As London International Disputes Week draws to a close, a commercial courts report highlights London's record year, while organizers are optimistic the inaugural LIDW will be back next year.
The 2019 Commercial Courts Report, the seventh produced by communication consultancy Portland‘s specialist disputes team, reveals that the London courts had a record year.
The report analyses judgments from the London Commercial Courts to find trends over time - both who uses the Courts, and how London measures up in an increasingly competitive international market. Portland’s analysis also states that Russia and Kazakhstan continued to dominate nationalities of litigants but are now joined by Ukraine. Civil fraud, investigations and arbitration challenges saw a dramatic increase. However, new commercial courts have the opportunity to leapfrog ahead. This year, Portland also interviewed several commercial courts around the world and undertook research into what is driving the most recently opened courts. The research shows that, while courts can take some time to establish themselves, the international courts around the world have the tools at their disposal to leapfrog ahead. The report can be downloaded here.
Mediation to the fore
While arbitration has dominated the headlines and events this week, yesterday mediation came into focus with a session hosted at Osborne Clarke. Adrian Lifely, disputes partner at Osborne Clark, said mediation is now routine for dispute management in London, which is in “a lucky position” as “London has such a large pool of mediators.” Last month a joint report by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) released a report showing that whilst negotiation is by far the most popular method for early dispute resolution, arbitration and mediation are often being used proactively to achieve resolution and manage conflict. However the report also demonstrates there are areas where there may be barriers to use, for both mediation and arbitration, needing further consideration. The future of alternative dispute resolution comes under the microscope next week in London, where CPR is collaborating with CEDR to stage the 2019 CPR European Conference on Business Dispute Management on Wednesday (15 May). The report can be found here.
Herbert Smith Freehills partner Rachel Lidgate, who spoke on a panel on energy disputes, echoed a point made in the networking sessions “London is a key centre for disputes. The conference is an opportunity to take stock and look to the future, in particular recognising challenges we face (such as Brexit). My view is that London has unrivalled judges, lawyers and legal infrastructure but we must ensure that remains the case.” LIDW19 ends today with final sessions, but the highlight was a glam gala dinner at the Mansion House. As diners headed into the London night, Richard Bamforth, partner and head of arbitration group at CMS, said LIDW19 has greatly exceeded expectations and the steering committee will be reflecting on the success of the week and deciding next steps. Judging by the responses heard at various events over the week by the Global Legal Post, participants can look forward to LIDW20.