WilmerHale Partner John V.H. Pierce and Special Counsel Professor Dr. Maxi Scherer author chapters in New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer: Viral Changes in ADR During the Pandemic, Summer 2020, Vol. 13, No. 2.
Partner John V.H. Pierce authors the chapter, "Predicting the Future: International Arbitration in the Wake of COVID-19."
Excerpt: [One can expect] more widespread use of video technology to conduct at least certain aspects of the arbitration process virtually, even after the pandemic has passed. The most likely candidates for such virtual treatment include initial case management conferences, pre-hearing conferences, and oral argument on discrete procedural or legal issues. To the extent arbitral tribunals are hesitant to adopt such virtual measures wholesale, the experience of arbitrators during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to lead—at the very least—to more creative and flexible thinking by tribunals about ways that the arbitral process may be structured more efficiently, taking into account the broader availability of, and familiarity with, various video platforms, which can be used on their own or in combination with more traditional, in-person approaches.
Special Counsel Professor Dr. Maxi Scherer authors the chapter, "Remote Hearings in Arbitration and What Voltaire Has to Do With It."
Excerpt: Remote hearings are nothing new, but the COVID-19 crisis has forced international arbitration out of its comfort zone. Most steps in an international arbitration are done remotely nowadays, including holding case management conferences at the outset and/or mid-stream (often organized as telephone or videoconferences rather than as physical meetings) and exchanging written submissions via document share platforms. Possibly the last “piece of the puzzle” that typically remains as physical meetings are hearings, either on the merits or on major procedural issues. But the current COVID-19 pandemic forces international arbitration practitioners to reconsider this point and assess whether those hearings, too, can be held remotely.