CIArb News

Unleashing the Arbitration Project Manager Within

16 Jan 2023

Amanda Lee FCIArb, Arbitrator and Consultant at Costigan King, London, shares her thoughts on the importance of project management in ADR today. Ciarb’s Principles of Project Management Applied to Arbitration is an on-demand course led by Amanda.

As arbitration practitioners, we are in the business of managing and resolving disputes. We ask important questions about the underlying substance of a claim, the likely quantum, client goals, timeframes, and budget. Armed with such knowledge, we work to develop a solution to achieve our clients’ objectives.

What many do not realise is that such activities are project management skills. Arbitration practitioners conceal their secret identities as project managers from everyone, even themselves. Every aspect of arbitration involves project management. Project management principles also underpin every set of arbitration rules.

It is time to unleash the arbitration project manager within!

What are the Benefits?

Through using project management skills, arbitrators can easily identify time-saving and cost-saving methods. Effective use of these techniques also ensures that every solution proposed by the legal team or tribunal is tailored to best address the legal deliverable at hand.

The potential benefits for both practitioners and clients are significant, ranging from time savings to improved communications with clients and team members, better budgeting, consequential cost savings, and improved risk mitigation. Everybody wins!

Legal Project Management in Action

Legal project management works. International arbitration firms such as Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehills, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Pinsent Masons have adopted project management techniques over the last decade. White & Case LLP, in particular, has improved its reporting, is able to produce more accurate and streamlined budgets, and provide clients with real-time information as a result of increased investment in legal project management.

Project management should not be viewed as the exclusive domain of large international law firms or large corporations. Due to client demand, and after observing the benefit in other sectors, many in-house legal teams have embraced project management in their practice. Barclays encouraged its external counsel to use legal project management. It set up a Legal Project Management Consortium to explore best practices and share knowledge. The result? Barclays increased efficiency by 25% in the two-year period to 2018.

Developing a Competitive Edge

The business of arbitration continues to evolve. Competition for mandates is becoming fiercer. Client expectations are on the increase. Many clients already include questions about project management in their Request for Proposals. You run the risk of falling behind if you don’t adopt project management principles.

Help your practice in exceeding client expectations. With Ciarb’s new course, Principles of Project Management Applied to Arbitration, you can make 2023 the year that you embrace the full potential of project management.

Principles of Project Management Applied to Arbitration costs £15. This is an on-demand (open-entry) course. This means there is no specific start date. Once you have booked the course and made payment, you will receive an automated email with the login details.

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