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ASA Arbitration Practice Seminar

Formerly known as the “Practice Building Seminar”, the ASA Arbitration Practice Seminar follows a unique interactive and comparative format developed in 1997 by ASA and very successfully applied every year since, usually in January, in cooperation with other arbitration associations and institutions around Europe, including every two years in Badenweiler with the Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit (DIS).

The sessions are chaired by discussion leaders who are all very experienced international arbitration practitioners.  During the course of two days, they raise and discuss with the participants key legal and practical questions, as they arise in the successive stages of an international arbitration, illustrating them with examples from real cases. All the sessions are led jointly by two practitioners, one with a common law background and the other with a civil law background, thus bringing to bear, in a lively debate, the diversity of experiences in international arbitration and encouraging the development of cross-cultural sensitivity.


Who should attend? This is not a seminar for true beginners. It is designed for those - arbitrators, counsel, in-house lawyers, experts - who wish to continue building on their international arbitration knowledge and practice and to benefit from the discussion leaders’ combined experience and expertise, acquired in a great variety of arbitrations proceedings in different jurisdictions. Participants themselves contribute to the debate with their own experience, questions and ideas.

A few words from past participants:

Christopher Style, QC, One Essex Court, London

"I found the programme enjoyable and stimulating and commend it to all practitioners in the field, whether based in Switzerland or elsewhere. The working sessions were presided over by leading experts from various jurisdictions, who took us through a wide range of topical issues, exploring both the black letter law and practical solutions. The materials included valuable precedents, often novel in character; and the approach was supranational and crossborder. And lots of breaks to enjoy the amazing location and facilities.

It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Pierre Mayer, Paris

I have participated twice in the ASA Arbitration Practice Seminar, once in Annecy and recently in Villars-sur-Ollon - each of these small towns surrounded by beautiful landscapes in which the organisers take care to leave the participants some time to stroll. Each session (in Villars there were eight of them) is moderated by two reputed specialists, one from the civil law and one from the common law worlds. The discussions are informal and concentrate on some of the practical issues which appear in arbitral procedures and on which the national laws are silent. While avoiding long war stories, the participants describe and discuss the way they tackle with difficult issues and confront their often opposite approaches. I have personally learnt a lot in these sessions. I recommend all arbitration practitioners, whether junior or senior, to attend the next meeting of this ASA Seminar.”

Sherina Petit, Norton Rose Fulbright, London

“The ASA Arbitration Practice Seminar is excellent, well organised with a different and innovative practical approach and content. It was fascinating for me to listen to and interact with experienced arbitration practitioners from numerous geographies and understand their different mind sets. I came away learning a lot and building new relationships - a must for all arbitration practitioners.”

Nathalie Voser, Schellenberg Wittmer, Zurich

“I thoroughly enjoyed the inter-active sessions in particular because the level of the interventions were, due to the seniority of the participants, very high. Also, I thought that the discussion leaders tried to touch upon cutting edge issues within their particular subjects. In sum, although I think that given my experience I know how things should be done, I had a "take home" value which was higher than is usually the case at large conferences.”

Grant Hanessian, Baker & McKenzie, New York

“The ASA Arbitration Practice Seminar sessions are unusually interactive, engaging and informative – participants learn from each other, sharing experiences and knowledge in conversations that continue into, and well beyond, the cocktail and dinner hours.  The distributed materials were particularly useful – a “Swiss army knife” of suggested procedural orders.”

Pierre-Yves Gunter, Bär & Karrer, Geneva

“I attended as Discussion Leader the ASA LCIA 2017 Arbitration Practice Seminar. I really enjoyed the experience. The well-thought format allows to learn a lot from each other's arbitration practice, not only from the other Discussion Leaders but also from the very experienced arbitration practitioners who attended the Practice Seminar".

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