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ICCA and ASIL Launch Task Force on Damages in International Arbitration

The vast majority of claimants in international arbitration, including investor-state arbitration, seek damages as the primary or exclusive form of relief. The amounts at stake can have a huge impact on respondent states, private enterprises, and individuals facing that kind of liability. While there are few topics that are more important, intense controversy reigns as to many issues regularly addressed. Given that landscape, ICCA and ASIL have launched a new ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages.

The ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages brings together a panel of leading legal and economics experts from jurisdictions across the globe to think creatively about how to promote consistency and rigor in the field’s approach to damages. “Publications on quantifying damages in international arbitration continue to proliferate, and many are of high quality,” says ICCA President Donald Donovan. “But we are looking to do something different. By bringing together a panel of leading legal and financial experts from jurisdictions around the world to think creatively about the task, we are looking not only to achieve consensus on the fundamentals, but also to identify and disentangle the legal principles from the financial ones.”

Using an interdisciplinary model, the Task Force will analyze the legal and policy issues underpinning damages computations, as well as the various financial methodologies used in traditional damages analyses. The Task Force’s overarching goal is the development of a damages tool of practical application for arbitrators and practitioners alike. Says Debevoise partner Catherine Amirfar, who is serving as Task Force Co-chair, “Combine a blue-ribbon panel of legal and economics experts and a critical need for consistency and rigor in damages, and you have a formula for real change in the area of damages in international arbitration.”

"We are looking not only to achieve consensus on the fundamentals, but also to identify and disentangle the legal principles from the financial ones.”

The ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages is co-chaired by Ms. Amirfar (US) and Homburger partner Gabrielle Nater-Bass (Switzerland). The Task Force is further made up of an impressive group of legal and economic experts from 12 jurisdictions: Olufunke Adekoya (Nigeria), Sarah Grimmer (Hong Kong), Hilary Heilbron (England), Mark Kantor (US), M. Alexis Maniatis (US), Irmgard Marboe (Austria), Chudozie Okongwu (US), Kathleen Paisley (Belgium), Patrick Pearsall (US), Adriana San Román Rivera (Mexico), Guido Santiago Tawil (Argentina), Thierry J. Senechal (France), Jennifer Hall Vanderhart (US), Swee Yen Koh (Singapore) and Karim A. Youssef (Egypt).

We call upon ICCA members to submit suggestions on questions that the Task Force should address, and to draw the Task Force’s attention to articles and papers that members have written on matters falling within the Task Force’s remit. As the Task Force continues its work, ICCA members will be invited to review the Task Force’s draft work product and provide comments. To submit any queries or comments to the Task Force, please contact the ICCA Bureau at bureau@arbitration-icca.org.

The ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages, in conjunction with ICSID, will host a Seminar on Damages on 11 April 2017 in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open, with discounted rates available for ASIL and ICCA Members. Click here for more information.