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World Arbitration Update
3rd Edition
May 22 to May 26, 2023

WORLD ARBITRATION UPDATE

Rigorous and remarkable counsel, arbitrators and academics are living and practicing beyond the centers of international arbitration. There are large, medium, and boutique firms, as well as solo practitioners, actively advancing international arbitration and public international law in non-traditional venues in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

 
The World Arbitration Update (WAU) will update the global community on key and novel topics of investment and international commercial arbitration, and public international law in a decentralized forum.
 
By the end of the 1990s, and even by the end of the 2000s, it may have been possible to keep up to date individually by directly digesting the few investment arbitration awards and main publicly disclosed international commercial arbitration awards. Out of approximately 3,300 investment treaties in force, 1,138 have been invoked in investment arbitrations. As those investment cases have led to 225 awards rendered between 2011 and 2020, and as the use of international commercial arbitration has also reached new heights during the last decade, WAU will provide an international arbitration update focused on key investment and international commercial issues with global and regional impact.
 
The WAU panels will follow a dynamic format where a presenter will first provide an update of the issue that the panel will address, including relevant treaty and international customary norms, as well as case law. An open discussion by the panelists, including practitioners, counsel for investors, counsel for States, arbitrators, officials of international organizations and arbitration centers, and academics, will then follow. After each panel, there will be a networking space in breakout rooms for panelists and WAU attendees to meet and interact.
 
WAU connects different regions with the global community aiming to decentralize and further expand international arbitration and public international law. At WAU, practitioners, States, private parties, arbitrators, international organizations, academics and students have the possibility to engage with each other and nourish the conversation on investment and international commercial arbitration, while being members of a forum that integrates the world through connectivity and precise updates.
 
On behalf of WAU, its circles of supporting firms, organizations, experts, panel speakers and moderators, we welcome the global community, newcomers, and experienced practitioners alike to the Second edition of the World Arbitration Update.
 
WAU Founders,
 
José Antonio Rivas & Ian A. Laird

WAU'S RECORD AND NUMBERS

After two incredible editions,  the World Arbitration Update made a significant impact in five continents updating on topics of investment and commercial arbitration and decentralizing international arbitration around the globe. Since its first edition, WAU has had a total of 34 panels with 186 speakers, over 1600 attendees and over  6,000 registrations. 

WAW VIDEO LIBRARY AND TRANSCRIPTS

With VOICICA, an automatic video transcription tool, watch all of WAU’s and Washington Arbitration Week’s (WAW) panels here.

GRATEFUL TO WAU´S CIRCLE OF SPONSORS

Law firms

Experts

Other Supporters

Supporting Organizations

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Meg Kinnear - ICSID Secretary - General

Christina L. Beharry - Foley Hoag LLP

David Pawlak- Pawlak LLC

Dr. Kabir Duggal- Columbia Law School

Dr. Mohamed Abdel Wahab - Zulficar & Partners

Eduardo Zuleta - Zuleta Abogados

Gaela Gehring Flores- Allen & Overy LLP

Karim A. Youssef - Youssef & Partners

Mallory B. Silberman - Arnold & Porter LLP

Miguel A. Nakhle- Compass Lexecon

Prof. Chester Brown- Sydney University

Prof. Julien Chaisse - City University of Hong Kong

Rafael Boza- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Ucheora Onwuamaegbu- Arent Fox LLP

Wau Founders & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

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International Dispute Resolution and the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

World Arbitration Update (“WAU”) invites you to attend a 75-minute webinar discussion by leading practitioners in the international dispute resolution field on the recent developments concerning the intersection of dispute resolution and the Ukraine-Russia crisis. According to the Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine has so far experienced economic damage amounting up to $600 billion. Over $10 billion in airplane assets have been reportedly stranded in Russia setting off potentially large insurance claims and related disputes. Yale School of Management has collected data showing that almost 1,000 companies have publicly announced they are voluntarily curtailing operations in Russia to some degree beyond the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions. The Russian parliament continues to consider the expropriation of foreign assets. International disputes involving Russia and Ukraine are arising from the crisis and more likely to follow. Our speakers will discuss related topics, including: the impact of sanctions, the proposed formation of an international claims commission for Ukraine, the impact of the crisis on the legal profession, the potential and current international forums in which Ukrainian businesses and investors could submit legal recourse to address the consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as an update on the ICJ case, Ukraine v. Russian Federation.

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The Actions of Russia, Countermeasures and Resulting International Disputes, Including Investor-State and Commercial Arbitration

September 26 at 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT

DETAILS

Date:

JULY 12, 2022

Time:

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT

ORGANIZERS

Moderators: Gene Burd (FisherBroyles) (TBC)

Presenter: Rob Houston (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC)

Panelist: Tatyana Slipachuk (Of Counsel at Chief Legal Department of the Ukrainian Parliament, Special Advisor at Sayenko Kharenko Law Firm) (TBC)

Panelist: Raja Bose (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC) (TBC)

Panelist: Derek Loh (Deputy Director-General (Economic & Social), Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore) (TBC)

Panelist: Simon Chesterman (Dean, National University of Singapore School of Law) 

In response to the imposition of international sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has imposed sweeping economic measures on foreign investors from States it considers “unfriendly”, including Singapore, the UK, the US, and EU Member States.  Both international sanctions on Russia and Russia’s own economic measures on foreign investors have had wide-ranging impacts across global market sectors, affecting foreign investors from around the world both directly through compliance mechanisms and indirectly through international commercial contracts.   

However, a number of venues exist for the resolution of the wide range of disputes anticipated to result from the current crisis.  In particular, foreign investors may still seek protection under investment treaties.  Currently, there are 62 BITs in force between Russia and other States, including 27 States that Russia has determined to be “unfriendly” as a result of international sanctions imposed on Russia.  Such treaties generally include substantive obligations to promote and protect foreign investment (e.g., to provide fair and equitable treatment, not to undertake unlawful expropriation of foreign investments, etc.) as well as for access to investment treaty arbitration against the Host State in certain circumstances.  Such public international law obligations under international investment treaties now appear at odds, for example, with recent economic measures imposed by Russia against foreign investors including: 

  • Currency Transfer Restrictions 

  • Transaction Approval Requirements 

  • Prohibition of Foreign Currency Export 

  • Restrictions on Debt Repayment 

  • Prohibition of Certain Exports and Imports 

  • Non-Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights 

Also, the Russian Duma has considered additional measures (which many anticipate to be expropriatory) to effect the transfer of ownership or operation of certain foreign investments where foreign investors have ceased operating in Russia in the current climate of international sanctions. The resulting international legal climate arising from Russia’s actions in Ukraine breaks new ground in public and private international law. Practitioners are therefore broadly anticipating a wave of disputes both in international commercial arbitration and in investor-State arbitration, including with respect to claims advanced by covered investors in investment treaty arbitration against Russia for economic measures like the above.   

This panel will explore the implications of these developments both from a global perspective and a regional perspective in Southeast Asia, highlighting the following key points of interest: 

  • The Current International Sanctions Climate 

  • Regional Focus on International Sanctions in Southeast Asia 

  • Consideration of Current Venues for Disputes Arising from the Invasion of Ukraine 

  • Potential Mechanisms for Foreign Investors to Pursue Claims Arising from the Conflict in Ukraine in Investment Treaty Arbitration 

  • Anticipated Disputes and Issues in International Commercial Arbitration Prompted by the Conflict in Ukraine 

  • The Current Landscape for Sovereign Immunity and the Potential for Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Against State Assets 

This program will provide a brief summary of recent developments in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and identify key legal issues, including the interplay between international sanctions and customary international law (e.g., the characterization of countermeasures and the application of the law of State Responsibility (including State Defences) in Public International Law as well as issues arising in Private International Law and International Commercial Arbitration (such as Force Majeure).  The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A period as well as a networking session.