London to get new disputes hearing centre


By Dr David Cowan

07 May 2019 at 08:15 BST


As London International Disputes Week (LIDW19) kicks off, Delos arrives in London with a new hearing centre and the relocation of its president, while the Scotland highlights benefits and next year's ICCA in Edinburgh.

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Delos Dispute Resolution has announced its president and co-founder, Hafez Virjee, is relocating to London and working full time at the institution. The announcement is in conjunction with an announcement that Delos is to set up a new hearing centre in London.

Smaller disputes access

As the international disputes community gathers in London for LIDW19, London is to get a new centre in the first half of 2020 called LONDAP, the London-Delos ADR Place. In addition to hearing facilities, LONDAP will also include a conference centre for use by the international arbitration community and offices for Delos. The hearing centre will include an access programme for smaller disputes and more modest users. The firm says access to justice also requires access to well-equipped and affordable facilities. As reported last week on Global Legal Post, a Parliamentary inquiry heard concerns about the facilities offered by LCIA, and a plea by independent arbitrator Lucy Greenwood for smaller disputes to get more attention. Delos cited the GAR-CIArb Seat Index for London (2018) that “London would benefit from even more capacity” for hearing facilities and is falling short “in the face of competition from newer centres that offer … state-of-the-art hearing facilities.” Speaking to Global Legal Post, Mr Virjee said “LIDW and LONDAP have one key point in common: the international arbitration community's confidence in London's continuing strength as a major IA hub. The global IA community is investing heavily in LONDAP, which in turn will provide London with the sort of state-of-the-art facility that sets new standards for what can be expected of a leading arbitration centre.”

Global community

Mr Virjee was an international arbitration senior associate at Dechert (Paris), but has relocated from Paris to London to spearhead the Delos operation in London with Iain McKenny, another Delos founder who is also director and co-founder of third-party funder Profile Investment. Having been based out of Paris for the past five years, this London initiative aims to expand the firm’s international footprint. Delos will retain its registered address in Paris. LONDAP, according to Delos, differs in seeking to bring together the global community rather than just that in London, and in making the opportunity available to younger practitioners as well. This is part of its broader philosophy of serving the community across all arbitration hubs, both large and the lesser-known ones, and to bring together the different generations of the community.

'Scots Wha Hae' arbitration

On the eve of LIDW19, the Scottish Arbitration Centre held a reception hosted by Laura Devine Solicitors, the London and New York firm. Chairman of the board Brandon Malone, joined by chief executive Andrew Mackenzie - both resplendent in the centre’s own tartan - outlined the benefits of Scotland as an arbitration seat and offered a look ahead to the XXVth International Council for Commercial Arbitration Congress (ICCA), which will be held in Edinburgh 10 to 13 May, 2020. Special guest was James Wolffe QC, the lord advocate and the chief legal officer of the Scottish Government. For London guests, ‘Scots Wha Hae’ is translated as ‘Scots who have’ and is the name of a Robert Burns poem.

 
   
 
 
 

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