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The Battle of the Seats in International Arbitration

The Battle of the Seats in International Arbitration

The Battle of the Seats in International Arbitration_675

International arbitration has become an autonomous and standalone private forum of administration of justice. Due to globalized trade, legal jurisdictions increasingly compete to become a host for this private forum of administration of justice. Multiple cities throughout the world are engaged into the "battle of the seats" by developing their legal system to become more arbitration friendly in order for the parties to choose these seats for future disputes. This panel comprises representatives of some of these seats to highlight the key developments they offer to convince the parties to choose their jurisdiction as an arbitral seat. The panelists will argue in favor of their jurisdiction to be chosen as an arbitral seat based on various elements, including the types of arbitration cases considered at this seat over the past 2-3 years; the existence of arbitration-friendly national legal framework; the reputation of seat as neutral and impartial jurisdiction; the role of the national courts in aiding the arbitral process; the potential for challenging the arbitral awards (grounds, statistics, duration of court proceedings); the "digitalization" of arbitration proceedings and the use of technology; the cost of arbitration proceedings as well as practical and logistical considerations (geographic location, availability of competent arbitrators, professional attorneys, hearing facilities, accommodation etc.). The presentations would be followed by interactive discussion with the audience.

Organized by the DR Section's International Dispute Resolution Committee Chairs Mohamed Sweify and Chris Fladgate

Mohamed F. Sweify, Esq.

Mohamed F. Sweify is a bilingual, dual-qualified attorney in common and civil law jurisdictions. For more than a decade, Mohamed has provided counsel and resolution for diverse, international cross-border disputes through litigation and arbitration. He has a robust domestic and transnational litigation practice, which includes representing clients in commercial litigation matters before arbitration panels and federal and state courts. Mohamed leverages his experience on matters spanning a broad spectrum of industries and practices, including commercial, financial, investment, telecommunication, intellectual property, securities disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, Islamic law, consumer financial services, lenders-related litigation, contract claims and construction matters. He has considerable experience handling international arbitration matters under the rules of major arbitral institutions, including the American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), JAMS, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Mohamed serves as an arbitrator and mediator. He is also an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. Prior to joining Hinshaw, Mohamed interned at the New York Court of Appeals with the Honorable Judge Jenny Rivera. Before qualifying in New York, Mohamed worked at a top-tier international arbitration law firm in the Middle East. He then joined the Egyptian Prosecution Office, where he handled a wide variety of governmental investigations and financial crimes.


Fatima Balfaqeeh, UAE Bar, C.Arb, MRICS, FCIPS

Fatima Balfaqeeh the managing partner of Balfaqeeh Advocates and Legal Consultancy LLC, one of the few independent female arbitrators and mediators in the UAE, and a UAE certified advocate specializing in arbitration, mediation, and business consulting. Ms. Balfaqeeh is an Adjunct Lecturer in Law in Middlesex University Dubai and has over 20 years of experience working in government and semi-government entities in Abu Dhabi, where she led contract and procurement functions with a focus on dispute avoidance and corporate governance. Ms. Balfaqeeh is a Chartered Arbitrator of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), a member and Chartered Facilities Management Surveyor of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain (CIPS). As a leading advocate for Green Arbitration, Ms. Balfaqeeh is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and promotes sustainability across all areas of her business.

Dmitry A. Pentsov

Dmitry A. Pentsov is Partner at the Geneva office of MLL Legal SA, specializing in dispute resolution. Mr. Pentsov acted as counsel in international arbitration under the major arbitration rules, including ICC, Swiss Rules, VIAC, and others. He also represents parties before Swiss state courts in a wide variety of matters. Mr. Pentsov represents parties before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and before the Swiss Federal Tribunal in connection with challenging arbitral awards. Mr. Pentsov represents parties in a wide variety of cross-border financial, commercial and corporate transactions, involving parties from Europe, Asia, North America and South America. Mr. Pentsov is a graduate of the Law Faculty of St. Petersburg State University with honors. He also holds LL.M. Degree from the Georgetown University Law Center (Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program) as well as the Bachelor of Law Degree, the Master of Law Degree, and the Certificate of advanced studies in legal professions from the University of Geneva. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the St Petersburg City Bar Association, and the Geneva Bar (ranked 2nd at the Geneva Bar Exam). Mr. Pentsov authored and co-authored more than 76 publications, including 2 books.

Dr. Abayomi Okubote, FCIArb 

Dr. Okubote has garnered circa 15 years of experience in dispute resolution and commercial practice. He is the Founder/Executive Director of the Africa Arbitration Academy and regularly contributes to the ongoing discourse on arbitration practice in Africa. He has assisted the Governments of Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Malawi in developing a new state-of-the-art arbitration law in these countries. Abayomi routinely advises foreign entities that intend to make a market entry into various sectors of the African market. Dr. Okubote serves as counsel in several international arbitrations under the major arbitral rules, including the ICC, LCIA, ACA, CRCICA, and UNCITRAL Rules. He has also been appointed arbitrator in several domestic and international arbitrations in African countries. He is listed on panels at the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration, and the Kigali International Arbitration Centre. He was featured in the Legal 500 Africa Arbitration Powerlist 2021 as “one of the thought leaders of arbitration in Africa” and described as “innovative” and “exceptional.” He is listed in leading directories, including Who’s Who Legal Arbitration (Partners), and recently won the Lexology Client Choice Awards 2024 (Nigeria, Arbitration). He is an Adjunct Professor of International Business Law at Algoma University in Canada, a Member of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society, a Member of the LCIA African User’s Council, and a Court Member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre. 

Manuel Diego Aramburú Yzaga

Manuel Diego Aramburú Yzaga, is a Peruvian Lawyer graduated from the Universidad de Lima in 1992. He is a partner of Estudio Aramburu, Castañeda & Boero. Manuel holds an LLM degree from Columbia University. He has extensive experience in corporate, contractual and arbitration law. He has participated as a defense attorney and also as an arbitrator in some of the most important arbitrations in Perú (Band 1 Chambers Ranking) and also in international arbitrations. Manuel is a professor of Arbitration at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas – UPC (postgraduate), of the Universidad de Lima. He is also an arbitrator on the list of the Arbitration Center of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, AMCHAM, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Colegio de Abogados among others. He has been a member of the Consejo Superior de Arbitraje of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, the Arbitration Law Advisory Commission of the Lima Bar Association, and of the General Arbitration Law Review Commission. 

Start Date:
  • March 28, 2024
Start Time:
  • 12:30 PM
End Time:
  • 2:00 PM
  • Virtual Participation
  • Webinar
Product Code:
  • DRS32824
Section Member Price: Free
Non-Member Price: Free
Sponsoring Committee Group
  • Dispute Resolution Section
  • International Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee