LONDON – Reed Smith international arbitration partner Matthew Townsend has been shortlisted for ‘Best Innovation’ category at this year’s Global Arbitration Review (GAR) Awards.

Rechtsanwälte: Matthew Townsend

Townsend has been shortlisted for writing an article, which was minted as the first international arbitration collectable NFT. The article, published in GAR last May, considered five ways Blockchain technology could change the practice of international arbitration,

While ‘crypto winter’ has seen considerable volatility in the markets for the selling and purchase of digital assets, the underlying technology continues to see growing adoption amongst corporates, financial institutions and nation states. Townsend’s article explored developments including: driving the development of new funding models, "on-chain" adjudication, protocols for managing procedure and evidence, tokenised arbitral awards and identification of parties through digital wallets.

Seconded to the firm’s Hong Kong office from London, Townsend has extensive knowledge in digital assets international arbitration. He has over a decade of experience acting as arbitration counsel in complex and high-stakes arbitration proceedings, including ad-hoc and administered arbitrations under the rules of the major institutions and in the major arbitral seat. His practice focuses on disputes relating to M&A, energy, infrastructure, construction and technology.

The GAR Awards 2023 ceremony will be held in Paris on 30 March as part of Paris Arbitration Week.