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Arbitration JAMS International & Cross Border

New York State Bar Calls for Creation of International Arbitration Center in NYC

Recently a New York State Bar Association task force looked at its state law relative to international law and practice and recommended the creation of an international arbitration center that would be available to all parties involved in international disputes.

Joseph T. McLaughlin, chair of the task force and one of our neutrals in New York, said one of the best recommendations the task force issued was for the establishment of a “permanent center for arbitration available to parties from all over the globe to resolve their disputes.”

He noted that such centers already exist in London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing, but not in New York.  Currently, many parties wishing to resolve international disputes in New York end up holding their arbitration sessions in hotels.

“This is not good for the confidentiality of the process or for the handling of documents, and is very expensive,” he added.

Stephen Younger, a task force member and attorney with Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, said, “The world has become flat, the law has become flat, and we now need to attract legal business to New York.”  He noted that “$7 billion is exported annually by lawyers instead of being generated domestically.”

According to Younger, New York possesses “a stable body of law, a great stable of advocates and arbitrators and a great set of providers.”  Establishing a center would “cement New York as a center for international arbitration,” he added.

Younger said that while mediation is heavily used domestically, the same cannot be said in the international context.  Setting up an international arbitration ADR center could “help get people in the international sphere to understand the benefits to using mediation and convince them to use it more often to resolve their disputes,” he said.

According to McLaughlin and Younger, the proposal to establish an international arbitration center received a high-powered endorsement when Mayor Michael Bloomberg publicly announced his support.

New York is not the only major city in the United States aiming to create an international arbitration center. An effort to establish one is currently underway in Atlanta, lead by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, as well as in Miami where local attorneys established the Miami International Arbitration Society and are pushing for a permanent center in the city.

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