White & Case LLP and the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are partnering once again to carry out cutting-edge empirical research in the field of international arbitration, with the launch of the 2018 International Arbitration Survey.

International arbitration is the natural choice for resolving business disputes because it is able rapidly to evolve in response to the needs of its users. As Stavros Brekoulakis, Professor in International Arbitration and Commercial Law at QMUL, explains, “In the last 30 years, the field of international arbitration has evolved on a great scale and in a number of ways, including in terms of legislation, jurisprudence and practice.”

The 2018 Survey, therefore, focuses on the evolution of international arbitration: comparing trends over recent years, exploring current perceptions, and examining what users want and expect from the international arbitration system in the future. Professor Brekoulakis notes further, “Importantly, the survey also aims to identify key innovations and factors that may impact on the future development of international arbitration, including the role of information technology.”

Previous surveys carried out by QMUL in partnership with White & Case in 2010, 2012 and 2015 considered themes including corporate choices in arbitration, current and preferred practices in the arbitral process, and innovations and improvements in international arbitration.

The 2018 Survey builds on these past themes and also explores both current perceptions and key issues for the future of international arbitration community.  Topics covered in the 2018 Survey include:

  • Perceptions of the system of international arbitration: what works well and what continues to frustrate users?
  • Which arbitral institutions and seats are favoured by users, and why?
  • What is the impact of diversity across arbitral tribunals and what else can be done to encourage more diversity?
  • Are users more familiar with third party funding than they used to be and, if so, what are their perceptions of it?
  • Who is responsible for the security of data when using information technology and what role will information technology play in the future?
  • Who and what will influence the future direction of international arbitration?

The 2018 Survey once again aims to explore the views of the international arbitration community as a whole. Participation is encouraged from all stakeholders in the arbitral sphere, including private practitioners, in-house counsel, arbitrators, academics and those with experience working for arbitral institutions.

The survey questionnaire will be open until 8 December 2017 and can be accessed at https://www.arbitration.qmul.ac.uk/research/2018/index.html . The questionnaire can be filled out online or by completing a PDF version. The questionnaire should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

In parallel, there will also be a qualitative, interview phase. If you would like to participate in an interview, please contact the White & Case Research Fellow in International Arbitration at QMUL, Adrian Hodis (a.hodis@qmul.ac.uk).

The report reflecting the participants’ responses is expected to be published in Spring 2018. It is hoped that the responses to the survey will provide unique insights into the future development of international arbitration and the factors that will inform it.



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