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Global disputes world to come to Sydney

Global disputes world to come to Sydney

The International Bar Association (IBA) will host an event in Sydney in December as one of several global ADR events in the city next month.

The IBA is co-presenting a conference looking at Key Issues in International Arbitration in the Asia-Pacific Region on 5 December with the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA).

Justice James Allsop will be delivering the welcome address, with a host of international speakers including Neil Kaplan QC from Hong Kong, Dr Michael Pryles, the founder president of the Court of Arbitration in Singapore and Freshfields partner Lucy Reed.

The day before the IBA event, the Global Arbitration Review (GAR) will also be hosting an event in Sydney.
GAR is the major global publication dealing with international commercial arbitration and it is the first time it has staged an event in Australia.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Clayton Utz partner and ACICA president Doug Jones (pictured) said that to have attracted a GAR event to Sydney is “no mean feat”. He said these two events, and a third event on 6 December, the inaugural conference of the arbitration section of the Asia-Pacific Forum of the IBA, shows that Australia is firmly on the global ADR map.

“There continues to be a strong growth in international arbitration in the region and in arbitrations being held in Australia,” said Jones. “For these series of conferences to be able to be held in Sydney significantly boots Australia's standing as part of this growth of arbitration in the Asia-Pacific Region.”

Prominent barristers and law firm partners from around the world will be in Sydney for the three events, as part of Sydney Arbitration Week.

Senior lawyers from Switzerland, France, Japan and Malaysia are among the speakers, with ICC International Court of Arbitration chairman John Beechey flying in from Paris to speak at the GAR conference.
Prominent local legal figures joining Allsop at the microphone include Jones, Malcolm Holmes QC and former High Court chief justice Murray Gleeson QC.

Despite the retinue of prominent international figures descending on Sydney in early December, Jones cautions against any thoughts that the Australian International Disputes Centre (AIDC) in Sydney has reached parity with rival arbitral seats in Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Hong Kong and Singapore have been around a lot longer than Sydney [which was established in 2010] and are more established,” said Jones, a former president of the London-based Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

“However, Australia is increasingly viewed as a viable destination as a forum to hear major commercial disputes.”

Sydney’s 12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers in Sydney has partnered with the ICC International Court of International Arbitration, UK firm Stephenson Harwood and US firm Latham & Watkins to present a disputes conference in Singapore on 3 December.

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