On May 3, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr co-hosted a seminar in the London office with the Brazilian Arbitration Committee (Comitê Brasileiro de Arbitragem – CBAr) titled "What to Expect When Arbitrating in Brazil: Recent Developments of International Arbitrations and Institutional Landscape."
Gary Born, Chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group, welcomed Professor Peter Sester, who delivered a comprehensive, interesting and entertaining analysis of the Brazilian arbitration landscape, including market, institutional and legal developments. In his presentation Professor Sester covered both jurisprudence and new legislation and explored both domestic institutions and international arbitration chambers administrating Brazilian-related disputes. Professor Sester is a practicing Brazilian and German lawyer and also serves as Director, Institute of Public Finance, Fiscal Law and Law and Economics at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
Mr. Born commented on Professor Sester's presentation, exploring in particular the question of what will arbitrations related to Brazil look like in the future. Will arbitrations continue to be predominantly governed by domestic Brazilian law and conducted in Portuguese? Or will they begin to look over time more like arbitrations in other jurisdictions, where—although there is some correlation between an arbitration seated in a jurisdiction, the substantive law that applies to it, and the language that is used in it—that correlation is much weaker than in Brazil.
A lively question and answer session followed, during which members of the audience sought Professor Sester's and Mr. Born's thoughts on a number of important questions, including the Abengoa decision, whether arbitration can really be considered fast track, whether diversity is on the agenda for arbitral institutions, and whether concerns that international arbitrators may not apply Brazilian law correctly are valid.
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