ICCA-IBA Joint Data Protection Task Force holds inaugural consultation meeting at IBA Arbitration Day in Montreal

Report written by Brianna Gorence, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


In conjunction with the IBA Arbitration Day in Montreal, the ICCA-IBA Joint Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration Proceedings held its inaugural consultation meeting. The meeting was chaired by Task Force Co-chairs Melanie van Leeuwen and Kathleen Paisley, and Task Force Members Hugh Carlson and Hilary Heilbron also spoke.


Ms. van Leeuwen opened the meeting by outlining the Task Force’s work and providing a sneak preview of the preliminary drafts of its Draft Roadmap to Data Protection in International Arbitration, Explanatory Notes and Annexes, as follows:


  • The Roadmap seeks to provide a high-level overview of the relevant aspects of data protection in the context of arbitration;
  • The Explanatory Notes give further detail on, and explanation of, the relevant notions by reference to source material and examples; and
  • The Annexes provide concrete guidance (in the form of inter alia check lists and sample notices) intended to assist individuals involved in arbitration to determine the applicable data protection regime and to assess how the obligations arising thereunder can be complied with.


Ms. van Leeuwen noted that Task Force has already received very positive institutional feedback on the preliminary drafts from the consulting institutions (AAA/ICDR, ICC, LCIA, SCC, SCAI, ICSID, WIPO and the PCA), many of whom were represented in the audience. 


Kathleen Paisley summarized the main issues raised by the data protection regulations for arbitration, Hugh Carlson gave pointers for counsel and Hilary Heilbron for arbitrators. There was a lively discussion including the audience. All the speakers stressed that, especially given the potential risks involved, the Task Force’s goal is to provide a tool for arbitration professionals to more readily determine what their obligations are, but without providing legal advice. 


The next steps for the Task Force are to publish the Draft Roadmap, Explanatory Notes, and Annexes for public comment in the coming weeks.


Find out more about the ICCA-IBA Joint Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration Proceedings here.