It is sometimes argued that arbitration is only as good as the arbitrator, and that defects in international arbitration may be attributed to poor arbitrators. While this oversimplifies a complex issue, choosing the right arbitrator is one of the most critical steps in any arbitration. Unless a specific arbitrator is specified in the arbitration clause, which is rare (and dangerous, since arbitrators can die, creating jurisdictional problems), parties may choose anyone they would like to serve as arbitrator, regardless of his or her location, if they have no conflict of interests with that individual.
In order to have a well-run arbitration procedure, with little risk of an arbitration award being overturned before a State court after being rendered, it is important to choose an arbitrator with significant experience in arbitration procedure and law, along with relevant expertise in the matter in dispute, who does not have a conflict of interests, and who is fully fluent in the language of the arbitration. For certain highly-specialized fields, such as space law, expertise in the specific field in dispute may be essential, but for most disputes, knowledge of arbitration process tends to be more useful than prior industry expertise to ensure a well-run arbitration and award.
While we have considerable experience serving as arbitrators and few conflicts, and would gladly be nominated or recommend another arbitrator to serve in your arbitration, you will find the following online tools, especially those of the French IAI and the Swiss ASA below, to be useful in selecting a well-qualified arbitrator.
Please visit https://www.international-arbitration-attorney.com/selecting-arbitrators/ to access these online resources.