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London International Disputes Week 2021 (LIDW21) comes at a significant period for the UK legal sector, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, post-Brexit and amid an uncertain global political environment.

The programme for LIDW21 draws on contemporary global issues facing the sector, including the rise of group actions, the role of technology, the rule of law, climate change, social responsibility, and ethics.

With its theme: ‘Looking forward: change, challenge and opportunity’, LIDW21 will provide crucial insights on the business and law of international dispute resolution.



We are delighted to be co-hosting the following virtual member-hosted events throughout the week:

The new regime for trial witness statements: what to watch out for  

Wednesday, 12 May 2021 (09.00 – 10.00)

We are pleased to co-host this event with One Essex Court

In this panel session we will outline the new rules on trial witness statements, introduced from 6 April 2021 by Practice Direction 57AC of the CPR, and discuss their practical implications for commercial litigation. We will consider the challenges the new rules present, from the perspective of the judge, counsel, solicitor and client.

Watch the event video

The future of oil and gas disputes

Thursday, 13 May 2021 (18.00 – 19.00)

We are pleased to co-host this event with Quadrant Chambers

The panel will look at recent trends in oil and gas disputes. They will focus on:

Upstream disputes: Developments in upstream oil and gas contractual disputes, including joint operating agreements.

LNG disputes: A joint ‘legal’ and ‘market’ approach, with perspectives on the LNG global market over the last year and trends in gas price reviews.

Decarbonisation disputes: Governments around the world have committed to decarbonisation targets within limited timeframes. The panel will review the disputes that are likely to emerge from decisions to scale down existing O&G exploration and production rights, to ban certain carbon-intensive activities, or disputes likely to arise in relation to emissions-reporting.

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The impact of litigation analytics on London dispute resolution

Friday, 14 May 2021 (11.00 – 12.00)

We are pleased to co-host this event with Brick Court Chambers

This session will examine the data analytic tools available to lawyers and their clients to assist in the running and resolution of disputes.

Exploring the issues from different perspectives, the session will explore how ligation analytics and business intelligence will shape the development of dispute resolution in London in the coming year.

The panel will include speakers from Herbert Smith Freehills, Brick Court Chambers and Solomonic.

Watch the event video



We are also pleased to be speaking at sessions on:


How can London remain a forum of choice for parties to MENA disputes?

Monday, 10 May 2021 (09.00 – 10.00)

We are pleased to co-host this event with HKA

This discussion will include: 1) the popularity of London for MENA dispute resolution; 2) what London could do better to alleviate the concerns of MENA parties; 3) the MENA seats and institutions to watch; and 4) recent developments in the MENA region that London practitioners should know about, including in light of the Covid pandemic.

Recent developments in collective and group actions in the UK: implications for stakeholders

Tuesday, 11 May 2021 (09.00 – 10.00)

A well-functioning legal system aims to deal with claims effectively (i.e. an appropriate amount of compensation awarded to injured parties) and efficiently (in terms of cost and time). Recent legal developments and judgments are likely to give rise to an increase in claims from both commercial entities and consumers, in areas including competition litigation, securities litigation, ESG-related claims and data breach/privacy claims. These types of claims are often complex and present opportunities and threats to the effectiveness and efficiency of the UK legal system. This session discusses expected trends arising from these types of claims, and discusses ways in which lawyers, organisations and experts can address these challenges.

Breaking the mould – new approaches to evidence in the digital age

Wednesday, 12 May (12.00 – 13.00)

Please note that this is part of the main conference and you will need to have registered for the conference to attend this session

This session will consider the use of evidence in international dispute resolution – from the Disclosure Pilot Scheme in the English Business and Property Courts and the review and use of witness statements in litigation, to the Prague Rules and whether they have been adopted by many during arbitration and, if so, to what extent, or whether practitioners still prefer the use of the IBA Rules and, if so, why. The session will consider these topics by drawing particular attention to the digital world (i.e. virtual hearings, virtual examinations/cross-examinations) and will evaluate the various weapons available in the dispute practitioners’ arsenal while preparing evidence.

Challenges and opportunities in investor-state dispute settlement

Friday, 14 May 2021 (09.00 – 11.00)

We present two question and answer sessions with diverse panels of leading experts, who will examine some of the most topical challenges and opportunities in Investor-State Dispute Settlement from the perspectives of:

The UK and EU post Brexit: What positive outcomes may occur now that the UK has been decoupled from the EU and how might protection standards such as the European Convention on Human Rights be affected?

The world more broadly: What are the recent developments with investment treaties globally and why are they important?

Construction disputes in a post-COVID world

Friday, 14 May 2021 (15.00 – 16.00)

The panel will explore the implications of the pandemic on the future state of construction disputes in International Arbitration, Litigation and Adjudication.

About London International Disputes Week

Herbert Smith Freehills is a proud founding member of LIDW: a collaborative, representative, world-class and forward-thinking body that demonstrates the UK’s legal community’s commitment to innovation, excellence, upholding the rule of law and diversity.

LIDW21 is a forward-thinking forum, which aims to drive the future of international dispute resolution. Using London’s position as a major international seat for the dispute resolution business, LIDW21 will engage with international perspectives across all sectors and explore how the industry can adapt, evolve and progress.

Through a programme of virtual sessions, leading experts will discuss and debate the ever-changing landscape of international dispute resolution: LIDW21 is the biggest celebration there is of the heritage of London as a leading centre for handling international disputes. 


To read more about LIDW21 and to register to attend please click here.

In addition to signing up for these events, please register for LIDW21 which includes 16 virtual sessions delivered by leading experts in their fields, 4 unmissable keynote addresses by high-profile dispute resolution figures, and many vital opportunities to network with colleagues from around the world.

Register here

Note: your registration for these events does not provide access to the LIDW21 conference and related benefits; and, your registration for this event is not conditional on registering for LIDW21, although we strongly encourage such registrations.

Key contacts

Chris Parker KC photo

Chris Parker KC

Partner, Co-Head Pharmaceuticals, London

Chris Parker KC
Rachel Lidgate photo

Rachel Lidgate

Partner, London

Rachel Lidgate
Alexander Oddy photo

Alexander Oddy

Partner, London

Alexander Oddy
Rupert Lewis photo

Rupert Lewis

Partner, Head of Banking Litigation, London

Rupert Lewis
Craig Tevendale photo

Craig Tevendale

Partner, London

Craig Tevendale
Chris Bushell photo

Chris Bushell

Partner, London

Chris Bushell
David Nitek photo

David Nitek

Partner, London

David Nitek
Hannah Ambrose photo

Hannah Ambrose

Partner, London

Hannah Ambrose