Debevoise Announces Protocol to Promote Cybersecurity in International Arbitration

19 July 2017

Download the Protocol here. 

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP today announced a “Protocol To Promote Cybersecurity in International Arbitration” in order to address the threat cyberattacks can pose to the integrity of the international arbitration process.

International arbitration provides significant advantages for parties to cross-border disputes, but parties to international arbitrations are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of malicious cyberactors and cyberattacks. The newly-issued Debevoise Cybersecurity Protocol identifies specific procedures for establishing secure protocols for transfer of sensitive information at the outset of proceedings, limiting disclosure and use of sensitive information, and developing procedures for disclosing data breaches if they do happen. The Debevoise Cybersecurity Protocol can be found here.

Catherine Amirfar, litigation partner and member of Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution Group, said: “Over the years we have developed a set of procedures for securing electronic data in the course of arbitrations to protect sensitive information as much as possible. We believe that this approach is strongly in our clients’ interests as safeguards to help prevent a data breach from occurring during arbitration. We hope that, by making this public commitment, the Debevoise Cybersecurity Protocol will encourage others to work with us in improving the international arbitration process.”

Jim Pastore, litigation partner and member of Debevoise’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice, said: “Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important across industries, including to detecting data breaches when they happen in the context of arbitration. The Cybersecurity Protocol establishes policies and procedures related to detecting breaches, determining their scope, and notifying affected parties to help provide a clear path to follow if and when a data breach occurs.”

Debevoise has long been at the forefront of working to make international arbitration more efficient and secure. This important cyber effort reflects Debevoise’s commitment to counsel clients on the most critical issues in international arbitration. The procedures reflected in the Debevoise Cybersecurity Protocol are designed to improve the arbitration process while appropriately managing risks. These procedures are adaptable, so that parties, counsel and arbitral tribunals can use the flexibility inherent in international arbitration to develop procedures relevant and appropriate for each individual arbitration.

The firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group is described as a “market-leading group offering in-depth expertise across all international arbitration issues,” with a “deep bench of experienced arbitration counsel well versed in handling disputes conducted under the auspices of all major institutional rules, as well as in those heard in ad hoc settings” (Chambers USA 2016). It advises on the most complex international disputes for leading multinationals, international organizations, sovereigns and non-governmental organizations in commercial, investment treaty and public international law disputes.

The firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Group has also been recognized as a leading, “‘top-of-the-game’ practice” for Data Protection and Privacy four years in a row by The Legal 500.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges.