13th biennial IFCAI conference in Bahrain

Prof. Nassib G. Ziadé addressing the audience during the afternoon session

Co-organized with the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA), the 13th Biennial International Federation of Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI) Conference took place on March 23, 2015 in Manama, Bahrain. The event attracted over 160 leading academic figures and arbitration experts from more than 24 countries.

The morning address. From left to right: Mr. Stefano Azzali, H.E. Sh. Khalid Al Khalifa, H.H. Prince Bandar Al Saud, Sha. Haya Al Khalifa, and Ms India Johnson

Present at the opening address were: H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, the Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments; Shaikha Haya bint Rashed Al Khalifa, chair of BCDR-AAA's Board of Trustees; Ms. India Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Arbitration Association (AAA); and H.H. Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman Bin Mohamed Al Saud, the honorary President of the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre.

The morning session. From left to right: Mr. Sultan Al-Abdulla, Dr. Philippe Leboulanger, Dr. Ahmed El-Kosheri, Mr. Essam Al-Tamimi, and Dr. Hassan Radhi 

The conference was divided into two sessions. The morning session, entitled "Hot Issues in International Arbitration in the Arab World," focused on arbitration developments in the Arab world, including in the Gulf region. The session was chaired by Professor Dr. Ahmed Sadek El-Kosheri, Senior Partner at Kosheri Rashed and Riad, and Dr. Philippe Leboulanger, Senior Partner at Cabinet Leboulanger and Associés, and it included presentations by Mr. Sultan Al-Abdulla, Managing Partner of Sultan Al-Abdulla and Partners; Mr. Essam Al Tamimi, Senior Partner at Al Tamimi and Co.; Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Director of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration; Mr. Ahmed Ouerfelli, Emeritus Judge in Tunis; Dr. Hassan Radhi, Senior Partner at Hassan Radhi and Associates; and Dr. Karim Youssef, Partner and Head of Middle East Arbitration at Amereller Legal Consultants.

The afternoon session. From left to right: Dr. Hanno Wehland, Mr. Stefano Azzali, Mr. William K. Slate II, Ms. Loretta Malintoppi, Dr. Hamid Gharavi, Mr. Andrea Carlevaris, and Prof. Tarek Riad

The afternoon session, which dealt with conflicts of interest, was chaired by Mr. William K. Slate II, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the AAA, and by Ms. Loretta Malintoppi, Of Counsel for Eversheds Singapore. The session included presentations by Professor Nassib G. Ziadé, Chief Executive Officer of the BCDR-AAA; Mr. Stefano Azzali, Secretary-General of the Milan Chamber of Arbitration; Mr. Andrea Calevaris, Secretary-General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration; Dr. Hamid Gharavi, Founding Partner at Derains and Gharavi; Dr. Tarek Riad, Chair of the Executive Committee at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC); and Dr. Hanno Wehland, Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). The panel's speakers provided wide-ranging views on the role of arbitral institutions in regulating potential conflicts among arbitrators and counsel. Professor Ziade vehemently argued that to preserve legitimacy, arbitration institutions should accept their unique position in the field and initiate much-needed change with respect to conflicts of interest, including the drafting of codes of conduct and increasing the pool of potential arbitrators. Other speakers disagreed with Professor Ziade's proposed solutions, noting that overregulation could lead to division of the profession and more arbitrator challenges.

For more information about the conference, please view the conference program here.