The Scottish Arbitration Centre hosted a number of events in September, including a joint energy law conference with 20 Essex Street; a breakfast seminar with ArbitralWomen; and its annual arbitrator training day.
The energy conference, entitled “Contract Strategy for the Energy Industry: Drilling through the turmoil” was held on Wednesday 20th September and, supported by RICS, focussed on the implications of Brexit on decommissioning, contract risk, performance and dispute resolution clauses, as well as a look a Scots and English law approaches. The event was chaired by Brandon Nolan and Brandon Malone, both Directors of the Centre. Speakers included, Prof Peter Cameron, Director of CEPMLP at the University of Dundee; Penelope Nevill, Gordon Nardell QC and Angharad Parry, all barristers at 20 Essex Street; Chris Mackay, Partner at Burness Paull; and Lorna Richardson, Lecturer at Edinburgh Law School. Around forty delegates from across Scotland along with practitioners from London and further afield attended this free event in Edinburgh.
The Centre has a particular interest in energy matters, working with CEPMLP at the University of Dundee for some time now on a joint project – the International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA). ICEA carried out research with the energy sector and launched its Initial Report on Dispute Resolution in the Energy Sector in 2015. The report sets out the energy industry’s desired requirements for dispute resolution in the industry, with a view to establishing a set of bespoke energy arbitration rules in the future.
The ArbitralWomen breakfast seminar on Thursday 21st September was also a joint event with the Centre, entitled “Differences in the practice of international arbitration in the UK”. The event was the first of its kind to be held in Scotland since the establishment of this prestigious international arbitration body. Rashda Rana SC, President of ArbitralWomen, chaired the event, with an international panel of Lindy Patterson QC (Edinburgh); Philippa Charles (London); Anne-Marie Blaney (Dublin); and Carita Wallgren-Lindholm (Helsinki). Around thirty delegates from across Scotland along with practitioners from London attended this free event in Edinburgh, which was supported by 20 Essex Street, RICS and International Chamber of Commerce UK (ICC UK).
Rashda Rana SC said:
“It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with the Centre on this first joint ArbitralWomen/Centre seminar on “Differences in the practice of international arbitration in UK jurisdictions”. I am looking forward to further collaborations between us. As we work towards ICCA 2020, I hope awareness and the take up of international arbitration in Scotland will increase exponentially. It is an ideal place to become the next hub for international dispute resolution services.”
The Centre also held its fifth annual arbitrator training day. The event, which was sponsored by HKA and supported by 20 Essex Street, RICS and ICC UK, saw around 50 delegates from various professions attend the event, including an increased number of delegates from out with Scotland.
The training day was chaired by Brandon Malone, Chairman of the Centre, and involved leading practitioners providing an update on developments in arbitration and related case law, as well as guidance on practical aspects. Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, provided the keynote speech. In a wide-ranging speech, she discussed the Scottish Government’s diversity programme, given she was following the ArbitralWomen seminar, and relevant work in justice policy, before committing continuing support for the Centre and praising it for its achievements to date, especially winning ICCA 2020 for Edinburgh. Richard Farndale, Chairman of the Scottish Branch of CIArb, provided the main presentation on Scottish arbitration and best practice, drawing on his years of experience in arbitration cases. Gillian Lemaire provided a useful insight into international arbitration, referring to her experience in various international disputes.
Rob Wilson, Partner at CMS, provided a short talk on arbitration in renewable energy matters and introduced the afternoon workshops. Along with Dr Gloria Alvarez, Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, he then facilitated the workshops they had developed, which resulted in a stimulating interactive discussion on various issues which can arise in an arbitration. Janey Milligan, a Director of the Centre, also provided an update on the work of the Centre.
In the margins of the annual conference, the ICC UK Arbitration and ADR Committee met for the first time outwith London. The committee, chaired by John Beechey, past President of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC, includes various international arbitration practitioners based in the UK, including Brandon Malone.
John Beechey said:
“The ICC (UK) Arbitration Committee is delighted to have the opportunity to hold its first meeting in Edinburgh in the wings of the Centre’s annual Arbitration Training Day. It looks forward to developing the links between ICC and the Centre in the run-up to ICCA 2020.”
Before Brandon Malone closed the conference, Lord Clark announced the establishment of a new Arbitration Court User Group. The group will include Andrew Mackenzie and three Directors of the Centre, Brandon Malone, Janey Milligan and Jonathan Broome.
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre, said:
“We are delighted to have hosted another successful arbitrator training day, as well as the ArbitralWomen breakfast seminar and the energy law conference. It has been a busy couple of days at the Centre with these popular events bringing in local and international practitioners, who all enjoyed learning about the Scottish system and sharing experiences in international cases. We are grateful to Ms Ewing’s praise for our achievements to date and enjoy continuing support from the Scottish Government. We are particularly pleased that we continue to attract a mix of professionals to our annual event, with advocates, solicitors and surveyors exchanging experiences in best practice. We are also proud to have hosted the first ArbitralWomen event in Scotland as well as the first meeting of the ICC UK Arbitration and ADR Committee on this side of the border.
We also welcome the Judicial Office for Scotland’s decision to establish a new court user group focused on arbitration. Given there are only two other such groups, one for commercial matters and one for personal injury cases, it emphasises the importance the Court in Scotland places on ensuring its approach to arbitration remains supportive. This positive measure by the Court is an important step in ensuing Scotland is viewed as an attractive seat for both domestic and international arbitration. We are not aware of another jurisdiction that has such a group and the move further enhances Scotland’s reputation as it prepares to host the ICCA Congress in 2020. We look forward to working with Lord Clark and Lord Glennie on this excellent initiative.”