Cross-Border Dispute? Think Arbitration and Boost the Bottom-Line

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study indicates that 73 percent of in-house counsels worldwide, prefer using international arbitration to resolve cross-border disputes rather than transnational litigation. Corporations that equip themselves with the knowledge, tools and tactics to conduct international arbitration proceedings are well-places to resolve their cross-border disputes effectively.


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“International arbitration can not only help our clients resolve their disputes, but also helps them manage a key investment risk and gain competitive advantage,” Patricia Tilton, partner, PwC, said in a prepared statement. “This can have a major impact on their bottom line.”

The top reasons given by in-house lawyers for selecting international arbitration are:

  • Flexibility of procedure
  • Enforceability of awards
  • Privacy
  • Opportunity to choose arbitrators to suit the dispute.

The study reveals that it takes significant skill to cut through the web of financial, cultural and political issues to arrive at a true value of losses incurred, which is where international arbitration scores over transnational courtroom battles. The advantages of arbitration far outweigh the most commonly cited disadvantages of this method of dispute resolution – inevitable expense and the occasional difficulties of binding parties into an arbitration process at the outset.

Having a well thought-out dispute-resolution policy provides an important strategic advantage. Eighty-six percent of respondents stated that a dispute resolution policy produces cost savings, either through effective management of the dispute process or by helping minimize the risk of dispute escalation.

Many of the in-house lawyers surveyed called for the development of stronger regional arbitration institutions in order to move the process closer to home – but they accepted that many of these had some way to go before demonstrating the track record necessary to instill confidence in potential users.

“We hope this study will assist company management and their legal advisors to focus on international dispute resolution as a risk management priority which can preserve – and even enhance – shareholder value,” Tilton concluded.

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