The traditional gathering of world experts in the field of arbitration took place in Belgrade this spring. University of Belgrade Faculty of Law hosted the seventh Belgrade Arbitration Conference on 20 March 2015, an ever-growing trademark event of our law school with a constantly increasing number of participants. The conference panels this year discussed a selection of emerging topics in international arbitration law.
The opening ceremony commenced with the warm welcome by the Dean of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, Professor Dr. Sima Avramović, who expressed the great satisfaction for the fact that the Faculty of Law is organizing such a prestigious gathering once again, underlining the success the conference had in the previous years. The conference participants were also greeted by the President of the Organizing Committee, Professor Dr. Mirko Vasiljević, the acting President of the Foreign Trade Court of Arbitration at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (the oldest arbitral institution in the region) who singled out series of efforts invested by the Faculty of Law in promotion of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. On behalf of the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), an honored partner in organization of the Belgrade Arbitration Conference, the participants of the conference were welcomed by Ms Caroline Bechtel who expressed her satisfaction with the cooperation with the host institution on organization of the Belgrade Arbitration Conference. Dr. Miroslav Paunović, President of the Serbian Arbitration Association, emphasized how highly important this event is for the legal community and the Association, and informed the participants of the recent developments in the field of arbitration in Serbia and the activities of the Serbian Arbitration Association in promotion of ADR. Finally, on behalf of the traditional partner in the organization of the Belgrade Arbitration Conference, GIZ Open Regional Fund for SEE, Mr. Slobodan Šaric expressed both his satisfaction that the cooperation has been so fruitful in the past and hope that the joint ventures of this kind will continue in the years to come.
The work of the first panel – discussing some of the “burning” topics in arbitration – was chaired by Steven Finizio, partner in the London office of WilmeHale. The panelists discussed recently enacted IBA Guidelines on Party Representation, presented by Dr Stefan Riegler, partner in the Vienna office of Baker & McKenzie, issues of Security for Costs, presented by Dr Friedrich Rosenfeld from Hanefeld Attorneys at Law from Hamburg, issues of the role and authority of emergency arbitrators with examples from practice presented by Živa Filipič, legal counsel from ICC in Paris while the questions of Challenge of Interim Decisions were covered by Anna Masser, attorney from the LALIVE Zurich office.
The second panel focused on the issues of arbitral process and multi-party scenarios, including selected issues of multi-contract, joinder, non-signatory and post M&A disputes – and was chaired by Dr. Jelena Perović, Full Professor at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics. The discussions evolved around presentations on tactic consent to arbitration by Milan Lazić, partner in Karanović/Nikolić law office from Belgrade, issues of jurisdiction in multiple-contract scenarios presented by Dr Florian Mohs, attorney in Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd from Zurich, topic of joinder and consolidation covered by Luka Krištović Blažević, counsel in White & Case LLP, Paris and post M&A disputes and accounting presented by Christoph Lindinger, partner in Schoenherr Vienna.
The conference gathered more than 250 participants from 30 different countries. As in the previous years, the organizing committee of this year’s arbitration conference was consisted of Professor Dr. Mirko Vasiljević, Professor Dr. Vladimir Pavić, Assistant Professor Dr. Milena Đorđević and Assistant Professor Dr. Marko Jovanović.
The organization of the conference was supported by GIZ Regional Open Fund for South East Europe, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), Serbian Arbitration Association, law offices WilmerHale from London, White & Case LLP from Paris and local law offices from Belgrade – Moravčević, Vojnović & Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr and Karanović/Nikolić.