Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop: Evidence-Taking in Arbitration
By Gallant Guo, LL.M. Candidate, Tsinghua University
On 20 October 2018, Young ICCA organized a skills training workshop on Evidence-Taking in Arbitration at Tsinghua University School of Law, Beijing, China. The School of Law’s International Arbitration and Dispute Settlement (‘IADS’) Program hosted the event under the generous sponsorship provided by Tiantong & Partners and DaHui Lawyers. The event was organized by a Steering Committee composed of Mr. David GU from Tiantong & Partners, Ms. HE Jingjing from the Chinese Academy of Social Science and Ms. XU Siyi from Hui Zhong Law Firm under the kind guidance of Camilla Gambarini, the Young ICCA Co-Chair from Withers LLP and Charis Tan, the Young ICCA Event Coordinator from DWF LLP. Gallant Guo, an LL.M. candidate at Tsinghua University reports.
The event kicked off with a warm welcome address by Prof. SHEN Weixing, the Dean of Tsinghua University School of Law. Prof. Shen briefly looked back at the law school’s glorious history and esteemed alumni, offered his view of the bright prospect of international arbitration and good wishes for this very event. Mr. David GU from Tiantong & Partners then spoke on behalf of Young ICCA. He prefaced his attractive introduction of Young ICCA and ICCA with a concise retrospect of his own career path into the arbitration world, making the introduction even more cordial.
Following Mr. Gu’s speech, Prof. ZHANG Yuejiao, the Director of the IADS Program, hospitably introduced Prof. Gary Born, the chair of international arbitration practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and an extraordinary visiting professor at the IADS Program. Prof. Born then gave an informative and educational keynote speech on the past, present and future of arbitration with a focus on the taking of evidence. As a globally-recognized authority on international arbitration, Prof. Born reviewed the global practice and theories of evidence-taking in arbitration, and shared both his academic view and substantive experience. The panel of the first session consisted of Prof. Zhang, Prof. Born, Prof. Jane Willems, the Associate Director of the IADS Program and Mr. LIU Jing from Hui Zhong Law Firm, and it was moderated by Ms. HE Jingjing from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The panelists had a heated discussion following Prof. Born’s speech, exchanging their thoughts and insights and accommodated questions from the audience.
After the lunch break, the workshop reconvened with a mock session on document production consisting of three different scenarios. In the first two scenarios, Mr. Arthur MA from DaHui Lawyers and Mr. Gallant GUO from Tsinghua University School of Law acted as the Respondent’s external counsel whilst Mr. Darren Mayberry from AnJie Law Firm and Mr. LU Leilei from Fangda Partners acted as the Respondent’s in-house counsel. They animatedly demonstrated a realistic client-lawyer consultation on document production, provoking perceptive comments from the panel composed of Prof. Born, Ms. He and Mr. Gu.
More fun came with the third scenario, where the two teams acted respectively as counsel for the Respondent and the Claimant, meanwhile the panel took on the role of the arbitral tribunal. Both teams passionately debated over three particular document production requests before the mock tribunal, sparking spirited thoughts and observations from both the panel and the audience.
A refreshing tea break helped people unwind after the intense mock session. Some 80 panelists and participants networked with one another and chatted about the interesting mock case as well as evidence-taking and arbitration in general. Prestigious professors, renowned practitioners, enthusiastic students, all mingled with each other in the lobby of Tsinghua University School of Law.
The third and last session was moderated by Ms. XU Siyi from Hui Zhong Law Firm, the panel consisted of Ms. LIN Yanhua from Fangda Partners, Mr. Chau Ee LEE from King & Wood Mallesons, Mr. XIE Tao from TianCe Law Firm and Mr. Gu. The panel discussed the rules of evidence taking in international arbitration from a comparative law perspective. The panelists’ profound knowledge and broad practice resulted in a lot of quality input – having had different educational backgrounds and career paths, each of them was able to provide a different perspective.
The event ended with concluding remarks by Ms. Xu. The participants continued to talk to the panelists after the event had ended, lingering for a long time. The event was a sounding success, with a mixture of panels and mock sessions which brought theory to life.
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