ICC YAF: The arbitrator’s duty to disclose potential conflicts

Zurich, Switzerland, • English

This conference will focus on one of the first challenges young practitioners face when they are for the first time appointed as arbitrators: the written disclosure statement. Two panels will explore the disclosure framework and the scope of the arbitrator’s duties in light of the existing guidelines and recent case law, as well as the consequences of a failure to disclose a potential conflict.


The ICC Rules require that the prospective arbitrator disclose to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such nature as to call into question the arbitrator’s independence in the eyes of the parties, as well as any circumstances that could give rise to reasonable doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality.

Yet many issues relating to arbitrator disclosures are unresolved. Such issues include what precisely must be disclosed, when, and by whom. The International Bar Association has issued the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration that also address arbitrator disclosures. However, these Guidelines are neither complete nor uniformly applied. In 2016, the ICC issued a “guidance note” to help clarify the disclosure requirements for arbitrators which is now included in the ICC Note to the Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of the Arbitration under the ICC Rules of Arbitration dated 1 March 2017. Still, many grey areas remain and have given rise to diverse case law in various jurisdictions.

A first panel will explore the disclosure framework and the scope of the arbitrator’s duties in light of the existing guidelines and recent case law. A second panel will focus on the consequences of a failure to disclose a potential conflict, including what should be the appropriate sanction, if any, for an arbitrator’s failure to disclose a potential conflict? Does it justify the annulment of the arbitral award? What recourse is available against successful or unsuccessful challenges? What consequences does a successfully challenged arbitrator face? What obligations, if any, do the parties and their counsel have and what are the consequences of a breach thereof.

Who should attend?

This conference is aimed at young arbitration practitioners of approximately 40 years or under: counsel, arbitrators, corporate counsel or academics. The ICC YAF Conference is an ideal forum for young practitioners to exchange thoughts on international arbitration and to enrich their network in the region.


16:00-16:15Welcome Remarks
16:15-17:151st Panel: Arbitrator Disclosures: Who, What, When and How to Disclose
17:15-18:152nd Panel: Non-Disclosure and Its Consequences
18:15-18:30Closing Remarks


Liliane DjahangirAssociate, Hengeler Muller, Frankfurt, Germany
Dániel DózsaAssociate, Dechert, London, United Kingdom
Eva KalninaCounsel, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Melissa MaglianaCounsel, Homburger, Zurich
Simon MannerPartner, Manner Spangenberg, Hamburg, Germany
Esra OgutAssociate, Peter & Partners, Geneva, Switzerland
Gabriele RuscallaICC Counsel, Paris, France
Mladen StojiljkovicAssociate, Homburger, Zurich, Switzerland

Logistical notes

Homburger AG

Hardstrasse 201

Prime Tower

8005 Zurich



Please send your contact details (full name, firm/institution, e-mail) no later than 1 December 2017 to: kim.meier@homburger.ch and bianca.kuster@homburger.ch

Contact us

  • Melissa Magliana
  • +41432221554
  • Counsel
  • Mladen Stojiljkovic
  • +41432221000
  • Associate