Schoups has specialised know-how in the area of arbitration, both ad hoc and institutional (ICC, CEPANI, etc.). Members of the practice group act as counsel or arbitrator in complex domestic and international arbitration proceedings. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are equally part of their expertise. The team includes a certified mediator in civil and commercial law. Team members regularly lecture and publish on arbitration and alternative dispute resolution methods.
If a dispute cannot be avoided, it should in any event be dealt with under the best possible conditions. Schoups’ ability to approach dispute resolution from different angles enables it to live up to that premise. Before, during and after a dispute, Schoups continuously searches for the most appropriate solution for its clients and helps them make the right choices, not just regarding the specific dispute, but also from a broader perspective.
The practice group’s knowledge and skills are deployed both autonomously and in support of the other practice groups.
Geert De Buyzer leads this practice group.
Dispute resolution clauses: preparing for a dispute that hopefully never arises
An effective dispute resolution clause is a first step in dispute management, yet it is often the last thing on the parties’ minds when negotiating a contract. When a dispute develops, all too often an unsuitable dispute resolution clause becomes part of the problem, instead of offering solutions.
In many instances, reflecting on a tailored dispute resolution mechanism can yield significant advantages. The Arbitration, Mediation & ADR practice group has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting effective dispute resolution clauses. Such clauses can provide ample opportunities to resolve disputes early on, by offering a multi-tiered approach that can cover a broad range of resolution mechanisms, stepping up from negotiation and mediation, through binding expert decisions and dispute adjudication boards, to litigation or arbitration.
Early case assessment: setting out the strategy in an informed manner
The earlier a dispute is dealt with, the greater the likelihood of nipping it in the bud at minimum expense. Deciding on the right strategy requires mapping out the dispute from the very outset. Schoups can provide expert assistance in that respect.
The members of the practice group always first make sure they understand the client’s commercial objectives, as well as the ins and outs of the dispute. When advising on strategy, they adopt a broad view, taking into account and putting into proper perspective such relevant elements as the legal risks, the value of the dispute (pecuniary or as a precedent), the commercial stakes, the likely costs and duration of the proceedings, the merits of the arguments, the solvency of the opposing party, the identity of opposing counsel, and so on. Such analysis is regularly updated as new developments arise, so that the appropriate strategy can be implemented at any given moment.
Dispute resolution: tackling the dispute appropriately
Every dispute requires its own approach. Schoups’ in-depth knowledge of the dispute resolution field allows it to approach disputes with an open mind and present its clients with the most suitable options, whether negotiation, mediation, expert appraisal, arbitration, litigation, etc. Where appropriate, such methods can be implemented in tandem with other measures, such as summary proceedings and seizures.
Depending on the chosen strategy, the members of the practice group can be either seasoned litigators or solution-oriented facilitators. Clients acknowledge and appreciate their know-how, professionalism, and unremitting determination to achieve the best possible outcome.