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John M Kadelburger, managing partner

Managing partner John M Kadelburger explains how Advokat John Kadelburger AB is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Kadelburger Law from your competitors?

Independence, uncompromised integrity and commitment. Quick response time and immediate availability.

Kadelburger Law specialises in international dispute resolution and arbitration both as arbitrator and counsel. In addition, it is involved in business transactions and commercial matters such as contracts, corporate, M&A, construction, agency and distribution, IP and technology transfers.

The sole practice insulates the firm from the rising problem in international arbitration of conflicts of interest which larger firms are struggling with to an ever increasing degree. As such, Kadelburger Law can quickly determine whether a conflict exists which increases speed and efficiency in the appointment process to the benefit of parties involved. The independence and avoidance of conflicts also limit the risk of arbitrator challenges which ensures efficiency and expediency of the arbitral process. The conflicts issues have resulted in many arbitrators and arbitration practitioners leaving larger firms in recent years to set up boutique firms.

The firm’s client focus, integrity and commitment to excellence and dedication to the client’s interests are its hallmarks.

The firm’s structure is lean and cost-effective which ensures prompt response time and quick turnaround. When required the firm teams up and partners with other firms, both internationally and domestically, from its extensive independent network of top-tier professionals and firms. It is also able to select the best and most well suited experts and specialists from its network to the case at hand.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

In an increasing global world and economy, international dispute resolution is bound and predicted to grow exponentially in the years to come. Cultural differences in international trade will result in a growth of contentious work. In that context especially arbitration will be the main arena whether it is in Asia, Africa, Europe, South or North America. Also there will be a further expansion of investment arbitrations, an area that has already seen a tremendous growth over the last years. I can see no reason why this would come to an end. International and investment arbitration are part of the tool box to ensure fair, competitive trade and continued foreign direct investment. It is an important vehicle for the advance of fair and sustainable trade, competition and development and a free market economy based on the Rule of Law. This will bring increased global wealth and opportunities to all parts of the world.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Due to the fact that Kadelburger Law is a sole practice, the firm is a fast and flexible adapter to new conditions. The firm works closely and directly with its clients avoiding unnecessary overlap (overstaffing) which is cost- and time-efficient. There is no need to make any particular changes. On the contrary the choice made already in 2010 has proven the right one and has been followed by many others since – to operate from a sole practice position. The growth of the sole practice or chambers format of specialised and dedicated arbitration and dispute resolution boutiques around the world validates this choice. This set-up allows for effective and ad hoc project organisations or teams created from a network of specialised professionals. This clearly is the way and concept of the future and a new era; fast and lean without fixed structures and resulting costs. The set-up ensures fast adaptation to new conditions and requirements in an ever-changing world where flexibility and speed will be determining factors.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

This is definitely the case. Although I am not a social media expert and less even a talent, I use technologies as they serve a purpose in the handling of matters. Technology allows us to be more effective and better connected with clients. My work place is virtual and not anymore depending on a single physical point and I am therefore more flexible and not tied to one physical location. Also meeting with clients and parties from various parts of the world is facilitated by video conferencing through Skype or similar services which avoids extensive travelling and adds tremendous value to the client relationship.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Over the years there are many instances in which the efficient handling of the matter and the co-ordination of cross-border transactions have created value to the client. This relates to both commercial matters as well as dispute resolution. In particular, I was acting as counsel in an investment arbitration on behalf of small investor from a European country with very limited resources and where third party funding was not an option. Despite the size and importance of the case I was able, with minimal resources, to prevail against the defending state represented by one of the largest top international firms to the great satisfaction of the client.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three year's time?

The firm will continue to develop at its organic pace and does not plan expansion but to continue its ambition to confirm itself on an international level in international arbitration and to continue striving for excellence. Clients appreciate and value long term solid relationships created on the back of the confidence and trust placed in its legal advisor based on the quality of the advice obtained. Law firms will always assist clients in finding a straightforward, and possibly simple and cost-efficient, way to maintain their business models in a changing world. This is where the legal advisor serves an increasingly important role; the firm will also remain and maintain its strong client focus and continue to deliver a personalised, custom-tailored and hands-on service.

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