John Beechey is the Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. A former partner and head of the Global Arbitration Group at the international law firm Clifford Chance, he was also a member of the board of directors of the American Arbitration Association and its Executive Committee for some years. While serving on the AAA board, Mr. Beechey co-chaired the Task Force that prepared the information-exchange guidelines discussed in this chapter.
In the course of 2006, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) undertook a review, the purpose of which was to ensure that the AAA’s practices and procedures were responsive to the requirement that alternative dispute resolution (and arbitration in particular) remains a cost effective and expedient process for end users.
Some eight years previously, the International Bar Association had published its acclaimed and widely adopted Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration (IBA Rules). Article 3 of the IBA Rules included provisions relating to the production of documents in international arbitration proceedings. The AAA concluded, however, that there was now a need for further guidance, not least because of a growing and discernible apprehension (whether or not well founded), particularly in civil law jurisdictions, of a trend towards an “Americanization” of the process and because of the ever increasing impact of electronic information storage in the context of document disclosure requirements and expectations.