Why have you decided to specialise in ADR? What attracted you to this area of law?
When I studied in the Chicago Kent College of Law I had very interesting course on international arbitration. It inspired me so much that I came back to Latvia, applied and got a job at the Arbitration attached to the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the secretary general. In this job I realized how important is to follow procedural aspects and I still love procedure very much.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenge in your career as a female practitioner in arbitration?
In my country male and female practitioners have the same level of the challenges in their career. Even more, I consider that in Latvia top arbitration professionals are women.
At more global level I would like to see more practitioners from Eastern Europe playing bigger role in international arbitration.
Are there any interesting developments in the field of ADR in the jurisdiction you are based in?
Latvia is very special place of arbitration – Latvia does not follow UNCITRAL Model Law therefore there are almost no court’s arbitration assistance including, there is no set aside procedure. In order to control more than 80 registered arbitral institutions legislator through the Latvian Arbitration Law required all institutions to introduce mandatory lists of arbitrators consisting of minimum 10 arbitrators per list. The lists shall be registered in the Enterprise Register and together with registration application also documents proving the qualification of arbitrators shall be submitted. However, I doubt whether such requirements of law have improved the arbitration environment in Latvia.
How has a membership with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators benefitted your career?
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators gives excellent networking opportunities. I have participated in many events organized by the European Branch and met great practitioners and I have gained many good friends. European Branch has supported Willem Vis Riga pre-moot for many years thus opening its doors also to students and young professionals.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in the field thus far?
In general every new arbitration case is new challenge and achievement. But lately I have been appointed as an expert in many international and domestic cases and I find it very interesting because in most of the cases I can combine my academic and practical experience.
Tell us about your interests, hobbies or any out of work activities.
I play squash as I find it very strategic and powerful game; exact one to relax from daily work routine. I have had good results in national level both in the Latvian Championship and other tournaments.
In the past years I love to grow tomatoes from seeds to the harvest. It is relaxing and exciting as well as the result is tasty. Gardening is also about procedure.
Tell us a short war story from your ADR experience.
A few years ago in the case of recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award opponent party was represented by my former student, now very acknowledged practitioner. During the court hearing the counsel took out and referred to the commentaries of the Civil Procedure Law, part on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards written by me. The counsel insisted that I contradict myself – one what I have stated in official commentaries, one what I submit to the court on behalf of my client in the case at hand. It was not easy to argue that the commentaries are general but each case is different… In any case, judge enjoyed the show.