure: The frequency of document disclosure requests, the standard that applies/should apply for disclosing documents in international arbitration and how to best manage the disclosure process.
• Fact and expert witnesses: The effectiveness of fact witness statements, experiences and views on mock cross-examination of witnesses and witness conferencing, types of expert witnesses most frequently used and the preferred method of appointing expert witnesses.
• Pleadings and hearings: The number and order of delivery of written submissions, methods of expediting pleadings and hearings, duration and mode of hearings and the effectiveness of oral closing submissions and post-hearing briefs.
• Arbitral awards and costs: The frequency of partial, interim and dissenting awards, expectations regarding the length of time to issue an award and experiences and preferences regarding costs allocation.
The questionnaire for this year’s survey can be accessed at www.arbitrationonline.org/survey. Corporate counsel, private practitioners and arbitrators are encouraged to participate.
Those who wish to contribute have until the end of May to complete their responses. Questionnaire responses may be followed by individual interviews for those willing to participate. The report is expected to be launched in September 2012.
By Paul Friedland and John Templeman
White & Case, LLP