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Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop
"Careers in Arbitration – An International Perspective"

Venue: Heritage Hotel, 91 Fernhill Rd, Fernhill, Queenstown, New Zealand

Date: 19 April 2018

Kindly sponsored by: Bankside Chambers

Topic: Careers in Arbitration: An International Perspective


By Nicola Swan (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP) and Kate Wevers (Bell Gully)

On 19 April 2018, Young ICCA held its inaugural event in New Zealand during the ICCA-AMINZ International Arbitration Conference in Queenstown.  The workshop was kindly sponsored by Bankside Chambers (New Zealand) and organized by Nicola Swan (International Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, London) and Kate Wevers (Senior Associate, Bell Gully, Wellington, New Zealand), with oversight from Young ICCA Co-Chair Nhu-Hoang Tran Thang and Events coordinator Charis Tan.  The Skills Training Workshop focused on the development of a career in international arbitration and was attended by around 40 New Zealand and young international arbitration lawyers.

Participants received a warm welcome against a stunning backdrop of Queenstown’s ‘The Remarkables’ mountain range.  Attendees were delighted to hear from Sir David A R Williams QC (Bankside Chambers, Auckland; Maxwell Chambers, Singapore; and Essex Court Chambers, London) on his reflections on his career journey and advice as to how to develop a career in international arbitration.  Dr. Anna Kirk (Bankside Chambers, Auckland) gave  particular insight on her experience as Arbitral Secretary, and the benefits that this can bring to developing practical experience in arbitration.  Dr. Jackie van Haersolte-van Hof, Director General of the London Court of International Arbitration also gave attendees a rare insight into her role as counsel, arbitrator, and now Director General of one of the world’s leading arbitration institutions.  The panel engaged in a discussion on recent revisions to the LCIA Rules regarding Arbitral Secretaries and future protections Arbitral Secretaries could need to continue playing their important role for a tribunal.  Next, James Herbert (Senior Associate, Sherman & Sterling, Paris) gave a perspective of his career first as a barrister in New Zealand and then in Paris, with an emphasis on opportunities outside of Auckland and London.  Finally, Katie Chung (Of Counsel, Norton Rose, Singapore) completed the global perspective by speaking on her career in Singapore and opportunities for younger international arbitration lawyers in Asia.

Panelists and the audience shared ideas on the role of mentors and sponsors, the role of professional networking groups such as AMINZ and ICCA, and how to get involved in arbitration outside the main (international) centres (e.g. conferences, articles, speaking etc).  Much positive feedback from the event has sparked the launch of a Young AMINZ group in New Zealand – the first of its kind.

Young ICCA wishes to thank Bankside Chambers for its generous sponsorship, AMINZ for its fantastic support for the event, and New Zealand Law Foundation which provided scholarships for young practitioners to travel to the event. 

The Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand invites all students and young professionals to apply for a New Zealand Law Foundation Scholarship to attend the AMINZ – ICCA International Arbitration Day, being held in Queenstown on 19 and 20 April 2018. This is an exceptional opportunity for those interested in international commercial arbitration to meet and hear eminent local and international practitioners. For more information, click here.