The judiciaries in Central Europe and Scandinavia are mostly quite efficient. But the different national multi-level court systems appear to be time-consuming and costly. Hence Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by arbitration or mediation has gained substantial recognition and volume. I had the opportunity to focus on ADR since more than 30 years, during which I have enjoyed more than 200 arbitrations and I got elected to contribute in more than 50 disputes as an arbitrator or mediator.
The best part of my experience focusses on three revenant issues: (a) Damages from unfortunate project management, (b) professional indemnity of auditors/directors and (c) the legal evaluation of sophisticated technical issues.
a. Unfortunate Project Management
Complex construction projects tend to delays and cost-overruns. Identifying “critical paths”, discussing their causality and fighting about quantification of damage may be key. Typically know-how in project management and coaching for experts are both necessary as well as an experienced look behind the façade of “officially” released information, the anticipation of internal conflicts among clients’ teams and orchestrating groups of litigators and business people under stress in a dispute.
b. Professional Indemnity
Directors, corporate officers and auditors are burdened by a growing load of theoretically inflated responsibilities. I am quite conversant with retrospective analysis of corporate break-downs, financial crisis and circumstances of imminent insolvency, when old and newly developed standards, progress in judicial practice and levels of professional diligence need to be distinguished.
c. Sophisticated Technical Issues
Radiation from nuclear waste, metallurgical problems with heavy duty components or the intricacies of diagnostic equipment as well as underlying empirics require “translation” into and presentation in a language familiar to arbitrators and vice versa.
Whoever is reading the above and finds it ringing a bell, may benefit from testing me as a counterpart for planning tactics, as a sparring partner for complex decisions or simply as a source for a second opinion.