Lisbon – Public Presentation of the Draft Report
On 9 October 2017, the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon University hosted the first public event dedicated to the discussion of the Draft Report of the ICCA QMUL Task Force on Third Party Funding.
The Draft Report is a preliminary, condensed version of the chapters in which the Task Force discusses various issues relating to the new industry of funding litigation and arbitration by an external party to the dispute. Having already received a substantial amount of comments and positive feedback, the Task Force continues its efforts to disseminate the Draft Report and promote discussion around numerous critical issues addressed in the report.
Receiving and analysing comments on the Draft Report is the best way to achieve a “work product” that reflects the many possible views of various stakeholders. The Task Force intends to produce a final text that can also serve as a practical guide to anyone wishing to deal with this new business model.
Public commentary is also essential to fill any gaps that the Draft Report may have, and it is part of a continuous effort to keep up to date with an industry that evolves rapidly.
In line with this spirit, the first public event devoted to the discussion of the Draft Report took place on 9 October, at the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon University.
A host of reputable academics and practitioners with expertise in third-party funding, international commercial arbitration and investment arbitration gathered before a distinguished and engaged audience.
These experts engaged the audience throughout the day, conveying both theoretical and practical views on the Draft Report and on numerous issues arising in third party funding. Divided into three panels (general aspects of the report, investment arbitration, and views of funders and funded parties), the event began with a welcoming address by the Director of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Dr Pedro Romano Martinez, followed by a keynote presentation by Prof. Rudolf Dolzer addressing the topic of ‘Third-Party Funding Investments as a protected investment in Foreign Investment Law’.
António Pinto Leite moderated the first panel, where Prof. Catherine Rogers and Ania Farren talked about general aspects of the Draft Report, followed by a discussion on the various issues addressed by each chapter of the Report: conflicts of interests, best practices and professional conduct, costs & security for costs, and disclosure. Nicolò Landi presented sharp comments from a practical and theoretical point of view.
The second panel was dedicated to Third-Party Funding and Investment Arbitration. Moderated by José-Miguel Júdice, the first intervention addressed the analogy between Investment Arbitration, Third-Party Funding and … Climate Change. In this respect, Clifford Hendel provided a unique perspective on how different issues can be framed in the same way, and that often people do not pay attention to such matters until they assume significant proportions. At each particular moment in time, climate change and third-party funding were the elephant in the room no one wanted to look at closely. Anna Joubin-Bret followed this intervention recounting the state of affairs in which Third-Party Funding has impacted Investment Arbitration, and outlining the possible solutions to the problems we currently witness. In particular, Anna Joubin-Bret addressed the topic of regulation of Third-Party Funding in international instruments and, more closely, the level of disclosure of external funding in investment disputes.
The third panel provided a lively discussion among three Third-Party Funders (Mick Smith from Calunius Capital, Alain Grec from La Française and Marcel Wegmueller from Nivalion), Eric Chang (Chang Arbitration of Los Angeles, representing the client’s perspective), and the audience. Sofia Martins from Miranda Law Firm moderated the panel in an lively discussion that engaged the speakers between themselves and with the audience, giving rise to an extended Q&A session from the audience.
A short intervention by Catherine Rogers conveyed to the audience the relevance and absolute need of the arbitration community to make use of the tools that can level the playing field, and promote transparency, gender diversity and accountability in international arbitration. That is precisely the statement of mission of the ‘Arbitrator Intelligence’, the non-to-profit project under Catherine Rogers’ leadership.
Finally, Eric Chang spoke briefly about the Third-Party Funding Observatory, its current status and the forward-looking perspective of its dissemination and use as a ‘one-stop-shop’ online resource for third-party funding.
Professor of Law Paula Costa e Silva closed the event.
In sum, the Lisbon TPF event may well be a cornerstone in the public discussion of the Draft Report and surely an example to follow. In a word: a success!
We are very much looking forward to having the chance of repeating this event in the time to come.