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Professor Rogers speaks on findings of task force on third-party funding in international arbitration

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Catherine Rogers, professor of law and the Marjorie Price Faculty Scholar at Penn State Law, spoke at the 14th Annual Institute for Transnational Arbitration – American Society of International Law (ITA-ASIL) Conference this month to present the key findings of the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third-party Funding in International Arbitration.

The conference, “Third- Party Funding in International Arbitration: Legal & Ethical Considerations,” was held April 12 in Washington, D.C.

The Third-Party Funding Task Force was established to systematically study and make recommendations regarding the procedures, ethics, and related policy issues relating to third-party funding in international arbitration. Established in 2014, the task force is co-chaired by Rogers, William “Rusty” Park of Boston University School of Law, and Stavros Brekoulakis of Queen Mary University of London School of Law.

“The true strength of the task force is that it is comprised of a range of leading stakeholders from around the world—not only funders and third-party funding brokers, but also arbitrators, counsel, clients, policymakers from states (in their individual capacities), and academics,” said Rogers. “This composition allows us to discuss and debate the complex and often-delicate issues that arise with the advent of third-party funding.”

Third-party funders are playing an increasingly larger role in international arbitration, with more and more institutions financing disputes in return for a portion of the proceeds from a successful case. The financing is coming from insurance companies, investment banks, and hedge funds as well as specialized institutions that focus solely on investing in arbitral disputes. The stakes are high. Funders cumulatively have many billions of dollars that they are ready to spend on legal services to pursue claims around the world, and increasingly international arbitration disputes are drawing some of that funding.

The 122-page report presented at the ITA-ASIL conference was a working draft for discussion purposes. The task force will be revising the draft report, based on feedback received, and posting a revised and expanded version for formal public comment in July 2017. The final report is due to be published in the spring of 2018.

In addition to her position at Penn State Law, Rogers serves as professor of ethics, regulation & the rule of law and director of the Institute for Ethics, Regulation & the Rule of Law at Queen Mary University of London. She is a reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration and is the founder of Arbitrator Intelligence, an NGO that aims to increase fairness, transparency and accountability in the arbitrator selection process, and increased diversity in arbitrator appointments.

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