CD: How would you characterise the growing interest in arbitration among high-growth markets around the world? What factors are driving current trends?

Palmer: We see a growing level of interest at government-level among high-growth markets such as China, India and Indonesia, among others, driven largely by the desire of those markets to attract and maintain foreign investment. To take the plunge in high-growth markets, foreign investors need to be confident that their rights will be protected and enforced in a neutral, impartial manner in accordance with the law. Typically, the legal infrastructure in these markets is still developing, and often there is a perception among foreign investors that local courts will not provide sufficient certainty in enforcing legal rights. With arbitration, parties can choose their decision makers, applicable law, procedural rules and supervising courts – many foreign investors see this as ensuring a better chance at a fair outcome, as do many domestic parties for that matter. Further, as a result of the almost universal adoption of the New York Convention, the award resulting from the arbitration can be enforced nearly everywhere in the world, unlike most local court judgments. Growing recognition of the importance which foreign investors attach to these factors has prompted significant investment by governments in high-growth markets in improving arbitration frameworks, often by reference to guidelines such as the ‘CIArb London Centenary Principles’ released in 2015. These guidelines have encouraged, among other things, modernisation of arbitration legislation, training of lawyers and judges in arbitration, and establishment of new arbitral institutions and facilities.

Oct-Dec 2019 issue

Ashurst LLP Singapore

Moroglu Arseven

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Slaughter and May