Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, CMS, DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells and Latham & Watkins have combined to develop a draft protocol to help deliver a globally consistent online case management approach platforms for conducting international arbitration.

The move comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is forcing both arbitral and judicial hearings online. In May, Singapore arbitration venue Maxwell Chambers announced that it had teamed up with Arbitration Place of Toronto and Ottawa and London’s International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC) to launch a global hybrid physical and virtual hearings platform called the International Arbitration Centre Alliance.

The draft protocol, which is now out for consultation, aims to meet the evolving needs of arbitration users,  including how to practically and cost-effectively meet obligations relating to international data management and cybersecurity. It will also enable dispute resolution processes to keep pace with industry compliance and increasing digitisation of information.

As a global application, it will act as guidance for parties to an arbitration, their lawyers, tribunal members and arbitral institutions. 

"This initiative has the ability fundamentally to change the future of arbitration," said Myfanwy Wood a senior international arbitration lawyer with Ashurst. “As parties are increasingly moving arbitration processes to the digital realm, with that trend accelerating yet further in response to Covid-19, there has never been a more important time to secure consistency of approach on these issues.”


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