Cross-border and cross-cultural disputes have long been an area especially suited to Arbitration and Mediation. Any dispute is complicated, but the added uncertainty of litigating in a foreign jurisdiction or with unfamiliar legal concepts will naturally make any company feel more vulnerable than if they were doing so under their home system. A client litigating abroad is likely to be even more reliant on his/her legal advisers in terms of determining strategy and advising on points. They might find themselves on the end of a judgment using unfamiliar terms and principles, putting them in a position that makes them feel that their ownership of the dispute is extremely reduced. Even when the dispute is on home soil, the costs of litigating with an international opponent can be significantly higher than against a domestic opponent in terms of expense, time and management.
It is not therefore surprising that most international contracts make use of a qualified Alternative Dispute Resolution clause using either or both mediation and arbitration. The benefits of arbitration are clear: a specific legal framework is identified and the process of choosing decision maker and process is made by consent and decided pre-emptively. Mediation takes this one step further by making the process wholly client-focussed, with a settlement only being reached with full consent from both parties.
The 2014 IMI Conference will look at the particular features of International Mediation and Arbitration and how new innovations in the field can better reflect client needs and preferences. With forty speakers at the conference including a Keynote Speech from Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, and speakers from Shell, GE, BP, Marks & Spencer, this will be a prime opportunity to hear from people heavily involved with IDR. CEDR’s Chief Executive Dr Karl Mackie CBE will be speaking on “Innovations in International Dispute Resolution: What are service providers offering?” and CEDR’s Deputy Chief Executive Eileen Carroll QC (Hon) will be moderating the session “Expanding the Use of Mediation: “Opting-Out”, Enforcement and Hybrids”. With other sessions including the use of mediation in a wide range of specialist fields (such as Intellectual Property, Investor-State, and Banking and Finance), the future of IDR, and user needs, it looks set to be an enriching event.
The IMI Conference will be taking place on 29 October 2014 at the Livery Hall, Guildhall, City of London, from 9:00am -6:00pm. There will be a Reception at the Guildhall Art Gallery following the conference. The conference has an attendance fee of £375 + VAT/participant, £295 + VAT/participant for members of supporting organisations. Further details about the conference can be found here.