Washington and Lee Law professor Victoria Shannon Sahani was recently featured by Oxford University Press on their Investment Claims homepage. Professor Sahani’s blog post, titled The Structural Challenge of Investment Arbitration Viewed through the Lens of Third-Party Funding was published on June 10, 2015.
Prof. Shannon Debates the Merits of “Issue Conflicts” in International Arbitration at the ASIL Annual Meeting
On Thursday, April 9, Professor Victoria Shannon debated the merits of arbitrator disqualification due to “issue conflicts” during a session entitled “ASIL-ICCA Task Force on Issue Conflicts in International Arbitration: Briefing and Discussion” at the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The term “issue conflicts” refers to the increasing number of proposals to disqualify arbitrators in international arbitration disputes on the ground of bias arising from views expressed in prior decisions and scholarship. ASIL and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) created a joint task force to explore the question of “issue conflicts” with the aim of developing some form of guidance for the international arbitration community. The Task Force has finalized its draft report, which is now posted on the websites of ASIL and ICCA for comments. This session at ASIL featured a mock debate about the merits of “issue conflicts” in which Professor Shannon served as one of the debaters. The session also invited participants in the ASIL Annual Meeting to comment on and discuss the draft report.
On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, Professor Victoria Shannon presented her article, Judging Third-Party Funding, 63 UCLA L. Rev __ (2016) (forthcoming), at William & Mary Law School as part of the Junior Faculty Exchange Program. Professor Shannon’s article provides guidance to judges and arbitrators regarding how to reinterpret the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, evidentiary privileges, and international arbitration procedures in light of third-party funding. By interpreting the existing rules as suggested in this Article, judges and arbitrators will be able to gain a better sense of the prevalence, structures, and impact of third-party funding and its effects (if any) on dispute resolution procedures. Over time, these observations will reveal the true systemic impact of third-party funding and contribute to developing robust third-party funding regulations. The current draft is available here.
Read more about Professor Shannon’s scholarship here.
From the abstract:
Third-party litigation funding is no longer a new phenomenon, but rather is a mainstay in global commerce and dispute resolution. Yet many observers still consider the third-party litigation funding industry as a “wild west” due to a lack of regulation in many countries. Some of the countries that have regulations suffer from a lack of uniformity and an array of conflicting laws at the sub-national level (i.e., the laws of states, provinces, territories, etc.). For example, the United States has a confusing patchwork of state laws on third-party litigation funding. This Article proposes harmonizing the regulatory framework for third-party litigation funding in the United States by identifying the three categories of interactions— transactional, procedural, and ethical—that make up third-party litigation funding, and suggesting avenues for regulation within those three categories. This approach will weave a regulatory “safety net” of minimum standards for the behaviors and interactions of the players in third-party litigation funding arrangements to ensure the integrity of the dispute resolution system in which they invest and participate.
On February 12, 2015, Professor Victoria Shannon participated in the third meeting of the Third-Party Funding Task Force, jointly organized by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and Queen Mary, University of London. During the meeting, Professor Shannon presented a report on how the recent revisions to the International Bar Association’s Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration addressed issues relating to third-party funding.
The mission of the Third Party Funding Task Force is to systematically study and make recommendations regarding the procedures, ethics, and policy issues relating to third-party funding in international arbitration. The Task Force is comprised of representatives drawn from among governments, corporate counsel, international arbitration counsel, arbitrators, arbitral institutions, academics, and third-party funders. Its work will be presented in a series of White Papers and a number of public colloquia to be hosted at various locations worldwide.
Information about the work of the Task Force and a list of its members is available here.
Washington and Lee law professor Victoria Shannon will participate at the ITA-IEL Joint Conference on International Arbitration this week, January 15-16, 2015 in Houston, Texas.
Professor Shannon will participate in a roundtable session, “Issue Conflict” as a Ground for Disqualifying Arbitrators: Pandora’s Box or Necessary Regulation?
Professor Shannon Presents at Freshfields on Attorney Ethics for Third Party Funding of International Arbitration
On October 8, 2014 Professor Shannon presented a lunchtime talk on the topic “Attorney Ethics for Third Party Funding in International Arbitration” at the Washington, D.C. office of Freshfields, a premier global law firm that specializes in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration.
Attorneys in the firm’s New York office attended her talk via videoconference. Professor Shannon gave advice on how to handle the ethical issues that may arise in both international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration when an attorney represents a funded client or when an arbitrator hears a case involving one or more funded parties.