Abstract

Arbitration is the most widely used dispute resolution method in the energy sector. A major advantage of arbitration is that it allows parties to select the persons who will settle the dispute — the arbitrators. However, finding meaningful information on the level of expertise of potential arbitrators is not easy. There are serious information asymmetries that prevent the market for arbitrator services from being fully competitive and impair parties’ ability to make wholly informed decisions. Because most parties and their counsels are not familiar with the market for arbitrators, they tend to rely on personal enquiries and generic or specific directories of arbitrators. The choice of a suitable arbitrator is critical, not merely from the parties’ point of view but also to ensure the efficiency and legitimacy of the overall system of dispute resolution. Arbitrators should be able to balance a variety of diverse interests that frequently go beyond the strict concerns of the disputing parties. This article argues that lists of energy arbitrators should be improved so as to allow interested parties to consult prior awards rendered by potential arbitrators and the feedback provided by previous users of their services. This would allow parties to conduct a more efficient screening of potential candidates, hopefully contributing to make the process of identification of expert energy arbitrators easier and cheaper.
Full Paper
Fernando Dias Simões
Senior Research Associate

Summary

Arbitration is the most widely used dispute resolution method in the energy sector. A major advantage of arbitration is that it allows parties to select the persons who will settle the dispute — the arbitrators. However, finding meaningful information on the level of expertise of potential arbitrators is not easy. There are serious information asymmetries that prevent the market for arbitrator services from being fully competitive and impair parties’ ability to make wholly informed decisions. Because most parties and their counsels are not familiar with the market for arbitrators, they tend to rely on personal enquiries and generic or specific directories of arbitrators. The choice of a suitable arbitrator is critical, not merely from the parties’ point of view but also to ensure the efficiency and legitimacy of the overall system of dispute resolution. Arbitrators should be able to balance a variety of diverse interests that frequently go beyond the strict concerns of the disputing parties. This article argues that lists of energy arbitrators should be improved so as to allow interested parties to consult prior awards rendered by potential arbitrators and the feedback provided by previous users of their services. This would allow parties to conduct a more efficient screening of potential candidates, hopefully contributing to make the process of identification of expert energy arbitrators easier and cheaper.

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