A launch for London International Disputes Week

A launch for London International Disputes Week

A unique dispute resolution collective has launched London International Disputes Week (LIDW), with the inaugural event set for 7–10 May 2019. This post introduces some of the key facts about LIDW, an event which aims to bring together legal practitioners from around the world to celebrate London’s heritage as a disputes centre and to consider the future of dispute resolution. As a Founding Member of LIDW, LexisNexis® is proud to be part of this important event.

What is LIDW?

LIDW is a global dispute resolution event to be held, for the first time, between 7 and 10 May 2019.

The four-day LIDW programme includes a flagship one-day conference entitled ‘London international disputes: present and future’, to be held at the National Gallery, and 18 technical sessions covering different types of disputes and forms of dispute resolution at venues across central London.

The conference and technical sessions, as well as key networking events, will bring together lawyers and their clients, judges, arbitrators, academics and others involved in using or administering dispute resolution from around the world and from many sectors. Richard Bamforth, partner and Head of the Arbitration Group at CMS, comments:

‘We are very keen that LIDW is of interest to all users of English law and dispute resolution services in London. That means General Counsel, all in house counsel, and not just disputes teams, and Legal Operations executives. We are also very keen to see members of the international legal community as well as London-based lawyers, who are keen to contribute not only to a celebration of London’s great heritage but looking ahead to what the future holds for international dispute resolution.’

Why LIDW and why now?

Many jurisdictions boast arbitration ‘weeks’ and dispute resolution conferences, and London certainly offers its fair share of legal events across the spectrum, but an event focusing on London’s appeal as a centre for international dispute resolution and celebrating the heritage of English law hasn’t been attempted in quite this way before.

The timing of the event is also apt as LIDW will be held after 29 March 2019, the date of the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). Building on proven foundations, London, and the rest of the UK, is looking to establish its future role and status as a dispute resolution hub in the post-Brexit environment.

On the gestation of LIDW, Barry Fletcher, Head of the Dispute Resolution Group and Head of Arbitration at LexisNexis, comments:

‘Given London’s position as arguably the world’s leading seat of arbitration, conversations were being had across London, including within the Lexis®PSL Arbitration Consulting Editorial Board, on the merits and demerits of a London Arbitration Week (or LAW) and post-Brexit dispute resolution. When those parallel conversations merged it became apparent quickly that celebrating London’s broader role in global dispute resolution was the more important, if more daunting, task. LIDW was born of those key conversations in late 2017/early 2018, spear-headed, with great diplomacy, by Richard Bamforth.'

Bamforth comments:

‘There was (and remains) a sense that English law, and dispute resolution in the UK, and London in particular, has been an important aspect for international business for many years. Now is a good time to recognise and celebrate that, as well as encouraging colleagues from across the international business community to come together and to explore the future of global dispute resolution and best practice.’

Who is presenting LIDW?

Uniquely, LIDW is presented by a group of over 50 leading law firms, barristers’ chambers, experts, academics, legal commentators and dispute resolution organisations. Details of LIDW’s Founding Members, Supporters and Supporting Institutions can be found on the LIDW website.

Fletcher comments:

‘The collaborative ethos of the LIDW Founding Members, Supporters and Supporting Institutions has been present at every stage, from the initial discussions about the aims for LIDW through to the planning for the individual sessions. As no single organisation is ‘presenting’ LIDW, every aspect has been worked through together. While there remains work to be done to prepare for May, the programme is ready for registrations. It has been a terrific initiative to be part of.’

LIDW also has support from central government and the judiciary as the event is aligned closely with their priorities for the promotion of English law and the UK legal sector. The Rt Hon Dame Elizabeth Gloster, former Lady Justice of Appeal, comments:

‘I am delighted to support the first ever London International Disputes Week in May 2019. I look forward to discussing with delegates from around the world the challenges and opportunities in dispute resolution and London’s place in our increasingly globalised world.

‘London has long been a respected centre for handling disputes, but this is not a time for complacency. The event will provide our great city with the opportunity to showcase our heritage, whilst looking ahead to the future and how we will adapt, evolve and progress.’

LIDW’s sponsors, which include funders, experts, accountants and legal tech providers, can also be viewed here.

What is the flagship conference?

To be held on Wednesday 8 May 2019 at the National Gallery, ‘London international disputes: present and future’ will feature global leaders in international dispute resolution. The conference will include sessions on: the development and influence of English law; leading dispute resolution procedures; the future of technology in dispute resolution; global trends in international arbitration and the influence of venue; and, the promotion of the rule of law and global legal standards.

The conference is presented by LIDW ‘Supporting Institutions’ the ICC United Kingdom, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), The Law Society, the General Council of the Bar, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). Confirmed speakers for the conference can be found here.

And the technical sessions?

In addition to the one–day conference, there are 18 technical sessions for delegates to choose from on Tuesday 7, Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May 2019.

There are dedicated sessions on commercial litigation, commercial arbitration, corporate crime/global investigations and mediation, as well as sector-focused events on, for example, construction, energy, competition, investment, commodities, financial services and shipping disputes. This is just a snapshot—there is something for (almost) anyone interested in international dispute resolution.

Delegates can expect many sessions to consider angles around London/the UK’s role in dispute resolution as well as the most significant, current (or hot) topics for practitioners and clients.

How do I register for LIDW?

Details on accessing the LIDW programme and registration process can be found on the LIDW website here, and there are ‘Register now’ links across the site (including on the Register page).

A registration fee of £100 (+VAT) is payable per person in order to be able to indicate which of the LIDW sessions you’d like to attend. Additional fees are payable to attend the flagship conference and some other LIDW-associated events—these are marked with a £ sign on the website.

How can I keep up to date with LIDW news?

Details of the LIDW programme will be updated at regular intervals with confirmed speakers and more details on the sessions. You can also follow LIDW on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Founding Members, Supporters and Supporting Institutions look forward to welcoming you to LIDW in May 2019.

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About the author:

Barry specialises in international arbitration and commercial litigation. He trained and practised at Jones Day before joining Pinsent Masons. At LexisNexis, Barry is Head of Arbitration and Head of the Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution Group.

In practice, Barry’s work included commercial, aviation and technology arbitrations pursuant to international arbitral rules, involving UK and international clients. He also has a background in general commercial, civil fraud and IT litigation, including experience before the High Court. While in private practice, Barry worked with a broad range of clients from the private and public sectors.

At LexisNexis, when not focused on the strategic development and operational requirements of the Dispute Resolution Group, Barry’s content work focuses on the law and practice of international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. In addition to his work for Lexis®PSL, Barry contributes to the LexisNexis Dispute Resolution Blog and New Law Journal on litigation and arbitration matters