Dispute resolution – global, sustainable, ethical?

London International Disputes Week (LIDW) has become a fixture on the legal calendar and an unmissable event for litigation lawyers around the world.

This year’s LIDW was the largest and most ambitious to date, with more than 50 seminars, conferences and events, interspersed with keynote addresses from luminaries such as the Chief Justice of the United Kingdom, Master of Roles and President of the Law Society of England and Wales.

“London is a highly respected global hub, with world-class arbitrators, legal advisers and arbitration organizations whose awards are effectively enforced around the world,” I. Stephanie Boyce said in her speech.

“London is often chosen as the seat of arbitration for disputes between parties of different nationalities because it is perceived as a neutral and impartial forum for such disputes to be heard.”

Speakers highlighted London’s unique strengths and capabilities as a seat of dispute resolution – from the flexibility of English law, to the high standard of judges, to the exceptional lawyers and expert witnesses available for all types of disputes. .

This year’s event revolved around three themes: “Dispute Resolution – Global, Sustainable, Ethical?

Global

A series of seminars at London law firms on Monday May 9 “followed the sun” from east to west.

The first sessions of the day focused on Asian countries, particularly China and India.

In the middle of the day, the sessions focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Europe and Africa.

The end of the day saw discussions on North and South America.

Each seminar was in person and online so that audiences and speakers could join in both in London and in each of the regions, making the events truly international.

Sustainable

The second theme kicked off the following day, which was also the opening of the main LIDW conference.

Representatives from Campaign for Greener Arbitrations, Greener Litigation and the Global Alliance of Climate Change Ombudsman delivered a joint keynote address.

The public was challenged to determine whether their practices really help save the planet or destroy it, and whether they can take steps to establish a carbon-neutral dispute resolution system.

Ethics

Delegates explored the mental health issues that plague legal services professionals; assessed environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives and business ethics; and discussed how to equip and support the litigation lawyers of the future.

Speaking on digital justice in a keynote, Role Master Sir Geoffrey Vos brought the three themes together and observed that “blockchain is borderless and global, making no distinction between nodes in different national locations” .

“Digital payment mechanisms are also borderless, although they may be regulated or supported by assets in national states.”

“Dispute resolution will not be sustainable if it sticks to its analog roots and shuns the digital environment. It will lose the trust of new generations of bankers, financial service providers, underwriters and even lawyers.”

“It will also lose the trust of consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who themselves will demand affordable and proportionate methods of online or blockchain dispute resolution, as these technologies are used in all other sectors.”

“The ethics of dispute resolution certainly require that it be accessible to all and that it not be excessively or disproportionately costly or time consuming for anyone to enforce their legal rights.”

The past two days have seen more sessions hosted by law firms and other organizations. These covered a variety of topics including banking, life sciences, construction, insurance, offshore trusts, art, sports, insolvency, international fraud, energy, shipping and crypto-assets.

About London International Disputes Week

LIDW 2022 took place from Monday 9 to Friday 13 May.

LIDW is a unique collaboration of hundreds of lawyers and other legal service professionals celebrating the strengths of the London legal community and dispute resolution across the world.

It is a member organization that brings together law firms, chambers of lawyers, expert witness organizations, litigation funders, arbitration institutions and many others.

It will return next year with LIDW 2023.