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AIFA looks to Singapore for 2012

AIFA looks to Singapore for 2012

The Australasian Forum for International Arbitration (AIFA) has announced its executive council for 2011/2012.Blake Dawson Sydney senior associate Amanda Lees has been reappointed co-chair of…

The Australasian Forum for International Arbitration (AIFA) has announced its executive council for 2011/2012.

Blake Dawson Sydney senior associate Amanda Lees has been reappointed co-chair of AIFA, alongside Elodie Dulac, a King & Spalding associate from Singapore.

AIFA plans to organise one of its usual four symposia around the21st International Council for Commercial Arbitration Congress (ICCA) which is being held in Singapore in June next year.

"I think that ICCA will be a big focus for the arbitration community in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole," said Lees.

"It will be a great opportunity for AIFA because there will be arbitration practitioners coming from all over the world ... AIFA is really about enthusiasm and willingness to promote international arbitration in Australia and Asia, and encouraging young practitioners to get involved by talking about it."

Apart from a strong focus on Singapore next year, Lees said AIFA hopes to organise its first event in the US.

"Last year we had one in Hong Kong in March, one in Singapore and Sydney, and we had a joint event with the International Lawyers Association (ILA) in Melbourne," said Lees.

AIFA has also held symposia in Shanghai, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur in the past, at which the focus was recent and topical issues relevant to arbitration.

Last year at AIFA's Singapore symposium, Allen & Overy London and Hong Kong-based litigation partner Matthew Gearing gave a lecture on ethical issues in international arbitration.

AIFA now has around 400 members (who participate on a voluntary basis) and representatives from a number of countries throughout the Asia-Pacific.

"One issue we talked about at the Sydney symposium last year was the Australian Government's change in policy in relation to having arbitration provisions in its bilateral investment treaties ... so it really varies depending on what's topical," said Lees.

Norton Rose (NR) Sydney associate Jesse Kennedy and NR Sydney transport senior associate Dimity Mabury are also on the executive council of AIFA as secretarial officers. Clayton Utz Sydney lawyers Nicholas Rudd and Robert Kovacs are also on the council holding the positions of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) Liaison Officer, and Australian representative, respectively.

An associate professor of the University of Sydney Law School, Luke Nottage, who is also founding co-director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law and director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law, is the Japanese representative on the AIFA council.

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