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Leading corporates, business leaders and dispute resolution professionals are due to gather in Singapore next month to take part in the first Global Pound Conference (GPC) event.  This ambitious series of conferences will play host to more than 5,000 people, at more than 38 events, across 29 countries worldwide, over the next 18 months. 

The first event, to be held in Singapore on 17-18 March 2016, will bring together key opinion leaders, leading corporations and other stakeholders who regularly participate in the resolution of civil and commercial disputes. The series will be an opportunity for participants to hear first-hand what their peers are doing in this area and how corporations save money, time and maintain relationships with clients using appropriate dispute resolution tools.

A recent EU-wide study suggests that the average time taken to mediate a basic commercial dispute is 43 days, compared with 566 days for litigating it. The litigation route would also cost, on average, 60% more. 

Using a common technology platform, participants will answer and discuss 20 core questions, which will create a pool of data that will be gathered and analysed throughout the entire GPC Series. This data gathering across countries, regions and globally will create the opportunity to identify trends and cultural preferences in a way that has not been possible through any other studies. 

In the spirit of the original Pound Conference, held in the USA in 1976, the ambition of the GPC is to engage all key stakeholders in a conversation about dispute resolution and how it should be used in commercial and civil conflicts in the 21st Century. The project will ultimately contribute to enhancing the culture and methods of resolving conflicts in years to come.

The GPC Series, which is inspired by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), is being sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills, the Singapore Mediation Centre, JAMS, Shell; AkzoNobel; the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC); and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR).

More than 40 dispute resolution organisations around the world are also partnering with the GPC Series to promote and participate in the events in their regions.

Chief Global Litigation Counsel at GE Oil & Gas Michael McIlwrath, who is chairman the Central Organising Group for the GPC Series, commented: "The GPC series will provide an unprecedented opportunity for parties and users to drive the changes we want to see. That is why I have taken on the Chairmanship of the series. I look forward to debating these key issues with many in-house colleagues in Singapore and at other cities hosting a Global Pound conference."

Alexander Oddy, Partner and Head of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at Herbert Smith Freehills said: "The GPC Series is an exciting project because of the opportunity it creates for corporations to shape the way they resolve conflict in the 21st Century.  As commerce has globalized so have the disputes that inevitably arise - the GPC Series provides a global platform to find better ways to manage and resolve those conflicts." 

To participate in the Global Pound Conference Series, please visit the website:


Notes to Editors  

The COG’s Executive Committee is chaired by Michael McIlwrath, Chief Global Litigation Counsel at GE Oil & Gas, and includes independent lawyer and ADR neutral Jeremy Lack, Prof. Barney Jordaan, Herbert Smith Freehills Partner Alexander Oddy, and Daniel Rivlin CEO of the Conference Organiser Kenes Group.

The organisation of the GPC Series events is being conducted with input from global leaders in dispute resolution circles including:  ACB Foundation Conflict Management Research Centre; American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA/ICDR); American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution (ABA); Association of International Business Lawyers (AIBL); Association of Mediation Assessors, Trainers and Instructors (AMATI); Beijing Arbitration Commission/ Beijing International Arbitration Centre (BAC/BIAC); Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR); Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb); China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC); Commercial Mediation Group UK; Corporate Counsel International Arbitration Group (CCIAG); Groupement européen des magistrats pour la médiation (GEMME); Institution Quraysh; International Bar Association (IBA); International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); International Dispute Resolution Group (IDR); International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR Institute); JAMS; Resolutions (LEADR & IAMA); Pakistan Mediators' Association (PMA); Round Table Mediation und Konfliktmanagement der deutschen Wirtschaft (RTMKM);  Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates (SCMA); Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law; Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC); Singapore International Mediation Institute (SIMI); Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC); Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA); Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI); Swiss Chamber of Commercial Mediation (SKWM/CSMC/SCCM); Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA);  Vereniging Zakelijke Mediation (ZAM)and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

History of the Pound Conference:  The seminal event that led to the birth of modern dispute resolution systems was the Pound Conference in St Paul, MN, USA in April 1976.  Named in honour of Roscoe Pound, the reforming Dean of Harvard Law School in the 1920s and 30s, the theme of the original Pound Conference was: Agenda for 2000AD - The Need for Systematic Anticipation.

Professor Frank E.A. Sander of Harvard Law School proposed that alternative forms of dispute resolution should be used to reduce reliance on conventional litigation, and overcome reluctance to use other dispute resolution options.  The 1976 Pound Conferences is credited with having sparked many changes in the US justice system in the decades that followed, including the creation of the “multi-door courthouse” to provide more procedural choices to disputants.

The Global Pound Conference Series aims to build a global conversation around developing dispute resolution techniques in the tradition of the original Pound Conference.

About Herbert Smith Freehills
Operating from over 24 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.
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