I am privileged to be the editor of the inaugural edition of The Complex Commercial Litigation Law Review. This first edition is published at a time when the world grows ever smaller and commercial relationships are the common currency that links countries and cultures across the globe. And, with apologies to the poet Robert Burns, because the best laid plans of commercial counter-parties go oft awry, businesses and their legal counsel in every jurisdiction must be familiar not only with the law governing commerce but also must be keenly aware of the legal issues that most frequently arise in commercial disputes.
I have had the good fortune to practise law for many years as a litigation partner of a global law firm, Sidley Austin LLP, in New York City, one of the world’s great commercial and financial centres, and a crossroads where many significant and complex disputes are litigated and tried, whether in our US federal or state courts, or arbitrated under the auspices of pre-eminent ADR providers. I also have had the pleasure of working alongside, or opposite, some of the most accomplished disputes practitioners anywhere, whether down the street or halfway around the world, in matters both domestic and cross-border in nature. In serving our respective clients, I would like to think that we have learned from each other, and have become better and more effective for the education. I know I have.
It is with that spirit and intention that we have assembled a truly distinguished roster of leading practitioners to contribute to this inaugural volume. The authors of this publication are from among the most widely respected law firms in their jurisdictions. Their practices run the gamut of complex commercial litigation experience, and the home jurisdictions about which they write span the world’s geography. We hope you will find their experience invaluable and enlightening when dealing with issues arising in commercial litigation in your own experience or practice.
These authors practise in disparate legal systems under dissimilar procedural regimes. One of the great strengths and, we hope, the utility, of this volume is that, notwithstanding these differences, we have asked the authors to report on recent developments in the law of their country concerning the same set of fundamentally important legal issues likely to feature in complex commercial disputes, wherever they may arise. These issues include contract formation and modification; contract interpretation; breach of contract; defences to enforcement; fraud, misrepresentation and other claims impacting contracts; dispute resolution; and remedies. The emphasis is on the law and practice of each jurisdiction, but discussion of emerging or unsettled issues is included where appropriate.
Whether you are a corporate counsel, a business executive, a private practitioner or a government official, and whether you are facing litigation or arbitration of a commercial dispute, negotiating a contract with an eye towards minimising litigation risk, or simply interested in learning more about this important area of law as related by a seasoned and savvy practitioner, we hope you will find this volume informative, instructive and enjoyable.