On 15 November Clyde & Co hosted a lunchtime talk with
Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof, Director General of the LCIA as
part of the Dubai Arbitration Week 2016. The event attracted local
and international practitioners, counsel, experts, arbitrators and
representatives from different institutions.
Diversity improves quality to the process
Jacomijn provided her thoughts and insight on the important
topic of diversity in international arbitration, which is also the
theme of the Dubai Arbitration Week 2016. She highlighted that it
is widely discussed that there is need for greater diversity in
international arbitration due to the current small pool of
arbitrators dominating the field, but acknowledging the importance
of diversity is only the first step. Diversity in international
arbitration is essential to the longevity and legitimacy of the
arbitral process. Diversity also improves quality to the process by
providing alternative perspectives and experiences which lead to
better decision making.
Jacomijn said that, whilst all types of diversity are important,
such as age, nationality and disability, improving gender diversity
is an obvious starting point because, amongst other reasons, 50% of
the world's population is female.
A unique pledge to improve gender diversity
In relation to what the arbitration community can do to improve
gender diversity, Jacomijn highlighted a unique pledge which she
has championed, dealing with the under-representation of women on
international arbitral tribunals (the Pledge).
The Pledge sets out to increase, on an equal opportunity basis,
the number of women appointed as arbitrators in order to achieve a
fair representation as soon as practically possible, with the
ultimate goal of full parity. It originated in recognition of the
under-representation of women on international arbitral tribunals,
and in 2015 members of the arbitration community committed to
At the event, an original of the Diversity Pledge was signed by
Mohamed El Ghatit, Director and Registrar for the DIFC-LCIA
Arbitration Centre, and another by Jacomijn in her capacity as a
trustee and Alec Emmerson, as a trustee and Chief Executive of DIFC
In the recent decision in Joyce Whitfield v Revenue & Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 685 (TC) the Tribunal considered that inflexible and disproportionate behaviour by a party's legal representative...
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