Law firms and the legal industry in general have not been immune to COVID-19. They have had to bring significant technological change into their businesses. International Chamber of Commerce, popularly known as ICC, has recently revised its ‘Rules of Arbitration’ after the COVID-19 pandemic upended the ‘normal course of business’ globally. The need for flexibility, better efficiency and fast track awards, demanded these revisions as mentioned by the ICC Court President.

“The amendments to the Rules … mark a further step towards greater efficiency, flexibility and transparency of the Rules, making ICC Arbitration even more attractive, both for large, complex arbitrations and for smaller cases” Alexis Mourre – ICC Court President.

The transformed ICC ARBITRATION RULES 2021 will replace its 2017 predecessor setting a new future course for arbitration practice. A prime example of this is set out in Article 26 (1) for using video conference, telephone, or other appropriate means to conduct remote hearings.

Using Technology

Legal practitioners and arbitration institutions have more or less all accepted that technology adoption would bring automation, streamline critical processes, and boost efficiency. Whilst the primary driver in 2020 was “restrictions” during the pandemic, there are overarching advantages worth keeping in mind:

  • Close communication gaps – traditional communication methods often lacking
  • Eliminate stakeholders silos – reduce the sense of detachment from the other parties
  • Bring legitimacy to the hearing and awards – by increasing transparency
  • Use of ‘Electronically stored information (ESI)’ – AI can be leveraged
  • Due diligence investigation from a ‘large data set’ – using technology to overcome volume
  • Remote working movement restriction – technology works with the new normal
  • Get valuable insights for improved decision-making – data-driven decision-making

Technology will bring more transparency and flexibility to arbitration awards and litigants for a faster dispute resolution. Little did we know the possible next-gen uses of technology; however, we can see these coming into practice shortly.

*New-age technology Possible uses/benefits for the arbitral tribunal
Artificial intelligence Efficient document review or assistance
Video Conferencing Virtual Hearing Rooms
‘Real-Time’ electronic transcripts Save time and costs for court reporting
Virtual Data Room and Online File Repository Secured data sharing
Online Signatures/e-Sign Legitimatize awards and reviews
AI ‘Speech-to-Text’ technology Auto-transcripts of hearings for live interpretations
e-filing Enables WFH practices
Data Analytics Easy and quick data analysis
Case Management Ease in managing multiple cases and parties

Developing and implementing a digital model for the legal industry with technology solutions has been much easier in the recent past. One reoccurring theme is that arbitration institutions, lawyers, and arbitrators invariably need a technology convergence platform for arbitration documents.

Arbicomm virtual case rooms for arbitration

Knovos’ Arbicomm is an innovative solution for the arbitral community, to elevate traditional practices and add value. Using Arbicomm will simplify arbitration procedures, written submissions, exchanging correspondence, and collaboration in a secure environment. It also helps in strengthening communication and convergence, to deliver a more efficient service.

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