By Colin Johnson, Vice President with Charles River Associates, one of the founding members of LIDW.
May 2019 marked the inaugural London International Disputes Week (LIDW) with more than 1100 delegates from 47 countries attending events over four days. The conversation around a London arbitration event began some 20 months earlier. Since similar events are so prevalent in other parts of the world, the organising committee decided to take the opportunity to remind people that, regardless of whether the UK was in or out of the European Union, the UK (and London in particular) still has a lot to offer for dispute settlement.
One of the key messages from the week is that there are multiple venues around the world for disputes, and each venue has its own advantages and disadvantages. In that context, London welcomes international parties wishing to use English law, the UK courts and/or London as a seat or venue for arbitration, and it has a lot to offer as such. The multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-faceted disputes community in London continues to offer skills to tackle a similar diversity of cases and plans to continue to foster this dynamic international community.
As LIDW developed, the organising committee agreed that it did not want the conference to be just about London or the UK. The intention was for London to use its privileged position as the home of so many international practitioners to help shape the future of dispute resolution to better deliver what the users and participants of the dispute settlement ecosystem need. London has within one city a world-renowned courts system, several top arbitral bodies, many companies that are the users of dispute resolution and a strong support network of experts, funders and legal technology service providers.
With the inaugural event having come and gone, the organisers of LIDW want to ensure that the second event is even more international so that we continue to develop a diverse disputes marketplace. Plans have begun on how best to do that, so please view the website (lidw.co.uk) for more information. We hope to see many of you from all around the world at our second LIDW. Looking ahead, we wish our Scottish colleagues the very best with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration Congress next May in Edinburgh, and we look forward to seeing many familiar faces there.
The views expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not reflect or represent the views of Charles River Associates or any of the organisations with which the author is affiliated.