The webinar recordings to our series of four fifteen minute coffee break webinars on Jurisdiction, Choice of Law and Method of Dispute Resolution are now available on YouTube and Vimeo. In them, leading international commercial dispute lawyers at Shepherd and Wedderburn, Jane Wessel and Barbara Bolton, explain the importance of carefully drafting dispute resolution provisions in international commercial agreements.

The series provides several cautionary tales, which highlight some of the complications and problems that stem from not clearly choosing at the outset which law, jurisdiction and manner of dispute resolution will apply. They provide a great overview of the practicalities of choosing one method of dispute resolution over another, explaining, for instance, the circumstances in which arbitration might be more appropriate than litigation in court and vice versa; and the pros and cons of deciding on a forum in, say New York as opposed to New Delhi.

The fact that these issues are often overlooked is no surprise to Jane Wessel, who says, “Negotiations to reach a deal are often very intense, they might have involved tiers of complexity, subsidiary agreements, tax considerations and usually large sums of money. In the twilight hours when the substantive deal is almost done, parties often lack the energy to think about what might happen if it all goes wrong. So they reach for a standard dispute resolution clause by default just to get the deal over the finish line, without thinking about whether that clause fits the particular circumstances of the deal. If a dispute later arises, this approach will frequently increase the time and costs involved exponentially.”

Co-author, Barbara Bolton commented, “We hope the webinars and Guide help to shine a light on the importance of factoring into agreements the possibility of things turning sour long after the ink has dried. Planning for and documenting the procedures for such an eventuality will reduce the chances of having to resort to lengthy and costly preliminary arguments and procedures about how the dispute should be resolved, all of which can significantly increase costs and cause delays."

The presenters have written a handy guide to accompany the coffee webinar series (available on request). This provides a road map for the decision-making process when crafting a dispute resolution provision.

The recordings can be viewed in any order: