International Commercial Arbitration, Southern-Style, 0313 ALBJ, 74 The Alabama Lawyer 118 (2013)

AuthorFrank M. Young, III.

International Commercial Arbitration, Southern-Style

Vol. 74 No. 2 Pg. 118

Alabama Bar Lawyer

March 2013

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0 Frank M. Young, III.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Over the past two decades, Over the past two decades, the state of Alabama has benefitted greatly from the economic globalization trend sweeping the world. Several international automobile companies have located plants here, resulting in numerous job opportunities and related growth. Alabamians have also benefited from increased exports. All of this has created many opportunities in the international field for Alabama lawyers, which only will increase in the future.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Alabama lawyers are accustomed to incorporating arbitration provisions in international business contracts, often designating arbitral venues far from the Yellowhammer State. The vast majority of international arbitrations take place in just a handful of cities. London, New York, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong, and Stockholm are among the traditional leaders. An important new initiative launched by a coalition of southeastern law firms and law schools aims to promote an arbitral center closer to home–Atlanta. This could mean more work for Alabama lawyers in this growing field and reduced costs for Alabama companies engaged in cross-border trade and investment.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0International Commercial Arbitration

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0International arbitration is the leading method for resolving cross-border business disputes, in part because companies naturally fear litigating in a foreign court. Arbitration, which is usually faster and less complex than court proceedings, allows the parties to resolve their dispute in a neutral forum before arbitrators of their choosing. An international treaty also makes it easier to enforce an arbitration award across borders than a court judgment. While the United States has no treaties with any other country for the enforcement of our court judgments, over 140 countries, including the U.S., and most of our major trading partners, are parties to the U.N. Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”). Worldwide, the success rate in enforcing foreign arbitration awards is approximately 90 percent, although experience varies by country.[1]

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0As previously indicated, most international arbitrations are conducted in a relatively small number of cities. As noted in a recent survey of corporate counsel and international arbitration specialists, however, parties are “increasingly looking beyond the ‘traditional’ seats of arbitration.”[2] For instance, Singapore, Dubai and Miami have become leading venues for international arbitration in just the past decade, and the island nation of Mauritius recently launched an initiative to become a center for arbitrations in Africa. In effect, arbitrations are migrating closer to the locus of the disputes. With the emerging global business in the Southeast, this creates a great...

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