Commentators on the practice of international arbitration generally fall into one of three categories: arbitrators, external counsel, and in-house counsel.3 I am in the fortunate, though by no means unique, position of having occupied each of these three positions in my arbitration career to date. Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, I believe that each of these three groups of players could learn more from the perspectives and experience of the other two than is often the case.
When Larry Newman and I planned the first edition of this book in New York in 2001 we had two closely-related objectives in mind. First, we felt that a book written by the world’s leading arbitrators as to how they went about their business would enable counsel who aspired to sit as arbitrators to learn more about the trade to which they aspired: it would, in effect, be a guidebook to being an arbitrator, which might help to expand the narrow “club” of arbitrators that the title of the book implicitly acknowledged. Secondly, it would give counsel a greater insight into how eminent arbitrators approached cases in practice, which could help advocates to conduct themselves and their cases in a way most likely to achieve their clients’ objectives. The book was therefore partly intended to provide a glimpse “behind the curtain” and into the tribunal’s deliberation room.