The Dispute Resolution Review provides an indispensable overview of the civil court systems of 40 jurisdictions. I am delighted to take over as editor of this work from Jonathan Cotton of Slaughter and May, and would like to thank him for his valuable contribution to its development over his tenure as editor.
The Dispute Resolution Review offers a guide to those who are faced with disputes that frequently cross international boundaries. As is often the way in law, difficult and complex problems can be solved in a number of ways, and this edition demonstrates that there are many different ways to organise and operate a legal system successfully. At the same time, common problems often submit to common solutions, and the curious practitioner is likely to discover that many of the solutions adopted abroad are not so different to those closer to home.
This ninth edition follows the pattern of previous editions where leading practitioners in each jurisdiction set out an easily accessible guide to the key aspects of each jurisdiction’s dispute resolution rules and practice, and developments over the past 12 months. The Dispute Resolution Review is also forward-looking, and the contributors offer their views on the likely future developments in each jurisdiction. Collectively, the chapters illustrate the continually evolving legal landscape, responsive to both global and local developments.
I first began working on this publication in 2008 as a contributor during the early stages of the global financial crisis. At that point, there was much uncertainty about how the then financial world order would change and what that meant for disputes practices. Many predicted a surge in disputes as companies tightened their belts and fought more keenly over diminishing assets. Certainly, in my home jurisdiction – England and Wales – the commercial courts have been extremely busy. Since then we have seen green shoots of recovery followed by new crises both within the eurozone and globally, such as the more recent sharp fall in oil prices and consequential increase in disputes in the energy sector.
2016 may be seen as yet another benchmark year. Two major events have shaken investor confidence and are likely to have an impact on the legal profession for years to come. The UK’s vote to leave the EU has created considerable uncertainty in the region, and Donald Trump’s election as the US president is likely to affect the global international community. The special Brexit chapter in this edition explores some of the key issues that will form part of the UK–EU negotiations likely to commence this year. A top priority for disputes lawyers in the region will be whether there will continue to be mutual recognition of judgments across Europe. How will this affect London as a popular global centre for dispute resolution? No one knows the answer to these issues, but what is certain is that clients and practitioners across the globe are likely to continue to face novel and challenging problems. The Dispute Resolution Review aims to shine a light on where to find the answer.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the contributors from all of the jurisdictions represented in The Dispute Resolution Review. Their biographies start at page 629 and highlight the wealth of experience and learning from which we are fortunate enough to benefit. I would also like to thank the whole team at Law Business Research who have excelled in managing a project of this size and scope, in getting it delivered on time and in adding a professional look and finish to the contributions.
Slaughter and May