This Thursday I will be delivering a talk at the Center for Chinese Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong. The presentation is entitled ‘The Global Arbitration Market and The Battle of The Seats’.
Here is the abstract: The concept of ‘battle of the seats’ refers to the competition between different cities to be considered as ‘arbitration hubs’. In the arbitration parlance a hub is a place known for its reputation in hosting arbitration proceedings. International arbitration is very mobile, as by its own nature it can take place anywhere. Countries and cities all over the world compete to be chosen by the parties as suitable venues for international arbitration. The boom in the market of international arbitration has created a sort of undeclared competition where each competitor is struggling for a larger share of the market. As international arbitration becomes a global business, the market of international commercial arbitration expands and many cities and jurisdictions are positioning themselves to collect a share of that market. This talk will analyse the main features of the battle of the seats, identify its contenders, discuss the elements that parties consider when selecting an arbitral seat, and present a roadmap for jurisdictions interested in asserting themselves as suitable venues for international commercial arbitration.