By Jeremy Bloomenthal, City-Yuwa Partners
On 18 October 2014, Young ICCA held a workshop in Tokyo, Japan together with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution’s young arbitration practitioner group, ICDR Young & International. Approximately forty young professionals and students came together at the offices of Nishimura & Asahi. The event coincided with the beginning of the International Bar Association’s Annual Conference. The program saw a prominent faculty address three main topics as follows:
Introduction by Moderator
Wendy Miles - Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner
Topic 1 - Getting into International Arbitration
Elaine Wong - Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills
David MacArthur - Partner, Bae, Kim & Lee
Topic 2 - Getting a Grip on International Arbitration
Yutaro Kawabata - Senior Associate, Nishimura & Asahi
Nicholas Lingard - Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Topic 3 - Getting Ahead in International Arbitration
Yoshimi Ohara - Partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
Helena Chen - Partner, Pinsent Masons
Participants and faculty were seated in a circle as if for a fireside chat. After a warm welcome and opening remarks by the organizers of the event, Wendy Miles kicked off the workshop, recounting how her earlier studies in public international law and her worldly adventures led to being hired by Gary Born and becoming instantly immersed in the field of international arbitration.
The discussion corresponded roughly to the sequence of the three topics above, which were illustrated by numerous concrete examples, personal anecdotes, and down-to-earth advice from faculty and participants alike. Many useful lessons could be distilled from the dialogue.
On “getting into” and “getting a grip on” arbitration:
On “getting ahead” in arbitration:
Wendy Miles delivered further remarks to conclude the workshop, and participants expressed their gratitude to the faculty for conveying such interesting, personal stories.
The workshop was followed by a networking event at a Japanese restaurant where approximately thirty people continued the conversation over drinks and a selection of Japanese foods. Later into the evening, a smaller group continued bonding over songs at a Japanese-style karaoke in one of Tokyo’s most “happening” districts, Roppongi. The evening ended with a traditional Ippon-jime (a Japanese custom celebrating the success of an event by participants clapping their hands), and participants expressing their hope to meet again in the near future.
Generous support for the workshop was provided by, in alphabetical order, Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, Nishimura & Asahi, and White & Case as Platinum Sponsors, and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and Hughes Hubbard & Reed as Silver Sponsors.