Media Release: Scottish solicitors to ‘think big’ as Arbitration Act comes into force

AN international law conference hosted by the Law Society of Scotland, University of Edinburgh, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Faculty of Advocates in association with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, today, 23 June, welcomes the new Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010, which came into force on 7 June.

The full-day conference, being held at the Playfair Library in Edinburgh, will have sessions presented by some of the leading practitioners in Scotland and from across the world, and will include an analysis of the Act’s key provisions – how they will be applied, when to use them, and why arbitration is a preferred remedy, as well as a number of panel sessions.

A spokesperson said: “A Law Society’s working group submitted evidence as the bill progressed and has supported the Government’s aim to make arbitration cheaper and more cost effective, believing that with a clear and modern set of arbitration rules, Scotland has the potential to become an attractive forum for arbitration, for both domestic and international business.”

Minister for Community Safety, Fergus Ewing MSP, will deliver the keynote speech.

The spokesperson continued: “He is set to welcome the introduction of the new Act and acknowledge the positive reception it has had from many arbitrators and lawyers alike, as well as encouraging those who advise clients on dispute resolution to champion the use of arbitration in Scotland.”

Iain Clark, a solicitor advocate with Young and Partners LLP, will look at what the Act means from a solicitor’s perspective, and will be encouraging solicitors to ‘think big’.

Clark said: “The Act does not just have domestic consequences. It is an opportunity for solicitors to embrace new ideas including international commercial arbitration and to be involved in all different aspects of arbitration.”

Steven Walker, an advocate and barrister at Terra Firma chambers will deliver a speech on the ‘Renaissance of Scottish Arbitration’, and will look at what needs to be done, not just to attract arbitrations to Scotland, but what Scotland needs to do to make arbitration successful.

Walker said: “Firstly, Scotland can become a forum of choice where foreign parties can bring their arbitrations for resolution.

“Secondly, Scottish Arbitrators and Scottish lawyers can work on foreign arbitrations, whether as decision maker or counsel, in other exotic countries with no connection to Scotland.

“Why? Its simple – Scottish legal services are of high quality and excellent value which presents us with a significant competitive edge in the international marketplace.

“The Act is the main platform which will allow Scotland and Scottish practitioners to take their place at the international arbitration table and to seriously compete for a slice of international arbitration ‘pie’.”

Other key speakers are John D Campbell, QC; Hew R Dundas, international independent arbitrator and mediator; Brandon Malone solicitor advocate, arbitrator, Bell & Scott LLP; James Hope, aolicitor advocate; Professor Kaj Hobér, Professor of International Law, University of Dundee and Partner  Mannheimer Swartling; Michael Davison, head of International Arbitration, Lovells.

The full programme can be found here: http://system.newzapp.co.uk/EditSite/Customers/6210/nz-docs/Arbitration_Programme.pdf

23 June 2010


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Contact: Louise Docherty or Suzy Powell
Phone: 0131 476 8204 or 0131 476 8115
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