The Disputes Dilemma



Quinn Emanuel’s Ted Greeno weighs up the pros and cons of the different dispute resolution options and offers his insight into which option to pursue

It’s an old chestnut: which is better, litigation or arbitration? This is the third attempt I have had at it. In the first, I wrote an article singing the praises of arbitration over litigation. In the second, I debated for the motion: ‘This house considers that litigation is better than arbitration’, at a Commercial Litigators Forum event. On that occasion, my opponent (now partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan), Stephen Jagusch, used the entirety of his allotted time to quote my article back at me. So I approach this question with caution.

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The agony of choice



Bär & Karrer partners Daniel Hochstrasser and Nadja Jaisli Kull discuss the dos and don’ts to be considered when appointing arbitrators

For all of its emphasis on privacy, procedural flexibility and the reassurance that comes with a widely-adopted enforcement regime in the form of the New York Convention, parties remain attracted to international arbitration for a sometimes-overlooked, but equally important, factor: the ability to select their own decision-makers. In some ways, however, being spoilt for choice can make picking one’s candidate that much more difficult. Do you go for the expensive ‘name’ arbitrator? The Big Law associate tipped for great things but with comparatively few appointments to their name? Or, for counsel and arbitrators of a certain generation, the most unthinkable move of all – a woman?

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Better late than never


The Honourable Marc Lalonde on Canada’s accession to the ICSID Convention and why it took so long to ratify

Since the end of World War II, Canada has played a role in international affairs well above its relative economic or military power, whether at the United Nations or in other international institutions such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or the G5 (then G7, G10 and G20). It has also pursued the advancement of its economic interests through the signing of some 30 bilateral investment protection treaties (BITs or Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) as they are called in Canada) as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 (NAFTA). And although it may take a few more years before it is ratified, a preliminary agreement has also been reached recently with the European Union on the text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), well ahead of the US, which is just starting such negotiations. It is also actively participating in the current Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Negotiations.

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International relations



Omni Bridgeway’s Wieger Wielinga gives an overview of the Enforcement of Arbitration Awards against Sovereign entities in Practice

The last decade has shown a sharp increase in investment treaty-based and other international arbitration against sovereign nations, parastatals and other semi-sovereign entities. In the slipstream came an increase in the number of cases in which such sovereigns resisted complying with judgments and arbitration awards, including awards from the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Winning an arbitration award against a sovereign does not necessarily mean that recovery will be successful.

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Growing the Litigation Funding Market



Simon Dluzniak of Bentham IMF discusses Europe’s litigation funding market and compares it with the more mature Australian market the funder has come from

The third-party litigation funding market in this jurisdiction is, relative to Australia, still in its infancy. Hence it is incumbent upon the various stakeholders within the industry to continue to create awareness of the benefits of litigation funding in assisting and shaping its growth. After what appears to have been a fairly positive start, third-party funding (TPF) appears to have suffered a backlash of sorts as a result of a spate of so-called ‘setbacks’, most notably the loss of high-profile funded cases (for example, the Excalibur case) and the collapse of a well-known funder (Argentum).

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Pick your battles



London’s litigation funders are turning their attention to international arbitration. Can this deliver their breakthrough?

No sooner had Excalibur begun to drift from memory than another setback befell the litigation funding industry: the decision in August of the RSM v Saint Lucia majority to award security for costs on account of an unnamed funder’s involvement in the case, the first time such an order had been issued in the context of investment arbitration.

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Covering Every Contingency – Portfolio Funding of Litigation



Therium’s Neil Purslow examines the different funding options available

Since the introduction of damages-based agreements (DBAs) on 1 April 2013, use of contingency fee arrangements (CFAs) in England and Wales has been very limited, due largely no doubt to the fact that partial DBAs are not permitted and also the flaws in the enabling regulations have created uncertainty as to the efficacy of this new form of agreement. Nevertheless, commercial litigators have shown significant interest in taking litigation risk on their cases in return for a contingency fee upside. While this has, however, been difficult to achieve to date, Therium has now launched a portfolio funding offering which, through using a variation of a typical funding structure, allows law firms to offer contingency fee-based services to their litigation clients,
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Neutral territory



Lalive’s Marc Henzelin and Sandrine Giroud examine the key facts on the enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland

Ranked among the top five financial centres in the world and top of the Global Innovation Index 2014, with postcard landscapes and a tradition of discretion and stability, Switzerland remains a top destination for companies and wealthy individuals alike to bring their business and wealth. It is therefore unsurprising that enforcement of foreign judgments against assets held in Switzerland is an issue that comes up regularly in the day-to-day practice of international litigators.

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