Can We Still Be Friends? London As A Global Seat Of Arbitration Post-Brexit

Michael McIlwrath, Global Chief Litigation Counsel for GE Oil & Gas opened his recent article An Unamicable Separation: Brexit Consequences for London as a Premier Seat of International Dispute Resolution in Europe with the following quote, attributed to the most prolific of all authors, ‘unknown’:

“I try not to think of divorce as failing at marriage but rather winning at bitterness and resentment.”

It’s hardly the first time that an author has reached for a marriage simile when describing the messy UK/EU relationship, but McIlwrath’s particular area of nuptial difficulties is the connection between the settlement resulting from the pending Brexit negotiations and London’s attractiveness as a seat of arbitration.

As with all things Brexit related, the concern does not result from any concrete expected outcome, but rather the uncertainty of the subsequent framework – and the rancorous climate in which the negotiations are taking place. As the author notes: “Although the future arrangement might soften the negative feelings over separation, the sense of trust will inevitably be diminish