The best of the new generation
With the NewGen project, CAM-CCBC has been continuously expanding the quality and quantity of ADR professionals
by Andréa Ciaffone
The new generations have the mission of creating disruption, shaping the present to conquer the future they desire. Thus, CAM-CCBC has developed the NewGen project to support students and young professionals who are willing to work with alternative dispute resolution methods (known as ADRs). “We realized that there was, in the new generation of lawyers, the desire to participate in this universe. CAM-CCBC, with its pioneering tradition, designed a program of activities capable of accelerating the evolution of ADR professionals”, explains Ana Flávia Furtado, institutional development advisor at CAM-CCBC.
Ensuring that no talent is left undirected, that skills are encouraged, and tenacity is awarded, the CAM-CCBC project, created in 2019, brings together a series of decisive facilities in the training of an ADR professional: scholarships for short courses; discounts that allow participation in professional events; a seat on editorial board (of publications in the area); the possibility of representing an association of young professionals in certain instances; and attendance at workshops and conferences.
Among these activities, the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is the one that most mobilizes the new generation, a competition held annually in Vienna (Austria), a city that historically is a negotiating center between Western and Eastern Europe. With the mission of promoting the study of international commercial law and arbitration and providing practical training to students to resolve international business disputes, Vis Moot has become a kind of Olympiad for which students train hard to be stronger, faster, more creative, and more effective.
As in various sports, it is necessary to compete directly with opposing teams. The competition has two phases: writing the claimant and respondent written plays and the oral hearing presentation of arguments held before experienced arbitration professionals and university professors from various parts of the world.
The cases address issues arising from commercial transactions carried out under the aegis of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and other international trade laws. The dispute is always resolved in the context of specific rules adopted by the world’s main arbitration centers. In 2017, the competition followed the Arbitration Rules of CAM-CCBC.
“The competitions online format will leave a legacy, but personal interaction between young professionals and arbitrators will always be a valuable and essential component of these initiatives”
The alignment between São Paulo and Vienna is very consistent, and this is demonstrated by the prestige of the previous events of the competition in the Austrian capital, the Pre-Moots, organized by the Center, which are for the universe of ADR as well as the Olympic index generating championships are for sports. CAM-CCBC promotes the Pre-Moot of São Paulo and organizes the Pre-Moot in Hamburg, Germany. In 2021, due to the pandemic, the two events took place in a completely virtual format, which did not take away the participants’ enthusiasm — each competition had more than 60 entries from teams and 160 arbitrators dedicated to studying each case and evaluating students.
For Luiza Kömel, deputy secretary-general of the Center, the virtual format reproduces the virtual audiences that became the rule during social isolation and offered another opportunity for learning to students and reduced the costs of moving teams. “After the pandemic, this format will certainly leave a legacy, but I believe that personal interaction between young professionals and arbitrators is a valuable and essential component of these initiatives,” she says.
In this sense, the support of a consolidated and active institution such as CAM-CCBC makes all the difference. Over the past year, NewGen has created opportunities for professional and academic engagement and promoted ADR-related courses, workshops, and seminars, all in virtual format, allowing its members to continue developing their skills in the digital environment.
“Ten or fifteen years ago, students were debating at Vis Moot just because it was fun, today theyrealize how law firms see mooting as an essential skill set”
“NewGen’s management committee likes to imagine a future in which Brazil will have an important share of leaders in the global ADR community. NewGen’s initiatives are contributions to paint this picture,” says Luísa Quintão, a CAM-CCBC initiative participant and currently studying for a master’s degree at Duke University in the United States. She argues that supporting students is also a way to ensure the diversity of the community of arbitrators in the future and points out that NewGen’s principle is to promote diversity in all forms: age, race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, geographic origin. “As far as the market is concerned, NewGen understands that competition does not have the same starting point for all young professionals, so we seek to create opportunities that contribute to leveling the playing field and ultimately promote diversity in ADR areas and influence employers in hiring approach,” she said.
“Brazil is a frequent recipient of foreign investments in the public and private sectors, leading several international companies to create their Brazilian tables, including dispute resolution practices. In addition, the country is also unequivocally an important arbitration center on a global scale and home to some of the largest international arbitration conferences and events, such as the CAM-CCBC Arbitration Congress. All this has a positive impact on the training of young Professionals of ADR”, notes Luisa.
Expanding boundaries is essential inside and outside the ADR universe. According to Anthony Daimsis, a lawyer and professor at the University of Ottawa, where he serves as director of the national program, the right professional, who understands the benefits of ADR, is well-positioned to help people resolve disputes outside the courts more efficient and more likely to maintain relationships.“Small and medium-sized enterprises can take advantage of alternatives to the expensive and overly procedural judicial option.
Sílvia Pachikoski, Patrícia Kobayashi, CarlosForbes, Eleonora Coelho, Luiza Kömel, PaulaRenata Costa, at the dinner hosted by CAM-CCBC at the Albertina Museum, in Vienna,during Vis Moot 2019
Clockwise, from the top: Luiza Kömel, Luísa Quintão, Anthony Daimsis, Ana Flávia Furtado
A current example is how arbitration quickly adapted to remote hearings, while many courts around the world needed (and some still need) time to suit and guide professionals,” says Daimsis, who is reputed to be an excellent student trainer for Vis Moot and notices a behavioral change in his students.
“Today’s young people are more career-savvy and knowledgeable on professional issues than before. Ten or fifteen years ago, students were striving at Vis Moot because it was fun, an activity that broke up the course monotony. Today I notice that students are aware that law firms see their participation as indicative of essential skills.”
“Today’s students are more career-savvythan they once were. Whereas ten or fifteen years ago, students mooted because it was a fun activity that broke the monotony of regular course work, today I notice that students realize how law firms see mooting as an essential skill set.”
Given the evolution of globalization, the universe of ADRs has been continuously expanding and demanding an increasing number of professionals. This increase in quantity, however, brings concern with quality. “Nowadays, it’s hard to go a day without receiving an email announcing the latest ADR workshop from various organizations. The challenge, therefore, is to know which new program to attend or which ‘new’ topic to become familiar with,” says the University of Ottawa professor. “What I advise my students, whether they hear or not, is to become authentic experts. Don’t spread too much, I’ll tell them. What I advise my students to do (whether or not they listen) is to become authentic specialists. Do not spread yourself too thin, I tell them. Build strong foundations because once you build a strong foundation, people will quickly notice. And once they notice, you will receive calls and more work than you have time to accept, predicts Daimsis.
The conquest of the East
Vis East Moot allows the students to come close to Brazil’s most important business partners at present.
Over the past 30 years, with the advance of globalization, Asian partners have become even more vital to emerging countries. Since the last decade, China has consistently stood out as Brazil’s largest trading partner, accounting for 34.1% of its total exports. Therefore, being able to conduct complex negotiations with Asian partners is on the list of priorities of any foreign trade professional, including, of course, those working with the ADR sector.
Aligned with this reality, Cam-CCBC has been supporting the participation of Brazilians in Vis East Moot, an Asian version of the Viennese event that has been held in Hong Kong since 2002.
In the 18 years since its inception, Vis East, as well as Willem C. Vis Moot, have changed tremendously and become even more international. Brazil is now one of the largest jurisdictions in several teams in Vienna and, in 2021, had a record number of participants in the Vis East. “Competition in Hong Kong has grown in importance, and universities often prepare separate teams to take advantage of the dual opportunity to expose more students to this experience,” explains Cesar Pereira, partner at Justen, Pereira Oliveira & Talamini Advogados and the leading promoter of Brazilian participation in the Asian competition.
He points out that the Vis East competition is surrounded by Pre-Moots, activities promoted by sponsors or support organizations in East Asia, which gives students and arbitrators more networking opportunities. In the 2021 edition, several Brazilian and Asian organizations, including CAM-CCBC, Ibrachina, CIArb Brazil Branch, and CIArb East Asia Branch, brought together various online events discussing multiple commercial transactions and dispute resolution aspects between Asian and Latin American parties. “This is a good example of opportunities generated with the involvement in the competition. I can personally attest to this aspect of Vis East, since I have met in Hong Kong, over the many years I have been participating, some of my best friends, business partners and international colleagues of ADR”, he celebrates.
The traditional annual dinner hosted by CAM-CCBC during Vis Moot, at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna; young professionals divide their time in the Austrian capital between competitions and celebrations
The question, therefore, is to speculate in which areas there will be greater future demand for alternative means of dispute resolution. For Daimsis, “commercial law remains the main area for several reasons, which include the speed of entrepreneurs in assessing when there is a need to sit and talk and when that moment ends. Guided by their view of financial results, they are capable of taking emotion out of the equation.”
“But, more and more, I see the value in applying ADRs to disputes that traditionally used either court or never saw the light of day. Statistics in my own country are sobering. The cost of accessing courts prevents a disproportionate number of disputes from being resolved. This is a function of a court system that is too old, too tired, and too expensive. If their users know how to use them, ADRs can make a real dent in this access issue. For example, small businesses may use inexpensive ADRs to resolve more minor disputes”, says the professor.
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