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02/10/13 09:12

International Centre for Energy Arbitration

Facility to “further enhance Scotland’s attractiveness” globally – First Minister.

An International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA) was launched by First Minister Alex Salmond today.

The ICEA – a joint-venture between the Scottish Arbitration Centre and the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee (CEPMLP) – aims to work with the energy sector to allow Scotland to become an international specialist in international energy dispute resolution.

The launch, hosted by the Law Society of Scotland in Edinburgh was also attended by Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Secretary General of the ICEA, and Bruce Beveridge, President of the Law Society of Scotland.

The First Minister said:

“Scotland is a leading international energy centre, being home to a global oil and gas hub and some of the best renewable resources and technologies on the planet. At the same time, we have built on Scotland’s distinguished legal system to develop a world-class legal framework for cost-effective arbitration services. It is fitting, therefore, that we are opening an International Centre for Energy Arbitration – a development that will further enhance Scotland’s attractiveness to global energy companies, associated professional service providers and investors. I congratulate the Scottish Arbitration Centre and CEPMLP for their considerable work in establishing the centre and wish them the very best for the future.”

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the “arbitrators” or “arbitral tribunal”) by whose decision (the “award”) they agree to be bound. Parties often seek to resolve their disputes through arbitration because of several potential advantages over the courts.

Brandon Malone, Chairman of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Director of the ICEA, said:

“When it comes to energy dispute resolution in Scotland, we find that in our universities, in our legal firms, and in industry, we have a clustering of legal and technical energy expertise that is not readily found in any other part of the world."

Professor Peter Cameron, Director of the CEPMLP and of the ICEA, commented: “Energy-related disputes are now making up more than a third of all disputes in international commerce. For Scotland to stake a claim to expertise in this area is timely and builds on our deep knowledge of all kinds of energy resources.”

Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Secretary General of the ICEA, added:

“We will now consult the energy sector and work with relevant representative bodies to establish current trends and desired requirements in respect of dispute resolution within the industry. This research will support the proposed preparation of bespoke energy arbitration rules. We are keen to hear from the sector, so those interested in contributing or interested to find out more should get in touch with the centre. In the meantime, we will promote Scottish arbitration under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 for energy disputes, Scotland as a place to arbitrate such disputes, and the Scottish Arbitration Centre as an appointing body in ad hoc arbitration.”

Notes to editors

The Scottish courts have always recognised the right of parties to agree to exclude the jurisdiction of the courts to inquire into the merits of their disputes and instead to refer any disputes to arbitration. However, Scotland has new legislation that reforms and modernises its law of arbitration, enhancing its advantages over other jurisdictions (e.g., arbitration in Scotland is anticipated to cost probably only 40 per cent of the cost of arbitration in London or New York).

Read further information about the new ICEA and the advantage of arbitrating in Scotland at http://www.energyarbitration.org

The Scottish Arbitration Centre promotes arbitration, building on the entry into force of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 to the Scottish business community as an effective alternative to litigation, and Scotland to the world as a place to conduct international arbitration. Established in March 2011, the Centre is a non-profit company limited by guarantee made up of the Law Society of Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and the Scottish Government. For further information please visit http://www.scottisharbitrationcentre.org/