Eva Kalnina: More demand for speedy decisions – interim and final

Wisdom, courage and an innovative mindset. These are valuable traits in an arbitrator of today, says Eva Kalnina, new member of the SCC Board, who feels enthusiastic about contributing to the SCC´s success in this role.

Welcome to the SCC Eva! What do you most look forward to in joining the Board?
The SCC and I have a long-standing relationship. I have had a number of SCC cases both as arbitrator and counsel and I feel very enthusiastic about contributing to the SCC’s success and joining a number of good colleagues on the Board, including Ginta Ahrel, Dmitri Evseev, Veijo Heiskanen, Jan Schaefer and Johan Sidklev, with Robin Oldenstam as the Chair. An important thing I hope to contribute is my very international outlook: I am a NY-qualified attorney with a Latvian law degree, I have practiced in both civil and common law jurisdictions as counsel and arbitrator with a particular focus on CEE/CIS region, and I speak 7 languages.

What trends do you foresee in the development of international arbitration in the future years?
The world is becoming increasingly fast and more complex. As a result, there is more demand for speedy decisions, interim and final; there are more award challenges; more publicity and also increasing large “conflicts shadows” in law firms such that law firm partners who sit as arbitrators will have to decline appointments or risk having their independence challenged. This is one of the reasons why I decided to become an independent arbitrator and put down my counsel hat.

You have a vast experience as arbitrator in commercial and investment treaty disputes around the world. What is in your view, the most important qualities that an arbitrator should possess in 2022?
We are living in an increasingly fast moving world and the demands on arbitrators are also increasing. In addition to key qualities such as ability to understand different cultural perspectives, while at the same time always going into a hearing with an open mind, qualities such as responsiveness and speed of decision making are becoming increasingly important. The current unprecedented times are triggering new challenges which go far beyond the skillset necessary to conduct virtual hearings or manage electronic bundles. Arbitrators will need to have the wisdom and courage to find innovative solutions to both old and new problems in order to achieve more efficiency, quality and fairness in the decision-making process. 

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