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The ICC’s New Brazil Office and The Success of the ICC Miami Conference: A Sign of Things to Come for ICC Arbitration in Latin America?

There is no doubt that Latin America has generally seen a rise in the use of arbitration in the last decade. Continuing with that trend, in 2016 the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) reported that Latin America saw a 15% rise in the number of parties participating in ICC Arbitration,[1] with Brazil and Mexico both making it to the top ten.

This year, the opening of the new ICC Court’s case management office in Brazil and the success of the 15th ICC Miami Conference on International Arbitration both suggest that the region’s use of ICC Arbitration will continue to grow.

The ICC’s New São Paulo Office

The ICC Court announced in April this year that it was expanding its operations in the region through the establishment of a new case management team in São Paulo, Brazil. Having a physical presence in Brazil made sense in light of the fact that “Brazil ranks third in the top-ten list of countries with most the parties involved in ICC Arbitrations, accounting for close to 30% of all parties in the Latin American and Caribbean region in 2016.” [2] The office started administering cases earlier this month. Brazilian parties using the Sao Paulo case management office are now able to make payments in local currency and avoid the withholding taxes that previously increased their overall cost of ICC arbitration. This new office should therefore make ICC arbitration more accessible to the Brazilian market, and in particular to medium size Brazilian companies. The next step for the ICC Court’s São Paulo office will be opening a hearing center, which is likely to occur within the next few months.

The ICC Miami Conference

The growing respect for ICC arbitration was palpable this year at the ICC’s 15thMiami Conference, attended by 600 delegates from at least 35 countries. This conference, which is one of the ICC’s most well attended events, appears to have become the most important event of the year for the Latin American arbitration community. The Conference, which includes an annual training of the ICC World Business Law Institute, featured 50 speakers from Latin America and beyond, including leading arbitrators such as Yves Derains, Juan Fernandez Armesto, Claus von Wobeser, Karyl Nairn, Q.C. and Pedro Batista Martins. On the eve of the Conference, the ICC Advanced Academy for Latin America held its sixth workshop, which was hosted by Squire Patton Boggs and involved the participation of over forty-five Latin American senior arbitration practitioners.

Three topics discussed at the conference this year are particularly important to the region: (i) the new expedited procedure provisions in the ICC Rules of Arbitration (in force as of March 1, 2017), which will generally affect arbitrations in which the amount in dispute does not exceed USD 2 million;[3] (ii) the impact that corruption allegations and parallel criminal proceedings can have on arbitration disputes; and (iii) arbitration in the face of an anti-trade political atmosphere. All three of these topics will be the subject of future posts.


[1] https://iccwbo.org/media-wall/news-speeches/icc-reveals-record-number-new-arbitration-cases-filed-2016/

[2] https://iccwbo.org/media-wall/news-speeches/icc-court-announces-new-operations-brazil/

[3] https://iccwbo.org/dispute-resolution-services/arbitration/expedited-procedure-provisions/

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About this Author

Beatriz Jaramillo, Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm, Commercial Litigation Attorney
Associate

Beatriz Jaramillo’s practice focuses primarily on complex commercial litigation and products liability defense. She has experience litigating high-stakes products liability matters, as well as handling property and contract disputes. She also maintains an active appellate and pro bono practice.

Beatriz served as a judicial intern to The Honorable Judge Adalberto Jordan in the Southern District Court of Florida. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Dade-County Bar Association and the Colombian American Bar Association....

305-577-2815
José Feris, Paris, France, Squire Patton Boggs, International Dispute Resolution Practice Group, commercial arbitration proceedings, investment arbitration proceedings, arbitrator,
Partner

José is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution Practice Group of the firm based in our Paris office. He represents private and public entities in commercial and investment arbitration proceedings. He also sits as arbitrator in commercial ad-hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings.

José has unique experience and insight gained from his career at the ICC Court and has a specialist profile within the sector. During the course of his career, he has supervised thousands of arbitration cases and reviewed an equal number of arbitral awards in a wide range of jurisdictions, languages and applicable laws. José also played an important role in key strategic initiatives at the ICC such as the 2012 and 2017 revision of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the gold standard in terms of institutional arbitration, and the drafting of the revised 2017 Rules of ICC as Appointing Authority. He was also instrumental in designing and implementing the ICC Court’s new policies to increase efficiency, transparency and diversity in international arbitration. José assisted in the establishment of the ICC Court case management offices in New York City and Sao Paulo, the ICC Arab Arbitration Group, and the opening of an ICC Court representative office in Shanghai.

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