Why Choose Stockholm: Reflections of an English Lawyer After Two Years of Practising International Arbitration in Sweden - SIAR 2008-2
James Hope, Consultant, Advokatfirman Vinge KB, Stockholm. Solicitor-Advocate (England & Wales) (Higher Courts, Civil Proceedings). Solicitor, Scotland. MCIArb, BA (Cantab.), LL.B., Dip. LP. (Edin.). Formerly Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP in London. The author is an English lawyer who spent ten years practising international arbitration in London before moving to Stockholm in June 2006. This article is adapted from a speech given by the author to a group of Stockholm lawyers on 26 August 2008.
Originally from: Stockholm International Arbitration Review
WHY CHOOSE STOCKHOLM: REFLECTIONS OF AN ENGLISH LAWYER AFTER TWO YEARS PRACTISING INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION IN SWEDEN
"But Daddy - I want to be the winner!" Sophia Hope, age 4 ½
Most little children want to win. In common with many athletes, they do not accept the Olympic maxim that the important thing is just taking part. Winning is what matters.
The same is often very true in commercial disputes. To quote Sebastian Stark, the Los Angeles defense attorney turned prosecutor in the television series, Shark: "Litigation is war. Second place is death!". Parties often think like that by the time it gets to a hearing. They want to win, and, sometimes, they need to win.
How can lawyers ensure that their clients will win? The short answer is that they cannot. There is always an element of unpredictability and, quite frankly, that is what makes arbitration exciting. Sometimes, you will lose a case. But if we cannot tell our clients that they will win, then what can we tell them?
We want to be able to tell them that we have made all the necessary preparations in order to win. In particular, we want to be able to say that we have chosen the right battlefield - in other words, that the legal procedure that they find themselves in is a legal procedure that can be relied upon. We want to be able to say that they can trust the judges or arbitrators. Even if they end up losing, we want our clients to feel that their cases were properly heard and evaluated.