WilmerHale Partner Steven Finizio co-chaired the 8th Annual GAR Live London. Mr. Finizio provided opening and closing remarks to the audience and played the role of “Inquisitor” in "Session four: The GAR Live Inquisition – Is international arbitration at home in Big Law?" A description of the session is below.
Is Big Law falling out of love with international arbitration? It's an interesting question, and the signs are mixed. On the one hand, Big Law likes work where it can charge premium rates. And only Big Law seems equipped for the compliance demands of the biggest cases. On the other hand, Big Law is getting worse at making IA specialists partner, owing to changes in firms' leverage models.
Meanwhile, ruthless cost-cutting by some is leaving clients feeling empowered but also confused. It's become harder for them to tell what top-quality work should cost. How do these forces play out? Is the business model that underpins IA changing? What sort of firm will be doing the biggest cases in the future?
This session will replicate a US senate committee hearing with a succession of witnesses being 'grilled' by a panel of GAR Live inquisitors. Together they will seek to get to the bottom of these questions. They are likely to explore:
- Do IA teams of today face pressures that their predecessors didn't?
- Can only Big Law handle the client relationship side of big cases (money laundering rules, data protection etc)?
- Is IA a comfortable fit within firms that count as Big Law?
- Has anyone found a way of sharing risk with clients that really works?
- What role will funders play? Is Third Party Funding a long-term solution or just a short term fix for large groups hoping to charge premium rates?