International arbitration survey gathers pace

A major survey on international arbitration by the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary, University London, sponsored by global law firm White & Case, is canvassing the views of in-house counsel in key markets worldwide.

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Professor Loukas Mistelis
Professor Loukas Mistelis

This year’s survey, entitled “Choices in International Arbitration”, will consider the key factors that influence corporate choices about international arbitration. In doing so, the survey revisits and expands upon some of the themes of the first survey conducted by QMUL in 2006 which examined corporate attitudes towards arbitration.

The 2010 survey aims to have an extended geographical reach to consider international arbitration in some of the emerging markets and will include the following themes:

  • Policies about arbitration:  whether organizations have policies in place regarding the dispute resolution mechanisms to be incorporated into their contracts and how they implement those policies.
  • Choice of law governing the substance of the dispute, the seat of arbitration and arbitration institution: the main reasons why respondents choose the key aspects of an arbitration including legal considerations, commercial factors, convenience, neutrality and proximity to evidence and witnesses.
  • Selecting arbitrators: key attributes for arbitrators, concerns regarding arbitrator performance and proposals for increased transparency.
  • Confidentiality: the importance organizations place on confidentiality and how corporate expectations interact with increasing challenges to confidentiality.
  • Effectiveness: how proactive corporate choices seek to maximise the benefits of arbitration and minimize the pitfalls including concerns regarding cost and delay.

“Arbitration is the dispute resolution method of choice in cross-border transactions and broadening our research into emerging markets and industry sectors will help to take our previous very well received surveys yet another step further.” commented Professor Loukas Mistelis, Director of the School of International Arbitration at QMUL.

The survey questionnaire can be accessed at and corporate counsel are strongly encouraged to participate. Those who wish to contribute have until the end of June to complete their responses.   The report is expected to be launched at the IBA in Vancouver in autumn 2010.

“The survey will provide significant insight, not now available, into current trends in international arbitration and how the use of arbitration has developed in recent years, particularly in some of the emerging economies. The views of corporate counsel towards international arbitration, particularly in respect of the factors that drive their choices and confidentiality, will be of certain interest to all those within the community,” commented Paul Friedland, head of White & Case’s global international arbitration group.