Lawyer Monthly - ADR Awards 2023

11 LAWYER MONTHLY ADR AWARDS 2023 International Arbitration Lawyer of the Year sometimes by learning from one’s own mistakes or from those of your peers when they come to one’s knowledge. What advice would you give to parties and counsel on how best to select an appropriate arbitration centre? It starts with retaining smart, competent, and ADR-savvy lawyers when entering into a contract or an agreement because, in most cases, arbitration centres are chosen in the arbitration clauses included in major contracts. It is at that early stage that care needs to be taken in the selection of the dispute resolution provision of an agreement. Implementing this advice may be challenging since many lawyers who draft contracts are not ADR specialists and may not always be aware of the pitfalls of some arbitration centers. In any event, to the extent possible, one should consider the track records of an arbitration centre, i.e., its practices regarding appointment, conduct of the proceedings, its arbitration rules, the availability or not of legal remedies (in the rare but non-inexistent cases in which it may become necessary to refer to courts of law to remove the blockage created by some incompetent arbitration centres). Given your great experience, what are the most common mistakes that you see counsel make during ADR? The most common mistakes include: accepting cases they are not competent to handle and not associating experienced counsel to handle such cases efficiently; accepting cases in languages in which they can barely hold a conversation, let alone draft legal documents (Nb: keep in mind that being able to hold a basic conservation in a foreign language does not, in itself, qualify someone to properly represent a client in proceedings – before an arbitral tribunal or a court of law); showing up to meetings and hearings unprepared; failing to properly and timely raise appropriate objections that may help their client; ineffective communication with the client. How can these mistakes be avoided through advance preparation or adopting a new strategy? As mentioned above, good training and strict compliance to ethical and professional rules (such as not accepting a case one is not competent to handle). For clients, knowing who to hire as counsel may spare them a lot of troubles and disappointments since, in many cases, it may be difficult, even impossible, to salvage proceedings which are ruined by incompetent counsel. Can you share anything about the projects that you are currently working on? I can only say at this stage that I am still preparing some training materials for arbitrators and working on several publication projects. FRANCE “Whenever I get the opportunity to advocate for ADR, I take it. I also encourage younger ones to take an interest in ADR and learn much about it from an early stage.” Q Q Q Q

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