CIArb News

CIArb’s New York Branch Organises Inaugural New York Arbitration Week With Great Success

04 Dec 2019

Photo: More than 150 guests celebrated New York Arbitration Week with dinner and cocktails on 20 November 2019.

From 19 to 22 November 2019, the first New York Arbitration Week (NYAW) took place at multiple venues in Midtown Manhattan and, by all measures, was a great success.

Orchestrated by a committee of directors and officers representing CIArb’s New York Branch and the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC), including Branch representatives Richard L. Mattiaccio C.Arb. FCIArb (Branch Chair and NYAW Co-Chair), Thomas D. Halket C.Arb FCIArb (CIArb President), Steven Skulnik FCIArb (Branch Programs Chair), Edna Sussman FCIArb (NYIAC Chair), and Benno Kimmelman FCIArb (NYIAC Director). NYAW succeeded in bringing together leading practitioners and academics from the global and local arbitration community, the support of law schools based in New York and Washington D.C., all the major institutional arbitration providers with global or regional headquarters in New York, and a number of young practitioner groups.

The substantive programming and social events all took place at full capacity. NYAW kicked-off on Tuesday evening, 19 November, with a cocktail reception that set a high energy level for the week.

Wednesday’s programming opened at NYIAC’s international hearing facility with Young IA Practitioners Diversity Challenge: Reinventing the Landscape for Young IA Practitioners, a thought-provoking panel discussion on strategies for advancing diversity, coordinated by young arbitration groups including CIArb YMG, AAA-ICDR Young & International, Young Arbitral Women Practitioners, CPR Institute Young ADR, ICC Young Arbitrators Forum, Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center Young Professionals, and the ADR Inclusion Network. Dana MacGrath, President of ArbitralWomen, described the diversity program as “a clear indication of the depth of talent, commitment, energy and optimism of the YMG generation in our field.”

M&A and Complex Financial Dispute Arbitration, a JAMS program moderated by Robert Davidson FCIArb (JAMS), followed the YMG program.

New York Branch

Photo: A packed house at Sidley Austin for the CIArb NY Branch’s program on the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration during New York Arbitration Week.

In the afternoon of Wednesday, 20 November, CIArb NY Branch presented a highly anticipated program on the newly-approved American Law Institute (ALI) Restatement of the US Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration, the product of a 12-year project led by the Restatement’s Reporter (and New York Branch Patron), Professor George A. Bermann FCIArb of Columbia Law School. Highlighting “hot topics” covered by the Restatement, which distills the U.S. law of international commercial and investor-state arbitration into principles and makes some recommendations for future development of the common law. The program featured several prominent academics and practitioners, as well as a sitting federal appeals court judge, who all served as Associate Reporters and Advisors for the Restatement.

The Restatement program was followed by cocktails and dinner attended by over 150 guests in the Grand Ballroom of the Yale Club of New York.

New York Arbitration week

Photo: New York Branch Chair and New York Arbitration Week Co-Chair Richard L. Mattiaccio with Rekha Rangachari, New York International Arbitration Center’s Executive Director, thanking New York Arbitration Week’s sponsors.

Day Two of NYAW opened at NYIAC on Thursday morning with a breakfast program presented by the CPR Institute on expedited arbitration, mediation, and New York as an arbitral venue. The proceedings then continued with the launch of the ICCA-NYC Bar-CPR Protocol on Cybersecurity in International Arbitration (2020) by Working Group members, including New York Branch Fellows Stephanie Cohen FCIArb (Branch Vice-Chair) and Mark Morril FCIArb. NYIAC Executive Director Rekha Rangachari remarked, “given the leadership roles of the New York City Bar and CPR Institute in the development of the Protocol, it is fitting that the first launch be here in New York during New York Arbitration Week.”

After a networking lunch, Thursday’s programming continued with two panels presented by AAA-ICDR: (i) The In-House Counsel’s Roundtable – Discussion on their Approach to an International Arbitration; and (ii) Focus on Asia – The ICDR’s Perspective. The half-day program was followed by a well-attended reception.

Fordham Law School provided its Lincoln Center venue for the NYAW programs and reception on Day Three, Friday 22 November, 2019. The day commenced with an ICC International Court of Arbitration Breakfast Program on Emergency Arbitration involving Branch Vice Chair Cohen which provided insight on procedural and substantive “lessons learned” from the ICC’s Task Force Report studying the first 80 emergency arbitrator cases before the ICC. 

The ICC breakfast program was followed by the annual Fordham International Arbitration and Mediation Conference co-chaired by Branch Fellows Kimmelman and Sussman. The all-day program included panels on (i) Contract Interpretation in International Arbitration; (ii) ICSID under the New Rules; (iii) Hot Tubbing Experts, moderated by CIArb President Thomas Halket; and (iv) What are Global Arbitral Institutions Focusing on Today?, moderated by Kimmelman.

Julian D. M. Lew QC FCIArb delivered the keynote address at lunchtime, provocatively titled Transparency in International Arbitration: Practical Value or Voyeurism? The Conference ended with a reception that also marked the conclusion of NYAW. Thomas D. Halket C.Arb FCIArb noted that “the Fordham Conference, which is always a contributor to thought leadership, is now also a pillar of New York Arbitration Week.”

The next New York Arbitration Week is already being planned for 17 - 20 November 2020 and promises to become an annual highlight of the arbitration calendar the week before U.S. Thanksgiving.

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