Canadian Lawyer InHouse

June/July 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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Page 20 of 35 19 technology. However, Richler says, the process is working well overall and may be extended for the long term. "Even if we are not in total lockdown in the fall, there may be witnesses who don't want to travel or are nervous to stay in hotels, so we will probably maintain proceedings that are partly, if not entirely, virtual," he says. One international case planned at Arbitration Place involves witnesses from South America who are unable to travel to Canada, so virtual proceedings are ideal. Also on the top 10 list, ADR Chambers has moved arbitration proceedings online using video conferencing, although ADR had not seen an increase in the volume of arbitration cases at the time of interview. "The major thing people are looking to do is figure out ways to make the process stream- lined, less expensive, faster and more expedited," says Allan Stitt, president and CEO at ADR Chambers. Avoiding unnecessary process is Stitt's recommendation for in-house lawyers. "As in-house counsel know, there is a tremendous demand from their bosses to reduce the costs of getting disputes resolved," says Stitt. "They should find ways to cut back on due process and make sure arbitration is fast and inexpensive, and the crucial thing is to design the process before disputes arise." As the largest private alternative dispute resolution company in the world, ADR Chambers has administered more than 55,000 arbitrations and mediations over the last seven years. Stitt is also a member of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, which is working on developing a model for expedited arbitration rules. Penner recommends that in-house counsel pay careful attention to dispute resolutions when a contract is initially drawn up. "It's often the last clause in an agreement because attention is turned to what party will sell to another and at what price, but it's also important to give adequate consideration to how to resolve a dispute in the event that a "There is a definite opportunity for the expanded use of arbitration during this difficult time." Barry Penner, British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre dispute does occur," says Penner. Colin Campbell, a mediator, arbitrator and complex case manager at Amicus Chambers, has observed that many in-house counsel clients are quite well prepared for arbitration matters because they have often come from a litigation background. He notes that in-house counsel tend to work in partnership with external counsel partners on the arbitration cases that he sees at Amicus Chambers, a collaborative group of retired judges of the Ontario Superior Court. "I think one of the reasons that people turn to arbitration is to get people with a specific background to help deal with disputes, and there are a lot of lawyers who have specialized in fields like construction, patents and other areas of law that people turn to for arbitration," says Campbell. "Some of the cases I get — and I think other

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