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Task Force Co-chairs

Kathleen Paisley (AMBOS Lawyers)

Melanie van Leeuwen (Derains & Gharavi)


Task force members

Lawrence Akka QC 
Rosa Barcelo 
Niuscha Bassiri 
Lisa Bingham 
Hugh Carlson 
Daniel Cooper 
Javier Fernandez-Samaniego 
Hilary Heilbron QC
Robert Maddox 
Charlie Morgan 
Philippe Pinsolle 
Jacques de Werra 

ICCA-IBA Joint Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration Proceedings

ICCA and the IBA have joined forces to establish a Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration Proceedings. The Task Force will work together to produce a guide to data protection in international arbitration proceedings. The Guide will provide practical guidance on the potential impact of data protection principles, in particular the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), on international arbitration proceedings. The Guide will assist practitioners to identify the ways in which data protection needs to be taken into account during the course of an arbitration.


News and updates


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

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.


ICCA and IBA launch task force on data protection

While data breaches have been widely covered in the press for many years, the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 brought unprecedented attention to the importance of data protection and the risks imposed by failure to comply. By tightening the rules and imposing fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million (whichever is greater), the GDPR has captured the interest of both the users of arbitration services and the arbitration community alike.

To help participants in international arbitration proceedings understand the data protection obligations that may apply to them, ICCA and the IBA have joined forces to produce a practical guide that identifies the ways in which data protection may need to be taken into account during the course of an arbitration. As it is not possible to address all the data protection laws that might apply to an arbitration, the Guide will use the GDPR as an example of the types of rules that may be imposed. 

Given the complexity of the arbitral process and the fact that the GDPR’s application to an arbitration is highly fact specific and may be affected by national implementing legislation, the Guide will not provide a universal solution. Instead, it will offer an overview of the regulatory framework, followed by an explanation of how data protection obligations may impact both the individuals involved in arbitration and the arbitral process itself.  The Guide will come with a set of Annexes including useful information, checklists, and sources to be used during arbitral proceedings to address potential data protection issues. 

The Task Force will shortly publish a Draft Guide for public comment. A number of arbitral institutions have agreed to provide input during the drafting process, including the American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the ICC Court of International Arbitration, the Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution, and the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre.