Key Reflections from London International Disputes Week 2021.
This year LIDW was hosted on a virtual platform for the first time, between the 10 to 14th May 2021 dispute resolution practitioners from around London and the world gathered on the platform to listen and engage in discussions and events on the development of arbitration post Brexit, in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and amid an uncertain global political environment.
There were excellent presentations from leading experts in the field, keynote addresses by several distinguished speakers including Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls on the development and need to digitise the court system by overhauling the way a claim is progressed through the legal system.
Some of the key reflections on the issues discussed were;
How to continue to build professional relationships new and old while working remotely, it was interesting to listen about how both Counsel and Solicitors have embraced online networking internationally, and some useful tips of the dos and don’ts of engaging with clients in an online environment.
The future and challenges of funding litigation costs, funding access to justice including group claims and collective redress, discussions were with both practitioners and litigation funders including Sir Rupert Jackson who provided his observations on the funding of litigation following his 2009 report on civil litigation costs, access to justice and discussion on the Walter Merrick v Mastercard case.
The positive view to no longer view mediation as an alternative dispute resolution procedure but instead to be seen as an integral part of the dispute resolution process, as various members of the Ministry of Justice and Robert Buckland QC the Lord Chancellor support.
Fireside chat with Stephanie Boyce (President of the Law Society), Derek Sweeting QC (Chair of the Bar Council) and Lord Wolfson of Tredegar QC (Minister at the Ministry of Justice) discussing the use of English law as governing law, benefits of using the English Justice system, challenges with access to justice, diversity, and inclusion, Blockchain and digital innovation. Including, how the UK is in discussion with other States around the world such as India on the cooperation and expansion of legal services around the world in particular with the existing use of English law being used in commercial contracts as the governing law clause due firstly, to English law being flexibile and response to business needs, secondly, transparency and predictable and thirdly globally renowned and trusted as highlighted by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar QC during the discussion.
There was discussion on the increasing environmental and social issues (ESG) in international disputes moderated by Lord Neuberger leading discussions on environmental, social and governance issues in recent and future disputes post pandemic and on the challenges within dispute resolution as a subject matter and as an influencing factor when dealing with these types of disputes which have multifaceted consequences and challenges for corporates, States and society. Including insights from HKIAC on green arbitration.
The events during the week provided leading insights on the current and upcoming challenges within the international dispute settlement landscape in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, there were encouraging discussions on the need to diversify, enable greater access to justice, social and economic impacts and to use mediation as an integral part of the dispute resolution process.
Congratulations to the organisers of LIDW on the first ever virtual event which was a success and hopefully next year there will be opportunity to network in person.
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