10 May 2021
CIArb’s European Branch has been active since the 1990s and comprises various jurisdictions, each one with strong legal traditions and home to renowned scholars. It is also a Branch that includes the most popular seats of arbitration. One can therefore understand the quality of its membership base and the interest that the Branch can generate. Important cases for international arbitration such as Yukos shareholders v. Russia, Slovak Republic v. Achmea BV and Halliburton v. Chubb, to name a few, have originated and were concluded in this region.
Over the past two decades, the European Branch has been constantly growing, up to the current number of members exceeding 830. The Branch is active all year round with an Annual Conference in Spring, the pathways courses which range from Introduction to International Arbitration, Module 1 to Module 3, as well as Accelerated Assessments, and other events mainly organised by the national chapters to discuss various ADR topics.
Most of the members of the European Branch are from the legal sector but there are representatives of other sectors as well.
The countries that compose the European Branch are Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Vatican City.
What do you want to see in your Branch this year?
Needless to say… we would like to see people! Back in March 2020 our Branch had to take the hurtful decision to cancel the Annual Conference that was due in Venice – Italy, an event that was promising a great number of participants, members of the CIArb as well as non-members. We hope to resume soon our activities “in person”, including holding our physical Annual Conference physically. The 2021 edition of the Annual Conference was held virtually and is available on CIArb's YouTube page.
2021 marked the end of Jalal El Ahdab MCIArb’s three-year term as Chair and, following the Committee Meeting on 16 April, I took over the role. Jil, who will stay involved in the EB as a Vice-Chair, has played a crucial role with actions that will drive the future of the Branch. Among various initiatives, Jil has been instrumental to revitalising the “Chapters” and under his chairmanship three new Chapters have been formed: the Italian, the Russian and the Spanish Chapters which join the existing French, Dutch, Baltic States and German Chapters. This year I am sure there will be an enhanced cooperation among the Chapters, being our aim to see a growing outreach and increased diversity.
How will you implement and deliver success?
We would like to develop relationships with other arbitration institutions and organisations based in Europe. We believe that this will further enhance the expansion of our network, and CIArb’s visibility. Our aim is that CIArb’s major role in terms of education, training, promotion of ADR methods, development of best practices be recognised all around Europe.
Most importantly, the European Branch has steadily contributed to the implementation of CIArb’s mission, notably by always being very active in training activities. Our current Training Officers, Karen Akıncı FCIArb, George Lambrou FCIArb and Burcu Osmanoglu FCIArb have proven that they can regularly come up with attractive courses. We are proud to announce the following forthcoming Europe Branch courses and assessments:
To find out more about our upcoming courses, please do not hesitate to contact our Branch Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the Europe Branch page.
The national Chapters are working to produce a first comparative survey on the extent to which corporate disputes may be settled by domestic and international arbitration in the various countries.
How will you use or expand social networking?
In order to expand the social network, we would like to mention two past initiatives. One is the traditional annual Embassy reception organised in the occasion of the Willem C. Vis Moot in cooperation with the law firm CMS, which had good success, considering that the reception took place virtually this year. The other initiative is taken by the Chairman of the Spanish Chapter Antonio Amusategui Batalla MCIArb who obtained the listing of the Spanish Chapter and CIArb itself on the Spanish National Registry of Interest Groups.
For the future, we are planning to enhance the relationships with other arbitration institutions and to organise events jointly. The very next event is organised by the Polish members, under the patronage of the European Branch. It will be held in virtual format on 31 May 2021 with the topic “The impact of COVID-19 pandemics on arbitration in Poland. Assessment of the current state and forecast for the future”. A similar event will be organised later by the Czech members. One of the purposes of these events is the promotion of CIArb and its European Branch among professionals in the countries where the CIArb is less known.
What will you do to engage younger members/students?
We will try to reach out to the universities, also through our local Chapters, to promote the fact that students may become members at no cost and, if possible, to organise short informative meetings to introduce CIArb and/or proper training courses.
We also have an active Young Members' Group lead by our YMG Representative Ana Gerdau de Borja Mercereau FCIArb, hosting events and seminars designed to be relevant to those at a more junior stage in their careers.
How will you communicate more effectively with your members?
One of the ways to improve communication is to invite the members to send their comments and put forward their ideas more frequently. So far, communicating with members via email has proven to be an efficient method. But we intend to improve the communication also via Linkedin.
We are also evaluating to use virtual data rooms that might contain governance documents accessible at any time by the Committee Members and other general data regarding the Branch for the perusal of the whole membership.
Do you have a social media presence as a Branch? (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
At the moment, we do not have social media pages and we are evaluating the launch of a Linkedin page. We have three PR Officers - Thomas Lennarz MCIArb; Tomasz Cyrol MCIArb and Athina Fouchard Papaefstratiou MCIArb - who will lead the process.
Meanwhile, our trainings and events are being promoted through CIArb’s official accounts as well as through our Members.
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