CIAS MEMBERS ATTEND EDPNC EVENT IN SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Raleigh, NC | October 2023
CIAS member, Charlie Raphun, attended the NC Biotechnology Center program promulgated by the Economic Development Partnerships of NC (EDPNC) among various business leaders in the biotech industry and served as a resource for questions from companies interested in engaging in international trade.
CIAS MEMBER FEATURED IN JDSUPRA ARTICLE ON DOING BUSINESS IN EUROPE
Raleigh, NC | 27 January 2023
CIAS member, Charlie Raphun, authored an important article for American businesses doing business in the EU with regard to the development of the EU-US Data Privacy Framework (DPF). Raphun has been tracking the development of the draft decision and the policy determinations behind the DPF and providing business with much needed guidance on protection of EU customers’ personal data. As the issues are still being worked out through, the CIAS is looking at wider privacy law and trends internationally to assist multinational companies and companies doing business aborad.
• Recent Developments in Data Privacy | Cranfill Sumner LLP – JDSupra
CIAS MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN SC BAR CONVENTION’S TOPIC OF “FLYING HIGH: LEGAL TOPICS IN AVIATION IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD”
Columbia, SC | 19 January 2023
CIAS Chair, Mica Nguyen Worthy led the International Law panel at the South Carolina Bar Convention on the topic of “Flying High: Legal Topics in Aviation in a Post-Pandemic World.” Worthy assisted the panel in the discussion of handling Aviation claims from pre-suit negotiations, through formal complaints and initial investigation of claims with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), discussions of handling discovery disputes in international arbitrations, and recent Supreme Court case law on discovery assistance for foreign or international tribunals. Panelists included Senator Marlon Kimpson, Member, Motley Rice LLC; Matthew Latrick, Regional Counsel, Americas at Morgan Advanced Materials; David Koysza, Senior Director, Global Compliance, The Boeing Company; and Kirsten Teo, International Arbitration Counsel, Arbitrator, SC Special Legal Consultant, Singapore Advocate & Solicitor, Dechert LLP. Mica also facilitated the conversation from the panel on their important insights on the commercial realities in the aerospace industry that require attorneys to consider business resolutions to disputes.
CIAS MEMBERS FEATURED IN NC BUSINESS LAW JOURNAL ON THE NEW YORK CONVENTION
Charlotte, NC | November 2022
In November of 2022, CIAS Chair Mica Nguyen Worthy and Kayla McDaniel published an article in Business North Carolina discussing the enforcement of arbitral awards under a treaty known as the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention). The article also reviewed recent case law enabling North Carolina business owners to enforce foreign arbitral awards in countries outside the United States, even where the country of enforcement refused to recognize the award. In addition to examining the ability of North Carolina businesses to rely on the New York Convention to enforce international arbitration awards, Worthy and McDaniel provided practice tips for North Carolina businesses who wish to take advantage of arbitration, and recommended that parties considering arbitration review resources provided by respected international arbitration institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
• Law Journal_November 2022.indd (s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com)
CIAS MEMBERS FEATURED IN CRANFILL SUMNER LLP’S LEGAL SUMMIT
Charlotte, NC | 20 October 2022
CIAS Chair Mica Nguyen Worthy served on a panel on “Hot Topics in Employment and Business Law” as part of Cranfill Sumner LLPs Legal Summit on October 20, 2022. Worthy commented on international arbitration trends, post-COVID international business contracts, and the rise of virtual arbitrations and mediations.
CIAS CHAIR FEATURED IN JD SUPRA ON MEDIATION-ARBITRATION TREND
Charlotte, NC | 22 September 2022
CIAS Chair Mica Nguyen Worthy authored a thoughtful piece titled “Can My Arbitrator Mediate or Help Settle My Case” featured in JD Supra. Worthy comments on a recent trend in the international arbitration industry where arbitrators may be able to help parties resolve a dispute through settlement or mediation. While other civil law countries often have an adjudicator suggest or even actively mediate a settlement, in the United States the practice is frequently viewed as a poor strategic decision.
Worthy elaborated on the benefits and concerns with having an arbitrator involved in settlement or mediation and provides thoughtful analysis to both sides of the aisle. Worthy also summarized comments made by Edna Sussman, an independent arbitrator, who spoke at a recent GAR Live/AtlAS forum highlighting data that showed both sides of a case are prone to settlement errors. Worthy also discussed potential concerns with arbitrator involvement while simultaneously recognizing international trends. Worthy concluded that ultimately it comes down to—as it often does—the importance of considering your client’s objectives.
• Can My Arbitrator Mediate or Help Settle My Case? | Cranfill Sumner LLP – JDSupra
CIAS MEMBERS ATTEND INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION PROGRAM
Atlanta, GA | 12 September 2022
CIAS members attended the 11th Annual GAR AtlAS International Arbitration Program in Atlanta, GA. Edna Sussman, an independent arbitrator with experience in both domestic and international arbitration gave the keynote address. Mrs. Sussman commented on trends of arbitration institutions pushing towards settlement. The Program also featured a panel consisting of Sara Beiro Farabow (Seyfarth Shaw), Elizabeth Silbert (King & Spalding), Paul Levine (Baker & Hostelter), Rose Rameau (Georgia State School of Law), Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge (University of Georgia School of Law), and was moderated by Rebecca Davis (Seyfarth Shaw). The Panel gave comments on the year in review, including annual trends in membership and comments on recent legal developments. The Panel also commented on developments to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and on new developments to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), including amendments to International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rules.
CIAS MEMBERS FEATURED IN JD SUPRA ON THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION ON § 1782
Charlotte, NC | 20 June 2022
Cranfill Sumner attorneys and CIAS members Mica Nguyen Worthy, Melanie Huffines, and Kayla McDaniel took an in depth look at the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision considering whether 28 U.S.C. §1782 (“§1782”) extends to foreign private arbitrations. In a consolidated action, the Court addressed two cases and unanimously held that only governmental or intergovernmental adju¬dicative bodies constitute a “foreign or international tribu¬nal” under §1782. In reaching this conclusion, the Court first determined that “tribunal,” as attached to the words “foreign or international,” is best understood as an adjudicative body that exercises governmental authority, before ultimately deciding that a tribunal belonging to a foreign nation must possess sovereign authority conferred by that nation.
Next, the Court considered whether the two arbitration proceedings at issue were being conducted under governmental authority. The first of these proceedings, referred to as the “Luxshare arbitration,” was a private arbitration, where the parties agreed that DIS, a private dispute-resolution organization, would arbitrate any disputes. The Court held that DIS does not qualify as a governmental body since it operated under its own privately established rules. Furthermore, it rejected the contention that DIS qualified as a governmental body so long as the law of the country in which it would sit governs some aspects of arbitration. In so holding, the Court explained that “private entities do not become governmental because laws govern them and courts enforce their contracts.”
With regard to the second arbitration, which concerned an investment treaty arbitration between a Russian corporation and Lithuania, the Court considered a number of factors before ultimately determining the ad hoc arbitration panel did not exercise governmental authority. Specifically, the Court found the ad hoc panel “functions independently” of and is not affiliated with either nation; the panel receives no government funding, the proceedings maintain confidentiality, and the award may be made public only with the consent of both parties.
Notably, the Court’s decision that only governmental or intergovernmental adju¬dicative bodies constitute a “foreign or international tribu¬nal” under §1782 applies retroactively to litigants incases that are pending and open for direct review.
The article also discussed the limitations imposed by the decision on parties’ abilities to obtain federal court assistance to compel evidence to be produced or provided, particularly from third parties. Generally, international arbitration tribunals are only empowered to compel discovery against the parties to the arbitration, on the basis of consent. However, some evidence may be in the hands of third parties. Now, if those third parties are in the U.S., they are not going to be compelled to provide evidence for arbitration matters.
However, as addressed by the article, this ruling does not affect the availability of Section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act as a discovery tool in international arbitrations seated in the United States. It may still permit parties to be required to comply with discovery in some investment treaty arbitrations, while other investor-state arbitrations may also qualify, given that the opinion suggests that a “competent court or court of arbitration of the Contracting Party” is “clearly governmental.”
CIAS MAKES STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
Charlotte, NC | 4 March 2022
CIAS Board of Directors and 2022 Members made a statement in support of Ukraine on March 4, 2022. CIAS described, that as a body that supports the rule of law in the international forum, CIAS stands with the people of Ukraine during this continuing crisis. As part of this support of the rule of law, CIAS rebuked Russia’s breach of international law by its attempt to overthrow a democratically-elected government. The actions of Russian armed forces and its President Vladimir Putin are intolerable.
CIAS strongly encouraged the support of global humanitarian aid efforts and provided the information of three relief organization that support refugees: UNHCR fund which supports refugees; UNICEF which supports children impacted by the conflict; and the Red Cross. CIAS also wanted to be clear that it’s rebuke of Russia’s actions does not impact its support and relationships with Russian friends, clients and business colleagues. CIAS continues to support the people of Ukraine who have courageously joined its armed forces and are defending their homeland and independence.
CIAS MEMBERS FEATURED IN JD SUPRA ON SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRICT COURT’S DECISION AFFECTING ARBITRATION CLAUSES
Charlotte, NC | 12 January 2022
In their January 2022 article, CIAS member Kayla McDaniel and CIAS Chair Mica Nguyen Worthy discussed a South Carolina federal district court opinion concerning when an arbitration clause may be deemed void and unenforceable. The South Carolina case considered a contract’s permissive arbitration clause requiring any disputes arising under the contract be submitted to the “America International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission,” which was a non-existent entity. Notably, the court ruled that § 5 of the FAA reformation did not apply when the named arbitrator did not exist or became unavailable, and determined that the clause was void and unenforceable, as the unavailability of the arbitral forum should be treated as a failure of an essential term. The court distinguished between arbitration agreements dictating a proceeding be “administered by” a particular forum, and agreements merely conducted “in accordance with” a named forum’s procedures, citing the former as evidence of an arbitration forum integral to the clause.
As addressed by Worthy and McDaniel, the court’s decision affects a sweeping range of arbitration agreements, as similar clauses could potentially be rendered invalid under this decision, if they likewise name a non-existent (or simply unavailable) arbitration forum. The case also signals a warning to parties engaged in international business that “pathological” clauses could result in the total unavailability of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism.
CIAS HOSTS INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SEMINAR WITH GAR ON VIRTUAL ARBITRATIONS
Charlotte, NC | 21 October 2021
Mica Nguyen Worthy, Partner, International Business Law practice group leader at Cranfill Sumner LLP, led the panel of distinguished speakers in the CIAS Fall Symposium: “Virtual War Room on Hybrid and Virtual Arbitrations.”
Steve Dunn presented on the key steps to a successful virtual mediation with live demonstrations of the zoom platform. Mica said, “Steve’s presentation was one of the most helpful discussions I’ve ever seen on how to maximize the effective tool of zoom for mediations.” Marek Kransula, Director, Arbitration and ADR, North America at SICANA Inc./International Court of Arbitration then held a fascinating discussion of the many changes and agile nature of international arbitrations with Chris Campbell, MCIArb, Senior Counsel at Baker Hughes, especially in the “post-pandemic” era.
Deborah Hylton, Hylton ADR Services, showed the audience key considerations in addressing the arbitral panel from the onset, and how arbitrators can take control of the process early to address pitfalls that might arise in a hybrid and/or virtual environment. Her demonstration of actual procedural order language was especially helpful to the audience. Russ Ferguson of Womble Bond Dickinson and Demian Betz of Wells Fargo then presented on practical tips in actually handling the presentation of evidence in a virtual environment –having gone through the process in virtual arbitrations, they identified several key lessons-learned.
Shelby Grubbs, JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master also walked through important considerations in an arbitrator’s acceptance of evidence, handling witness testimony through virtual means, and post-hearing submissions from counsel. Finally, Judge Chase Saunders concluded the remarks about the presentation reiterating the message “the future is now!” The international audience also participated in virtual networking in break-out rooms through the event, and the participants received NC and GA CLE credit. Special thanks to Melanie Huffines and Jack Wright, Cranfill Sumner LLP, for their organization of the speakers and the event.
CIAS CO-HOSTED WITH THE CAROLINAS WORLD TRADE ASSOCIATION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE BUSINESS CONTRACTS AND INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION TRENDS
Charlotte, NC | 21 April 2021
Andrea Carska-Sheppard, General Counsel of Workpace Options LLC, and Russell Racine, Partner, Intellectual Property practice group leader of Cranfill Sumner LLP, presented on “International Trade Business Contracts” with International Arbitration trends for the CWTA and CIAS audience. Mica Nguyen Worthy, Partner, International Business Law practice group leader at Cranfill Sumner LLP, led the panel with discussion of the statistics from well-known international arbitral institutions, all of which were able to pivot quickly to virtual platforms to reduce delay in adjudicating legal disputes internationally. While national courts globally faced long-term shut downs and have struggled with case management challenges due to Covid-19, arbitral institutions became an even more important and reliable forum for international dispute resolution with the shift to virtual hearings and emergency proceedings.
Russ Racine focused on the intellectual property issues that arise in the international context, with emphasis on key contractual provisions that global companies can include to protect their IP. He also discussed various international treaties that afford IP protections globally. He emphasized the ability to use arbitration as a “signal” to counter-parts abroad that the US-based client is sophisticated in international trade contracts.
Andrea Carska-Sheppard provided her insight as in-house counsel on the changing nature of the work force and remote work options. She talked about trends in the “post-vaccine” environment and considerations for “going global” even in light of travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. She emphasized the importance of global businesses evaluating their international contracts for maximum protection abroad and the use of arbitration in enforcement.
CIAS BOARD MEMBERS SPEAK AT SC BAR INTERNATIONAL LAW PROGRAM
Columbia, SC | 19 January 2021
Mica Nguyen Worthy and Chris Campbell, CIAS Board Members, presented with additional keynote speakers Riche McKnight, General Counsel, UFC, at the South Carolina Bar International Law Program- “Timely Aspects and Updates on International Law Featuring Dispute Resolution, The Hague, Trade and Intellectual Property.” Julius Hines, CIAS Board Member, also presented on Topics in International Trade and Transactions with colleagues from South Carolina.
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY MEMBERS ATTEND GLOBAL ARBITRATION REVIEW LIVE IN ATLANTA, GA
Atlanta, GA | 9 September 2019
CIAS Board member Kurt Lindquist participated on the panel discussion “Expecting the unexpected, a simulation,” on the unusual issues that may arise in international arbitration. The panel included moderator Ank Santens, White & Case; John Keefe, Keefe Chambers; Glenn Hendrix, Arnall Golden Gregory; Carita Wallgren Lindholm, Lindholm Wallgren; and Kurt Lindquist, Womble, Bond Dickinson. The panel role played issues involving unexpected witnesses, hidden/secret attorneys, unexpected exhibits, absent witnesses, unusual arbitrator behaviors seeking to call witnesses the parties have not presented or doing their own research outside the evidence presented.
Additionally, Chair Mica Worthy was in attendance to build relationships with the AtlAS community and to show support for the international arbitration community in the Southeastern US.
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY HOSTS GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM WITH NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
Charlotte, NC | 28 March 2019
Northeastern University and the CIAS partnered together to offer a global technology program on “Top 10 Technology Trends in Data Privacy,” which was one of the first programs in North Carolina to qualify for the new one-hour technology CLE credit required of practicing attorneys. The program also addressed cyber liability law in N.C. and the specialization on Privacy & Information Security.
Professor of Law & Computer Science at Northeastern University, Woody Hartzog, discussed technology trends and the forecast of potential issues in data privacy and security. Attorney Allen O’Rourke, Co-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Team at Womble Bond Dickinson discussed the liability issues and the emerging law in N.C. on data breach issues, as well as the new specialization on Privacy & Information Security.
CIAS PROUD TO SPONSOR THE CAROLINAS WORLD TRADE ASSOCIATION “SALUTE TO THE TROOPS” EVENT
Charlotte, NC | 4 December 2018
The CIAS was a proud sponsor of the Carolina World Trade Association’s (CWTA) Salute to the Troops program, the annual holiday benefit to support the CWTA and the USO of North Carolina. The CWTA and the CIAS have supported each other in the common purpose of highlighting the region as an attractive location for international businesses and foreign direct investment. International trade supports millions of jobs in North and South Carolina.
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY HOSTS LUNCH PROGRAM, ALONG WITH THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION
Charlotte, NC | 27 March 2018
The American Arbitration Association (AAA) was established in 1926. The International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) was created after the AAA decided to centralize its international caseload and initiatives. The ICDR’s focus has been on providing international conflict management services for the global business and legal communities.
Luis Martinez, Vice President for the AAA/ICDR presented on important statistics from their data showing trends in international arbitration. Michelle Skipper of the AAA in Charlotte presented on general information about the AAA as an arbitral institution with important clause considerations for parties’ usage. The program was attended by NC Business Court Judges Adam Conrad and Louis Bledsoe. The program was also hosted on the CIAS’ Facebook page as a live event.
WHEN ICC MET ATLANTA
Atlanta, GA | 5 March 2018
In March 2018, the CIAS had the opportunity to participate in a training on ICC arbitration procedures in Atlanta, GA. This training featured presentation and interactive discussions along with mock scenarios designed to give attendees and in-depth understanding of how to conduct and international arbitration with specific instruction on best practices under the ICC Rules. Topics discussed included: legal framework of international arbitration, regulation and enforcement of awards, examination of practices under the ICC Rules, constitution of the tribunal, case management and techniques, and scrutiny of awards..
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY HOSTED PROGRAM “GROWING GLOBAL BUSINESSES BIT BY BIT”
Charlotte, NC | 26 October 2017
Keynote speaker, Catherine Biggs Arrowood, Partner at Parker Poe presented on the use of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to grow companies in the Carolinas. She addressed her experience representing governments and contractors against governments in treaty arbitrations and the protections embedded in the settlement dispute process for investors. Her discussion included the “basics” of international treaty arbitration as compared to international commercial arbitration to set the stage for the panel discussion on international business.
Panelists Andrea Carska-Sheppard, General Counsel of Workplace Options, Sara Burns, International arbitration lawyer with King & Spalding, O. Kip Dillihay II, international business consultant with the KOD Group, Chris Campbell, international attorney, and Catherine Arrowood took questions from the audience and discussed the challenges and opportunities for global companies through BITs.
The program was sponsored by ParkerPoe, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, K&L Gates, and Moore& Van Allen.
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY HOSTED PROGRAM “FROM PORT TO PORT WINE” WITH TOUR OF THE PORT OF CHARLESTON
Charleston, SC | 19 May 2017
The CIAS hosted an education event in Charleston, SC on Current Issues in International Maritime Arbitration with presentation by CIAS Board member, Julius “Sam” Hines, K&L Gates partner. The presentation included a history of the development of maritime law and the major maritime related contracts. Additionally, Mr. Hines explored the main centers and organizations for maritime arbitrations, the clauses used for enforcement of arbitral awards in maritime cases and the ability to obtain security in maritime arbitrations.
Some of the participants then attended the Port Tour of Wando Welch in Charleston, SC learning about the operations and challenges. A networking happy hour followed with lively discussion on international trade and international businesses in the Carolinas.
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY HOSTED “TRENDS IN FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT INTO THE CAROLINAS” PROGRAM AT THE CHARLOTTE CHAMBER
Charlotte, NC | 26 July 2016
The CIAS hosted an intriguing presentation and panel discussion at the Charlotte Chamber on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the Carolinas. Victor Zitian Chen, Associate Professor of International Management at UNC-Charlotte Belk College of Business provided key data and insights into cross border mergers and acquisitions, specifically in the Carolinas, with the economic future perspective and challenges.
The panel discussion, moderated by Hon. Chase Saunders, included Bob Morgan, President & CEO of the Charlotte Chamber driving the conversation on the advantages and challenges Charlotte faced in recruitment of FDI and what makes the Carolinas a prime location for international businesses. Damon Gregoire, Former CFO/Exec. VP of M&As at 3D Systems also discussed the comparison of the Carolinas to other locations (i.e. California) integrated with and which complement the Carolinas. Rick Dowd, Chairman/Managing Director of Middle Market Investment Banking at Wells Fargo Securities, lead the conversation on the supportive business services in place to make the Carolinas an attractive location for foreign investors.
CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SOCIETY HOLDS NETWORKING EVENT PROMOTING CHARLOTTE AS HUB FOR INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
Charlotte, NC | 19 November 2015
John W. Lassiter, Chair of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina presented: “An Update on Economic Development in North Carolina: A Strategic Approach”
In partnership with the international law firm K&L Gates, the Charlotte International Arbitration Society (CIAS) held its fall Open Meeting and International Business Networking event at K&L Gates’ offices in the city’s Hearst Tower.
The event provided a forum for members of regionally-based international law firms, business executives, civic leaders and elected officials to participate in candid conversations regarding international arbitration’s growing importance as Charlotte’s influence in the global economy continues to expand. Keynote speaker John W. Lassiter, Chair of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, not only emphasized Charlotte’s central role in international business, but he also highlighted the link between international arbitration and economic growth.
“North Carolina’s engagement in the international marketplace depends on organizations such as the Charlotte International Arbitration Society to show our foreign trading partners that we are committed to all aspects of international trade, including efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution services,” Mr. Lassiter said.
The event also sent a strong message to business leaders in the region. As CIAS Chairman and President Chase Saunders recalled, the networking event allowed some of the region’s most accomplished leaders to position their businesses for greater growth in the coming year.
“Thanks to our partners and sponsors, including K&L Gates, Moore & Van Allen, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, Bridgehouse Law and Alan Gordon Immigration Law our final event of the year was a tremendous success,” Mr. Saunders said. “We had legislators, honorary consuls, international banking and legal professionals, exporters and supply chain experts, law professors, manufacturers and distributors in attendance. This confirmed that there is an appreciation of the mission of the CIAS, which is to serve the business communities in both North and South Carolina with a convenient venue for the arbitration of contested commercial matters.”
Also participating in the event was State Senator Jeff Jackson, who represents Charlotte and the surrounding Mecklenburg County.
“The Charlotte metropolitan region is not only one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, but it’s also a leader in attracting international business to the area,” Senator Jackson said. “The work of the Charlotte International Arbitration Society is an important part of North Carolina’s economic future as the organization continues to build its education and outreach programs to promote a legal and business climate that welcomes international commerce and global trade.”
CIAS Vice Chair Carolyn Dubay detailed that work in her presentation by providing some compelling facts and figures about global trends favoring international arbitration over traditional litigation. According to Ms. Dubay, who will serve as an arbitrator in the world’s largest international arbitration moot court in Vienna in 2016, “the numbers tell an important story not only about an increasing preference for arbitration, but also a global commitment to find common ground among businesses, lawyers, arbitrators, domestic courts and lawmakers to facilitate international commerce.”
Belk, Inc. attorney Luther Moore led a lively panel discussion on International Arbitration and Business Development. The panelists answered questions on why arbitration is important to business growth and how holding international arbitration in Charlotte benefits the Carolinas. Panelists included Norma Abbene of the global strategic consulting firm Abbene | Smith Global LLC; Reinhard von Hennigs, managing partner at Bridgehouse Law; Kaumil Shah of GreerWalker LLP; and Mica Nguyen Worthy of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog.
“Attendees at CIAS’ open meeting asked great questions about the relationship between international arbitration and economic development opportunities in North Carolina,” Ms. Nguyen Worthy said. “My colleagues and I see the expansion of international arbitration into the Charlotte metropolitan region as an opportunity to provide additional services and meet the unique international needs our clients are facing in the global economy, and in this way we seek to provide broader and better legal services to our clients.”
“Today’s business climate requires that we go beyond conventional strategies and partner in innovative ways to promote sustainable, long-term growth,” Mrs. Abbene said. “CIAS is focused on creating those partnerships. The Society creates a bridge between the international legal and business communities and fosters opportunities that bring economic benefits not only to its clients, but to the entire regional economy of the Carolinas as well.”
Kaumil Shah of GreerWalker agrees.
“Having the resources and ability to conduct international arbitration in Charlotte, NC is part of the legal infrastructure required to attract and retain not only foreign-owned businesses, but it also provides a higher level of certainty for U.S. businesses that have investments overseas,” Mr. Shah said.
That sentiment was echoed by panelist Reinhard von Hennigs of BridgehouseLaw LLP.
“Many foreign companies that are interested in relocating to the Carolinas are afraid of litigation in the United States,” Mr. von Hennigs said. “Having local arbitration based in Charlotte eases and reduces this concern. This will motivate international companies to open their U.S. subsidiaries here in Charlotte. The benefit will also be a growth of employment in the Carolinas through foreign direct investment. It would also benefit domestic companies to export internationally. Charlotte companies would get a ‘home turf’ advantage in their international dealings.”
Based in Charlotte, NC, CIAS was created to promote the use of Charlotte, with its international airport hub and amenities, as the most convenient venue and seat for international commercial arbitration involving businesses engaged in international commerce in North Carolina and South Carolina.
International Arbitration Seminar held in Raleigh, NC on September 16, 2015
Raleigh, NC | 16 September 2015
William Harazin, CIAS Director (K&L Gates)
On September 16, 2015 J.P. Duffy (K&L Gates Partner, New York) and Dan Stephenson (K&L Gates Partner, Raleigh) presented at the Research Triangle Are Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (RTAC-ACC) Lunch and Learn: “The Benefits of International Arbitration for Cross-Border Transactions.” They provided an overview of alternative dispute resolutions options, advantages and disadvantages of each, and the benefits of international arbitration as the chosen dispute resolution mechanism for cross-border transactions.
J.P. Duffy (K&L Gates Partner, New York) argued that International Commercial Arbitration is the preferred method of dispute resolution for cross-border transactions because it offers superior neutrality, confidentiality, flexibility and enforceability of both clauses and awards. After discussing the benefits of international commercial arbitration, Mr. Duffy offered clause drafting tips, including the best arbitral seats, institutions and governing laws for various jurisdictions. Additionally, Mr. Duffy addressed investment treaty arbitration and the need for parties investing outside their home jurisdiction to consider investment treaty protection and treaty structuring.
Dan Stephenson (K&L Gates Partner, Raleigh) offered the question: which is better – arbitration or litigation? Sometimes you have no choice, but when you do, there are some situations where international arbitration is the best answer. Two such scenarios are (1) when a U.S. corporation is involved in a dispute centered outside the U.S., and (2) when a non-U.S. company encounters a U.S.-based dispute. In the former scenario, international arbitration allows the corporation to use its trusted U.S. counsel who already knows the company, the documents, and the witnesses. In the latter scenario, international arbitration can avoid intrusive, far-ranging discovery and the biases against foreigners that some jurors bring to the table. Having an arbitration clause is best, of course, but even if you don’t have one, it’s still possible to arbitrate by post-dispute agreement. A seasoned expert can guide you through the process.
INTERNATIONAL LAW SYMPOSIUM WITH ANNE MARIE WHITESELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF THE ICC
Charlotte, NC | 12 June 2015
On June 12, 2015, the Charlotte International Arbitration Society (CIAS) hosted its first International Law Symposium. ParkerPoe was the presenting sponsor and provided the wonderful presentation space for the event. Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog LLP, Greer Walker, Moore & Van Allen and K&L Gates were title sponsors.
The 2015 International Law Symposium emphasized the topic of international contract drafting with keynote speaker Anne Marie Whitesell of the International Law Institute. Ms. Whitesell is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University and is a faculty director at the International Law Institute. She is the former secretary of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Court of Arbitration.
Ms. Whitesell began her keynote presentation with a discussion regarding the specific characteristics of international commercial arbitration. She also discussed the various advantages and disadvantages of arbitration compared to litigation. Ms. Whitesell informed that the number of international arbitration cases is rising significantly as the world is becoming more globalized. As an example, the number of new cases filed with the ICC in 1992 was 337, while last year, in 2014, the number of new cases reached 791.
Ms. Whitesell then turned her attention to the key drafting issues with arbitration clauses in contracts. She discussed the importance of the venue of the arbitration. The place of the arbitration becomes the legal “seat” for procedural matters and is the location where the court will provide a supervisory role. Importantly, with international arbitrations, if the location of the arbitration is in a common law country, then typically the Chairman of the arbitral tribunal will also be from a common law tradition, as compared to a civil law tradition.
Attorney John Branson of ParkerPoe then facilitated a very interesting discussion between Ms. Whitesell and attorney David Branson, partner of King Branson. Mr. David Branson has been involved in a number of international arbitrations and at the time of the Symposium was involved in a case where issues of a pathological arbitration clause had arisen.
Ms. Whitesell and Mr. Branson then debated on two “hot topic” issues in international arbitration: Whether arbitrations are “just another form of litigation” and whether there is a value or disservice in having party-appointed arbitrators.
After the intriguing debate, the participants were divided into two rooms for breakout sessions. One breakout session discussed updates and issues in Bills of Lading presented by Sheila Cox, President of Global Match, LLC. The other breakout session focused on the issues with and use of INCOTERMS® in international contracts, presented by Mica Nguyen Worthy, attorney with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP. The participants asked great questions and had the opportunity to discuss the impact of the issues raised in the two break-out sessions.
After the official program ended, the participants then enjoyed networking at the Happy Hour reception. There were over 45 registered attendees, including attorneys and in-house counsel from various firms and companies in both North and South Carolina.