On 20th November 2017, the second Oxford Symposium on Comparative International Commercial Arbitration will take place at Wolfson College - University of Oxford.

This conference brings together specialists from the Americas and Europe to discuss key issues in international commercial arbitration from a comparative perspective. This year we again have a particularly strong set of speakers. 

After the welcome address delivered by Professor Louise Gullifer (Commercial Law Centre) and André Luís Monteiro (Andrade & Fichtner), the conference will start with the keynote speech from the Right Honourable Lord Saville of Newdigate PC QC, who was responsible for drafting the English Arbitration Act 1996 (Act), and sat as Justice of the UK Supreme Court. Lord Saville will discuss the relevance and appropriateness of the Act today, more than 20 years after its inception.

The conference will then discuss pathological arbitration clauses. Michael Tselentis QC (20 Essex Street), Ana Serra e Moura (ICC), Charlotta Falkman (SCC) and Carlos Forbes (CCBC) will explain how the institutions and courts interpret these clauses, under the guidance of panel chair Felipe V. Sperandio (Clyde & Co).

The second panel will debate the contrasting views on the degree of disclosure to be undertaken by arbitrators. It will focus on the impact of this issue on the setting-aside and recognition proceedings. The panel is comprised of Professor Catherine A. Rogers (UPenn and Arbitrator Intelligence), Professor Carlos Alberto Carmona (USP), Pedro Metello de Nápoles (PLMJ), José Antonio Fichtner (Andrade & Fichtner); and directed by Gloria Alvarez (University of Aberdeen).

In the afternoon, the conference will discuss whether arbitral tribunals are bound by court precedents in international commercial arbitration, and whether the “arbitral precedents order” is on the rise. A panel composed of Teresa Arruda Alvim (PUC/SP), Peter Hirst (Clyde & Co), Paula Costa e Silva (Universidade de Lisboa) and Christopher Harris (3VB) will be led by Victoria Narancio (WilmerHale).

Following this, João Ilhão Moreira (University of Oxford) will chair a panel composed of Horst Eidenmüller (University of Oxford), Giovanni Ettore Nanni (CBAr) and Andreas von Goldbeck (University of Oxford) on whether and how arbitrators should sanction parties and counsel who breach accepted rules of behaviour during arbitral proceedings.

The last panel of the day will take the conference to one of the hottest topics in arbitration today. In September 2017, the ICCA-QMUL Task Force on Third-Party Funding released its draft report for comments. Since then, a few of the players in the market have their disagreement with the report’s findings. Steven Friel (Woodsford Litigation Funding), Leonardo Viveiros (Leste Litigation Finance), Diego Saco (Lex Finance Arbitration Financing) and Duarte Henriques (ICCA-QMUL Task Force on Third-Party Funding and BCH) will discuss the draft report, in a panel led by Napoleão Casado Filho (Clasen, Caribé & Casado Filho).

Justice Luiz Fux from the Brazilian Supreme Court will be the keynote speaker closing the conference. Justice Fux will deliver a speech on the continuing necessity to improve the relationships between courts and arbitrators towards the development of a secure and stable business environment.

This conference is co-hosted by the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College (University of Oxford) and the Oxford International Arbitration Society.