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Study launched into efficiency of international arbitration in resolving technology disputes

Businesses are being encouraged to participate in new research that aims to measure the efficiency of international arbitration as a means for resolving technology disputes.

Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, has partnered with Queen Mary University of London in an effort to chart current market practices for resolving technology, media and telecoms (TMT) disputes.

The four month study seeks to gain an insight into businesses' experience of dispute resolution in the TMT market as well as understand how effective companies rate arbitration as a means of dispute resolution compared against going to court.

"Businesses are prepared to invest significant amounts of money in technology, whether in relation to software implementation projects,  services integration programmes, outsourcing relationships, communications upgrades or otherwise," said David McIlwaine, an expert in IT contracts dispute resolution at Pinsent Masons. "In doing so, customers place a huge amount of trust in suppliers to deliver to their business and to maintain business operations. But those relationships can go badly wrong, and where they do the issue becomes how best to resolve these complex disputes in the most effective way, particularly where the parties are of different nationalities."

"National courts and international arbitration each have benefits and detriments, but which will deliver reliable and enforceable decisions quickly and cost effectively? This study will reveal the market's preferred approach and reasons for that," McIlwaine said.

The study will be the first time that QMUL's School of International Arbitration has carried out research specific to dispute resolution in the TMT sector.

"While there is a great amount of data relating to the attitudes of significant users of arbitration, such as construction and energy, related data for technology, media and telecoms sector are scarce," said professor Loukas Mistelis, director of the School of International Arbitration at QMUL. "A bespoke survey will assist the wider arbitration community identify the expectations and needs of this significant sectors of modern economy."

To participate in the study businesses are asked to complete an online survey. The survey closes on 17 July.

McIlwaine previously identified a growing appetite for international arbitration in the technology sector and said the trend was likely to continue, particularly as the technology market in Africa matures.

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