On 6 October, Kenny MacAskill MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, launched the new Scottish Arbitration Centre premises. The Cabinet Secretary was welcomed to 125 Princes Street by Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“This move to new premises can mark the beginning of a new chapter for arbitration. I would like to see further use of alternatives to court wherever appropriated, such as Scottish arbitration, and for those involved to bring their disputes to the Centre. The growth of arbitration in Scotland could ease the burden on the Scottish courts and benefit professionals and the wider economy, especially if we can attract more international dispute resolution to Scotland. So I support the initiatives being taken by the Scottish Arbitration Centre to promote Scotland as a seat of international arbitration.”
Mr MacAskill went onto congratulate Mr Mackenzie and Brandon Malone, Chairman of the Centre, and confirmed that the Scottish Government would continue to work with and support the Centre.
Mr Malone thanked the supporters of the Centre, including the Scottish Government. He also reflected on the success of the promotional work of the Centre over the last three years, commenting that:
“The Centre seeks to represent all strands of the arbitration in Scotland and it is that coordination of arbitration interests in the Centre that has allowed us to be so effective, influencing and informing Scottish Government policy on dispute resolution; changing UK Government policy to gain recognition for Scottish arbitration, and the wider Scottish legal scene and ensuring that Scotland is represented effectively at the high tables of the arbitration world.
Arbitration is of course a confidential process, so it is difficult to give facts and figures, but we know from anecdotal evidence that there has been a significant uplift in the use of arbitration in Scotland.We can also say with a degree of certainty that arbitration is increasingly being specified as the default dispute mechanism in literally hundreds of contracts.Scotland now also has a significant profile in the international arbitration world, and we are looking to capitalise upon that as we move on to the next phase of our development.
Now with our new premises we have a fantastic facility for dispute resolution. If there is another arbitration centre in the world with a more spectacular backdrop than this one, I don’t know where it is.”
Andrew Mackenzie added:
“We are delighted to have our new home at 125 Princes Street, where we can offer rooms for hire with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle. We welcome the continuedsupport from the Scottish Government, RICS Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates, the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Branch of CIArb, as we embark on this exciting new chapter in the development of the Centre.”
Pictured above: Kenny McAskill MSP launches the Scottish Arbitration Centre’s new premises, with Brandon Malone, Chairman of Centre, and Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre.