Maxim Kulkov participated as an arbitrator in a role play seminar on the new LCIA model tribunal secretary appointment, which provides for the broader involvement of secretaries in arbitration proceedings

The LCIA and YIAG seminar on communicating changes to the tribunal secretaries section of the LCIA’s Notes for Arbitrators (published on 26 October 2017) took place in Moscow on 31 May. The event’s participants included the LCIA Director General Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof. The seminar was the fourth in a series of previous events introducing the new guidelines in Singapore, Paris and London.

The LCIA’s updated approach to tribunal secretaries’ appointment increases the role of communication and consent among the parties to the dispute and the arbitrators, and ensures that parties are given the opportunity to have their say. The LCIA’s changes to tribunal secretary regulation is, in part, designed to make clear that there is no “standard” tribunal secretary role, i.e., that it should depend on the preferences of the arbitrators and the parties and that participants should feel free to raise any points they wish, and arrive at the outcome that naturally arises.

The role play on tribunal secretary appointment under the new guidelines was the event’s tour de force. It involved prominent members of the international arbitration community taking on the role of arbitrators and counsel. Maxim Kulkov acted as an arbitrator on one panel with Christopher Harris (3 Verulam Buildings) and Julia Zagonek (White & Case). Andrey Panov (Norton Rose Fulbright) and Marina Akchurina (Cleary Gottlieb) acted as counsel. Oleg Todua (White & Case) acted as Tribunal Secretary. The event’s venue was kindly provided by White & Case.

The role play clearly demonstrated how increased communication between the parties can alleviate concerns regarding the use of tribunal secretaries, and brought to light the substantial cost and efficiency benefits they can provide to both parties and arbitrators. The event ended with an open discussion with questions regarding the presented secretary tribunal appointment model and related matters.

The YIAG (Young International Arbitration Group), established in 1997, is an LCIA sponsored association for practitioners, students and younger members of the arbitration community. YIAG aims to promote the understanding and use of international arbitration law and practice by providing opportunities for its members to exchange views on topical issues of international commercial arbitration.