The COVID-19 has forced parties, as well as counsel and arbitrators, to adapt new reality of conducting arbitrations.
This post discusses some practical tips for the parties that are in dispute and preparing for a remote hearing.
Make an assessment of whether remote hearings are allowed
The assessment depends on the applicable regulatory framework, in particular, the law of the seat of the arbitration the chosen arbitration rules. Despite the fact that we are not aware of any arbitration rules or national law that prohibits remote hearings, the provisions on remote hearings may be in permissive terms.
Party autonomy prevails
As the most rules do not contain specific provisions on remote hearings, the parties, in most cases, are in power to choose remote hearing. It is beneficial for the parties to incorporate a clause on remote hearings in their Arbitration Agreement. For ongoing arbitral cases, it would be wise to obtain a joint agreement from all the parties that will specify that no parties would seek to vacate the arbitral award or annulment of the proceedings following its approval on holding the remote hearing.
Conduct testing sessions in advance
Teach the participants how to connect during the hearing, how to activate video and sound, how to check whether adjustments are needed for light and volume.
Check whether any guidelines or protocols are to be adopted and the procedure for the selection of an online platform.
Have a moderator
In order to prevent participants from talking over one another, it is beneficial to have a moderator in charge of the remote hearing.
Have a real-time transcription
Having a real-time transcription is useful in case anything is unclear or missed during the remote hearing.
Have a person to assist on technology-related matters
It is beneficial if there is a person who observes the hearing and in case any of the participants gets logged out, this person can notify the tribunal and request to pause the hearing until the participant is logged back in.
Choose a back-up connection platform
In case any connection fault occurs during the hearing, there should be a back-up platform that will allow the participants to continue the hearing with a minimal disruption.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson litigation team has considerable experience conducting your arbitration, litigation, and freezing orders. We can advise you on whether there are grounds to apply to discharge or vary the terms of a freezing order. If you have a potential claim, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.