The Scottish Arbitration Centre has won its bid for Edinburgh to host the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress 2020. The other cities that bid for the congress were Copenhagen, Mexico City, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Vancouver and Vienna. The final written bid was submitted in April, followed by a presentation made to the judging panel on 8 May 2016 at the ICCA Congress in Mauritius. The presentation included a video which featured the First Minister of Scotland along with the Centre’s Honorary President, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive. The bid presentation also involved the bid team being piped into the Governing Board meeting by a Mauritian bagpiper and the unveiling of a new tartan commissioned for ICCA which will be registered under the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008.
ICCA is a worldwide non-governmental organisation devoted to promoting the use, and improving the processes of arbitration and other forms of international commercial dispute resolution. Its activities include convening international arbitration congresses and conferences, sponsoring authoritative dispute resolution publications, and promoting the harmonisation of arbitration and conciliation rules, laws and practices. The ICCA Congress is the world’s largest conference devoted to international arbitration. The previous two ICCA congresses, held in Singapore and Miami, each attracted over 1,000 arbitration professionals. VisitScotland estimates the congress is worth around £1.7 million to the Scottish economy.
The Centre’s bid had 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. An advisory panel drawn from the international arbitration community has also been established, to provide advice and support in the lead up to the congress. The written bid and promotional video were completed with the support of Conference Partners, who will be the professional conference organisers for ICCA 2020.
A number of leading law firms have financially committed to ICCA 2020 in Edinburgh and one hundred thousand pounds in sponsorship has already been raised. CMS Cameron McKenna has agreed to become a platinum sponsor, with Scottish firm Shepherd and Wedderburn and Herbert Smith Freehills also becoming Bronze sponsors. Stephenson Harwood has also agreed to become an official sponsor, along with Marketing Edinburgh and VisitScotland.
ICCA President, Donald Donovan, said;
“We are delighted to be going to Edinburgh in 2020, and congratulate the bid committee on having prevailed in the face of stiff competition from a strong field of bidders. After recent ICCA Congresses held in Rio, Singapore and Miami, this year’s event in Mauritius, and a 2018 Congress scheduled for Sydney, ICCA looks forward to bringing the Congress to Europe in 2020. We’re confident that ICCA Edinburgh will provide a spectacular platform from which to pursue ICCA’s mission to address the toughest issues facing international commercial and investment arbitration.”
Centre Chairman, Brandon Malone, said;
“It is a great honour to be selected to host the 2020 ICCA Congress. We see this as an important milestone in the development of international commercial arbitration in Scotland, and we look forward to welcoming the arbitration world to Edinburgh.”
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre, said:
“We are delighted to bring the ICCA Congress to Edinburgh in 2020. We look forward to showing the international arbitration community what Scotland has to offer and are confident that this conference will put Edinburgh firmly on the map as venue and a seat of international arbitration.”