One of the biggest complaints to arise in recent years relates to the increasing legalism of international commercial arbitration. To some extent, the issue may be one of perception, since the past always seems simpler than the present.1 However, those who have practiced in the field for several decades have expressed concern about the rising number of excessive disclosure requests, inappropriate motion practice, and ancillary litigation attempts. The common assumption is that the field has changed, and not necessarily for the better.
Critics and reformers have pointed their fingers in a variety of directions. One popular theory places the blame on U.S. lawyers who have imported an entrepreneurial business model and never-say-die litigation culture into arbitration without understanding the special attributes of international commercial arbitration.2