The Scottish Arbitration Centre celebrated its fifth anniversary with an event at its premises on Princes Street on 11 April.
The Centre was launched by Fergus Ewing MSP, the then Minister for Community Safety, at its original premises in Hunter Square in March 2011. The Centre is a non-profit company limited by guarantee made up of the Law Society of Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and the Scottish Ministers. The Centre promotes Scottish arbitration and Scotland as seat and venue for arbitration. It has an Arbitral Appointments Committee which can make appointments in ad hoc matters and provides a room hire service for arbitrations and mediations.
At the event, Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre, welcomed guests and Sir David Edward QC, Honorary President of the Centre, and Brandon Malone, its Chairman, gave short speeches to the invited guests, including Lord Hamilton, arbitrator and former Lord President of the Court of Session; Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland; Neil Kelly, Chairman of the Scottish Branch of CIArb; Sarah Speirs, Director of RICS Scotland; Prof Peter Cameron, Director of the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee; and Guy Pendell, Head of the International Arbitration Group at CMS Cameron McKenna.
Sir David said:
“The Centre has come a long way in five years, thanks in particular to Brandon Malone and Andrew Mackenzie. We now have a home here on Princes Street with a full-time staff of four. The Centre has established an annual arbitration training day bringing together professionals from different disciplines involved in arbitration. We have a successful collaboration project for energy arbitration with the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee. The Centre has also been nominated for two Global Arbitration Review Awards. Now we are bidding for the opportunity to host here in Edinburgh the largest international arbitration conference in the world.”
Mr Malone listed some of the achievements from the Centre’s first five years. Commenting on the Centre’s progress he said:
“The thing that I am most pleased about, and the major difference between now and when we first started five years ago is the huge amount of goodwill and awareness that we have generated for the Centre and for Scottish arbitration. This was brought home to me when we sought support for our ICCA bid. I was overwhelmed by the level of support from leading individuals in the international arbitration community from all over the world, keen to see Scottish arbitration prosper.”
Providing further details on the bid for Edinburgh to host the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress 2020. He said:
“Whilst there is no doubt that the Centre is now spreading Scotland’s arbitration message more widely than ever before, there is no single thing that we could do to promote Scottish arbitration, likely to have as big an impact as bringing the international arbitration community to Scotland for an ICCA Congress. Hosting the Congress in Edinburgh would allow international arbitration practitioners to see for themselves the many attractions that Scotland has to offer as an arbitral jurisdiction, and as a place to arbitrate, and would expose Scottish professionals to the world of international commercial arbitration and its potential benefits for Scottish business.”
The bid has the support of the Prime Minister, the First Minister of Scotland, the Lord President of the Court of Session, the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, the President of the Law Society of Scotland, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Chairman of the Scottish Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Chief Executive of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Global, the Chairman of VisitScotland and the Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh.
The other cities eligible to bid to host ICCA 2020 are Copenhagen, Mexico City, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Vancouver and Vienna.