DIS discussed in Frankfurt

DIS discussed in Frankfurt

18 September 2018

Shortly after the German Institute of Arbitration – DIS – revamped its rules for the first time in 20 years, delegates at the latest GAR Live Frankfurt considered their unique selling points and shortcomings and whether the institute has done enough to become “modern and innovative, while preserving a certain continental European touch.”

GAR Live Frankfurt - in pictures

GAR Live Frankfurt - in pictures

18 September 2018

Photos from GAR Live Frankfurt 2018 can be found here


Daniel Busse

Allen & Overy

Dr Daniel Busse, LL.M. (Columbia University) heads Allen & Overy's German Dispute Resolution practice. He is one of Germany’s top arbitration lawyers and is listed in the top band of all relevant directories, including Chambers (Global and Europe, where the top band for arbitration counsel in Germany consists of only three practitioners). Other guides and directories in which he is equally prominently listed include Legal 500, JUVE, Best Lawyers and Global Arbitration Review's "The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration". In its latest edition, Who’s Who Legal 2017 listed him as a leading practitioner in "Thought Leaders - Arbitration 2017".

Stephan Wilske

Gleiss Lutz

Stephan advises national and international clients on arbitration and cross-border litigation. He also provides legal guidance on the procedural aspects of private antitrust litigation. He has extensive expertise in (both domestic and international) arbitration with a special focus on project-related disputes, post M&A disputes, joint ventures, investment arbitration proceedings and general business law.


Diana Akikol

ABR Avocats

Markus Burianski

White & Case

Nadia Darwazeh

Clyde & Co

Harold Frey

Lenz & Staehelin

Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz


Heidrun Halbartschlager

Konrad & Partners

Richard Happ


Daniel Hochstrasser

Bär & Karrer

Nikolas Hübschen

Senior Vice President General Law & Litigation, Legal & Compliance, Uniper

Jasmin Kaboni-Voit

Senior Legal Counsel, RWE Supply & Trading

James Menz

Deputy Secretary General and Head of Case Management, German Arbitration Institute (DIS)

Mariella Orelli


Tanja Pfitzner

Pfitzner Legal

Judith Sawang


Jan Erik Spangenberg

Manner Spangenberg

Johanna Wirth

Hengeler Mueller

Mathias Wittinghofer

Herbert Smith Freehills

Agnieszka Zarowna

Hogan Lovells

Heiko Ziehms

Berkeley Research Group


9.00: Welcome coffee and registration

9.30: Chairs' opening remarks

Daniel Busse, Allen & Overy
Stephan Wilske, Gleiss Lutz

9.45: Session one: The new DIS rules – is the revision courageous enough?

The DIS rules 2018 have adapted and added to German arbitration rules in a way which was intended to reflect the changes and developments of IA. But do the additions go far enough, and are the changes bold enough to move the needle on how the DIS is viewed? Should it have done more to be a leader? Among other things, the panel are expected to – controversely – discuss questions such as:

  • Is “from Ad-hoc plus to ICC light” a fair description?
  • What is missing?
  • Are the revisions innovative, or aping the norm?
  • Are they international enough, or a little too ‘German’?
  • Will the rules improve efficiency, or will we see no drastic change? 

Stephan Wilske, Gleiss Lutz

James Menz, Deputy Secretary General and Head of Case Management, German Arbitration Institute (DIS)
Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz, GESSEL
Heidrun Halbartschlager, Konrad & Partners
Heiko Ziehms, Berkeley Research Group

11.00: Coffee break 

11.30: Session two: The GAR Live Question time – on case management

With a focus on the developments in cost and efficiency tools, our esteemed panel will discuss questions submitted by the audience and moderator in advance. For example:

  • The case management conference - does it make sense and how useful is it as a tool?
  • What about non-compliance with procedural groundrules as agreed in the CMC – sanctions?
  • What tools, other than the CMC, are available? Are they being used? If not, why not?
  • How useful is the DIS’ new list of case management tools in particular?
  • Summary dismissal - how to do it and when to do it

Daniel Busse, Allen & Overy

Nadia Darwazeh, Clyde & Co
Johanna Wirth, Hengeler Mueller
Mariella Orelli, Homburger
Agnieszka Zarowna, Hogan Lovells

12.45: Networking lunch

14.00: Session three: Lies, fraud and deceit – what are counsel’s duties in arbitration’s defence?              

Despite much talk and a few initiatives, international arbitration continues to produce accusations of questionable behaviour, even on the part of some well-known names. What more can be done? Or should we all accept the reality that IA is by its nature something of an ethical wasteland? Drawing on their collective experience, our panel will address a selection of ethical issues, such as: 

  • Evidently false testimony and the like – what are counsel’s responsibilities?
  • New developments in ethics – e.g. in Singapore
  • What tools do institutions have on ethical points?
  • Guerrilla tactics – what sanctions are available?
  • Unscrupulous experts and how to deal with them

Diana Akikol, ABR Avocats

Jan Erik Spangenberg, Manner Spangenberg
Mathias Wittinghofer, Herbert Smith Freehills
Judith Sawang, Wendelstein
Tanja Pfitzner, Pfitzner Legal

15.15: Coffee break

15.45: Session four: The GAR Live Inquisition on the future of IA in Europe: is private justice doomed?

International arbitration is facing more competition – from opt in commercial courts, and other projects around the world. Meanwhile, civil society wants to stop any dispute featuring public money or quasi-public money, being decided “behind closed doors”. What does the future hold? Right now, IA practitioners are spoiled – with case numbers growing and the value at stake only increasing. Will that still be true in 10 years time? How does the international arbitration community ensure it is?

In the style of a US senate committee hearing, this session will see a succession of witnesses being ‘grilled’ by a panel of GAR Live inquisitors on how to ensure the goose that lays the golden egg isn’t killed. Issues the panel are likely to explore include:

  • What challenges do in house counsel face, in particular?
  • Why do clients really choose international arbitration? Is it all down to enforceability, in the end?
  • Are complaints that IA is too unpredictable fair?
  • How much of a threat are attempts to establish English-speaking courts in jurisdictions such as France, the Netherlands and Germany? Or are they in fact not a threat but a chance?
  • How can we defend investor-state arbitration in particular, and how do we prevent spill-over effects to commercial arbitration?

Daniel Busse, Allen & Overy
Stephan Wilske, Gleiss Lutz

Nikolas Hübschen, Senior Vice President General Law & Litigation, Legal & Compliance, Uniper
Jasmin Kaboni-Voit, Senior Legal Counsel, RWE Supply & Trading

Richard Happ, Luther
Daniel Hochstrasser, Bär & Karrer
Markus Burianski, White & Case
Harold Frey, Lenz & Staehelin

17.00: Chairs' closing remarks

Daniel Busse, Allen & Overy
Stephan Wilske, Gleiss Lutz

17.10 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend the drinks reception kindly hosted by Gleiss Lutz


Taunusanlage 11, 60329 Frankfurt am Main


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