Business and commerce in the 21st century is global, and so are disputes. Businesses need lawyers who are experienced in the many nuances that international disputes present.
The International Dispute Resolution team at Duane Morris has extensive experience in supporting and representing clients around the globe. This breadth of experience means that we are well-versed in the rules, procedures and local practices of just about every major arbitration forum that exists as well as the many different ad hoc proceedings that can play out in jurisdictions worldwide.
Our experience extends to all types of matters both large and small. Duane Morris represents some of the highest profile companies in the world, but also represents many companies finding themselves embroiled in an international dispute for the first time. Our roster of clients extends to every industry that Duane Morris serves, including Construction and Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation and Logistics, Real Estate and Finance.
Our global footprint, regional experience and network of trusted worldwide partners allows us to provide seamless representation anywhere in the world, at any time, and to deliver innovative and efficient solutions to any problems our clients may be facing.
Early identification and management of risk is absolutely key when entering into a new international business relationship. Each country poses unique challenges and opportunities for investors, and presumably familiar contracts can have unexpected consequences in foreign jurisdictions.
At Duane Morris, our breadth of experience with international disputes provides us with unique insights that can be of real benefit to clients even at the contract formation stage. The International Dispute Resolution team at Duane Morris regularly advises clients on contract provisions at the inception of major projects to ensure that the risks posed to clients are identified at the earliest possible opportunity and addressed accordingly.
Our team regularly advises clients on their risk profiles at all stages of contract formation and works with clients to identify solutions to manage and mitigate risks. This includes specific advice on contractual dispute resolution mechanisms and their impact on the management of the project.
Project Advisory Counsel
International disputes rarely begin with formal proceedings such as an arbitration. They usually begin as commercial claims or negotiations that escalate into a formal dispute when commercial resolution is unsuccessful. Where a formal dispute is unavoidable, the manner in which clients communicate and navigate those early exchanges can heavily impact the ultimate outcome of the dispute.
The International Dispute Resolution team at Duane Morris has extensive experience serving as advisory counsel and partnering with our clients to help them put their best foot forward while balancing their commercial interests and legal position. Our attorneys have managed major commercial projects and understand the time-sensitive nature of project management and the need to consider and manage internal and external stakeholders throughout the process. Our goal, where possible, is to protect clients from costly disputes by achieving sensible commercial solutions. Where a dispute is unavoidable, however, our early involvement can help ensure that clients are positioned to achieve the best possible outcome.
Arbitration is not one-size-fits-all.
International arbitrations can range from ad hoc tribunals resolving issues of local law to public forums resolving disputes against sovereign states. The International Dispute Resolution team at Duane Morris has been involved with international arbitrations in every prominent arbitration forum around the globe. Our practitioners are familiar with the procedures of those forums and have experience with many of the arbitrators that might hear a dispute. Duane Morris is therefore able to offer clients truly global representation.
In addition to our global offering, our industry-focused approach allows us to create nimble, cost-effective arbitration teams that combine a deep understanding of our clients’ business and our experience with particular arbitration forums or arbitrators. Our goal at all times is to achieve the best solution for our clients as efficiently as possible.
Our team assists clients in all aspects of arbitration proceedings, including the preservation and marshalling of documentary, witness and expert evidence; the formation of and liaison with the tribunal; formal and ad hoc written submissions; and the final hearing. At all stages, our team manages and coordinates experts, witnesses, local lawyers, counsel and consultants to ensure the smooth and efficient conduct of the arbitration.
Often our clients find themselves embroiled in disputes in the courts of a foreign jurisdiction in which they carry out business. As a global firm, Duane Morris is ready and able to respond to the needs of our clients regarding those disputes, whether through our offices and foreign country desks around the globe or our partnerships with premier local firms that allow us to combine our unrivalled industry experience with the skills and local knowledge of leading local advocates.
We often act in a coordinating role to ensure consistency in multijurisdictional disputes, provide guidance to clients who may be unfamiliar with litigation outside of their primary markets, and assist clients in assessing potential risk for their internal audiences. Duane Morris’ culture of collegiality fosters cross-office and cross-firm collaboration, allowing us to handle or support any scale of dispute.
One of the first—and last—questions in an international dispute is if, and how, you will enforce an arbitration award or judgment.
A favorable judgment or award can be meaningless if the unsuccessful party’s assets are located in a country that will not enforce the award. Although many international trade or investment treaties provide for reciprocal enforceability of judgments and awards, large sections of the world do not recognize or honor such treaties, with many jurisdictions actively seeking to prevent enforcement of foreign judgments against their citizens.
The International Dispute Resolution team at Duane Morris has extensive experience in assessing enforceability risks and regularly advises clients entering a contract or anticipating a dispute on how best to protect their rights and remedies. Once a dispute exists, we know how to work with investigators, local counsel and others industry experts to identify assets, restrict their movement or dissipation, and enforce the award or judgment.
Arbitrators and Mediators
Duane Morris prides itself on the number of its attorneys that have leveraged their subject matter and professional experience to support the efficient and effective resolution of international disputes as mediators and arbitrators.
Members of the International Dispute Resolution team have acted as mediators in domestic and international disputes, leveraging industry familiarity and extensive reserves of experience to assist parties in finding an efficient and effective path to resolution.
Our attorneys have acted as arbitrators in a number of venues, including the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, where their legal and procedural knowledge allows them to chart a fair and efficient path to resolution. The International Dispute Resolution team includes multiple fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.