Arbitration in the Spotlight: Back to International Conferences on Arbitration

On 10 October 2023, the Russian Institute of Modern Arbitration held a large-scale in-person conference "Arbitration in the Spotlight" at the Metropol Hotel.

Professor Khawar Qureshi KC gave the opening address and discussed alternative dispute resolution through the lens of globalization and polarization. 

During the first session “Sanctions in Libra: Is It a Real Curse?” Tatiana Minaeva, Sebastiano Nessi, Philip Panov, Vladislav Starzhenetsky and Leonid Kropotov discussed the impact of current sanctions on arbitration. In particular, Vladislav Starzhenetsky outlined actual sanctions risks and their impact on the development of arbitration in Russia and abroad. Sebastiano Nessi presented a comprehensive analysis of anti-suit injunctions focusing on the case law of England and the European Union.

The speakers of the second session "Aesthetics is in Ethics: Impartiality and Independence of Arbitrators" were Natalia Alenkina, Feruza Bobokulova, Dmitry Kaysin, Anna Kozmenko, Christian W. Konrad, Evgeny Raschevsky and Anna Grishchenkova. During their presentations, the speakers highlighted the issues of double-hatting in investment arbitration, the impact of the online space on the independence and impartiality of arbitrators, special rules for the appointment of arbitrators in certain jurisdictions, as well as shared with the audience practical advices on finding and vetting arbitrators in light of the current realities.

The speakers of the session "Tic-Tac-Toe: How not to Lose when Choosing an Arbitral Institution and Place of Arbitration" were Denis Almakaev, Mikhail Goloviznin, Stanislav Dobshevich, Ilya Rodionov, Alexey Yadykin, Bakhyt Tukulov and Yury Babichev. The speakers discussed the peculiarities of choosing an arbitral institution and place of arbitration, shared their experiences and spoke about the prospects and opportunities for alternative dispute resolution in various institutions. The audience also took part in the discussion: an interactive survey allowed us to better understand the business community’s criteria when choosing a forum for international disputes. Thus, the survey showed that when choosing an arbitral institution, the majority of respondents pay attention to the enforceability of the institution’s awards, while in choosing the seat of arbitration they look at the neutrality of the jurisdiction. The top 3 jurisdictions most used as seat of arbitration included the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Hong Kong and Singapore, and the most popular foreign arbitral institution was HKIAC.

In a special session from the Russian Women in Arbitration community “Adapting Business to Modern Challenges: Experience of Female Legal Leaders” Elena Aleksandrova, Marina Basova, Anna Novoselova, Isabella Kharlamova and Olga Tsvetkova highlighted the most significant challenges they faced as heads of legal departments of large corporations. The speakers shared how they overcame these challenges in their work and especially noted the importance of teamwork in adapting to new realities. They also touched upon their companies' experience with Diversity & Inclusion, addressing the differences in the approach of male and female lawyers to the work of the legal department. In the second part of the session, the speakers discussed their companies' methods of choosing a dispute resolution forum, the relevance of "Eastern" jurisdictions in the context of mitigating sanctions risks, difficulties in cooperation with foreign legal advisors, and the effectiveness of the pre-arbitration procedures.

The conference was attended by 113 participants, including representatives of the legal departments of large companies (Yandex, Sberbank, Ozon, VTB, Sibur, PESCO, Rosatom, NIPIGAS, RUSNANO, Sovcombank, Yamal CIS, Tele2, SUEK, EVRAZ, Russian Copper Company, PNK Group, Caspian Pipeline Consortium, Skillbox, Bank Intesa, ITK Sistem, ITGLOBALCOM RUS, Nordgold, etc.), consultants from various law firms, lawyers and representatives of the academic community.

The conference partners were Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin & Partners, A1 Attorneys at Law, Alumni Partners, LEVEL Legal Services, EPAM and Ivanyan & Partners. LOYS Attorneys at Law was the partner of the evening reception. Information partners of the event were Soft Law Community, Legal Insight and Legal Academy. The Conference’s special guest was the Charitable Foundation “Open the World”.

The RIMA team thanks all partners of the “Arbitration in the Spotlight” conference for their support of the project.

Photos from the event are available at the link.