By any measure, 2017 has been an extraordinary year of achievement for CIArb with significant milestones in Membership growth.
International Conference - Johannesburg
15,200 Members at the year end
68% of the Membership is outside England & Wales
2,032 Members within the East Asia Branch – the first branch to exceed 2,000 members
1,766 Student Members
8 Corporate Members
Two new branches have joined our international network. Canada with 230 members went live on Canada Day which was also the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada becoming an independent entity. On 13th December, Qatar, with 211 members, became our 39th Branch, inaugurated in the presence of our President and the Qatar Minister for Petroleum.
Three flagship conferences were held to examine the synergy and diversity of Civil Law and Common Law in International Arbitration. The first in Dubai reviewed the issues from the MENA and Asia/Pacific perspective. Held in Dubai the conference set the scene for the year. The second conference took place in Jo’burg where speakers and delegates from both French and Anglophile jurisdictions across the African continent came together to debate the issues. The culmination of the year, drawing together the strands from the previous two conferences, took place in Paris with a focus on the Americas and Europe. In excess of 550 speakers and delegates attended the conferences. Presentations by numerous ministers as well as past and present members of the judiciary from all over the world were delivered, and panels of in-house counsel, arbitral institutions, and academics debated the topics with the delegates.
As if this was not enough, each conference had a linked Young Members Group event and the Paris conference was utilised as a platform for a Women in Arbitration breakfast. Branches were not far behind with both the North American and Nigerian Branches holding events in Houston and Lagos.
International Oil and Gas Conference - Houston
With the President Dr Nayla Comair-Obeid so well connected, we were able to sign MOUs for the development of ADR and training with Nigeria, Hong Kong, Qatar and Hai Nan.
Training was delivered throughout our regions. The top training branches remain Nigeria and Canada with the APAC Region fully engaged and delivering the Diploma course. At HQ over 700 delegates attended courses. The highlight of the year however has been the roll out of the New Pathways programme which has now gone live in geographic Europe. The introductory courses are now assessed online by way of multiple choice, allowing students to instantly discover their results.
Business as Usual events continued with Roebuck and Alexander lectures, Mediation Symposium and DAS Convention, all being well attended.
The 12BS lettings business has flourished attracting a number global entities resulting in an occupancy rate well over 70%.
CIArb is a unified global, entity and it is vital to listen and learn from all our component pieces. Annual Regional Chairs’ meetings are held and 2017 saw the inauguration of a Branch Chairs Symposium. These present an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and cross fertilise ideas and best practice.
The projection of CIArb influence should not be underestimated. That Ministers and judiciary across the world take time to attend meetings and conferences with the CIArb community is now firmly established. CIArb are asked to contribute to ADR development and thinking, contributing by hosting and attending roundtables, presenting papers and manifestos to government and academic bodies.
CIArb Paris Conference
In conclusion, we must thank Dr Nayla. As our President, she has worked tirelessly to promote CIArb and provided the resources of her law firm, Obeid, to help. The breadth of her connections are astonishing and her ability to co-opt and corral assistance from individuals and organisations is eye-opening. The speakers at our conferences have all answered her call and the success of 2017 in projecting the influence of CIArb is, in large measure, the result of her influence.
2017 has been a wonderful year for CIArb and we are well set to continue with growth. Thank you to the members and staff that have worked hard to make the year a success.