Many of the world’s leading business centers, including Miami, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore, actively compete to host international arbitrations, and the courts of the venues selected to host international arbitrations are typically regarded as the most respected courts by the international business community.
As I wrote over at the International Arbitration Advisor, Singapore in particular has become intensely competitive in attracting international arbitrations.
If venues like Miami, Paris and New York are going to retain their dominance, at minimum, they must create a “one stop shop” arbitration center similar to Singapore’s superior Maxwell Chambers integrated arbitration complex.
New York in particular is taking a hard look at the issue. So much so it put together a Task Force of New York Law in International Matters.
The Report of the Task Force on New York Law in International Matters cautions that as competition increases from other global legal centers, New York must act or risk losing its position as a major world center for resolving international disputes.
As the Report notes, other jurisdictions are quickly gaining traction in hosting international arbitrations.
For example, in 2010, Australia, India and Ireland each established specialized courts to handle international arbitration matters. The Report also notes that France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden and China — all jurisdictions well-known for international arbitration — have designated specialized courts or judges to hear cases to challenge or enforce arbitration awards.
Additionally, new arbitration laws were enacted in 2010 and 2011 in France, Ireland, Hong Kong, Scotland, Ghana and other nations to enhance their attractiveness as seats of arbitration.
To retain its competitiveness, the Task Foce makes specific recommendations. Among them:
- Establishing a council of New York international law firms to promote and advance New York law;
- Creating a degree of judicial specialization, such as a designation of specialized courts to deal with international arbitration matters;
- Creating a “rocket docket” in the court system’s Commercial Division to expedite international arbitration-related cases;
- Using “judicial referee” decisions by New York judges on issues presented to them by foreign courts,rather than by litigants, that require interpretation of New York law;
- Promoting domestic and overseas continuing legal education programs on drafting international arbitration agreements primarily for transactional lawyers and in-house counsel; and
- Coordinating efforts among groups and individuals who are currently working to advance New York in international matters.
While they’re all excellent recommendations, I believe the Task Force should also explore the possibility of building a state-of-the-art integrated international arbitration facility similar to the Maxwell Chambers Complex in Singapore.
What do you think?
You can read the entire report below: