This month we bring you a special focus on a continent that boasts the world’s largest free trade area, a diverse economic make-up and increasing political stability. The latest edition of Law Update focuses on Africa, a territory that continues to be an attractive business and investment destination.
Like the rest of the world, Africa is still re-building from the impact of COVID-19, however, there continues to be an optimistic view of the opportunities the continent presents. An example of the appetite for investment into Africa was captured in a report we commissioned, titled Legal Leaders in MENA. Our survey of legal leaders revealed a resounding desire to expand into new territories, with 81% naming Africa as their investment destination of choice.Read the full edition
Jane Rahman - Senior Counsel - Arbitration
By now it is clear that there are virtually no jurisdictions that are unaffected by COVID-19 or the international measures that have been put in place to try to contain and control it.
One of the areas of concern for our clients relates to their ongoing arbitrations. For arbitrations that were commenced before the current situation took hold, parties and tribunals find themselves in relatively new waters. How does one best run an arbitration that was started and planned before these new and extraordinary conditions took hold? Is it, and can it be, business as usual?
For most arbitrations, the short answer to this last question is “no”. The way in which virtually everyone does business has changed and this will necessarily impact arbitrations.
The good news, however, is that arbitration was, in a way, designed for this sort of a situation. It is, or should be, flexible and responsive to parties’ needs. Unlike, for example, court litigation, parties have easy access to their tribunals and are generally empowered to agree whatever procedures they consider appropriate to resolve their dispute.
But what does this mean in practice? Some of the key points you may want to consider in respect of your arbitrations that are already in progress include:
How the current situation impacts your arbitrations will very much depend on the specifics of your case. What is clear, though, is that it is likely that any arbitration that is currently in progress will be impacted in some way. It is for the parties and their tribunals to work together to sensibly try to identify and resolve those issues in an efficient and fair way that reflects the extraordinary situation in which we all now find ourselves.