As we draw to the close of a remarkable and historic year for the Centre, we would like to thank all of our members and friends for their continuous and resilient support, particularly with regards to ICCA Edinburgh. The Congress had more than its fair share of setbacks, but it ended up being a record-breaking ICCA Congress, which provided the Centre with a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scotland and our ambitions for the Centre to the wider arbitration community. Indeed, it provided the backdrop to the Centre launching its Rules and administrative services.
Delivering ICCA Edinburgh and launching our new services would not have been possible without your support. The Centre would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to you and wish you the very best for the festive season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
In September we announced that the Centre will now become an administrator for arbitrations with its own institutional rules. This will change the services and structure of the Centre, not only promoting Scotland as a Seat but promoting the Centre as an administrator for arbitrations. These Rules make special provision for greener arbitrations, promote diversity in arbitrations, and have clear commitments to data protection and cyber security.
The Centre has also appointed Duncan Bagshaw, former Registrar at LCIA-MIAC in Mauritius, as our Registrar. He is a renowned barrister and head of international arbitration at Howard Kennedy in London. Duncan’s expertise and insight will ensure we are equipped to provide a first class service to our clients.
The Centre also announced that it has formed a Court of the Scottish Arbitration Centre that will oversee the Centre’s administrative work. It will be comprised by Lady Wolffe KC (former Court of Session judge) as its President and by experienced arbitration practitioners: Elie Kleiman, Kaj Hober, Funke Adekoya, Joyce Cullen, Norman Fiddes, Alice Leggat and Eliana Baraldi.
To assist and ensure an effective, secure and efficient handling of arbitrations, the Centre has also launched Unicorn (named after Scotland’s national animal), an innovative electronic case management system for arbitration centres developed in partnership with Opus 2. It provides a centrally connected space for securely and efficiently sharing and accessing case-related information. All parties to an arbitration, including the arbitral tribunal and the Centre are now able to securely manage the exchange of documents (confidential) with in-built audit trails allowing for greater transparency and control. The new innovative system can automate manual administrative tasks, streamline onboarding, and provides analytics that enable the Centre to carryout its functions effectively. It provides clients with a modern connected experience, which has cyber security at its core and allows the Centre to more easily committee to greener arbitrations.
We have also developed a collaboration with CIArb to act as a fundholder. This will mean that parties are able to utilise an established and well-known institution for holding respective funds.
Our Rules are available here:
Our Schedule of Fees is available here:
As referred to above, our new Rules make provision for enhancing equality and diversity. Article 8.1 of our Rules states the following:
“In proposing or appointing any arbitrator under the Rules, the parties, their counsel, any appointed arbitrator and the Centre shall have regard to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge and R.E.A.L. (Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers).”
Andrew Mackenzie recently attended the GAR Live Women in Arbitration conference in London. Delegates heard from leading practitioners on the latest developments in arbitration and on diversity and inclusion issues, allowing Andrew to promote the Centre’s new Rules which make provision for greater diversity and inclusion in respect of appointments.
The Centre has always had a focus on equality and diversity. We have gender parity on our Board and more women than men sit on our new Court, which has a female President. Enshrining in our new Rules the need for those appointing arbitrators to have regard to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge and objectives of REAL is further evidence of our aims and objectives on this issue.
Brandon Malone has now stepped down as Chairman of the Centre after more than 11 years as Chairman since the Centre’s inception. Under his chairmanship the Centre grew from an organisation offering a range of services and promoting Scotland as a Seat of Arbitration, to a newly established arbitral institution and hosting the largest ICCA Congress. Thankfully, Brandon will remain involved in the Centre as a Director. We take this opportunity to thank him for his enormous contribution to the Centre and arbitration in Scotland.
The new chairman of the Centre is Lord Glennie, a retired Court of Session Judge, who has been taking an active role as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Centre over the last two years.
Given the structural changes to the Centre model, we have decided that our two honorary roles are no longer appropriate. Sadly, that means saying goodbye to Sir David Edward KC and Hew Dundas. Sir David and Hew have been loyal supporters of the Centre since its establishment and supported us at various meetings and events over the years. We take this opportunity to thank them for their service.
In more sad news, Janey Milligan, a Director of the Centre since its establishment, stepped down from the Board in December. Janey has been an influential and supportive voice within the Centre for almost 12 years and will be greatly missed by the other Directors and staff. Again, we take this opportunity to thank her for her service.
Finally, our Court will now manage appointments, including ad hoc ones. So, our Arbitral Appointments Committee is being disbanded. This change means wishing farewell to our two sub-committee chairs, Juliet Blanch and Lindy Patterson KC, and also Sandra Cassels. We take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and support over the last decade.
This September the Centre finally hosted ICCA Edinburgh with 1,400 participants (comprising 1,300 delegates), meaning it was the largest ever ICCA Congress. Our event also saw a gala dinner and ceilidh for almost 1,200. The event brought international arbitration practitioners from all across the world to Scotland and we estimate it boosted the Scottish economy by over £5 million.
The Congress hosted a formidable range of excellent speakers and covered interesting, novel and thought-evoking topics such as: whether AI could be used to assist in reaching decisions, the key issues that face arbitration (costs, the environment and the legal culture and equality), the constitutionality of arbitration and many more.
In terms of the social programme, we hosted a golf competition for delegates at Gleneagles. The Centre welcomed ICCA to Edinburgh, launched its Rules and provided traditional Scottish and Gaelic music at the Opening Ceremony. The Gala Dinner saw Brandon Malone perform the address to the haggis and ceilidh dancing.
The Centre graciously thanks all those who attended, supported and sponsored ICCA Edinburgh– it could not have been done without them. Now the Centre hands-over the torch to Hong Kong and wishes them success, and we look forward to experiencing another ICCA Congress there.
In November AIJA held its half-year conference in Edinburgh.
AIJA is an organisation that helps support and assist young lawyers and in-house counsel under the ages of 45. It has over 4,000 member and supporters from over 90 countries. The various projects and activities that are done by AIJA are coordinated by 20 scientific commissions, including arbitration. AIJA is a strong protector of the Rule of Law and human rights principles, and seeks to promote cross cultural understanding between members and the wider legal profession.
The Edinburgh conference attracted around 300 young international lawyers to Edinburgh in another boost to the Scottish economy. The Centre was delighted to support AIJA with introductions in respect of speakers and sponsors. We were also a Lead Sponsor and a Sustainability Sponsor.
We were also involved in the energy arbitration session. Brandon Malone, Past Chairman of the Centre, spoke on behalf of the Centre, along with Centre Ambassador, Laura West.
The Centre hopes to continue to work with AIJA and looks forward to future events.