The Common Heritage of the International Arbitration Community: An IBA Arb40 Competition for the Most Meaningful Personal Stories
The IBA Arb 40 Subcommittee is pleased to announce Rizki Karim and Claus von Wobeser as joint winners of ‘The Common Heritage of the International Arbitration Community: An IBA Arb 40 Competition for the Most Meaningful Personal Stories’.Read all stories here (PDF)
Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, the overall winners will receive a grand prize consisting of a complimentary pass to the 2023 IBA Conference in Paris and 12-month subscriptions to the Asia International Arbitration Journal (published by SIAC and Wolters Kluwer), the HKIAC Case Digest and Investor State Law Guide. Jus Mundi has also generously provided one-year subscription to Jus Mundi Legal Research for the winners of each category (if a student) or a student nominee of their choice.
These winning entries, along with the entire compendium of meaningful stories on our shared experiences in international arbitration, can be accessed here.
Synopses of winning stories
Claus von Wobeser takes us back to the early days of email with a lesson on the dangers of rushing to action. In the mid-90s, Claus was attracted by the efficiency offered by email communication and was eager to implement it in one of his first cases as presiding arbitrator. A secretary in his firm established two mailing lists; one for the tribunal alone and the other including all of the parties. After the hearing, a memo on the Tribunal’s deliberations was sent to the list containing just his co-arbitrators. Or so Claus thought. As it turns out, the memo had inadvertently been sent to the list including the parties. In the aftermath of the kind of clerical error we all fear, Claus approached his more senior colleagues for advice in a move that he credits with saving his credibility in that difficult moment, and he encourages all readers to seek counsel from colleagues.
Rizki Karim shares a deeply personal account of his experience of international arbitration in the Covid-19 pandemic. Having joined his father’s firm, Rizki found himself tasked with getting his ‘not particularly tech-savvy’ father up to speed with all the latest tech for one of the very first virtual arbitrations held in Indonesia. In the course of teaching his father the technical intricacies of a Zoom hearing, Rizki came to appreciate the time they spent together and the contribution he made to a role that his late father was very proud of: that of being trusted by the parties to decide their disputes as an arbitrator.
Lucy Greenwood tells the tale of the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations. Lucy begins by recounting what would, for many, be a familiar situation: standing surrounded by piles of unopened printed documents at the conclusion of a hearing; bundles of documents that had been printed ‘just in case’. It was in that hearing room that Lucy realised she needed to change, and that international arbitration needed to change. From a small seed planted in a Houston hearing room, the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations has since spread around the world. Lucy’s story calls on us to stop and think not only of our own individual impact, but that of our profession. How can arbitration be conducted more sustainably and how can we be a part of that solution?
Janice Cheng takes us on a journey to her roots: both to her hometown, Hong Kong, and the roots of her career in international arbitration. It was on a drive with her father on a hot Hong Kong summer’s day that the first seeds of Janice’s arbitration career were sown. But little did Janice know that the pitstop her father made at a construction site on their way home would prove a defining moment of her career. Years later, after quitting her job in Toronto and re-training in law, Janice landed in the Construction & Engineering team at a firm in Hong Kong. One of her first arbitration assignments involved the very project she visited with her father. Before she knew it, Janice was hooked and has continued to build on her arbitration career from there.
John Gaffney shares a personal account of the crossroads we face in our careers and the consequences of the directions we take. Having been bitten by the international arbitration bug, John nevertheless pursued a career at home in his native Ireland. Seven years later, however, he succumbed to the call and embarked on his international arbitration journey as a junior associate in his late thirties. John recalls that it is never too late to pursue a professional passion, but acknowledges that this often comes with personal sacrifice. He offers some words of wisdom to those attracted to international arbitration and encourages them to apply themselves fully to the pursuit, while also retaining a sense of humour and perspective.
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and HK45
Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and Young-SIAC (YSIAC)
Investor State Law Guide
Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) and ACICA45
La Asociación Latinoamericana de Arbitraje (ALARB)
ICC Young Arbitration & ADR Forum (YAAF)
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)
Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) and Young MCIA
The IBA Arb40 Subcommittee
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