On April 3, 2019, as part of the third annual Paris Arbitration Week, Reed Smith’s international arbitration practice hosted a discussion entitled "The rules of engagement in arbitration – the IBA and Prague Rules: is change coming or needed?". This event, which was held at Reed Smith’s Paris office, was one of a series of seminars and academic debates held during the week across Paris, bringing together thought leaders in international arbitration to address a wide array of topics and important developments in the field of international arbitration. The highlights are now published and we are delighted to make these available to you.

Our seminar focused on the important issue of the rules available to govern the conduct of arbitral proceedings, comparing the well-established IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration (the IBA Rules) with the recently launched Prague Rules on the Efficient Conduct of Proceedings in International Arbitration (the Prague Rules).

Our eminent panel, comprising: 

Bruce Collins Q.C., independent arbitrator, Arbitration Chambers, Hong Kong and London; 

Allison Nold, head of Commercial Disputes and Litigation, Investigations & Regulatory Affairs, Airbus Group Legal & Compliance;

Anthony Charlton, partner and head of the International Arbitration department, Deloitte, Paris;

and Vladimir Khvalei, partner, Baker & McKenzie, Moscow,

and moderated by Peter Rosher, partner, Reed Smith and Andrew Tetley, counsel, Reed Smith,

discussed with our guest audience the following five intentionally-provocative statements:

  • The Prague Rules encourage flexibility to the detriment of due process.
  • The Prague Rules’ clear preference for tribunal-appointed experts is the answer to avoiding the problem of “ships passing in the night.”
  • The Prague Rules will change nothing without a cultural change in arbitrators and other stakeholders.
  • The Prague Rules are the answer to the often significant costs and inefficiencies of the modern arbitral process.
  • Everything contemplated under the Prague Rules is already possible under the IBA Rules.

Please see the seminar highlights.

We hope you find these highlights interesting, and we are committed to continue to look for ways in which we can share our global international arbitration experience and resources with our clients and lawyers and the wider arbitral community.