There is much discussion about international arbitration in the legal market and it is becoming increasingly popular as a dispute resolution mechanism. We have seen an increase in the use of international arbitration for resolving TMT disputes, which has been corroborated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) where TMT matters now account for 10 percent of all filings, placing the industry in fourth place behind construction, engineering and energy. However, there is very little data available publicly concerning the types of TMT disputes that arise and preferences for dispute resolution, compared to other industries. Accordingly, our firm teamed up with Queen Mary University, London, to undertake evaluative research into the TMT industries and have created a report: ‘Pre-empting and Resolving Technology, Media and Telecoms Disputes: International Dispute Resolution Survey’.

Spend on technology and the telecoms industry is huge and rising. In 2016, IT spend in the US was $1.17 trillion, followed by Asia at $1.1 trillion and Europe at $912bn. Businesses have expectations that investment in IT and telecoms will bring transformational advantages, efficiencies and increased profits. However, increased spend means increased risk and disappointment if the investment does not deliver or does not meet expectations. The reality is that few IT projects run to time, scope and cost.

The survey, which provides an in-depth analysis of attitudes toward TMT disputes, was truly global, with a very good response rate across all business continents, providing a rich data set. The survey reached across all sectors, seeking the views of IT suppliers and customers of IT, and all legal players, including in-house lawyers, private practitioners, arbitrators, mediators and judges. There were over 360 responses to the online questionnaire and more than 60 interviews conducted, mostly with in-house counsel.

Jul-Sep 2017 issue

Pinsent Masons LLP