Arbitration analysis: Selecting an arbitrator is one of the most important strategic considerations in an arbitration. While an arbitrator's neutrality and impartiality is widely assumed to be the norm (especially internationally), tribunals in the United States have historically allowed commercial arbitrators to exhibit differing degrees of partiality. Here, David J. McLean of Latham & Watkins' New York office discusses the background to party-appointments in the US and discusses the practice in modern international arbitration.
Questions about the permitted partiality of party-appointed arbitrators in the United States have been much debated and the answers have evolved over the years. Having a partisan arbitrator may seem like an advantage, but as the norm has moved towards favouring neutral arbitrators, parties need to strategise carefully when selecting partisan arbitrators so as not to overplay their position.
Originally published on LexisPSL Arbitration.
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