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Patrick Gearon and Peter Smith share their perspectives on navigating ESG considerations in arbitration for Legal Community MENA

Legal Community MENA explores the dynamic realm where Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors meet dispute resolution.

They interview Patrick Gearon, Partner and Head of our Middle East practice, and Peter Smith, Legal Director, on ESG in the arbitration arena. 

See below for a snippet of the Q&A:

  • What efforts are being made within the arbitration field to leverage technology and reduce the environmental impact of proceedings?

Patrick Gearon, says:

The Campaign for Greener Arbitration concluded in a study that nearly 20,000 trees could be required to offset the total CO2 omissions of just one arbitration (once flights and electricity emissions are taken into account). The arbitration community has taken notice and practitioners are generally making concerted efforts to minimize travel and unnecessary printing.   The Covid pandemic also forced practitioners to use remote hearing technologies and online document management software for hearing bundles. These recent technologies are making the process cheaper and quicker, so they are practical as well as green. 

  • How are professionals within the arbitration industry demonstrating their commitment to ESG principles?

Peter Smith, says:

Good arbitration counsel has always been open to technologies that improve efficiencies in the arbitral process such as software for document management, technologies that enable the effective harvesting, storage and searching of data, and ways of communicating with clients, opponents, experts, witnesses, and tribunals. Many law firms and others in the arbitration industry have signed up to movements like the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations. The industry is focused on the S and G of ESG as well: many practitioners act or advise pro bono in appropriate cases, and firms display these activities in their marketing materials and link them to career development.  

Read the full piece in Legal Community MENA here.

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