D&I signs the equal representation in arbitration pledge

D&I Quarterly Q3/2016

Posted on

21 Jun


Dittmar & Indrenius > Insight > D&I signs the equal representation in arbitration pledge

D&I is delighted to announce that it is one of the first law firms in Finland to sign the Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Pledge.

The Pledge urges the international arbitration community to take actions to commit to: (a) improving the profile and representation of women in arbitration; and (b) increasing, on an equal opportunity basis, the number of women appointed as arbitrators.

The Pledge

The Pledge was officially launched at a cocktail reception in London on 18 May 2016. I attended the Pledge reception that was organised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and attended by over 200 people.

“D&I is committed to taking concrete steps to ensure equal representation of women on tribunals.”

The Pledge campaign highlights the problem that whilst only 20 % of dispute resolution partners at law firms worldwide are women (which itself needs improvement), mere 10 % of sitting arbitrators are women. When the parties themselves select the arbitrators, rather than the institutions, the proportion of women appointed as arbitrators is even lesser. These figures are derived from the statistics of all the leading arbitration institutes.

The Pledge aspires to change all that. The founders of the Pledge recognise that as there is no regulator in charge of arbitrator appointments, it is up to the arbitration community to control the appointments and ensure a fairer representation of women on tribunals.

Consequently, the Pledge is a collaborative effort between global representatives of corporate entities, states, arbitral institutions, arbitration practitioners and academics. The signatories to the Pledge commit to taking the following concrete and actionable steps to “ensure that, wherever possible:

  • Committees, governing bodies and conference panels in the field of arbitration include a fair representation of women.
  • Lists of potential arbitrators or tribunal chairs provided to, or considered by, parties, counsel, in-house counsel or otherwise include a fair representation of female candidates.
  • States, arbitral institutions and national committees include a fair representation of female candidates on rosters and lists of potential arbitrator appointees, where maintained by them.
  • Where they have the power to do so, counsel, arbitrators, representatives of corporates, states and arbitral institutions appoint a fair representation of female arbitrators.
  • Gender statistics for appointments (split by party and other appointment) are collated and made publicly available.
  • Senior and experienced arbitration practitioners support, mentor/sponsor and encourage women to pursue arbitrator appointments and otherwise enhance their profiles and practice.”

The text of the Pledge was drafted by a Steering Committee, co-chaired by Sylvia Noury, a partner in Freshfields’ international arbitration group in London, and Wendy Miles QC, global head of International Arbitration at Boies Schiller & Flexner.

D&I Opened the Pledge Dialogue in Finland

D&I had the pleasure of having Ms. Miles QC speak about the Pledge on Friday 27 May, when D&I hosted ‘Ladies in Arbitration’ brunch in Helsinki, an event that was co-organised by the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce (FAI) and the Swedish Women in Arbitration Network (SWAN) and attended by over 50 Finnish and International female arbitration practitioners and arbitrators. Along with Ms. Miles QC, Ms. Carita Wallgren-Lindholm, a distinguished Nordic arbitrator, also inspired discussions on the topic “Should we still be talking about diversity in International Arbitration?”

By signing the Pledge D&I shows a commitment to contribute towards ensuring the equal representation of women in the arbitration community by taking the concrete actions set out in the Pledge and encourages all other Finnish firms and companies involved in the international arbitration field to follow the suit. The Pledge can be signed here: http://www.arbitrationpledge.com/

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