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International Conference – "Regulatory Competition in Contract Law and Dispute Resolution"

The conference will bring together leading scholars in the field of contract law and dispute resolution both from the US and Europe. Important research papers on the law market in these fields will be presented and commented upon by at least one discussant. The results of the conference should be of high interest not only for academics, but also for practitioners and lawmakers.

13.10.2011 – 15.10.2011

In many regions of the world and across various fields, law has become a product. Individuals and companies seek attractive legal regulations and countries advertise their legal wares globally as they compete for customers. The conference aims at analysing this development and developing policy recommendations with respect to two important segments of the law market: contract law and dispute resolution.

In the US, the contract law market is dominated not by the law of Delaware, but by the law of New York. Moreover, where a choice of law provision stipulates that New York law shall apply to any disputes arising under the agreement, it is also common to find a clause naming New York as the jurisdiction in which disputes should be settled. In Europe too, jurisdictions which have the reputation of being sensitive to the needs of commerce and businesses are often the jurisdictions selected as governing law in business agreements: a recent empirical survey shows that English law is most popular, followed by Swiss law. Eurobonds of internationally operating European companies are usually subjected to English law. English courts are also the preferred dispute resolution forum.

In addition, large commercial disputes are predominantly resolved within arbitration proceedings. Again, certain arbitration venues are more popular than others. In Europe, Zurich, Paris and London are the market leaders.

The conference seeks to address fundamental questions with respect to regulatory competition in contract law and dispute resolution. What is the current empirical status of the law market in these fields? Who are the market leaders? What is the role of multinational corporations in particular? Why are certain contract laws, courts of a particular jurisdiction, and/or arbitration venues more popular than others? What economic, political, and/or philosophical implications does the law market in these fields have? What are the policy implications that follow? Is there a need to change the international legal framework for the law market with respect to contracts and dispute resolution, and if so, how and in which direction?

The conference will bring together leading scholars in the field of contract law and dispute resolution both from the US and Europe. Important research papers on the law market in these fields will be presented and commented upon by at least one discussant. The results of the conference should be of high interest not only for academics, but also for practitioners and lawmakers.

Confirmed Speakers