YMG Core Values: A central resource for young practitioners

Ciarb’s Young Members Group (YMG) Global Steering Committee’s Chair and Vice-Chair, Baptiste Rigaudeau MCIArb and Cam Tu Vo Nguyen MCIArb, discuss their vision for the YMG and its global expansion.

Ciarb YMG’s work supports practitioners below the age of 40* interested in pursuing a career in alternative dispute resolution. The Ciarb YMG Global Steering Committee - all volunteers – organizes a global roster of networking and training opportunities for the benefit of its members.

As private dispute resolution continues to develop as the primary method to resolve international (commercial) disputes, so does the need for a central space for young practitioners looking to enter or advance their careers.

Upon taking over the YMG leadership, we pledged to pursue two objectives during our term.

  • Firstly, to continue to develop and strengthen the network we inherited, capitalising on Ciarb’s global network of Branches and Chapters.
  • Secondly, to open access to Ciarb training, professional development courses, and resources to as many young practitioners as possible, especially in underrepresented jurisdictions. To achieve both these objectives, we need to keep expanding the global reach of the YMG.

Global Reach: Expanding the YMG community

Ciarb YMG must reflect the diversity of the international alternative dispute resolution community. The current Global Steering Committee — who come from all corners of the world with a breadth of professional experience — has been carefully selected so that the YMG benefits from each member’s individual and diverse experience, background, and vision. We aim to transpose such diversity to a larger scale within Ciarb YMG and beyond. With this in mind, we have undertaken a variety of initiatives in the first half of the year, including events hosted, co-organized, supported, or with a YMG representative invited to speak in Washington DC, Hong Kong, Paris, Nairobi, Conakry in Guinea, Buea in Cameroon, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. We have also ensured that these past events (as well as all future ones) strictly abide by Ciarb’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equality principles.

Ciarb YMG’s Global Steering Committee members hail from all over the world. We understand how challenging it can be for young practitioners to develop a sense of belonging and a support system among their peers without the presence of a local YMG representative to bring them together. While organising international events is a good start and the traditional way of gathering the community, we believe it is crucial to have regional representatives to promote engagement among the local community. In this regard, diverse initiatives taken by international organisations on a local level should be tailored and relevant to the specific experience and struggles of the local practitioners.

Traditionally, regional anchors consisted of YMG arms to existing Ciarb Branches and Chapters. These have been excellent vehicles to engage members, and our goal is to expand further through the Ciarb Branch network.

However, some jurisdictions still need to benefit from a Ciarb presence, although the need for Ciarb training and professional development courses exists. Only with an existing Ciarb Branch or Chapter is a Ciarb YMG presence possible. Therefore, a former Ciarb YMG leadership created the role of “YMG Ambassadors”. There are now 12 YMG Ambassadors who are all based in jurisdictions other than those of the 16 members of the Global Steering Committee. During our term, we intend to utilize this YMG Ambassador network fully.

With the 12 YMG Ambassadors, the Global Steering Committee’s work now covers 25 jurisdictions, thereby testifying to the YMG’s intention of being a central meeting hub for young private dispute resolution practitioners.

New YMG presence in Pakistan and Vietnam

Ciarb YMG Pakistan launched in April 2023, just under a year after the launch of Ciarb Pakistan Branch. Ciarb YMG Pakistan aims to foster a dynamic and inclusive environment for young practitioners seeking professional development and career advancement in alternative dispute resolution internationally and locally. Through engaging seminars, training, workshops, and career development chats, Ciarb YMG Pakistan aims to provide an invaluable learning experience and a forum for exchanging ideas.

Maryam Ali Abbasi MCIArb, Ciarb YMG Pakistan’s inaugural Chair, voiced the resolve to, “promote interest and understanding and bridge the gap between private practice, corporations, government, the courts, and the international business community. Our vision is to build a community of ambitious and dedicated young practitioners who can contribute to the advancement of dispute resolution.” In essence, Maryam sees the launch of Ciarb YMG Pakistan as an opportunity to “promote young practitioners who are supported globally and empowered locally.”

Ciarb YMG Vietnam launched in coordination with Ciarb East Asia Branch in May 2023 as part of Vietnam ADR Week 2023. The launch marked a momentous milestone; Ciarb YMG Vietnam Chapter is the first international alternative dispute resolution group for young members in the jurisdiction.

Ciarb YMG Vietnam will actively contribute to the development of private dispute resolution in Vietnam by offering a variety of exclusive events, including seminars, training courses, competitions, and workshops, delivered by leading dispute resolution practitioners. In addition, the Ciarb YMG Vietnam committee comprises young practitioners, all volunteers, who plan and deliver these events to promote alternative dispute resolution to young practitioners in the jurisdiction.

Hieu Nguyen ACIArb, Co-Chair of Ciarb YMG Vietnam, said, “I am excited to take on this new challenge, working with my committee colleagues to continue to promote the growth and success of dispute resolution in Vietnam. I look forward to leading with integrity, innovation, and collaboration. I am committed to ensuring that we remain a thriving and impactful force in promoting the activities of Ciarb in Vietnam.”

Duong Hoang ACIArb, Co-Chair of YMG Vietnam, said, “I echo Hieu’s words and look forward to working with the committee members in my new role to strengthen YMG’s commitment to dispute resolution development and young practitioners’ inclusiveness. Furthermore, through YMG Vietnam, I hope to gather and implement insights and ideas for future initiatives from Vietnamese practitioners and build a platform that facilitates better access to the international arbitration community.”

YMG Global Steering Committee’s flagship event focused on the African dispute resolution community

This year’s YMG Flagship Annual Conference took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme was “Lessons for the Next Generation (and How to Create the World We Want to Live In)”.

The conference in May drew practitioners from across Africa and worldwide. Hybrid sessions covered matters relating to sanctions, climate change, the rule of law, and emerging technology. Attendees engaged in robust discussions and networked at several receptions throughout the day.

Ciarb YMG ‘s Conference is a testament to our mission for global expansion, bringing programming aimed at our membership in historically underrepresented areas.

YMG Global Steering Committee’s new initiatives

We are preparing the launch of two virtual initiatives: the YMG Mentorships Programme and the YMG Regional Series: Spotlight On.

Both series will be delivered virtually through a series of pre-recorded videos. In the Mentorship series, each video will be presented by an established arbitration practitioner who will discuss a career development topic relevant to Ciarb YMG members. With the Regional series, arbitration-related developments (recent or otherwise) will be addressed in jurisdictions all around the world by an established arbitration practitioner. This latter series allows us to shed light on arbitration law and practice in underrepresented or emerging jurisdictions worldwide.

*Ciarb professional members aged under 40 years automatically become part of the Young Members Group.

About the authors:

Baptiste Rigaudeau MCIArb, Chair of Ciarb YMG, is a dual-trained French dispute resolution lawyer based in Geneva, Switzerland. He has vast experience representing clients in institutional and ad hoc arbitrations under various arbitral rules. He has also acted in court matters related to arbitrations and enforcement actions. Baptiste holds a Master’s degree in Arbitration and International Business Law from the University of Versailles and an LLM from Cardiff Law School. He co-leads the Dispute Resolution group of the African Society of International Law and is a former member of the ICC Commission on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Cam Tu Vo Nguyen MCIArb, Vice-Chair of Ciarb YMG, is a dual-qualified lawyer admitted in Paris and New York, with a pending admission to the roll of solicitors of England and Wales. She works at The Arbitration Chambers in Singapore, where she acts as tribunal secretary, appointed in a wide range of arbitration cases. Before this, Cam Tu practiced international arbitration as counsel with the Singapore office of a leading Vietnamese law firm. In addition, she has worked with the ICC International Court of Arbitration and with leading international arbitration law firms in Paris and Ho Chi Minh City.