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Pump Court International

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Christopher Moger, QC, FCIArb, Arbitrator

Christopher Moger is now a full time independent arbitrator but when practising as counsel at Pump Court International, he was one of the prime movers behind its development of an Asian arbitration practice. He offers his views about PCI and the market.

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

The members of Pump Court International bring to their work, in international commercial arbitration in Asia and elsewhere in the world, all the qualities that the market expects from the English Bar: independence and objectivity, the practical application of their legal expertise and advocacy skills, responsiveness and flexibility, and a concern for cost effectiveness. In addition to those essential qualities, PCI demonstrated its commitment to the region as well as its interest in and understanding of the China related market, by becoming the first set of Barrister’s Chambers from London to establish an office for arbitration work in Hong Kong in 2012.

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

The now established reputation of Hong Kong as one of the principal arbitration friendly jurisdictions in the world with a world class arbitral institution in HKIAC combined with the increasing popularity of arbitration for the resolution of international commercial disputes will, I expect, deliver growth across all the major areas of PCI’s arbitration practice: commercial and cross border investment, construction and engineering, energy and offshore construction, technology and telecoms, shipping and ship building, and insurance and reinsurance. Hong Kong’s introduction of legislation to permit third party funding in arbitration, will produce significant funding for disputes in the jurisdiction in the medium term. HKIAC’s proven readiness to adapt its rules and procedures to ensure it stays at the cutting edge of developments in international arbitration means that it will be well placed to take advantage of the growth in arbitral business. And Hong Kong and HKIAC have a natural advantage in relation to servicing the dispute resolution business likely to flow from China’s One Belt One Road policy.

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

PCI has taken the trouble of ensuring that international clients from countries unfamiliar with the English Bar are able to use the services of PCI members, in international arbitration, with few practical complications. Issues such as direct instructions, work permits for hearings, speed and ease and security of payment have all been addressed to ensure that both client and arbitration counsel can focus on what really matters – the effective management of the substance of a dispute.

Is technology changing the way PCI interacts with its clients, and the services it can provide them?

The main effect of technology on the counsel’s relationships with clients is to ensure that time zones and distance are no longer the barrier to rapid and responsive attention to the demands of an international dispute.

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

Not without breaching the confidentiality of my former clients or those of my former colleagues at PCI! The role of an English Barrister acting as counsel in International Commercial Arbitration is to ensure that cases that can be won and are won in the most cost-efficient and time-efficient way possible, keeping a close eye for the claimant on the enforceability of the expected award. Obviously, not all cases can be won. In such cases the focus is on cost-effective damage limitation.

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