Doha, May 2, 2017
The International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar) held a panel discussion on “ Persuading the Tribunal”, the fifth in ICC Qatar’s monthly “Arbitration Series” as part of the 2017 programme of its Commission on Arbitration and ADR.
The seminar was delivered by Mr. Wayne Clark, Vice President and Head of Dispute Management with HKA (Hill International), who provided his views on ways in which the parties and their legal counsel may persuade the tribunal to find their favour.
Clark who is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Arbitrator and Mediator with over 40 years international experience reviewed the three main features of arbitration which are the procedure, the written submissions and the oral hearing.
According to him, the parties in the procedure juncture should look for early closure. He asserted that the Tribunal has a duty to conduct the arbitration in an efficient and cost-effective manner in accordance with the ICC Rules and Qatar’s Arbitration Law.
“The tribunal and the parties shall make every effort to conduct the arbitration in an expeditious and cost-effective manner,” the ICC Rules stated.
He gave examples of the delaying procedural and tactical manoeuvers that parties might use while solving disputes by arbitration, including appointment of arbitrators and experts, requests for stay of proceedings, disagreement over Terms of Reference , requests for extensions of time to submit pleadings, preliminary and other meetings, bickering over disclosure and telling the tribunal how to manage the arbitration.
Clark said that the tribunal should deny any delaying tactics used by disputing parties, calling on parties and their legal counsels to be well prepared before commencing the arbitration.
He noted that statements of claim, defence and counterclaim should be a fine-tuning exercise only. There should be no need for more time for submitting these documents than the time allowed in the Rules or as directed by the Tribunal.
According to him, the tribunal which has been chosen by the parties should be aware of the procedure and know how to manage an arbitration, assuring that parties should trust the members of the tribunal and allow them to manage the arbitration in order to avoid unnecessary delay and expenses.
Underscoring the importance of written submissions, he noted that the Tribunal’s focus shall be on the facts, the arguments and the evidence as presented by the parties.
In Clark’s opinion, the key written submissions in an arbitration are Claimant’s Statement of Claim and Respondent’s Defence and Counterclaim. He said, “These two submissions, together with the Exhibits (the evidence) contain the essence of each Party’s case.”
Regard to the oral hearing, stories introduced by parties must be clear, concise, well supported and persuasive to the tribunal.
Parties and legal counsel should co-operate with the tribunal throughout the process to ensure an efficient and cost-effective arbitration and witnesses should persuade the tribunal by telling the truth, he summarized.
The “Arbitration Series” follows the Commission’s charge to foster the development of trade and investment between Qatar and the international business community. It has been designed to help inform not only arbitration practitioners but professionals across the entire Qatari community from businesses, governmental agencies and public and private sectors to students.
About ICC Qatar
ICC Qatar works to connect local businesses to the world – and the world to the businesses of Qatar. As part of the world largest business organisation, ICC Qatar advances the interests of the Qatar business community in trade, investment, industrial and international relations. For more information, visit www.iccqatar.org