Judicial analytics have long been used to assist parties to litigation in developing case strategies. Due to the largely confidential nature of commercial arbitration, however, similarly valuable analytics for arbitrators have been largely elusive. Due to its secretive nature, international arbitration is perhaps the only $2 trillion industry that still operates in the analogue age, largely dependent on ad hoc research and telephone calls to learn about arbitrators.
Data analytics are bringing arbitrator selection into the digital age. On 15 July 2020, Arbitrator Intelligence made its first Reports available for sale, providing arbitration users with a new data-driven information tool to make the process of selecting an arbitrator “easier and more equitable”. Soon more than 300 Reports will be available. These Reports provide arbitration users with exclusive insights about arbitrators from around the globe and a corresponding strategic advantage when selecting arbitrators and developing case strategies.
Bringing data-driven insights to arbitration users
Arbitrator Intelligence collects and analyses critical information about international arbitrators, producing analytics rich reports on individual arbitrators and their decision making. Arbitrator Intelligence does not maintain lists of arbitrators or rank arbitrators. Instead, external and in-house counsel, parties and third-party funders are invited to provide feedback on a confidential and anonymised basis about arbitrations in which they participated. This information is submitted through an online survey, the Arbitrator Intelligence Questionnaire or “AIQ”. The AIQ, formally launched in July 2017, is set out in two phases and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It does not seek confidential or privileged information.
By sharing qualitative and quantitative feedback about arbitrator decision-making, arbitration users contribute to a virtuous circle that enables the community to benefit from broader insights into arbitrator decision-making than any one party or law firm could collect on their own. Topics include timing and duration, case management and procedural orders, document disclosure, rulings on jurisdiction and interim relief, damages analysis, and legal methodologies. Data analytics derived from this information will provide parties and counsel critical insights about arbitrators’ track records to improve arbitrator selection and case strategy.
How can data analytics revolutionise the arbitrator selection process?
Arbitrator Intelligence Reports provide access to critical information about arbitrators and their decision-making that is not available elsewhere. Such insights will help parties and their counsel to develop stronger case strategies and make better informed decisions about who to appoint. That is not all though. In addition to the strategic benefits, Arbitrator Intelligence aims to promote accountability, diversity and transparency in arbitrator selection.
Arbitrator Intelligence was recently identified as a potential solution to the lack of arbitrator diversity by the ICCA Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in Arbitral Appointments and Proceedings. By making insights about the decision-making of less well known arbitrators more accessible and easier to understand, Arbitrator Intelligence is able to shine a spotlight on a broader cross-section of the market. The availability of Reports, in turn, provides arbitration users with a solid foundation for the identification and appointment of qualified arbitrators who are newer and more diverse.
The potential for feedback about arbitrators provides a constructive incentive for arbitrators to self-regulate: to decide themselves to adhere to the highest professional standards in order to have those efforts reflected in feedback. Greater availability of information about the track records of arbitrators will introduce greater competition into the market for arbitrators, opening it up to newer entrants and promoting greater accountability. Every arbitrator should get ready for their close-up!
The importance of Arbitrator Intelligence Reports as an aid to promote accountability and transparency was acknowledged by UNCITRAL Working Group III in its draft working paper on Selection and Appointment of ISDS Tribunal Members. By submitting detailed professional feedback through the AIQ, arbitration users are making the field more transparent. Feedback, when aggregated, provides a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of the track records of arbitrators than can be achieved through ad hoc research, internal data or telephone calls alone.
What does the future hold for Arbitrator Intelligence?
Arbitrator Intelligence will launch its fourth data collection campaign in the coming weeks. The Africa Campaign 2020 will focus on obtaining valuable and exclusive insights about African arbitrators, as well as arbitrators sitting in proceedings relating to Africa. Arbitrator Intelligence will also be working with a number of leading African arbitral institutions, including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC), and collaborating with a number of initiatives and organisations, including OHADA, the Association of Young Arbitrators and the Kenya Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The purpose of these collaborations is to promote a holistic approach to supporting African arbitrators and the market in which they exist. This holistic approach complements important regional initiatives, such as The African Promise.
The Africa Campaign 2020 and other upcoming events and initiatives across the globe will be supported by Arbitrator Intelligence’s global team of ambassadors, a group of dedicated practitioners and academics specialising in international arbitration and legal tech. Ambassadors are drawn to Arbitrator Intelligence’s core values, that is transparency, accountability, and diversity, and support its work to promote those values.
How can you help?
Arbitrator Intelligence is working hard to provide users with more information about newer and more diverse arbitrators, but we cannot do it alone.
For the 81% of respondents to the 2016 BLP survey in diversity on arbitral tribunals who indicated that they would like to provide feedback about arbitrator performance at the conclusion of arbitral proceedings, the AIQ allows you to provide that feedback.
With your help we can provide the insights sought by 92% of respondents to the same survey who “welcome more information about new and less well-known candidates”. Spare 15 minutes, take the AIQ today and help Arbitrator Intelligence revolutionise international arbitrator selection!