Lawyer Monthly - May 2022

Arbitration and Its Relevance tothe Tech Sector MAY 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM pandemic had a major effect on how arbitration proceedings are conducted. We have witnessed a rapid and major switch to virtual hearings, all the participants in the process taking huge technological steps in making use of new technologies in arbitrations, such as Zoom-held hearings or eDiscovery. In terms of substantive issues, a topical discussion in the last couple of years was on the subject of environmental, social and governance expectations of business, which together with the climate change goals will probably lead to an increased number of disputes in this area. Can you tell us about further trends that you expect to see in the sector in the remainder of 2022 and beyond? As companies and activities in the tech sector are subjected to regulations, we might see tech companies bringing investment claims against states for breach of their investments in the sector. Blockchain arbitration is likely to become more widely used for its advantages as an affordable and decentralised system. The way I see the process developing, access to blockchain-conducted arbitration will be possible without personal identities York Convention is also beneficial. The confidential character of the arbitration process makes it attractive for tech disputes as well. What benefits can arbitration (and ADR more widely) have for fast-evolving industries like digital technology? Having recourse to a fast and confidential dispute resolution process enables continuous innovation, as the legal positions of the parties are swiftly clarified and development is not halted by lengthy litigation. What trends in arbitration and industry have you personally observed in the past two years? During the last two years, the COVID-19 The AI, cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces have recently seen a marked increase of development contracts featuring arbitration clauses. Why do you believe arbitration is seen as an attractive option for dispute resolution in the tech sector? I think arbitration is well suited to solve disputes in this field because of the specific technical issues involved. Having tech-savvy arbitrators deciding a case is a key advantage of arbitration in tech cases. The efficiency of the process is also a major advantage compared to the length of normal court proceedings. Moreover, cryptocurrency and blockchain have a borderless character and from this perspective, being able to enforce an arbitral award in almost 170 countries that have ratified the New MY LEGAL LIFE - MIHAELA MARAVELA As a fast-changing area of industry, the tech sector is especially suited by the flexibility afforded by ADR as opposed to litigation. What are the advantages of this, and how is the relationship between arbitration and tech likely to develop as companies invest more heavily in “Web 3.0” and blockchain technology? Arbitration specialist Mihaela Maravela offers her thoughts. 21

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