A recent survey of corporate counsel for Fortune 1,000 companies, undertaken by Cornell and Pepperdine, paints a mixed picture of the health of international arbitration and mediation. Although the approach of general counsel at large companies to conflict management is anything but consistent, it is typically based on the issue of how to control costs and risks. Although arbitration has played a significant role in business dispute resolution for the past half century, corporate counsel have become far less enthused by arbitration and mediation than they were in 1997, when Cornell initially conducted a survey of Fortune 1,000 corporate counsel.
At the time, corporate counsel expressed highly favorable views on the benefits of arbitration and mediation, especially concerning the saving of time and costs, results that were harder to overturn and more-specialized adjudicators. While this used to be true, in the most recent survey, general counsel’s view of the benefits of arbitration and mediation had markedly decreased. There seem to be many reasons for this, the most central of which is likely to be many law firms’ failure to adequately control the time and costs of both arbitrations and mediations on behalf of their clients, as well as their failure to provide adequate pre-dispute advice.
The growing phenomenon of arbitration boutiques is in direct response to arbitration’s and mediation’s recent failings in relation to time and costs, and arbitration boutiques based in Europe (such as our firm Lazareff Le Bars, recently chosen as the best arbitration firm by roughly 8,000 corporate counsel, see https://lepalmaresdesavocats.fr/resultats-palmares-des-avocats-2013.html) are being relied upon by legal departments throughout the world to ensure that the very best legal representation is procured swiftly and cost-effectively, restoring the former sheen to the many benefits of arbitration and mediation such as greater confidentiality, neutrality, speed, efficiency and the use of adjudicators and mediators with industry-specific expertise.
– William Kirtley, email@example.com