Scottish Arbitration Centre wins bids to bring ICCA 2020 to Edinburgh

Andrew Mackenzie

The Scottish Arbitration Centre has won its bid for Edinburgh to host the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress 2020. The other cities that bid for the congress were Copenhagen, Mexico City, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Vancouver and Vienna. The final written bid was submitted in April, followed by a presentation made to the judging panel on 8 May 2016 at the ICCA Congress in Mauritius.

The presentation included a video which featured the First Minister along with the centre’s honorary president, chairman of the board and chief executive. The bid presentation also involved the bid team being piped into the governing board meeting by a Mauritian bagpiper and the unveiling of a new tartan commissioned for ICCA which will be registered under the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008.

ICCA is a worldwide non-governmental organisation devoted to promoting the use, and improving the processes of arbitration and other forms of international commercial dispute resolution. Its activities include convening international arbitration congresses and conferences, sponsoring authoritative dispute resolution publications, and promoting the harmonisation of arbitration and conciliation rules, laws and practices.

The ICCA Congress is the world’s largest conference devoted to international arbitration. The previous two ICCA congresses, held in Singapore and Miami, each attracted over 1,000 arbitration professionals. VisitScotland estimates the congress is worth around £1.7 million to the Scottish economy.

A number of leading law firms have financially committed to ICCA 2020 in Edinburgh and one hundred thousand pounds in sponsorship has already been raised. CMS has agreed to become a “platinum” sponsor, with Shepherd and Wedderburn and Herbert Smith Freehills also becoming “bronze” sponsors. Stephenson Harwood has also agreed to become an official sponsor, along with Marketing Edinburgh and VisitScotland.

ICCA president, Donald Donovan, said: “We are delighted to be going to Edinburgh in 2020, and congratulate the bid committee on having prevailed in the face of stiff competition from a strong field of bidders.”

Centre chairmanBrandon Malone, said: “It is a great honour to be selected to host the 2020 ICCA Congress, and a remarkable achievement given the stiff competition we faced from some of the great cities of the world.  We look forward to welcoming the arbitration world to Scotland.”

Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of the centre, added: “We are delighted to bring the ICCA Congress to Edinburgh in 2020. We look forward to showing the international arbitration community what Scotland has to offer and are confident that this conference will put Edinburgh firmly on the map as venue and a seat of international arbitration.”