A First Tier arbitration is to go to appeal. It is a big one. A large claim and counter-claim. The Parties have agreed to be legally represented. The Hearing is likely to be 8 days. The Board of Appeal is appointed and you, Ms Gardiner-Jones, are in the Chair.
You are focused from Day One. You have always been level-headed, organised, well prepared and not inclined to crack jokes or relate “war stories” of precious moments in your career. You know how to interact with the Parties and their Legal Teams. You review the composition of the Board.
Two of the Board Members – one, a male from Iceland and one, a female from Turkey – are known to you from previous cases. You are less familiar with the remaining two arbitrators and have just a fleeting previous connection. Both are male – one is a current trader and the other is in contract execution. The Parties are well known in the Trade and the two firms of solicitors are City firms of repute. The dramatis personae are lengthy with witnesses, observers, transcribers and interpreters.
On the appointment of the Board, you send an email to your four colleagues welcoming them to the Board. You take the opportunity to mention the need for each of the Board members, yourself included, to be conscientious and diligent in all your dealings during the reference. You do not go into specifics but you know from training that Arbitrators need to maintain their standards of conduct and act in a way consistent with the level of responsibility associated with membership of a Board of Appeal.
The oral hearing is to be in London. Two of the Board members, like yourself, live in London and journey up each day from home. The Board members from abroad stay in the same hotel. It so happens that two witnesses and an observer are residents at the same hotel.
EPISODE 2. 22 SEPTEMBER 2021