Witness examination in international arbitration: doing it right is only the beginning

By Epaminontas Triantafilou, (Of Counsel, Quinn Emanuel, London)

Witness examination, and in particular cross-examination, is a legal process familiar to many due to its frequent use in the numerous legal TV shows and in cinema – discounting of course for the several inaccuracies inserted in the name of poetic license that have caused at least one seasoned professional to leap from his armchair “in a shower of biscuits and fury“.

Rooted in the common law, the practice of counsel examining a fact or expect witness is a well-established way of seeking to confirm or impeach the veracity and accuracy of evidence, or the credibility of the witness.  Simultaneously, counsel for the side that presents the witness has the opportunity to defend the witness during cross-examination, and to rehabilitate the witness on re-direct.

It is perhaps trite to note that cross-examination in international arbitration takes place astride the rift that exists between the civil law and the common law as to the presentation of evidence.  In simple terms, the civil law lays emphasis on documentary evidence and in many instances discounts entirely the testimony of “partial” witnesses.  By contrast, the common law encourages the “testing” of witness evidence by direct confrontation in open court, and allows for credible witness testimony to supersede documents in evidentiary value.  In common law systems, cross-examination is a potent weapon, if deployed effectively.

Continue reading Witness examination in international arbitration: doing it right is only the beginning

Breaking the Bond: Vulture Funds and Investment Arbitration

by Dimitri Euler
and Giuseppe Bianco

The recent decision on jurisdiction and admissibility in Abaclat and others v Argentina [i] has brought to the arbitration community’s attention the issue of sovereign defaults and restructurings. Several legal scholars have speculated about the potential consequences of its evolution.[ii] Moreover, the French government recently has filed an amicus brief in the proceedings NML v Argentina in New York.[iii]

This blog focuses on vulture funds, which are at the centre of international investment law. The blog also focuses on the potential defences available to the host state. In this regard, the blog elaborates on public policy in the context of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) and non-ICSID proceedings. Lastly, the blog addresses the different procedural means of a host state in response to the claim of an investor.


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Belgium Adopts New Law on Arbitration

by Erica Stein (Counsel, Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels)
and Maarten Draye (Senior Associate, Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels)

On 1 September 2013, a new arbitration law came into effect in Belgium.  The new law is modern and progressive, and underlines Belgium’s ambitions to increase its popularity as a venue for international arbitrations.

The new law generally adopts the wording and contents of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration as amended in 2006. The legislator further drew inspiration from the French, German and Swiss arbitration laws and retained a number of specificities of the former Belgian law. In this regard, it is worth noting that the provision of the old law that entitles parties without domicile, registered office or branch in Belgium to exclude the possibility of annulment of an award by express agreement for arbitrations seated in Belgium is retained. Also, the legislator opted again to incorporate the law on arbitration in Title VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, and to maintain the uniform approach to domestic and international arbitration.


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Seminar in Milan, 3 October: Tips for Conducting a Successful Arbitration

Together with CAM and with the support of ASLA, Young ICCA will host a free workshop on 3 October in Milan. The interactive workshop will focus on the subject “Tips for Conducting a Successful Arbitration”. English will be the working language of the event.

Speakers for the workshop include:

Stefano Azzali, CAM, Milan
Cecilia Carrara, Legance, Rome
Domenico Di Pietro, Freshfields, Milan
Hussein Haeri, Of Counsel, Eversheds, Paris
Eva Kalnina, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Michael McIlwrath, GE, Florence
Michele Potestà, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Luca Radicati di Brozolo, Milan
David Roney, Partner, Sidley Austin, Geneva
Eliana Tornese, ICC, Paris

To see the full programme and to register, please follow the link below:


Young ICCA, Skills Training Workshop, Discovery in International Arbitration – 7 October 2013 – Boston, USA

Dear Young ICCA Members,

On behalf of Young ICCA we are pleased to invite you to attend a Young ICCA arbitration skills training workshop taking place on 7 October 2013 in Boston, USA. The workshop will follow the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association held in Boston from 6 – 11 October 2013.

There are 20 spots available for Young ICCA members to attend the event. The workshop will also be attended by approximately 15 young arbitration practitioners based in Boston.

The topic of the Boston workshop is “Discovery in International Arbitration”. The seminar will focus on the role of a young practitioner in the discovery process, including the review, preparation and request of documentary evidence. The faculty of the seminar includes Edward Baldwin – Senior Associate, Milbank; Ania Farren – Special Counsel, K&L Gates; Sabine Konrad – Partner, McDermott Will & Emery;  Klaus Reichert – Brick Court Chambers; Ashley Riveiera – Counsel, Crowell & Moring; Guido Tawil – Professor of Law, University of Buenos Aires; and Freddy Sourgens – Professor of Law, Washburn University.

The seminar is hosted by Young ICCA with kind support of McDermott Will & Emery and other prominent sponsors.

Young ICCA has arranged for accommodation in Boston for the nights of 6th and 7th October 2013 in a centrally located hotel provided free of charge. Young ICCA has also arranged for breakfast to be served at the workshop itself. Each participant is required to arrange their own transportation to and from Boston and within the city itself, including incidental expenses. Participants are also responsible for meeting any immigration particulars and visa requirements necessary to attend the event.

Participants will be selected in the following few weeks from those who respond first.

Please direct your applications and any other questions to Andreea Balan-Cohen at events@youngicca.org and quote “YICCA Boston”.

Thank you,

The Young ICCA Organising Committee