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SuperConference: In-house Counsel Say International Arbitration Takes Too Long

In-house counsel feel strongly that international arbitration takes too long and costs too much, according to information presented Wednesday at InsideCounsel's SuperConference.

Roland Schroeder, senior counsel-litigation and legal strategy at General Electric Corporation, presented results of an informal survey of members of the Corporate Counsel International Arbitration Group (CCIAG), an alliance of more than 90 in-house attorneys from multinational companies interested in improving the way international arbitration is conducted.

According to the CCIAG survey:

  • 100 percent agree or strongly agree that international arbitration takes too long
  • 100 percent think that lack of availability of arbitrators causes unnecessary delays
  • 80 percent blame the arbitration panel for failing to enforce the agreed-upon timetable
  • 89 percent think the arbitrators' concern for process over efficiency unnecessarily delays the process.

Schroeder noted that 100 percent of respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that cost is a primary area concern, and he pointed out that the two concerns--time and cost--are related.

"If it takes too long, it will cost too much," he said.

Schroeder encouraged in-house counsel who share these concerns to get involved in CCIAG's efforts to improve the international arbitration process

"CCIAG is trying to be a corporate voice, not just to complain, but to roll up our sleeves and get involved in the reform effort," Schroeder said. "We are trying to involve in-house counsel in offering solutions."

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Mary Swanton

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