The term 'independence' invariably brings to mind the independence and impartiality required of arbitrators. However, this is a far too narrow viewpoint: What of the duties of independence of the other participants in international arbitration proceedings? Which duties of independence are incumbent on, for example, experts (especially party-appointed experts), arbitral institutions or counsel? What are the roots and contents of these duties of independence, to whom are they owed and which sanctions, if any, are attached to a failure to live up to them?
The 2016 lecture will explore these questions and close with some highly provocative - and possibly unpopular - thoughts on the most difficult form of independence there is: independence from one's self.
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Elliott Geisinger heads Schellenberg Wittmer's arbitration practice group. Elliott's practice has focused primarily on international commercial arbitration. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in complex commercial disputes involving international construction contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements, sponsorship contracts, sales and distribution contracts, post-M&A disputes, consultancy contracts and hotel management contracts. He has also participated in drafting arbitration rules for commercial arbitration and for sports arbitration.
Elliott has also represented parties before Swiss courts in arbitration-related court proceedings, such as judicial appointments of arbitrators or challenges of arbitral awards before the Swiss Supreme Court. Several cases in which Elliott represented parties before the Swiss Supreme Court have been reported in the official collection of Swiss Supreme Court cases and in specialised journals.
Elliott currently holds positions as:
- President of Swiss Arbitration Association since 2014
- Member of the London Court of International Arbitration
- Member of Ordre des Avocats de Genève (Geneva Bar Association)
- Member of Association Internationale de Juristes d'Affaires
- Member Board of Trustees of FIAA (Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy)
- Partner at Schellenberg Wittmer
Elliott has authored and co-authored numerous publications on arbitration practice and international commercial arbitration including "Calculating and Proving Quantum in Arbitration Practice - The Lawyer's Perspective".