This week has seen London play host to the first-ever London International Disputes Week (LIDW), the city's answer to promoting the City as an international hub for disputes.
The week-long event celebrated the strengths of London as a centre for handling disputes; devised, organised and presented by a collaboration of over 50 leading law firms, barristers' chambers, experts, arbitration and mediation bodies and academics, in an inspiring and unique alliance. Centred on a flagship one-day conference at the heart of the week, the conference also involved a programme of 18 technical sessions on different types of disputes and forms of dispute resolution, spanning a broad range of sectors and industries, held over four days.
The conference created the opportunity for the disputes community - lawyers, judges, arbitrators, experts, academics, institutions, clients, legal press and more - to explore the future of international dispute resolution, and celebrate the heritage of London as a leading centre for handling international disputes.
The event comes at a time when the UK legal sector is looking to establish its future role and status as a dispute resolution hub during-and-post-Brexit, however the process unfolds. Indeed, the disputes sector looks to be in rude health, with recent figures showing 2018-19 was a record year for the London commercial court, with 1,012 litigants from 78 countries issuing proceedings, and that since the UK voted to leave the EU, the number of cases involving litigants from Europe has more than doubled.
Byfield consultancy is very proud to be a supporting institution of LIDW, providing PR and digital marketing services for the event. The disputes sector has much to be proud of in London, and it's fantastic to see the sector coming together with huge enthusiasm to celebrate and promote this fact.
However, lawyers in the City of London should not panic — the pillars of commercial law in the Square Mile are far from crumbling, say those attending the inaugural London international disputes week.