find the latest legal job
Inhouse Legal Counsel -18 months-4 PAE - Real Estate Investment Company
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· In brand new prestigious CBD offices
View details
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
Oz lures India for dispute resolution

Oz lures India for dispute resolution

Australia is overcoming the tyranny of distance when it comes to convincing parties of its international arbitration credentials, according to a leading arbitration advocate.

Australia is overcoming the tyranny of distance when it comes to convincing parties of its international arbitration credentials, according to a leading arbitration advocate.

Delegates from the Australian International Disputes Centre (AIDC) and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) were in India this week raising awareness about Australia’s international arbitration offerings and convincing parties that it’s worth the trip.

“The reaction has been very favourable, except for the continuing disadvantage that we can’t do an awful lot about, and that’s the tyranny of distance,” said Professor Doug Jones, partner at Clayton Utz and president of ACICA, when speaking to Lawyers Weekly today (1 March).

Our pitch has been that we might be a little bit further, but we are certainly not as far as Europe, and it’s a great place to be when you get here – as well as having all the characteristics you need for a legally safe seat for international arbitration.”

Jones was accompanied by a delegation that included NSW Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Michelle Sindler, the AIDC CEO. The trio made presentations to audiences in Mumbai and Delhi.

Jones said that while awareness of Australia’s international arbitration capabilities still needs improving, those who are aware of it are expressing genuine interest.

“Our objective is to raise awareness of the option. We are unlikely, in that context, to have people having epiphanies about the process and declaring their intention to opt for Australia, but there has been a degree of interest which is more than polite interest,” he said.

“As the number of arbitrations heard in our region increases, with the huge trade flows that are occurring in our region drawing the hearing of arbitrations, there are other venues which have a greater degree of awareness. In particular, Hong Kong and Singapore are recognised as very acceptable options.”

However, Jones is confident that Australia has a more attractive offering than both of those centres.

“Firstly, when you get to Sydney or Melbourne, you find that the cost of hearing rooms, hotels and lawyers is not as expensive as it is in Singapore or Hong Kong, so we are competitive on price,” he said. “Secondly, the legal profession is much larger. With that comes a degree of anonymity, which is often important in international arbitration. The larger the legal community in which the matter is being determined, the greater the chance that there will be real confidentiality.

“Thirdly, we offer, in some respects, a greater degree of objective neutrality. If one takes, for instance, trade between India and China, both Hong Kong and Singapore have ties to China which are quite strong. If a party is looking for obvious neutrality, then Australia offers that. It is a question of appearances.”

Chief Justice Bathurst, who is an avid advocate for the settlement of international disputes in Australia, said Australia offers a “sophisticated legal system entrenched in the best of the English tradition”.

“It is complemented by proximity to and familiarity with the laws of India and the rest of the Asia Pacific, and underpinned by the adoption of international instruments such as the Model Law,” he said at the conferences in Mumbai and Delhi.

“The sheer number of conferences, seminars and summits on arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution held annually in Australia indicates a cultural shift within our legal and business communities, in which arbitration forms an essential and primary method of dispute resolution. Australia is therefore an optimum choice for the location of arbitration proceedings.”

A spokesperson for Adani, India's biggest importer of coal and a significant investor in the Australian resources sector, said the company sees Australia as a robust and neutral arbitration venue.

"Given the diversity of our business - resources, logistics and energy - in various jurisdictions, it is important to minimise risk," he said.

 “We see international arbitration as an integral part of our risk management policy."

Jones said he intends to travel to China, Japan, the UAE and western USA during the year to continue the promotion of ACICA and the AIDC.

Photo (by Simon de Trey-White): The Hon Tom Bathurst (left), Tom Calder (Austrade Commissioner, Delhi), Peter Varghese AO (Australian High Commissioner to India) and Doug Jones AM

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Oz lures India for dispute resolution
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Animal law moots, advocacy, Melbourne University, Australia and New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law
Sep 25 2017
Moot unleashes animal advocacy
Melbourne has played host to one of the largest animal law moots, with student participants put th...
Sep 25 2017
Transgender teens should not need legal approval for hormone treatment, court hears
A transgender 17-year-old known as Kelvin has appealed in the Family Court against the requirement o...
Appointed, Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
Sep 25 2017
NFP CEO appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
The CEO of a Victorian not-for profit pro bono legal services provider has been named as the state...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...