Cross-examination is a vital part of any litigator’s toolkit. An effective cross-examination can win or lose the case for a client. Cross-examination in international arbitration is subject to its own particular challenges. Arbitral cross-examination follows its own procedural norms and mores. Counsel must also be aware of the fact that witnesses, and the members of the tribunal, come from different legal backgrounds and cultures. Furthermore, as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater willingness by tribunals to accept remote or virtual hearings, leading to examination by videoconference.
Our highly distinguished speakers provided their unique insights into the procedural, cultural and logistical challenges of effective cross-examination in international arbitration, from both an arbitrator’s and counsel’s perspective.
Our speakers were:
Sir Bernard Rix. Sir Bernard Rix retired in 2013 from the Court of Appeal after twenty years as first a High Court Judge and then a Lord Justice of Appeal. He now practises as an arbitrator and accredited mediator. Since his retirement, he has been appointed to positions as a member of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and of the Singapore International Commercial Court and as a Professor of International Commercial Law at Queen Mary, University of London. He was educated at New College Oxford, of which he is an honorary fellow, and at Harvard Law School, where he was a Kennedy Scholar. He is a past President of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association of the UK. He has lectured abroad or spoken at international conferences or debates in St Petersburg, Moscow, Paris, Doha, Oslo, Florence, Padua, Venice, New York, Washington, Singapore, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Malmo, Jerusalem, Tokyo, and Warsaw, as well as in London. Other positions held have been or are: Treasurer of the Inner Temple, Chairman of Coexist House, President of the British Insurance Law Association, Trustee and honorary fellow of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, Chairman of the Razumovsky Trust, and a director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also participated in a performance of Der Rosenkavalier at the ENO.
Professor Khawar Qureshi QC. Professor Khawar Qureshi QC is a leading advocate in the fields of commercial litigation, international arbitration, public international law, administrative and constitutional law. He was an “A” Panel UK Government Treasury Counsel from 1999-2006, and has appeared in international arbitration/commercial matters for and against more than 60 governments. He has taught Commercial law at Cambridge University, Public International law at Kings London and was appointed a Visiting professor in Commercial Law at the University of London in 2006. He was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in 2013 and is a bencher of Middle Temple. He is a member of Serle Court Chambers and McNair Chambers Qatar.
The discussion was chaired by Gunjan Sharma and followed by a commentary from Jessica Pineda, both attorneys at Volterra Fietta. Both Mr Sharma and Ms Pineda have extensive experience representing clients in complex international disputes, including investor-State arbitrations (on behalf of both investors and States) and commercial arbitrations. Mr Sharma has also represented clients before a variety of US federal and state courts in complex nine-figure litigations.
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