Talk on “The Role of In-House Counsel in International Arbitration” by Henning Overbeck, Shell

On 10 December 2018, Mr. Henning Oberbeck, legal counsel at Shell, delivered a talk on “The Role of In-House Counsel in International Arbitration”. The talk was jointly organized by the Bucerius Alumni e.V. (Subdivision “Dispute Resolution”) and the CIDR.

Often, the debate on the current status and the future of International Arbitration tends to focus on the perspectives of arbitrators, counsel, arbitral institutions and academics and not on the views and wishes of the users. The new arbitration rules of the ICC and the DIS seek to address the market’s demands for greater efficiency and cost saving. Still, in-house counsel are rarely provided a platform to share their practical experiences with, and expectations with regard to, arbitral proceedings. 

In his talk, Mr. Oberbeck stressed the important role that arbitrators play in increasing the efficiency of arbitral proceedings. In his point of view, arbitrators often hide behind their fear that the award will be annulled later on. Instead, arbitrators should act more courageous and pragmatic, which the parties would often honour more than lengthy proceedings and voluminous awards.

The talk was followed by a vivid discussion and a reception sponsored by the Bucerius Alumni e.V. (Subdivision “Dispute Resolution”).


Text: Dr. Johanna Büstgens; picture: Mesut Akbaba