Introducing the Atlanta International Arbitration Society - Kirk Watkins to Lead Panel
April 21, 2013
Traditionally, international arbitration has been a time-consuming, potentially expensive proposition for U.S. companies, often involving frequent travel to Europe to arbitrate disputes. Atlanta offers a cost-effective domestic option for international arbitration, which is being effectively promoted by the Atlanta International Arbitration Society (AtlAS).
AtlAS consists of individuals, companies and law firms with an interest in developing a hub for international arbitrations central to the southeastern region of the United States, and who are disseminating information about Atlanta as an arbitration-friendly, cost effective U.S.-based venue for international arbitration. Womble Carlyle is a founding member of AtlAS and Womble Carlyle attorney Kirk Watkins serves as on the Board of Directors and is the firm’s chief liaison to the group.
Georgia offers one of the most supportive legal frameworks for international arbitration in the world, including not only arbitration-friendly courts and legislation, but also the most welcoming environment for foreign lawyers (and other client representatives) in the United States. For example, Georgia is one of only a handful of U.S. states that expressly permit parties to select counsel of their choice in arbitration proceedings, including attorneys not licensed in any U.S. jurisdiction. In addition, non-U.S. lawyers may represent their clients on a pro hac vice basis in the state’s superior courts (for instance, in judicial proceedings ancillary to the arbitration).
Atlanta also is a global business gateway that is home to many of the world’s largest corporations and the world’s busiest airport, with direct flights available to most international business centers. Yet despite its sophistication, Atlanta is one of the world’s least expensive major cities. A city known worldwide for its hospitality and multicultural embrace, Atlanta is an ideal venue for international arbitrations.
On April 21-23, AtlAS will host its 2nd Annual International Arbitration Conference in Atlanta. The conference will feature sessions on wide range of international arbitration topics, including:
- Arbitrations Involving Sovereigns and State-Owned Entities
- Third-Party Funding of Arbitration (Kirk Watkins will lead this discussion)
- Crafting Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Cross-Border Business Contracts
- Obtaining Evidence in the U.S. for Arbitrations Abroad
- Managing A Procedural Menu With Common Law and Civil Law Offerings.