Arbitration analysis: Gary Born, partner at WilmerHale and Chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group, advises that choosing to forego legal representation is a serious decision with tangible consequences in any setting, including international arbitration.

Generally, parties to an arbitration do not have to have legal representation--does this create inequality between represented and unrepresented parties?

Under most national arbitration statutes and institutional arbitration rules, parties are given the right to choose whether they wish to be represented by external counsel or would rather represent themselves (pro se parties). Sometimes parties opt to represent themselves in arbitration proceedings rather than retaining external counsel--that is especially likely in disputes involving primarily technical issues (such as commodities disputes, smaller construction matters, and some financial matters). Nonetheless, in the vast majority of substantial international commercial and investment arbitrations, parties retain external legal counsel, usually counsel with expertise in arbitration as representatives.

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Originally published by Lexis®PSL Arbitration and Lexis®Library on 14 July 2014

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