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Is Paris the home of international arbitration?

Marine Maffre Maucour & Joanna Closa – Consultants, Driver Trett Paris highlight the success that Paris has achieved in becoming synonymous as a world-class location for international arbitration and what the city’s future may hold.

Paris has set the tone of its ambition to establish itself as the ‘Home of international arbitration’. The organisation of the second annual Paris Arbitration Week (PAW) aims at consolidating a historical position in a competitive environment.

Since the 1960s, French law has been at the forefront of the development of international arbitration. More recently, positive signals were sent through the 2011 reform¹, thus reasserting the liberty and flexibility in terms of applicable laws and languages. To this can be added a clear jurisprudence which has been followed by laws in many other countries that have adopted principles similar to those established in France.

In this frame, the objective of PAW is clear: “the promotion of Paris as the world’s leading site for international arbitration.”

Benefitting from a long-standing reputation as an excellent arbitral seat and from a geographic and logistic advantage, Paris based arbitration is endowed with five arbitral affiliated institutions including the ICC Paris (now chosen for approximately 90 ICC arbitrations per year).

But Paris cannot rest on its laurels and must keep differentiating itself in a context where a British leadership pre-exists. Indeed, according to the ICC report² in 2016, common law, British practitioners and English language still dominate the discipline.

However, Paris can count on a new trend showing a growing demand for French speaking practitioners. Driver Trett’s Paris office, through the increased demand for Diales³ expertise, has noted an increasing demand for French speaking experts in the delay and quantum fields. This seems to be bolstered by the increased number of arbitration cases in French speaking countries, particularly in Africa.

Having hosted close to 300 participants from some 40 countries, the first PAW, in April 2017, fulfilled its commitments and ambitions to share information and best practices. Following on from this success, the second PAW, running from 9 to 13 April 2018, will provide arbitration practitioners and academics a unique forum for discussing the future of the profession. A wonderful show-case for anyone who would like to experience Paris as the home of international arbitration.

Driver Trett has provided services from its Parisian office since 2015 and will be participating in these discussions and sponsoring the overall event in 2018.

Sources: ICC-france.fr parisarbitration.net
¹“Décret du 13 janvier 2011” 
²Full 2016 ICC Dispute Resolution statistics published in Court Bulletin. 
³Diales is the expert witness support services arm of the Driver Trett business.

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