Paris and London—traditionally the global centers of international arbitration—should begin to worry. Over the past few years, New York has undertaken a thoughtful, multifaceted effort to attract more international arbitrations. Collaborative and coincidental initiatives from the private sector, multiple bar associations, and the judiciary are making New York into a honeycomb of resources for arbitrators and parties, creating a serious, perhaps unprecedented, challenge to traditional arbitration epicenters in Europe.
Consider these milestones: In June 2013, the New York International Arbitration Center opened its doors in midtown Manhattan. In September 2013, the New York Supreme Court promulgated new court rules and dedicated a specific commercial division judge to handle all disputes related to international arbitration. That same month, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) established its first office in midtown. Ditto for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators—a storied London institution that helped make that city into an arbitration powerhouse. And for the first time, the New York–based International Centre for Dispute Resolution—the international arm of the American Arbitration Association—administered over 1,000 cases. All the while, New York has organically grown some of the most sophisticated dispute resolution organizations and academic programs in the world. The Big Apple is firing on all cylinders.
Where did this sudden confluence of energies come from? Who are the key players? And how will this groundswell of focus affect the booming market for international dispute resolution?