Organizers of a permanent center for international arbitration hope to open the doors this spring. Supporters, which include 33 law firms, say the center will help New York maintain its position as a global center for resolving disputes in the face of growing competition from legal centers worldwide. It was one of the recommendations of a 2011 task force of the New York State Bar Association.
The center is chaired by Judith Kaye, the former chief judge who is now of counsel to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Its vice chairs are James Carter, senior counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, and Edna Sussman, a full-time arbitrator and mediator. "Around the world there is open recognition of the desirability and importance of having arbitrations centered in your home city," Kaye said in a news release issued after the project's official launch at a Jan. 23 event with more than 250 attendees. "With our new center added to an already impressive array of international arbitration resources, New York is truly the place to be."
While other organizations arrange alternative dispute resolution, the New York center will distinguish itself by offering a physical space for arbitration, including a large "mega-room" and multiple smaller rooms, Kaye said. It will be located on the 17th floor of the Socony-Mobil building at 150 E. 42nd St. It will share the floor with the American Arbitration Association, but the two are separate entities, Kaye said.
Although no firm opening date has been set because the space is still under construction, the center aims to be open by June, Kaye said. In addition to hosting arbitrations, it will promote exchanges with the academic, legal, judicial and business communities.