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Posted May 20, 2019 | Published in Dispute resolution

Celebrating Legal and Construction Professions

It has been a great few days celebrating both the legal and construction professions in London.

Last week saw the inaugural London International Disputes Week, with an array of esteemed legal practitioners sharing their insights on current disputes trends and recent cases. The feedback was encouragingly consistent across the board - London remains one of the most (if not the most) prominent cities in the world in which to conduct international disputes. This is particularly the case for construction and engineering disputes. It was an honour to hear Mr. Justice Fraser, the judge in charge of the Technology and Construction Court, speak twice and share statistics about the continuing increase in international cases being dealt with in the English courts. A substantial proportion of cases presently before the English courts involve parties domiciled outside of the UK and outside of Europe. London continues to remain a go-to seat choice for international arbitration matters. 

"It was an honour to hear Mr. Justice Fraser, the judge in charge of the Technology and Construction Court, speak twice and share statistics about the continuing increase in international cases being dealt with in the English courts."

Specialist sessions dealing with energy, construction and climate change disputes were of particular interest. The recent Supreme Court decision in Vedanta Resources PLC and another (Appellants) v Lungowe and others (Respondents) [2019] UKSC 20 deservedly received a lot of air time throughout the week, with considerable implications for international parent companies domiciled in England & Wales. We will be sharing a more detailed case analysis in our International Quarterly newsletter next month.

One feature of the climate change disputes session was unplanned and purely coincidental - the powerful panel comprised of QCs, City law firm partners and an NGO pioneer was all-female. A great endorsement for young women aspiring to legal careers in London.

The Women in Construction Summit which took place in London this week offered similar encouragement with prominent figures attending from the construction industry. Impressive speakers and attendees from all over the UK and further afield shared their industry experiences, at all levels from the junior ranks right up to board level. Topics covered ranged from diversity (not only gender), to negotiation skills and the use of technology across the construction industry when bidding for projects. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn from women (and some men too) across all parts of the industry and hear about exciting projects in the pipeline.

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