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News

September 2015

New Members

We are delighted to welcome new Members to the IDR Group:

Tjaco van den Hout joined the Dutch diplomatic service in 1975 and served at different posts in Africa, Asia and the U.S. He was Secretary General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration for 9 years. He is currently director of the Advanced Programme in Law and Economics and visiting professor at the Riga Graduate School of Law where he teaches public international law.

Loukas Mistelis is Director of the School of International Arbitration at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London. He is the Clive M Schmitthoff Professor of Transnational Commercial Law and Arbitration. His substantial arbitration experience covers ICC, ICSID, LCIA, UNCITRAL, SCC, Swiss Chambers and Moscow cases.

Professor Don Wallace is Chairman, International Law Institute, Washington D.C. He is Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center. Among his many posts he was the Regional Legal Advisor for the Middle East and Deputy Assistant General Counsel to AID in the Department of State from 1962-66. He specializes in the fields of international law and foreign affairs, and currently teaches Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs.

Anne Laure Bandle joins as a Consultant and boosts the IDR Group’s Art Law Section. She has co-directed the Art Law Foundation in Geneva since January 2014. Anne Laure holds a PhD in law from the University of Geneva and is a guest lecturer in art and cultural heritage law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

May 2015

Conference Book

Papers from the IDR Group’s Conference in April 2014 staged in Washington D.C. with the ADR Center of the International Law Institute and the International Investment Law Center have now been published by Juris Publishing.

Interim and Emergency Relief in International Arbitration – International Law Institute Series on International Law, Arbitration and Practice” ISBN: 978-1-937518-70-7

Author: Diora Ziyaeva, Editor / Ian A. Laird, Borzu Sabahi, Anne Marie Whitesell, General Editors.

“Interim and Emergency Relief In International Arbitration” is a compilation of papers authored by some of the world’s leading international arbitration practitioners. It addresses issues relating to obtaining interim measure orders, including the relevant applicable standards such as irreparable harm that various international courts and tribunals, under the ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, SCC, and some domestic law jurisdictions often apply… This book explores these methods and identifies the latest trends in this exciting area of international law.”

http://www.jurispub.com

December 2014

In December 2014 the Group moved its London HQ from Lamb Chambers, Temple, London EC4 to a new base in the prestigious IDRC building in Fleet Street, London EC4. The Group’s new address and contact details are:

THE IDR GROUP®
The International Dispute Resolution Centre
70 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1EU
U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7936 7059
Email: anthonyconnerty@idrgroup.org
www.idrgroup.org

October 2014

“Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution”

A Convention on 29 October 2014 at the Guildhall in the City of London

Following on from the Group’s conference in Washington D.C. with the International Law Institute, the Group was delighted to co-operate with the International Mediation Institute, The Hague, on a conference looking at the future of international dispute resolution.

Staged by the International Mediation Institute (IMI) and the IDR Group – with main sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills and organisational support from CEDR – this Convention brought together users and service providers to discuss new attitudes, approaches and ideas in international dispute resolution. The Convention’s theme was “Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution”. Panellists include speakers from BP, Shell, BT, Standard Chartered Bank, GE, Orange, Marks and Spencer, Hinduja Group, Thales and Northrop Grumman. Group speakers were William K. Slate, Yu Jianlong, Johan Gernandt and Marc-Andre´ Renold. Anthony Connerty outlined the programme and introduced Alderman Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls.

The venue for the Convention was the magnificent Guildhall in the City of London. The Corporation of the City of London generously supported the Convention, and hosted a Reception in the Guildhall Art Gallery following the Convention. Welcome speeches in the Art Gallery were delivered by the Sheriff of the City of London and Anthony Connerty.

Over 150 delegates and speakers from 20 countries attended the Convention.

Click here for the Convention Programme

April 2014

Ahmed El Kosheri

Congratulations to Professor Dr Ahmed El Kosheri, who was presented with a Lifetime Award at the 2014 GAR Awards. Professor El Kosheri is a Founding Member of the IDR Group.

New Members and Consultants

New Members and Consultants have joined the Group. They bring in expertise in many fields of activity including shipbuilding, defence, engineering and construction, international cotton trading, oil & gas, trade finance and hedging, and – new to the IDR Group – Art Law.

As well as expertise in the commercial sphere, the experience of these new members extends to the diplomatic and government fields.

The new members’ experience covers a range of countries around the world: Azerbaijan, Canada, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Germany, Lithuania, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

Languages spoken illustrate the widespread know-how of our new members: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

The international dispute resolution experience of our new members continues in the Group’s main areas of litigation, arbitration and mediation.

We welcome as Members:

John Fellas, partner in the New York office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. He practices in the fields of international arbitration, litigation and mediation, and has been retained to act as an expert witness on U.S. law in proceedings in other jurisdictions.

Professor Joongi Kim, Professor of Yonsei Law School, Yonsei University, Korea. Member of the New York State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, he has experience as sole, presiding and co-arbitrator in disputes under the Rules of the ICC, KCAB, HKIAC and LMAA. Mediation experience as Counsel and Mediator.

Professor Marc-André Renold, Professor of art and cultural heritage law at the University of Geneva, and a partner in Wenger Plattner, Geneva. Professor Renold heads the IDR Group’s new Art Law Section.

William K. Slate, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Arbitration Association. His various roles have involved reporting to the President of the United States, the Chief Justice of the United States, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 2005 he was elected to ICCA: the International Council for Commercial Arbitration.

And as Consultants the Group is delighted to welcome:

Professor Geoffrey M. Beresford Hartwell, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Arbitrator and FIDIC accredited Adjudicator.

Dr. Alessandro Chechi: post-doctoral researcher at the Art-Law Centre of the University of Geneva. Dr Chechi is a member of the IDR Group’s Art Law Section.

Serhat ESKİYÖRÜK: Assistant Professor, Çağ University Law Faculty, Turkey. Arbitrator, Counsel and Legal Expert.

Michael Forbes Smith: Former Director General, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Distinguished British diplomatic and military career.

Peter Foreman: English Solicitor. Thirty-five years experience in commercial dispute resolution in areas such as oil & gas, shipbuilding, energy and chemicals.

David G.L. Wookey: International commercial arbitrator and trade consultant working on behalf of the International Cotton Association to resolve trading disputes between contractual parties in the cotton trade.

CVs of the those joining the Group are shown in the Members and Consultants sections.

Washington DC Conference on Interim Measures, 24 April 2014: Two of our new members, William Slate and Professor Joongi Kim, are speaking at the Conference being staged with the International Law Institute at the ILI in Georgetown, Washington DC. Six other members of the Group are speaking at the Conference. Programme details are in the News Section of the website.

Art Law: information on this Section, headed by Professor Marc-André Renold, is in the new Art Law Section of the website.

April 2014 IDR Group Conference in Washington D.C.

In April 2014 the Group staged the fifth in its series of conferences. The Conference in Washington D.C. follows on from conferences in London, Ankara, Cairo and Beijing.

The Group joined with the ADR Center of the International Law Institute and the International Investment Law Center in a Conference on Interim Measures in International Arbitration. The Conference took place at the ILI’s base in Georgetown, Washington D.C.

The Group is grateful to Professor Don Wallace, Jr., Chairman of the ILI, for his support for the Group’s participation in the Conference.

Seven members of the Group spoke at the Conference. Mr Yu Jianong, Secretary General of CIETAC, delivered the keynote speech. Other Group speakers on the panels dealing with various aspects of interim measures in international arbitration were David Branson, Anthony Connerty, Johan Gernandt, Professor Joongi Kim, Professor Munir Maniruzzaman and William K. Slate II. Group member Charles Verrill, President of the ILI, played a major role in staging the Conference.

The Group speakers joined with speakers from international law firms: Baker & McKenzie; Crowell & Moring; Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosle; Dechert LLP; Wilmer Hale; Winston & Strawn; and Sidley Austin LLP; together with speakers from the ICC SICANA, New York and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.

The capacity audience included delegates from the World Bank, the Institute of International Banking Law, the Ministry of Justice, Bauchi State, Nigeria and law firms White & Case, Milbank Tweed, Jones Day, Weil Gotshal, Paton Boggs, and Arnold & Porter.

Click here for the 2014 Washington Conference Programme.

March 2014

The IDR Group is delighted to announce the launch of a new section dealing with Art Law. The creation of an Art Law section is a significant development in the Group’s activities. Art Law is a fascinating and important area of law: the looted Munich paintings are a recent example of the kind of problems dealt with in this important field.

We are pleased that Marc-André Renold has agreed to head the Art Law Section. He is the Professor of art and cultural heritage law at the University of Geneva, Director of the Art-Law Centre of the University of Geneva, and holder of the UNESCO Chair on “The International Law of the Protection of Cultural Heritage”.

Joining with Professor Renold is Dr. Alessandro Chechi, a post-doctoral researcher at the Geneva Art-Law Centre and a lecturer in public international law at the Université Catholique of Lille.

The interest of the Art-Law Centre of the University of Geneva in the potential use of ADR in relation to the settlement of art-related disputes links in with the Group’s ADR Section.

Click here to view the Section on Art Law.

August 2011

We are pleased to announce that Charles Verrill has joined the Group. He acts as Counsel, Arbitrator and Mediator.

Charles is a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Wiley Rein LLP. He is a leader in the field of international trade law and policy and acts as Counsel in international arbitration, including proceedings before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). He has been appointed to the NAFTA Chapter 19 Roster by the U.S. Trade Representative.

Mr Verrill is President of the International Law Institute, Washington D.C.

February 2011: New Members and Consultants

The IDR Group is pleased to announce the names of new Members:

Prof Ziya Akinci (Turkey): Lawyer and Professor of Law, Istanbul. Professor Akinci’s experience as Arbitrator, Counsel and Expert has included acting in ICSID, ICC, and ad hoc arbitrations in major international disputes involving parties from around the globe.

Dr Nayla Comair – Obeid (Lebanon): Lawyer and Professor of Law, Beirut. Dr Comair – Obeid regularly serves as counsel and as sole arbitrator, party – appointed arbitrator and chairwoman of international arbitral tribunals conducted in Arabic, French and English under the rules of the ICC and other international arbitration institutions.

Dr Nabil Elaraby (Egypt): Director of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. Dr Elaraby’s past and present posts in the diplomatic, judicial and legal fields include: President of the UN Security Council; Vice-President of the UN General Assembly; Ambassador to India; Judge, International Court of Justice; Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration;  Member of the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators.

Ulf Franke (Sweden): Former Secretary General of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Mr Franke has served as an arbitrator in various countries including China, the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Hungary, Finland and Sweden.

Mr Yu Jianlong (China): Vice-Chairman and Secretary General of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). Mr Yu’s other posts include the Vice–Chairmanship of the China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC); the Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (APRAG); the International Federation of Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI); and the China Academy of Arbitration Law (CAAL). Mr Yu is a Board Member of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

IDR GROUP Member appointed to PCA and ITLOS Tribunals in Bangladesh v India and Bangladesh v Myanmar maritime boundary disputes.

In October, 2009, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh instituted arbitral proceedings concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and the Republic of India pursuant to Article 287 and Annex VII, Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) acts as Registry in this arbitration.

Judge Thomas A. Mensah, a member of the IDR Group, has been appointed to the Arbitral Tribunal.

Judge Mensah has also been appointed as a Judge ad hoc in the delimitation case between Bangladesh and Myanmar before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg (ITLOS).

February 2011

Section on Mediation, Good Offices and International & Sophisticated Crime  (ADR Section)

The Group is pleased to announce the creation of a section dealing with Mediation / Conciliation, Good Offices and International & Sophisticated Crime.

Although the IDR Group’s interest in international dispute resolution concentrates on international arbitration – both in the commercial and “inter-State” spheres – the Group’s membership includes those who also have expertise in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution:  ADR.

There are members who have expertise in Mediation / Conciliation (in the area of commercial disputes) and “Good Offices” (in the area of inter-State disputes).  In addition to expertise in those areas, two of the Group’s  Consultants – Brian Michael Jenkins and Captain P. Mukundan – are leading experts in the fields of commercial fraud and sophisticated crime. This expertise reaches into areas such as maritime crime – including piracy – and aviation crime. Other members of the Group with expertise in relation to fraud and corruption are accountant Arthur Harverd and lawyer Andrew Berekeley.

Click here to view the Section on Mediation, Good Offices and International & Sophisticated Crime.

May 2010: IDR Group Conference in Beijing

On 28 May 2010 the IDR Group staged a conference in Beijing in conjunction with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and the Beijing Lawyers’ Association. On a case-load basis CIETAC is one of the busiest international commercial arbitral bodies in the world.

About 70 delegates attended the conference at CIETAC’s new HQ in Beijing. The proceedings were transmitted to four other CIETAC venues in cities in China – an estimated audience for the conference of some five hundred delegates.

The conference theme was “International Dispute Resolution outside China: Practice and Procedure under the Rule of Various International Institutions”.

IDR Group members from Canada, China, France, Italy, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom submitted papers to the conference.

The Group speakers dealt with arbitration under the Rules of a number of arbitral institutions including the ICC, LCIA, ICDR (the international section of the American Arbitration Association) and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The conference sessions had a strong emphasis on the resolution of oil and gas disputes.

Keynote speeches were delivered by the Secretary-General of CIETAC and the President of the Beijing Lawyers’ Association.

The programme concluded with a mock arbitration staged by members of the Group.

Click here to see the Confrence Programme

August 2009: New Members and Consultants

The IDR Group is pleased to announce the names of new Members and Consultants

Joining the Group as Members:

Andrew Berkeley: specialist in the oil and gas industry. International arbitrator based in London with experience of both ad hoc and institutional arbitration.

Giovanni de Berti: Italian lawyer with a wide experience of commercial dispute resolution by arbitration and mediation. Based in Milan.

Judge Thomas Mensah: first President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg. President of the Arbitral Tribunal in the “MOX Plant Case” (Ireland v. United Kingdom). Based in London.

John Tackaberry QC: extensive experience internationally as advocate, arbitrator and mediator in construction, engineering and commercial disputes. Based in London.

Joining the Group as members of the Panel of Consultants:

Dr Randall Gossen: based in Canada, Dr Gossen is the President of the World Petroleum Council: a forum for discussing issues facing the oil industry on a worldwide basis. He is also Vice president of Global Business Relations at Nexen, Inc., Calgary, Canada.

Rt Hon Sir Donald McKinnon: International statesman.  Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of New Zealand. Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat from 2000 until 2008. Based in New Zealand and London.

For the CV s go to the Members and Consultants sections of the website

June 2009: Reception for CIETAC Delegation at the Houses of Parliament

A full complement of guests attended a Reception in the Houses of Parliament in London on 29 June 2009. The Reception, held in the Inter-Parliamentary Room in Westminster Hall, was staged by the IDR Group to welcome a CIETAC Delegation from China.

On a case-load basis the China International and Economic Trade Arbitration Commission is one of the busiest international commercial arbitration bodies in the world.

The IDR Group was  pleased to have been invited to arrange the Reception to welcome such an important delegation from one of the world’s fastest – growing economies.

The head of the 17-strong Delegation was Mr Dong Songgen, Vice Chairman of CIETAC and Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Representatives of international organisations attended the Reception: the World Petroleum Council, the Energy Institute, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Great Britain-China Centre, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and IDRS Ltd, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Navigant Consulting, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Lawyers from major international law firms in London attending the Reception included  partners in Cleary Gottlieb, Latham & Watkins, Fulbright & Jaworski and Simmons & Simmons. A number of partners from Westminster law firm Radcliffes LeBrasseur – which supported the Reception – met the Leader of the Delegation.

Two peers with a particular interest in China joined the Reception: Lord Teverson and Lord Crickhowell.

Members of the IDR Group who greeted the Delegation were Lord Anderson, the official host; Prince Bola Ajibola, Andrew Berkeley, Anthony Connerty, Dr Randall Gossen, Arthur Harverd, Professor Munir Maniruzzaman, Sir Donald McKinnon, Professor Derek Roebuck, John Tackaberry QC; and the Group’s Administrator, Dr Christina Lockwood.

One of the IDR Group’s members, Beijing lawyer Mr Xing Xiusong, was a member of the Delegation: another member of the Group is the internationally – respected  Chinese  arbitrator Professor Tang Houzhi. Professor Tang is an Honorary Vice Chairman of CIETAC.

Welcome speeches were delivered by Lord Anderson and by Anthony Connerty, head of the IDR Group. Anthony informed the guests of the Conferences which the Group has staged since its launch in early 2008: in London in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies; in Ankara with the Union of Turkish Bars; and in Cairo with the American University in Cairo. He told of planned conference in Washington DC in late 2009 and in Beijing in 2010. The Beijing conference is likely to be staged in conjunction with CIETAC and the Beijing Lawyers’ Association.

Delegation Leader Mr Dong Songgen spoke of CIETAC and of the Delegation’s visit to London. He said that the Delegation had noted a number of ideas whilst on their visit to London: ideas that they would be taking back with them to China.

James Hope welcomed the Delegation on behalf of Vinge Law Firm, Sweden.
Vinge kindly co-hosted the Reception with the IDR Group.

James Hope and Anthony Connerty then proposed a toast to CIETAC. Three members of the IDR Group are members of the CIETAC Panel of Arbitrators for International (Foreign Related) Disputes: Anthony Connerty, Johan Gernandt and John Tackaberry Q.C.

IDR Group London Conference Booklet
The papers delivered at the joint IDR Group / Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Conference held at the Institute in London in October 2008 have been published in the May 2009 edition of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ journal “Arbitration”.

The conference topic was “National Resources: the Challenges for International Dispute Resolution”.

Those papers have now been published separately by the IDR Group in a booklet edited by Professor Derek Roebuck, a member of the IDR Group’s Panel of Consultants.

The booklets were available for the guests at the CIETAC Reception.

June 2009: Conferences

The IDR Group has put on a number of conferences in different parts of the world since its launch at a Reception in the Houses of Parliament in April 2008.

Each of these conferences has been staged in conjunction with a leading body in the academic, professional or arbitral field.

The conference themes have been on the broad topic of international dispute resolution: the specific theme for each country being chosen on the basis of local advice.

The conferences held so far have been in London, Ankara and Cairo. Future conferences are planned for Washington D.C and Beijing.

Cairo – 31 March 2009: Joint Conference with the American University in Cairo

The one – day conference was held in the magnificent Oriental Hall at the AUC’s down-town  campus in Cairo.

The conference theme was “Investment State Arbitration, Resource Nationalism & Institutional Impartiality: The Challenges for International Dispute Resolution”.

Supporting organisations were the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration; Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London; International Law Institute, Washington D.C.; International Chamber of Commerce, Paris; and TDM and OGEL.

Group members participating in the conference were H.E. Ambassador Dr. Wafik Kamil, Professor Ahmed El Kosheri, Anthony Connerty, Johan Gernandt, David Branson, Philippe Leboulanger and Professor Guido Carducci. They were joined by distinguished Egyptian lawyers and academics on panels that included Jason Fry, Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and a number of international lawyers.

A welcome address on behalf of the AUC was delivered by the University’s Provost,
Dr. Lisa Anderson. Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Director of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, gave a closing address on behalf of the Centre.

Law firms sponsoring the conference were Hafez; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Shalakany Law Office; and Crowell & Moring.

A pre-conference reception was hosted by Hafez at their offices in Garden City. Following the conference Crowell & Moring hosted a reception at Sequoia

Delegates attending came from Egypt, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Tunisia, Switzerland and Canada.

FOR CONFERENCE PROGRAMME CLICK HERE

Ankara – 9 & 10 January 2009: Joint Conference with the Union of Turkish Bars and the Ankara Bar

The theme of this two day conference was “International Dispute Resolution: Practice, Procedure and Problems”.

There was a capacity audience, with some would – be delegates being turned away at the door.

The Turkish Prime Minister and various government ministers sent telegrams of good wishes to the Conference. A number of Turkish Supreme Court Judges were in the audience. The Conference  was filmed by Turkish TV.

Members of the Group speaking were Giovanni de Berti, Anthony Connerty, John Tackaberry QC, Professor Munir Maniruzziman and Professor Guido Carducci. The IDR Group speakers were joined by a number of distinguished Turkish lawyers and academics.

Various receptions were arranged  by the  Turkish hosts.

The Union of Turkish Bars plan to produce a Conference Book (in Turkish and English) containing the conference papers and the interventions.

FOR CONFERENCE PROGRAMME CLICK HERE

London – 31 October 2008: Joint Conference with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

The one – day  conference was held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Russell Square, London WC1. The conference theme was “The control of national resources: the challenges for international dispute resolution”.

Group members participating were Lord Anderson of Swansea (who chaired one of the sessions), Andrew Berkeley, Professor Munir Maniruzzaman, Rt. Hon. Donald McKinnon, Judge Thomas Mensah, David Branson,  Johan Gernandt, Anthony Connerty and Professor Derek Roebuck. Professor Avrom Sher, Director of the IALS, gave a welcome address.

Other sessions were chaired by Sir Henry Brooke and Sir Anthony Evans.

The audience  included lawyers from some of the major international law firms in London: Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Sullivan & Cromwell, Wilmer Hale and Olswang –  as well as delegates from major international corporations  such as Shell International.

Supporting organisations were the British Institute of International and Comparative Law; Oil, Gas & Energy Law (OGEL); and transnational dispute management (TDM).

The conference was followed by a reception sponsored by Sullivan & Cromwell.

Many of the papers presented at the London conference have been published in the May 2009 edition of “Arbitration”, the journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Articles on the conference have been published in the Winter 2008 Edition of “Amicus Curiae”, the journal of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies; and in the in the January 2009 edition of the Energy Institute’s   “Petroleum Review”.

FOR CONFERENCE PROGRAMME CLICK HERE

April 2008: Reception at the Houses of Parliament to launch THE IDR GROUP®

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, was the Guest Speaker at a Reception held in the Houses of Parliament on 30 April 2008 to mark the launch of the IDR Group. The Reception was held in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Room in Westminster Hall: built in the 11th Century, Westminster Hall is the largest surviving part of the original Palace of Westminster.

Amongst the guests at the Reception were Commonwealth High Commissioners, partners in international law firms, and representatives of major organisations such as the Corporation of London, the World Petroleum Council, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the City Disputes Panel, the International Dispute Resolution Centre, and UNCTAD, the Geneva-based United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Introducing the Attorney General, Lord Anderson of Swansea  stressed Baroness Scotland’s links to the Commonwealth. The Attorney then spoke of the importance of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution in international affairs. She welcomed the creation of the Group in a world where international trade was forever increasing.

Lord Anderson later introduced Anthony Connerty, the Head of the Group, who gave a brief description of the IDR Group, its Members and the Group’s Panel of Consultants.