CD: Would you agree that arbitration is growing in popularity as a means of resolving commercial disputes, particularly on an international, cross-border scale?

Shah: There is no doubt that the popularity of arbitration as a dispute resolution forum is growing. Arbitration is particularly relevant in today’s globalised economy where so many transactions have an international or cross-border element. The flexibility that the arbitral process can offer, as well as the ability to enforce an award via a relatively straightforward process on an almost global scale, are particularly attractive when dealing with parties from jurisdictions where the national court system is perceived to be inefficient.

Karrar-Lewsley: The use of arbitration continues to grow and remains a key feature of cross-border transactions. This is largely due to its neutrality, flexibility and effectiveness. Arbitration is neutral because it can take place in a neutral country with a tribunal chosen by the parties, as opposed to a court which is likely to be the national court of one of the parties. Arbitration is flexible because the parties are free to choose the procedural rules and are not subject to the often complex and rigid rules of a court. And although arbitration proceedings can vary, the New York Convention means that arbitral awards are finally binding and can be enforced in the vast majority of countries.

Bos: Based on international statistics, such as ICC statistics, it is clear that arbitration is still growing in popularity. The number of cases as well as the number of parties involved and countries involved is growing. No statistics are available for the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (Nederlands Arbitrage Instituut), but it is clear that arbitration occupies a strong position in the world of dispute resolution.

Apr-Jun 2013 issue

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory N.V.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Al Tamimi & Company