The International Arbitration Centre in London has announced the launch of IAC Online, a new virtual hearing facility to meet the needs of the international arbitration community. This follows the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing travel restrictions.
IAC Online is a secure virtual portal for a virtual hearing room, which streams proceedings in an online arbitration room – a decluttered screen focused on the tribunal, lead advocates and witnesses, as appropriate. It supports hearings from 10 attendees through to 100.
Before the launch of the online platform the International Arbitration Centre welcomed numerous African law firms and governments.
Owen Lawrence, the IAC’s chief executive, said more than 60% of clients were based in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
“In the same way the IAC was built to service these matters, IAC Online will bridge restricted travel gaps and keep these disputes moving during these unprecedented times.”
IAC Online has collaborated with experienced leading transcription and electronic document management companies to enable the use of the full suite of documents relevant to the dispute, from memorials to witness statements, including expert evidence, and in-time transcripts of evidence and tribunal rulings.
It also allows the legal teams and clients involved to attend, without congesting the screen, or disrupting proceedings. Navigation between the various elements is possible by a bespoke management dashboard.
Full prehearing technical support, training and configuration is provided, as well as administrative support. Screen management is provided for by a central dashboard with a hearing countdown clock.
There is the ability to move between hearing rooms, digitally separated private breakout rooms and e-document or transcription options, for each party and the tribunal to use throughout in the same way clients would have for a physical hearing.
The International Arbitration Centre at 190 Fleet Street was built with the focus on clients and its core users; the same design brief has been applied to the virtual platform to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.
Lawrence said, “We are pleased to have developed a user-friendly platform that focuses on the user and the specific needs of an arbitral proceeding.
“Having applied the same level of detail and execution to the design brief of IAC Online as our best-in-class hearing facility was planned and constructed, we are confident our offering holds up against generic virtual meeting platforms.
“Our approach has been to design a virtual hearing centre for arbitrators, for arbitration lawyers, and for the community as a whole – nothing else. The platform is bolstered by a prehearing testing, configuration, practical support and having an IAC technician online throughout.”
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