Ethical standards in international arbitration—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Professor Catherine Rogers and Gordon McAllister of Crowell & Moring LLP
Ethical standards in international arbitration—an introduction

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Professor Catherine Rogers and Gordon McAllister of Crowell & Moring LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ethical standards in international arbitration—an introduction
  • Witness preparation
  • The use of guerilla tactics in arbitration proceedings
  • Guidance for the parties and tribunal—the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration
  • Remedies for breach of the IBA Guidelines
  • Examples of institutional initiatives on ethical conduct—the LCIA and AAA/ICDR
  • Is more regulation the answer?

Lawyers involved in international arbitration proceedings may assume that they need only observe the ethical rules of their home jurisdiction, ie the jurisdiction in which they are licensed and regulated. The true position is, however, often much more complex: such rules may or may not have extra-territorial effect, but if they do, they may conflict with any ethical rules that apply in the legal seat of the arbitration, or that may be imposed by the relevant arbitral institution, or, indeed, those incorporated into the parties’ agreement. Whether ‘home’ ethical rules apply in foreign and international proceedings is often uncertain or ambiguous, particular for lawyers licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Nor is it always a straightforward task to discern which other rules may apply

Even when the applicable ethical rules can be discerned, counsel and parties in the same arbitral proceedings frequently come from a variety of cultural and legal backgrounds. As a result, they may conduct themselves according to divergent notions about what constitutes appropriate professional and ethical conduct. For this reason, international arbitration has been described as an 'ethical no-man’s land'.

These divergent understandings and ethical assumptions may cause confusion, conflict, and inefficiency in international arbitration. And, for the parties, the requirement of equality of arms may be undermined where counsel perceive that varying ethical standards mean they have different tactical weapons in