Malibu, CL USA
Pepperdine University 2019 Summer Intensive Program in
International Commercial Arbitration

I am very much looking forward to teaching again a class on International Commercial Arbitration at the Law School of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

I have aimed at making the syllabus for this class as timely as possible reflecting the increasing interest of law students in pursuing a career in international arbitration.

For more details see the full syllabus here:

Syllabus Summer Intensive Program in International Commercial Arbitration

Course Description

Arbitration is increasingly becoming the dispute resolution mechanism of choice for complex high-stake disputes. As a matter of fact, a vast number of high profile international corporate and commercial disputes are resolved in arbitration today. The use of arbitration to adjudicate national disputes varies, but a growing preference to resolve highly technical cases in arbitration is now a reality.

There are many reasons for the growing prevalence of arbitration. The characteristics of the process, such as the opportunity of the parties to choose the place and rules of the arbitration as well as their involvement in selecting arbitrators, the flexibility and finality of the process as well as the ease of enforcing arbitral awards in multiple jurisdictions around the globe are with no doubt relevant factors. The true drivers, however, are the increasing globalization and interconnection of markets, the convergence of laws shaping corporate and commercial transactions around the globe as well as the increasing size and complexity of international disputes coupled with the increasing competition between all service providers involved in the process, i.e. arbitral institutions, arbitrators, party representatives and experts leading to a constant improvement over the process. It is fair to say that arbitration today is an amalgamation of the best practices of contentious dispute resolution from around the world as a direct consequence of the competitive forces at work and the constant thrive to make it even better. For these reasons, arbitration can be expected to take the lead in methodological and technological dispute resolution process innovation and implementation.

A career in international commercial arbitration promises work involving the most interesting entrepreneurs, companies, projects and transactions as well as legal challenges of our times. Succeeding in this field not only requires sound legal knowledge, but outstanding oral and written advocacy, analytical, project management and communication skills.


This course is intended to plant the seeds for a successful career in international arbitration. By offering you a combination of an interactive lecture format and practical skill training on the basis of a representative hypothetical, you will be acquainted with the legal fundamentals of arbitration as well as introduced to indispensable analytical and dispute management methods and future trends coupled with ample opportunities to strengthen your advocacy skills.

There is no doubt that this course will change your view of what the practice of law can and will look like in the domain of dispute resolution!

Course Contents and Reading

Class 1: What is international arbitration and why resolving corporate and commercial disputes in arbitration?

Lecture topics: Arbitration defined; the difference between arbitration and litigation; the difference between arbitration and other ADR methods; domestic v. international arbitration; commercial v. investor-state arbitration; ad-hoc arbitration v. institutional arbitration; arbitral institutions and preferred venues; the main characteristics of arbitration proceedings; disputes typically resolved in arbitration; informed decision making in selecting a suitable dispute resolution mechanism.

Class 2: The Arbitration Agreement

Lecture topics: The arbitration agreement; choice between ad hoc or institutional arbitration; selecting an arbitral institution; relevance of the place of arbitration (lex arbitri); factors determining forum selection; applicable law; multi-layered dispute resolution clauses; drafting the arbitration clause and multilayer dispute resolution clauses.

Class 3: Milestones of Arbitration Proceedings

Lecture topics: The decision to initiate proceedings; Request for Arbitration and Answer; selecting arbitrators and the constitution of the arbitral tribunal; case management; special procedural rules and provisional rules; written submissions; evidence (witnesses, experts, documentary and legal); document production; the oral hearing and its organization; closing arguments; the award.

Class 4: Special Proceedings, flexibility tools and case management

Lecture topics: interim relief; fast track proceedings; emergency arbitrator; state court assistance; hot tubing of experts; tribunal guidance; bifurcation; partial and interim awards; med-arb and effective case management

Class 5: The final award and enforcement and setting aside of awards

Lecture topics: the final award; costs of arbitration; cost allocation and cost bearing; modifications and corrections of awards; the recognition of foreign awards in the US; res judicata effects of arbitral awards; the New York Convention; post award issues; enforcement and setting aside proceedings.

Class 6: Trends and the digital revolution in arbitration; building a career in arbitation

Lecture topics: the emergence of new geographic hubs; niche strategies; collective arbitration (class action arbitration); specialized arbitration (antitrust, construction & engineering, insurance, IP, labor & employment, oil & gas arbitration and sports arbitration); efficiency tools and AI potential, building a career in international arbitration.


Please visit the Law School of Pepperdine University website for more information:


Block 2: https://law.pepperdine.edu/straus/academic-programs/summer/courses/block-two/