Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop: How to draft arbitration clauses and how to start a career in international arbitration

27 May 201910:00 - 17:00(CEST)

Port Event Report

By Islam Samat uulu & Eliza Bakytbekova, American University of Central Asia

On May 27, 2019 the very first Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop on how to draft arbitration clauses and how to start a career in international arbitration was held at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The event was organized by a Steering Committee composed of Dinara Asanbaeva (American University of Central Asia, Bishkek), Shirin Gurdova (Derains & Gharavi, Paris) and Kanykei Kasybekova (American University of Central Asia, Bishkek), kindly guided by Young ICCA Co-chair, Panagiotis Chalkias (White & Case, Geneva), and Young ICCA Events Coordinator, Saemee Kim (Lee & Ko, Seoul). The workshop was hosted by the American University of Central Asia and was kindly sponsored by White & Case and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Natalia Alenkina (American University of Central Asia, Bishkek) welcomed more than sixty young practitioners, law students and governmental officials coming from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan in sunny Bishkek. On behalf of the Steering Committee, Shirin Gurdova gave a short overview about Young ICCA and ICCA and encouraged the participants to become Young ICCA members.  

The event started with the keynote speech of the guest of honor speaker, Galina Zukova (Belot Malan & Associés, Paris and Associate Professor, University of Versailles and Riga Graduate School of Law). Her keynote speech was dedicated to the young practitioners and students in the region who want to know more about and work in international arbitration. After discussing the pros and cons of working in international arbitration, she stressed that the most captivating feature of arbitration is the ability to work with different jurisdictions and cooperate with practitioners around the world. Galina Zukova explained that in order to get into international arbitration it is necessary to have international exposure, experience, proficient language skills, patience to work long hours, as well as visibility. Fortunately, with modern technology and platforms, such as the Kluwer Arbitration Blog and LinkedIn, it is becoming easy to gain visibility. She also revealed that sometimes arbitration lawyers have limited personal time, with the caveat that family support is incredibly essential in their lives. Therefore, lawyers working in the field of arbitration should learn how to adjust their day-to-day schedules.


Bishkek Young ICCA Workshop


First panel session and Third panel session

The first session on practical tips and considerations on drafting arbitration clauses was moderated by Sergey Alekhin (Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Paris) and comprised of Natalia Alenkina, Joe Liu (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Hong Kong), and Ilia Putilin (Putilin Sippel, Hong Kong).  

Natalia Alenkina spoke about the current status of arbitration in the Kyrgyz Republic. She noted that under Kyrgyz law, the most important requirements for a valid arbitration clause are its written form, the intention of the parties to submit the dispute to arbitration and the correct identification of the arbitration institution.

Joe Liu followed with his presentation on the importance of the seat of arbitration, the law applicable to the arbitration agreement, the language of the arbitration and the number of arbitrators. He also explained how the HKIAC model arbitration clause works and how disputes are resolved when both parties are from China. He suggested avoiding any ambiguous wording while drafting an arbitration clause and emphasized the importance of choosing a reliable seat of arbitration before agreeing on the final version of arbitration clause.

The third speaker, Ilia Putilin, addressed common misconceptions about institutional and ad hoc arbitration. He explained that it is not always good to opt for an ad hoc arbitration and the choice shall depend on a specific situation, such as the nature of the dispute, the seat, and the arbitrators’ experience.

Following a lunch break, the event continued with the second panel session, which discussed the enforceability of arbitration clauses from a comparative law perspective. The session was moderated by Allison Torline (Busse Disputes, Frankfurt) and included Nurbek Sabirov (Kalikova & Associates, Bishkek), Ulan Satarov (Satarov, Askarov & Partners, Bishkek) and Oleg Todua (White & Case, Moscow).

Ulan Satarov explained that the lack of a party’s consent or a violation of a public policy rule during the arbitration proceedings can cause the annulment of the arbitral award. He gave the example of three annulment cases in Russia, France and Latvia, where he represented the Kyrgyz Republic.  He clarified that the annulment grounds related to fundamental issues for the State, like the lack of consent to arbitration, and further commented on the outcome of these three annulment proceedings.

Nurbek Sabirov further explained how the enforcement of arbitral awards takes place at the domestic courts of the Kyrgyz Republic focusing on arbitrability and exclusive jurisdiction issues. Oleg Todua discussed the requirements for a valid arbitration clause in the United Kingdom and Russia. He elaborated on other potential elements of an arbitration clause, such as confidentiality, consolidation and joinder of third parties in arbitration proceedings, followed by the negative consequences of defective arbitration clauses by providing real case examples.


Bishkek Young ICCA Workshop


First panel session and Second panel session

The last panel session of the workshop was dedicated to the topic of career toolkit for young arbitration practitioners and was moderated by Aidar Oruzbaev (Grata International, Bishkek). The speakers of the panel were Shamaral Maichiev (International Court of Arbitration at Chamber of Commerce of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek) and Julia Jiyeon Yu (Oon & Bazul, Singapore), who shared valuable tips based on their lifelong experience in international arbitration.

Shamaral Maichiyev spoke about the qualities and skills young lawyers should possess to be successful in arbitration. He emphasized that lawyers should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Shamaral Maichiyev also focused on the importance of bringing positive changes in the Kyrgyz Republic to increase its investment attractiveness. Julia Jiyeon Yu shared her experience on how a practitioner from South Korea is able to work in Singapore and teach at the same time international investment arbitration in Japan. She stressed that lawyers who want to act globally should know their region first and then try to expand their activities worldwide.  

At the end of the workshop, the second guest of honor, Ayaz Bayetov (Center of the Legal Representation of the Kyrgyz Republic and International University of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek), spoke about the work and achievements of the Center of the Legal Representation of the Kyrgyz Republic and pointed out that an efficient conduct of international arbitration cases is not only in the interest of private parties, but also of the public. Ayaz Bayetov closed his speech by thanking Young ICCA for coming to Bishkek and encouraging young practitioners and students to work hard in order to contribute to a positive development in the legal field in the Kyrgyz Republic.  

Overall, the workshop was well organized and motivational, and the participants expressed their hope that it will be followed by many other similar events. The workshop ended with a cocktail reception held at the campus of the American University of Central Asia, where the faculty members and participants had the opportunity to interact with each other.


Bishkek Young ICCA Workshop


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