High growth companies, especially financial services providers should consider the issue of costs and speed when picking between arbitration and litigation, according to policy makers, arbitration practitioners, enthusiasts, and private sector players who form the consumer market for arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Kenya.
During the Kenya chapter of second International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) conference on arbitration and ADR that was recently held in Nairobi, it was evident that the nascent “dispute resolution” industry is shaping for take-off, driven by the surge in international trade and investments in the region.
This is on the back of increased business innovation, government spending on infrastructure projects, and the opening of new markets and industries that have sprung unprecedented legal and corporate challenges, leading to the uptake of ADR and Arbitration in place of litigation that is seen to be more costly.
Aleem Visram who is the chairperson of ICC-Kenya, Commission on ADR and Arbitration, says there is need to grow the number of local practitioners through training and capacity building around emergent sectors such as block chain driven online trade characterized by greenfield opportunities and cutting across multiple jurisdictions among other areas.
He cites digital or smart contracts executed automatically without human interventions once entered into, traded digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible assets (NFTS), as examples of technologies that would be useful for practitioners in the dispute resolution space.
“In addition to sensitizing the private sector on ADR, its opportunities and advantages, this year’s conference also sets the stage for Kenyan ADR and arbitration practitioners to engage directly with the International Court of Arbitration and progress towards their professionalization in international ADR practice,” said Visram.