Are We There Yet?

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Berwin Leighton Paisner recently published a thoughtful and much-welcomed study on diversity. The study collects and analyses the latest statistics on the international arbitration community’s stand on diversity. Some of the numbers are particularly striking.

“Of 122 participants in the survey from various regions of the world – including arbitrators, corporate counsel, external lawyers, users of arbitration and representatives of institutions –the majority favoured improved diversity on tribunals, both in respect of gender and ethnicity.”

In addition, 70% responded that would be desirable for institutions to publish statistics about the gender, and ethnic or national identity of appointed arbitrators.

Perhaps most relevant for AI’s mission and methodology, a staggering 92% of respondents indicated that they would welcome more information about new and less well-known candidates whom they could appoint. Meanwhile, a whopping 81% also wanted to be able to provide feedback about arbitrator performance at the end of cases.

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Ania Farren

Arbitrator Intelligence’s Questionnaire aims precisely to facilitate systematic feedback from parties and counsel in arbitration. Data generated from these responses will promote transparency and accountability in arbitrator selection, but also make available information about less well-known arbitrators.

In the article, Ania Farren suggested that counsel also have a responsibility “to be a little braver in the recommendations we make to clients on arbitrator candidates.” If counsel have detailed information about the real track records of newer arbitrators, the word might not need to be “bravery” but “ingenuity” or “resourcefulness” in identifying new talent.

Read the full survey here.