The inaugural “Hogan Lovells International Arbitration Salon” was recently held at the Hogan Lovells London office on 25 March 2015, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Hosted by partners Carmen Núñez-Lagos and Julianne Hughes-Jennett, and featuring a keynote address from Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof, Director-General of the LCIA, the topic for discussion at the Salon was the importance of diversity in international arbitration.
For the uninitiated, a “Salon” is a conversational gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host. Historically a Salon refers to a regular social gathering for intellectuals, at the house of a prominent woman in high society. The term originated in the late 17th Century from the French salon (drawing room).
Attended by a diverse range of private practitioners on both sides of the profession, arbitrators and in-house counsel, each hailing from jurisdictions across the globe, including London, the Netherlands, New York, Uganda and Nigeria, the Salon prompted a lively and frank discussion about the particular challenges with respect to diversity in international arbitration, such as the small pool of regularly appointed arbitrators and the barriers to entry this creates for those outside of that group. Consideration was also given as to whether the arbitration community sufficiently recognises the talented practitioners from different geographical and ethnic backgrounds as well as of different genders in international arbitration, and what can be done to ensure better representation of women at the top of the profession.
This was the first in a series of Hogan Lovells International Arbitration Salons, which provide an intimate forum for discussion and debate over dinner on topical issues and developments in the field of international arbitration between practitioners, arbitrators and users of international arbitration.