Tribunal secretaries in international arbitration
Produced in partnership with George Spalton of 4 New Square
Tribunal secretaries in international arbitration

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with George Spalton of 4 New Square provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Tribunal secretaries in international arbitration
  • The role of tribunal secretaries
  • Who performs the role of tribunal secretary?
  • Issues that have arisen in relation to the use of tribunal secretaries
  • Institutional arbitration rules

This Practice Note addresses the role often performed by tribunal secretaries (or arbitral secretaries or administrative secretaries) in international arbitration. The Practice Note also considers who performs the role of secretary, some of the issues that have arisen in relation to their use, and the provision for the use of tribunal secretaries in some institutional arbitration rules.

This Practice Note is not intended to express a view about the appropriateness of using tribunal secretaries. Instead, it considers the role that tribunal secretaries tend to perform, considers who is best placed to perform that role, touches on some of the issues that have arisen in relation to the use of tribunal secretaries and notes certain recent developments in relation to the use of tribunal secretaries by reference to certain institutional rules.

For a discussion of the merits and demerits of the use of tribunal secretaries, see Practice Note: Tribunal secretaries in international arbitration—the advantages and disadvantages.

The role of tribunal secretaries

The role performed by tribunal secretaries in arbitration proceedings has been the subject of a great deal of debate. Most of that debate is focused on concerns that arbitrators are abrogating their responsibilities by delegating substantive work and analysis of claims to junior lawyers who have not been appointed by the parties to decide the dispute. Those issues are further addressed in