California—A Rising Star Among International Arbitration Seats, by Gary Benton and Katalin Meier

The International Arbitration Spotlight on California

California’s new international arbitration legislation, Article 1.5 of the California International Commercial Arbitration and Conciliation Act, effective January 1, 2019, promises to improve California’s standing as an international arbitration seat and, in so doing, provide new opportunities for all international arbitration practitioners.

International arbitration is the preferred dispute resolution tool for commercial disputes between parties from different countries. Although U.S. companies and their counsel are more familiar with U.S. litigation, companies
involved in international commerce are increasingly turning to the more effective and efficient dispute resolution offered through international arbitration. Few parties to an international dispute are willing to put faith in the hands of a foreign country’s courts. The main reason why international arbitration is the preferred means for international business dispute resolution is trust: international arbitration offers impartial, independent and experienced arbitrators to address complex, multi-jurisdictional claims that cannot be readily resolved by local courts.

Although for many years international arbitration was largely focused on Europe, particularly London, Paris and Geneva, along with several other respected regional seats, there has been a significant shift over the years. New York is one of the top international seats and seats in Asia have recently achieved international prominence.

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