Luncheon Address: Advocacy in International Arbitration - WAMR 2011 Vol. 5, No. 4
Toby T. Landau, MA, BCL (Oxford); LLM (Harvard); FCIArb; CArb. Barrister and Arbitrator, and Member of Essex Court Chambers, London. Visiting Professor (arbitration law) King’s College London.
Originally from World Arbitration And Mediation Review (WAMR)
ADVOCACY IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
Toby T. Landau QC*
Good afternoon. With that introduction, it is downhill from
here, I fear.
It’s a test for any advocate to speak to people while they are
eating, so I am going to ask you, if you would, to concentrate on
the softer, less noisy bits of food on your plate, which includes
dessert. I won’t keep you long, and you can then go back to what
may be of much more immediate interest.
Now the legal profession, within each jurisdiction and each
legal system, has developed customary methods of presenting
cases or approaches to advocacy. Obviously, as an English
barrister, I find it most effective to present my cases with an 18th
Century culled horsehair wig on my head. Although once standard
in this jurisdiction as well, I have noticed that it seems to have lost
some popularity over here now. But in most fields, certain
practices or ways of doing things gain currency, and gradually
take hold, and in particular in the field of international
commercial arbitration, one talks increasingly of “convergence”.
Even though this is a transnational field, which is practiced across
national and cultural divides, certain specific standards, practices,
and methods have grown up, and become increasingly
entrenched. Many of these we are hearing about in the course of
the program today.
Now the question is: how effective actually are these
techniques? We may be using them frequently from case to case,
but what impact do they really have on the inner minds of the
arbitral “Mafia”? That is the question which I’m going to try and
address in this short presentation, whilst attempting not to
shorten my career. The best way of testing effectiveness in terms
of the various elements that comprise “advocacy” is to relocate to
the other side of the arbitral table. Now I did that some years ago