19th November 2020
On Thursday, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Qatar in collaboration with Crowell & Moring, held a webinar on “Emerging Trends in International Disputes.”
The webinar was comprised of presentations from HE Dr. Sheikh Thani bin Ali Al Thani, Member of the ICC Arbitration Court; Mr. Ian Laird, Partner and co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s International Dispute Resolution Group based in Washington, DC; Mr. Laurence Winston, Partner and co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s International Dispute Resolution Group based in London; and Ms. Randa Adra, Crowell & Moring Counsel based in New York.
Mr. Tarek Saad, Senior Counsel at Crowell & Moring, moderated the discussion of top trends emerging in international disputes. The virtual event was attended by many companies, legal experts, and arbitrators.
HE Dr. Sheikh Thani delivered his presentation in a pre-recorded video. He provided an overview of Qatar’s increased involvement on the world stage in the area of mediation as a means to resolve an international dispute. He noted that Qatar was one of the first states to sign the UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, otherwise known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation, which entered into force on September 12, 2020.
“Qatar was among the first three countries that ratified the convention, citing that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued an instrument of ratification approving the convention on February 12, 2020” said HE Dr. Sheikh Thani.
HE Dr. Sheikh Thani pointed out that 53 states have signed the Singapore Convention on Mediation, and with more signatories anticipated, there clearly is a growing interest to adopt mediation and conciliation as means of settling international commercial disputes.
Addressing participants, Mr. Ian Laird highlighted the benefits of mediation international disputes, the issues Qatari companies should consider, and the option to use the ICC Mediation Rules to help increase enforceability of contractual settlements in countries that are signatories to the Singapore Convention.
Ms. Randa Adra provided a valuable overview of new amendments to the ICC Arbitration Rules, which will take effect for cases submitted to the ICC after 1 January 2021. She highlighted improvements to the flexibility, transparency and efficiency of ICC arbitrations, especially as the world is seeing and experiencing more virtual proceedings and increasingly complex cases.
Mr. Laurence Winston then discussed the benefits and challenges involved in seeking interim measures and the appointment of emergency arbitrators in cases that require urgent relief such as orders to freeze assets or preserve evidence. He also considered issues in relation to the enforcement of both interim measures and final awards and highlighted the example of a case in which he assisted a prominent Qatari company to successfully obtain a worldwide freezing order and passport confiscation order in London in the enforcement of a large arbitration award issued overseas.