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Flexibility in arbitration in focus at the 2nd GAR Live Stockholm

How to make the most in an opening statement? Should there be more rules in arbitration, or should it remain flexible? Will summary procedure result in more efficiency, or will it create more problems? These were some of the questions discussed at the 2nd Annual GAR Live Stockholm on 27 April 2017.

SCC Board Member Jakob Ragnwaldh and James Hope chaired the whole-day conference, attended by some 90 guests, mostly from outside Sweden. This is the second time the SCC hosted GAR Live.

The first panel discussed opening statement and the panelists agreed that counsels need to make the best use of their time in presenting the statement. However, a debate evolved around how flexible the timeframe should be. Huawei Sun, a partner at Zhong Lun in Beijing, said that she understood that it may be beneficial to limit the time as it will require counsels to focus the case.

In a keynote address, White & Case partner Phillip Capper lifted the issue of flexibility versus predictability in international arbitration.

“In the old days, arbitration was an alternative to something. Now it’s not an alternative to anything: world business has made it clear that the preferred option for final resolution of cross-border disputes is arbitration.” He went on to say “This means we can no longer be a cadre of western Europeans who insist that arbitration is best when it is flexible. World business wants this method, but it also wants predictability of process – a system that works”. 

The conference concluded with a heated debate on summary procedures under the 2017 SCC Arbitration Rules. Moderated by SCC Vice Chairperson Patricia Shaughnessy, debaters argued whether summary procedure will ensure efficiency and equal treatment for parties or whether it will instead result in more time and costs for the proceeding. 

See the conference program here.

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