Nicholas Tam, Legal Manager in Ogier's Dispute Resolution team in Hong Kong, has scooped the top prize in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Young Members Group Essay Competition, beating off fierce competition from the best young arbitration professionals across the world

Nicholas' submission was a draft order dealing with procedural directions for holding an arbitration in Riyadh under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The submission required consideration of how arbitral tribunals could adapt, using technology to conduct hearings remotely, and how such measures could be reconciled against arbitral rules and norms.

Nicholas is an Asia-based offshore litigator handling complex multi-jurisdictional disputes spanning banking, insolvency and restructuring, shareholder disputes, trusts, and general commercial matters.

Nicholas said: "I'm delighted to have received this recognition from such a prestigious industry body. It was a great opportunity to test myself against other leading young arbitration professionals and draft a submission where I could directly apply the experiences from our work in the Hong Kong Dispute Resolution team - the challenge of conducting hearings with parties distributed across far-flung locations is an issue we commonly grapple with in the offshore world, especially in recent times.

"The pandemic has forced arbitration professionals to take a more flexible approach to procedure in order to accommodate the needs of parties, primarily due to the disruption to international travel. In the long-term this should improve the efficiency of the arbitration process and maintain the popularity of arbitration as a user-friendly dispute resolution option."

Oliver Payne, Head of Dispute Resolution in Asia, said: "This is great recognition for Nicholas, and a clear demonstration that he is capable of performing at the top level globally for his age group. At Ogier we are all about encouraging our lawyers to develop their technical expertise and to deliver excellent service to our clients. Nicholas' award is a vindication of that approach, and I heartily congratulate him on his achievement."

Nicholas' winning entry can be read here.