Europe Branch Annual Conference: 'The importance of procedure in the pursuit of Justice'
The CIArb European Branch’s Annual Conference will take this year the form of a unique interview with a no less exceptional individual, a star in yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s arbitration constellation: Neil Kaplan, whom we will have the privilege and honour to welcome as our guest speaker.
Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS, is not only a renowned arbitrator with a very long, broad, in-depth and almost universal experience in international arbitration: he has arbitrated on all continents, in every sector, under the auspices of so many rules and institutions, that very few have not at least heard of his name, especially in the CIArb which he was once the President of. Neil is also amongst the “fathers” of modern arbitration, like other giants such as Albert Jan van den Berg, Jan Paulsson or the late Emmanuel Gaillard. Beyond Hong Kong, where he started the now famous HKIAC, and as importantly, to the first worldwide “arbitration week”, he is certainly regarded as a leading arbitrator, balancing between sharpness and fairness and perfectly embodying the word “diversity” like no one else.
Who else could then better lead us the way through the subtle interaction between substance and procedure in international arbitration? There is so much to cover that EB Officers Phillip Landolt as moderator and interviewers Ana Gerdau de Borja Mercereau, George Lambrou and Jil Ahdab will not be one too many for this conversation with Neil Kaplan.
Amongst the questions Neil Kaplan will be asked: Are procedural objections there to “obstruct” justice or actually to serve it? Are due process paranoia or guerrilla tactics enemies to the pursuit of justice? Is the pursuit of justice the same as the pursuit of the truth? Why and how can an arbitrator supersede the parties’ common intention? How do you compare cultural difference when it comes to assessing effective advocacy? Is e-justice the same as actual justice, today and in a post-COVID world? Would it be correct to rebalance, in the name of justice, an imbalance between two parties with counsel of different strengths?
This event is free and open to all, pre-registration is required.
For European Branch members only, the Annual General Meeting is scheduled after this event. Register here.
Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1965, Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS has practiced as a barrister, Principal Crown Counsel at the Hong Kong Attorney General’s Chambers, and served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong in charge of the Construction and Arbitration List. Mr. Kaplan has been a full-time practising arbitrator since 1995. During this period he has been involved in several hundred arbitrations as co-arbitrator, sole arbitrator or chairman in England and Hong Kong, but also in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Croatia, Austria, Philippines, China, Laos, Japan, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Denmark, Sweden and South Africa. These arbitrations have included a wide range of commercial, infrastructure and investment disputes, under the auspices of all the major institutions such as the ICC, HKIAC, LCIA and SIAC. Mr. Kaplan’s investment treaty cases under ICSID and UNCITRAL both as presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrator have involved, among others, Hungary, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Hungary, Croatia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ecuador, India and Iran. Often referred to as the “Father of Hong Kong arbitration”, Mr. Kaplan was Chairman of the HKIAC from 1991 to 2004, and he was president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators from 1999 to 2000. Since 1995, he has been a Council Member and now Governing Board Member of the International Council of Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). Between 2012 and 2016, Mr. Kaplan was also a Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. He is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a panelist of several other arbitral institutions including CIETAC. In June 2001, Mr Kaplan was awarded a CBE for services to international arbitration. In 2007, he was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR. Since 2017, Mr Kaplan has been the president of the Court of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (MARC). On 26 August 2018, Mr. Kaplan has been appointed as a member of the International Commercial Expert Committee to the Chinese Supreme People’s International Commercial Court. Mr Kaplan has written and edited several books on arbitration as well as having written numerous articles and delivered many lectures including the 6th Goff Lecture and the first Harbour Lecture in Hong Kong. He teaches at the City University of Hong Kong as well as giving guest lectures elsewhere.
Jalal (Jil) El Ahdab is a partner at Bird & Bird, in the Dispute Resolution Group in Paris. He is the Head of the Arbitration Practice in France and a member of the DR group in the UAE, where he offers the clients his longstanding and cross-border expertise in managing international disputes and arbitrations, especially in international business law, notably in Europe, Africa and the MENA region, focusing on international disputes and foreign investments.
Jil acts as a counsel, an arbitrator and an expert in various sectors such as construction, telecoms, ports, airports, energy, life sciences, sports and more. He has a 25-year experience in the field and was involved in approximately 150 matters (30 as an arbitrator).
Dr. Ahdab is a former member of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC (2015/21). He is also the Vice-Chair of the European Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as well as the co-chair of the IBA Arab Regional Forum. He also sits as a member of the Advisory Board of the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC).
Jalal is qualified to practice in Beirut, Paris and New York, and is equally fluent in Arabic, English and French. Jalal has released a book on Arbitration Law in France, written jointly with Professor Daniel Mainguy and published by LexisNexis (2021).
Dr Ana Gerdau de Borja Mercereau, FCIArb, is a senior associate at Derains & Gharavi (Paris). She has over 12 years of experience as counsel and secretary to arbitral tribunals in arbitrations under the ICSID, the ICC, the LCIA-MIAC, and the ICDR/AAA rules, and under the main Brazilian institutions’ rules. Her cases have included commercial transactions and joint ventures, large infrastructure projects (in construction, renewable energy, oil & gas and transportation), M&A deals, and projects in real estate and for mining research and exploration. She is a member of the ICC Commission on International Arbitration and ADR and a co-coordinator of Track 5 of the ICC Task Force entitled “Corruption in International Arbitration.” Ana is one of the founders of the Rising Arbitrators Initiative and co-chair of its Executive Committee and Vice-Chair of CIArb’s YMG Global Steering Committee. Ana holds a Ph.D. and an LL.M. (International Law) from the University of Cambridge and works in French, English, Portuguese and Spanish.
George Lambrou is an internationaldispute resolutionspecialist who resolves high-value and complex multijurisdictional disputes. He is a Solicitor Advocate who spends most of his time involved in arbitration and as a negotiator and overall problem solver. Throughout his career, George has advised and acted for (and against) governments, commercial entities and individuals from a wide range of countries. His unique background and language skills in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have proven particularly valuable in that part of the world.
George is regularly engaged in international arbitrations as counsel, co arbitrator and sole arbitrator under the ICC, LCIA, LMAA, SCC and ICSID rules sitting in London, Athens, Geneva, Stockholm and Washington DC. He has experience in construction, energy, trade, software, securities, investment treaty and maritime disputes. He has a very strongmaritimebackground, having been a partner for many years in a leading London-based shipping law firm. He is a faculty member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIARB) and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS). George works in both Russian and Greek.