The Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (SVAMC) is a non-profit institution serving the global technology sector through educational programming and related activities. The center promote sefficient and effective technology dispute resolution, which includes using arbitration and mediation to resolve business disputes. Not only are they promoting efficient and effective technology dispute resolution, but they also provide information on arbitrators and mediators. Annually, SVAMC publishes a list featuring the Worlds Leading Technology Neutrals (the Tech List). This year’s Tech List was released at the end of January, naming 49 professionals based in key markets around the globe including Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney.
The Tech List is composed of individuals that understand the world of technology. It is limited to qualified arbitrators and mediators in the US and globally and these individuals are seen as having significant experience and skills. In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on diversity listing eight female neutrals this year, up from six in the 2017 list.
Keeping up with the tech industry
Arbitration has become increasingly important in the world of technology when it comes to business disputes. Technology is a fast growing industry and is a huge part of the world’s economy. The use of methods such as mediation and arbitration to resolve a dispute is becoming more popular in an ever-evolving technology-based society. On top of that, being able to select neutral arbitrators and mediators is essential and the list also acts as a roster for law firms, corporations and ADR intuitions to use.
When it comes to Arbitration, it is essential for arbitrators to be neutrals. The Tech List is compromised of neutrals, this means that they are individuals with not only the knowledge and understanding of technology, but they are independent and impartial. Independence and impartiality helps with the notion of equality of the parties. Neutrality helps prevent the arbitrator or mediator from being biased towards one party over another. Neutrality is related to the nationality of the arbitrator. In addition to being independent and impartial, an arbitrator is also seen as neutral when his/her nationality is different from the parties.
Growing arbitration trend
Organizations like SVAMC see the benefit of arbitration over litigation when working through disputes in the technology sector. Law firms, corporations and ADR intuitions can use SVAMC and The Tech List to their benefit in order to find a resolution that is not costly like litigation.
Gary L. Benton, Chairman of SVAMC, said in a statement: “Technology companies in Silicon Valley and beyond struggle with expensive, high-stakes court battles that leave them with less-than-satisfying results. Arbitration offers an attractive alternative, particularly when the confidentiality of trade secrets or other business information is critical to one or both parties. The ability to enforce international awards is particularly attractive to the growing number of technology companies that operate globally.”
With the growing number of technology companies that operate globally, SVAMC is an organization that continues to expand representation of neutrals from all around the world. Maria Chedid a partner with Baker Mckenzie in San Francisco added that “I have been impressed with both the progress and new initiatives launched by SVAMC over the past year.” SVAMC and the Tech List are known for being able to craft business-practical legal solutions in the world of technology.
Written by Erica Miller.