Debevoise partners Lord Goldsmith QC and Natalie Reid spoke recently at the launch of the British Virgin Islands International Arbitration Centre (BVIIAC) on 20 and 21 May 2015.
Lord Goldsmith, London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of European and Asian Litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, delivered the inaugural Dr. J. S. Archibald QC Memorial Lecture on 20 May 2015.
The speech was the first in an anticipated lecture series established in memorial to Dr. Joseph Samuel Archibald QC, the former Attorney General of St. Kitts, Crown Attorney for the BVI, and President of the BVI Bar Association. In the lecture, Lord Goldsmith explored the movement towards regionalism in arbitration, and the impact it is having on traditional arbitration centres. Hong Kong and Singapore in particular were held up as having established themselves as arbitration centres now equal in stature to New York, London and Paris.
Lord Goldsmith singled out the BVI International Arbitration Centre as having the opportunity to become the “best thought out and thus most popular” in the Caribbean. The BVIIAC was established through the entry into force of the Arbitration Act on 1 October 2014, through which the BVI largely adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law. The Act, and the BVI's accession to the New York Convention on 25 May 2014, are crucial landmarks in the establishment of a viable and internationally respected arbitration centre in the BVI.
The full speech can be accessed here.
On 21 May 2015, Lord Goldsmith and Ms. Reid were speakers at the BVI International Arbitration Conference, and participated in panel discussions about the growing popularity of international arbitration in the Caribbean, how lawyers can adapt dispute resolution practices to include international arbitration, and how the BVI can become an attractive seat and venue for international arbitration proceedings.
Lord Goldsmith regularly practices in the Caribbean and is admitted to multiple Bars there, including the BVI Bar. Ms. Reid, a Jamaican national, has a broad-based international practice that includes commercial and treaty arbitration, public international law, and complex commercial litigation.
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