Study discloses economic impact of confidential process
TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Toronto will play host to an estimated
425 arbitrations this year bringing $256-million into the city's
economy, according to a study commissioned by Arbitration Place, a
state-of-the-art Canadian arbitration centre, and conducted by
consultants at global consulting firm Charles River Associates (CRA).
Arbitration involves the private resolution of business disputes and
public data is not collected. Arbitration in Toronto: An Economic Study is believed to be the first report to gather this type of information
and quantify the sector's financial impact on Canada's largest city.
"These results confirm what many of us have suspected for some time:
Arbitration has a significant footprint on the Toronto economy and it
should be on the radar screen of anyone promoting Toronto as a business
and financial centre," says Kimberley Stewart, CEO and founder of
Arbitration Place. "Arbitrations employ a significant range of legal
and financial experts but Toronto's hotel and restaurant workers, taxi
drivers, retail outlets, airport and airline employees will also
benefit from the $256-million being spent here this year."
To put the value of arbitration in context, the Toronto International
Film Festival issued a report in 2010 concluding it generated an
economic impact of $170-million on the city's economy from its
Consultants at CRA surveyed Toronto-based arbitration lawyers in the
spring of 2012, asking them to provide estimates of all-in costs that
they've incurred on arbitrations in the past three years including for
legal fees, arbitral expenses and other associated items such as
travel, accommodation and meals. The completed responses provided a
pool of almost 3,000 arbitrations from which to draw data.
The result sheds some light on the historically confidential
proceedings. It shows the vast majority of arbitrations, 68.9%, are
resolved within two years from the time they begin - much faster than
The study also compares the economics of an arbitration between Canadian
parties and an international arbitration, with the results making it
clear that bringing an increasing number of international disputes to
Canada - a neutral jurisdiction comfortable with both common and civil
law - could be very big business for Toronto.
A 2010 World Bank study cited by CRA researchers suggests Canada is well
placed to win an increasing amount of lucrative international
arbitration work. It ranks Canada fifth out of 87 countries for
conditions favourable for arbitrating commercial disputes, behind the
UK, Singapore and France - among the world's top international
arbitration centres - and well ahead of the United States.
Arbitration Place, which has forged formal affiliations with the London
Court of International Arbitration ("LCIA") and ICC Canada, the
Canadian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce,
has been working to raise Canada's profile as a global hub for
arbitration, says Yves Fortier, one of the centre's Resident
"Toronto has everything it takes to be an international seat of
arbitration," says Fortier. "It is a cosmopolitan city, relatively
close for US companies, it shares a similar legal system and uses
English as its predominant legal language. Toronto provides a neutral
non-US jurisdiction and our courts have a great reputation for
supporting arbitration and enforcing arbitral awards."
"So I expect the amount of arbitration in Toronto to grow with the
advent of new facilities like ours, which can compete with the best in
the world. This will make the economic impact of arbitration
increasingly important in the coming years."
The majority of the survey's respondents were equally optimistic about
arbitration's prospects. Just over half said arbitration activity has
grown significantly over the past three years, and roughly 40% expect
that growth to continue into 2013. Asked why, they pointed to the long
delays in traditional court litigation, the business community's
growing acceptance of arbitration as a way of resolving commercial
disputes, and the ability to choose arbitrators who have industry
Based on the responses, the report is forecasting overall spending on
arbitration to grow to $273-million next year from $256-million in
2012. The report notes that if anything, its consultants were
conservative in their assumptions and may have underestimated activity
level in the sector.
"What we can conclude from this study is that arbitration activity
definitely has a significant and measurable impact on Toronto's
economy," says Greg Bell of Charles River Associates, one of the
authors of the report. "Arbitrations generate a variety of accompanying
economic activity. They use local lawyers, experts and arbitrators,
bringing benefits to the local professional services community, and
they also use local services and venues associated with more
traditional forms of tourism. The potential impact on the local economy
can be significant. The more that can be done to draw arbitration to
Toronto, the faster spending will grow."
Recognition that Canada is a "natural venue" for international
arbitration is long overdue, says J. William Rowley, chairman emeritus
of McMillan LLP and a member of London's 20 Essex Street Chambers, one
of England's preeminent sets of chambers practising international
"The state-of-the-art hearing facilities at Toronto's Arbitration Place,
a growing understanding of the many positives of Canadian-seated
arbitrations and the findings of the new report suggest that Toronto
has the potential to become one of the go-to arbitration hubs of the
About Arbitration Place
Arbitration Place is a fully integrated international arbitration centre
located in the heart of Canada's financial district in downtown
Toronto. It features a roster of recognized Resident and Member
Arbitrators, an on-site court reporting service, experienced
interpreters and translators, and in-house counsel available to serve
as clerk or secretary to the Tribunal. Arbitration Place welcomes guest
arbitrators and provides all arbitrators with executive assistants and
full support including the services of a concierge team and technical
staff for the course of the hearing. Housed in one of Canada's newest
LEED certified office towers, it has state-of-the-art hearing rooms
that can be configured to suit any size hearing as well as a full suite
of breakout rooms and an on-site commercial kitchen, with meals and
snacks prepared by a resident chef. Arbitration Place, with a library
of arbitration resources, is also committed to being an educational
resource centre and frequently runs programs on key international
developments of interest to the litigation and arbitration communities.
For more information please visit http://arbitrationplace.com.
SOURCE: Arbitration Place
For further information:
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Deborah Bowden-Jones at Dewar Legal Communications Group, 416.921.1827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.