Sources of ethical obligations in international arbitration

Jul 19, 2021 1 MIN READ
Sonia Bjorkquist

Partner, Disputes, Toronto

Sarah Firestone

Associate, Disputes, Toronto

When participating in international arbitration, counsel can be subject to a multiplicity of obligations from their home jurisdiction, the seat of arbitration and/or host country, as well as relevant procedural rules and rules of fairness. In addition, soft law norms and best practices in the form of principles and guidelines have emerged. Familiarity with these sources helps to protect counsel and clients, and the integrity of the legal profession and arbitral process generally.

In this article, Osler partner Sonia Bjorkquist, National Chair of the firm’s Litigation practice, and Litigation associate Sarah Firestone, who both practice in the firm’s Domestic and International Arbitration Group, provide insight into the ethical obligations that apply to Canadian counsel in international arbitrations.

Originally written as a Practice Note for the LexisNexis Practical Guidance subscription service, this article covers:

  • three sources of ethical obligations and best practices
  • differences between “Hard” obligations and “Soft” best practices
  • rules of professional conduct
  • conflicting moral codes or obligations, often called “Double Deontology”
  • regional and international arbitration rules and guidelines

If you have a subscription to Practical Guidance by LexisNexis, access Sources of ethical obligations in international arbitration.