On 15 May 2023, Herbert Smith Freehills co-hosted London International Disputes Week's inaugural International Arbitration Day, welcoming over 350 external guests to our London office. International Arbitration Day was a flagship arbitration event, showcasing the importance of London as a global arbitration centre. Herbert Smith Freehills was chosen as one of three LIDW member firms (alongside Allen & Overy and Mayer Brown) to host panel events throughout the day.

High-profile keynote speeches opened proceedings, including:

  • The Rt Hon Dame Elizabeth Gloster DBE, PC, who spoke on the subject of "The Arbitration Act: To reform, or not to reform? That is the question"
  • Professor Loukas Mistelis, Partner at Clyde & Co and Professor in Transnational Commercial Law and Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London, who considered "The role of arbitration in times of crisis"
  • Paula Hodges KC, Global Head of Arbitration at Herbert Smith Freehills and President of the London Court of International Arbitration, who addressed the topic of "Challenging arbitral awards through the backdoor: Mitigating the increasing trend of claims against arbitrators"

In line with the LIDW23 theme "Adapting to a Changing World", the day continued with 12 in-person panels which focused on jurisdictions and regions spanning the world from China to Latin America. The panellists also discussed key local developments as well as the relevance of English law and London as a seat of arbitration.

In addition to Paula's keynote speech, a number of HSF's arbitration practitioners were involved in panels across the day, including Mike McClure KC on Asia, Anuradha Agnihotri on India, Christian Leathley on Latin America and Craig Tevendale who moderated the panel on the Caspian region. Professional Support Consultant and Global Arbitration Practice Manager Vanessa Naish was a member of the organising committee for the International Arbitration Day.

The week continues with a programme of virtual and in-person sessions, discussing and debate the ever-changing landscape of international dispute resolution while celebrating the heritage of London as a leading centre for handling international disputes. You can find out more about LIDW here.