33rd Annual ITA Workshop and Annual Meeting
Arbitrator Ethics in International Arbitration: A Developing Story of Challenges, Codes, Conflicts, and Disclosures
The ITA Workshop, held in Dallas on the third Thursday in June every year since 1989, is widely recognized as the leading conference in the field in the United States. As one participant summarized succinctly, “It is the forum in which legitimate top practitioners gather annually. Thus, the topics are sophisticated, the networking is legitimate, and the social element is valuable.” The Workshop now begins on the preceding Wednesday afternoon, with membership meetings and activities continuing into the following Friday.
At the conclusion of the Workshop on Thursday evening, members of the ITA Advisory Board, the Workshop faculty and their guests mix a bit of business with pleasure at the Advisory Board Annual Dinner. On Friday morning, members of the Advisory Board, Academic Council, ITAAR Board of Reporters, ITAFOR Moderators and Contributors, and the Workshop faculty reassemble for the annual open discussion ITA Forum and other membership activities.
The Workshop this year will explore ethical issues facing arbitrators in international arbitration and how they and the other stakeholders in the process deal with them.
Mimi M. Lee
Managing Counsel, Litigation
Prof. Loukas Mistelis
School of Law, Queen Mary University of London
White & Case LLP
Robert Reyes Landicho
Young ITA Roundtable Chair
Vinson & Elkins LLP
We invite you to join us, our renowned faculty, members of ITA and Young ITA and colleagues from around the world online for the virtual 33rd Annual ITA Workshop on Wednesday and Thursday, June 16-17, including:
- The keynote address on Arbitrator Ethics in International Arbitration by Constantine Partasides (London)
- An ensuing panel on emerging codes of conduct for arbitrators in ISDS with Prof. Catherine Rogers (Milan), Laurent Lévy (Geneva) and Karim Youssef (Cairo)
- An expert panel on arbitrator conflicts and disclosures with Julie Bédard (New York and Sao Paolo), Mia Essien (Lagos), Lord Mance (London) and Vladimir Khvalei (Moscow)
- A debate on arbitrator challenges for tactical reasons with Prof. Chiara Giorgretti (Washington, DC), Melanie van Leeuwen (Paris) and James Hosking (New York)
- The Young ITA Roundtable, including a review of best practices in document production and a debate on arbitrator “double-hatting”
- A Virtual Welcome Reception featuring an international arbitration trivia contest. You or your team could become the ITA Trivia Champion!
The best way to attend the Workshop is as an ITA member. For free, ITA members may also attend (and will receive separate invitations to) a variety of additional online events and meetings interspersed with the Workshop events during Wednesday-Friday, June 16-18, including:
- The Advisory Board Annual Meeting and Reception
- Annual Meetings of the Americas Initiative and Young ITA, editorial boards and the Academic Council, and
- A memorable virtual version of the renowned ITA Friday Forum.
Schedule and Faculty
The Workshop will explore various ethical issues facing arbitrators in international arbitration and how they and the other stakeholders in the process deal with them. We will explore these issues through a keynote address on arbitrator ethics followed by a roundtable discussion regarding the various emerging codes on arbitrator ethics in investor-State dispute settlement; a panel discussing various conflicts of interests and disclosure scenarios with audience voting; and finally, a debate and audience voting of the motion “Challenges of arbitrators have been on the rise, often for tactical reasons, and they should be discouraged.” The Young ITA Roundtable will then explore the differing attitudes and approaches to issues of document production, and will discuss practical, ethical or privacy dilemmas that may arise in the course of disclosure. The Roundtable will conclude with a debate on whether the “double hatting” issue that arises in ISDS needs to be addressed in codes of conduct or institutional rules.
Wednesday, June 16
11:00-11:05 am CDT
WELCOME TO THE WORKSHOP
- Joseph E. Neuhaus, ITA Chair, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York
TRIBUTE TO EMMANUEL GAILLARD
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROGRAM AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER
- Mimi Lee, Loukas Mistelis, Ank Santens, Workshop Co-Chairs
KEYNOTE: ARBITRATOR ETHICS IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
- Constantine Partasides, Three Crowns, London
ROUNDTABLE ON EMERGING CODES OF CONDUCT FOR ARBITRATORS IN ISDS
Various issues raised by the draft UNCITRAL/ICSID Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in Investor-State Dispute Settlement and other emerging codes regulating arbitrator conduct in ISDS will be discussed.
Moderator: Ank Santens, Workshop Co-Chair
- Prof. Catherine Rogers, Università Bocconi & Queen Mary, Milan and London
- Laurent Lévy, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
- Karim Youssef, Youssef & Partners, Cairo
ARBITRATOR CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND DISCLOSURES
This panel will consider various scenarios and discuss whether they constitute a conflict of interest and require disclosure. The panelists will stake out their positions and there will be electronic voting by the audience. Areas for discussion will be whether the IBA Guidelines on Conflict of Interest provide sufficient and appropriate guidance for these scenarios. Regional and institutional differences in the approach to arbitrator disclosures will also be discussed.
Moderator: Prof. Loukas Mistelis, Workshop Co-Chair
- Julie Bédard, Skadden Arps, New York and Sao Paolo
- Mia Essien, Principles Law, Lagos
- Vladimir Khvalei, Baker McKenzie, Moscow
- Lord Jonathan Mance, 7 King’s Bench Walk, London
MOTION: “CHALLENGES OF ARBITRATORS HAVE BEEN ON THE RISE, OFTEN FOR TACTICAL REASONS, AND THEY SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED”
The motion will be debated by two debaters, following which there will be audience voting and a brief Q&A.
Moderator: Prof. Chiara Giorgetti, University of Richmond School of Law, Washington, D.C.
For: Melanie van Leeuwen, Derains Gharavi, Paris
Against: James Hosking, Chaffetz Lindsey, New York
Q&A via chat
- Mimi Lee, Loukas Mistelis, Ank Santens, Workshop Co-Chairs
WORKSHOP WELCOME RECEPTION
Our virtual Welcome Reception will feature an international arbitration trivia contest. Test your individual trivia skills or organize a team to amplify your trivia firepower. Categories will include historic arbitration, international claims settlement, arbitrator “celebrities” and pop culture in arbitration disputes. You or your team could become the ITA Trivia Champion!
Thursday, June 17
YOUNG ITA ROUNDTABLE
Presented by Young ITA
10:30–10:35 am CDT
WELCOME TO THE YOUNG ITA ROUNDTABLE
- Robert Reyes Landicho, Young ITA Chair, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston
DOCUMENT PRODUCTION – AGREEING TO PROCEDURAL RULES AND IMPLEMENTING BEST PRACTICES IN DOCUMENT PRODUCTION
There is considerable latitude for a narrow or broad scope of disclosure and document production obligations in an international arbitration—through party agreement, Procedural Orders, or by other means. When setting such rules, however, there remains a divide in attitudes and approaches.
Some practitioners seek to define disclosure obligations as broadly as possible, arguing that the “relevant to the dispute” or possibly “material to the outcome of the dispute” terms in the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration call for wide disclosure of documents.
Others argue for a more restrictive approach. In addition to the release of the “Prague Rules,” which was an effort to counteract the “growing Americanization” of document production under the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration, some practitioners also argue for a limitation on the types of intrusive searches on companies or State parties that would drive up the overall cost of the arbitration or would promote “fishing expeditions.”
Whichever approach is chosen, parties often confront complex ethical or practical issues that arise during document disclosure. Some issues may be shaped by, for example, the differing ethical obligations that vary by jurisdiction (e.g., the duty to disclose documents that are damaging to one’s case). Other issues may arise in the form of limitations on disclosure due to privacy law, or similar considerations.
This panel will exchange views on these topics, including how these standards should be applied, and offer practical tips for practitioners.
Moderator: Cameron Sim, Young ITA Asia Chair, Debevoise & Plimpton, Hong Kong
- Pelin Baysal, Partner, Baysal & Demir Legal, Istanbul
- Marcela Berdion-Straub, Lead Counsel – Litigation, Total, Houston
- Samuel Pape, Young ITA UK Chair, Senior Associate, Latham & Watkins, London
- Natascha Tunkel, Partner, KNOETZL, Vienna
DEBATE: SHOULD “DOUBLE HATTING” BE PERMITTED IN INVESTOR STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT?
This debate will focus on “double-hatting” in ISDS, where an individual may act concurrently or subsequently as counsel and arbitrator in cases raising the same or similar legal issues.
Issues include issue conflicts, a lack of impartiality or independence (potentially arising out of a system of reciprocity and “clubbyness”), or the possibility that an arbitrator may be predisposed toward applying or interpreting standards of protection in a way that may be useful later in their role as counsel (e.g., an expansive or restrictive definition of Fair and Equitable Treatment, etc.). But the jury is still out regarding whether double hatting poses any material conflicts issues, except in rare and exceptional circumstances. Some practitioners take the view that blanket restrictions on counsel sitting as arbitrator (or vice versa) would be impracticable or detrimental to the practice of international arbitration, e.g., by significantly reducing the pool of potential arbitrators, etc.
One debater will argue that double hatting generally should not be allowed, and that it would be desirable for codes of conduct or institutional rules to restrict the practice. The other debater will argue that double hatting presents no material issues (except in rare circumstances) and thus should generally be permitted, and that restrictions need not be codified in codes of conduct or institutional rules.
The three commentators will then unpack the key points of the debate and provide further insight into this complex issue.
Debaters: John Branson, Squire Patton Boggs, New York and Alexander Slade, Vinson & Elkins LLP, London
- Dr. Veronika Korom, Queritius; Assistant Professor of International Business Law, ESSEC Business School, Paris and Budapest
- Kate Brown de Vejar, Global Co-Chair of International Arbitration, DLA Piper, Mexico City
- Aloysius (Louie) Llamzon, King & Spalding, New York and Washington, D.C.
- Joseph E. Neuhaus, ITA Chair
Other Annual Meeting Activities
Wednesday, June 16
9:00 – 10:30 am CDT
Executive Committee Annual Meeting
Thursday, June 17
9:00 - 10:00 am CDT
- Young ITA Committee Annual Meeting
- ITA Arbitration Report Board of Reporters Annual Meeting
- ITA in Review Board of Editors Annual Meeting
- ITA In-House Counsel Task Force Meeting
1:30 – 2:00 pm CDT
Advisory Board Annual Meeting
2:00 – 3:00 pm CDT
Advisory Board Annual Reception
Friday, June 18
9:00 - 10:00 am CDT
- Americas Initiative Committee Annual Meeting
- Academic Council Annual Meeting
10:30 - 11:25 am CDT
Friday Morning Forum - Session 1
11:25 - 11:35 am CDT
11:35 - 12:30 pm CDT
Friday Morning Forum - Session 2
1:00 - 2:00 pm CDT
Executive Committee Planning Meeting
Sponsorship Opportunities have been revised to recognize the special business pressures on our corporate and firm members this year, and to fit the online format, with new benefits and reduced rates ranging from $3,000 to $1,500.
For further information, please contact ITA Sponsorships Coordinator Lilly Hogarth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.