Asia-Pacific Arbitration Community Gathers in San Francisco

A panel discussion of third-party funding at the ICC San Francisco conference.
A panel discussion of third-party funding at the ICC San Francisco conference.

In early March, over the three days in San Francisco, the North American and Asian regional offices of the ICC International Court of Arbitration hosted its annual conference and related events, attended by members and enthusiasts of the arbitration community from North America, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

The program began with a Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) discussion, where four young rising stars of arbitration spoke about the differences in their experiences while practicing in both Asia and in North America. An impromptu guest panelist, ICC Court President John Beechey, joined the YAF and offered a seasoned view on the subject.

After the YAF event, the participants and other conference registrants , gathered at the conference welcome reception held at the San Francisco offices of Morrison & Foerster LLP. Guests were treated to an array of northern California delicacies, such as local cheeses, chocolates and tastings of local wines.

The conference commenced the morning of March 9, at San Francisco’s storied Palace Hotel, and continued throughout the following day. The participants heard from a savvy corporate panel which gave practical tips on dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region, and from speakers on such topics as arbitration of intellectual property disputes, third party funding of arbitrations, arbitrator selection and enforcing an arbitral award in light of strict sovereign immunity laws, among others.

“The caliber of the attendees and the discussion was the best I have ever experienced at a conference,” said Mary Comeau of Calgary. Steven Smith, a partner at O’Melveny & Meyers LLP, and a longtime supporter of the conference, called this year’s program “fantastic.”

With the glowing accolades and cutting edge topics, Cedric Chao, a partner at Morrison & Foerster and also a longtime conference supporter, stated, “Our collective goal should be to grow this conference into a ‘must attend’ event.”

ICC’s Fourth Annual Asia-Pacific Conference is scheduled to be held in May 2013 in Seoul, South Korea.

Staff contact: Suzanne Ulicny

More on ICC Dispute Resolution

Staff Contact:   Nancy Thevenin

General Counsel
Tel: 212.703.5047

Nancy Thevenin supports the USCIB Arbitration Committee and coordinates the work of the U.S. Nominations Committee. She works closely with USCIB’s Business Development team in ensuring a more comprehensive policy, legal and arbitration membership outreach to both law firms and corporations. Thevenin previously served as deputy director of the ICC Court of Arbitration’s North American marketing office. During her tenure, the group helped launch the ICC International Mediation Competition and developed USCIB Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF), with Thevenin drafting the proposal for the ICC to make YAF a global organization. Nancy then joined Baker & McKenzie as a special counsel in and global coordinator of their International Arbitration Practice Group. She left Baker in 2014 to start her own practice as arbitrator and mediator and continues to teach the spring semester international commercial arbitration course at St. John’s Law School.
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