Virtual Arbitration Portal & Online Hearing Facilities
‘Market Leading Virtual Arbitration Provider’
IAC Online provides a secure virtual portal and unique navigation dashboard. Our virtual hearing room streamlines the proceedings with the focus on the tribunal, lead advocates and witnesses. It also allows for all involved to attend (support lawyers, clients, etc) without congesting the screen.
IAC Online provides an impartial, easily accessible, physically separated private breakout rooms for each party and tribunal to use throughout in the same way you would have for a physical hearing.
The International Arbitration Centre at 190 Fleet Street was built with the focus on clients and its core users; the same design brief has been applied to our virtual platform to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.
Your virtual hearing will be supported by our experienced administration and technical support team. This allows all involved to focus on the case without having to consider the technical logistics.
‘ It lets the Lawyers Lawyer and Arbitrators Arbitrate’
For an online demo, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owen Lawrence, Founder & CEO, IAC Online
Fully Virtual Arbitrations
IAC Online offers an impartial, user friendly virtual hearing platform that reflects the physical movements of an in-person arbitral proceeding.
We understand what is required to keep your hearings proceeding as smoothly as possible and apply our experience and expertise.
The IAC Online platform enables all to attend from wherever they are in the world.
Our Key Offerings include:
Designed around a three layer secure platform. Access is gained by pre authorised registration, a password protected dashboard and 6-digit pin to access the hearing room and physically separated breakout rooms. Attendees are also monitored by an IAC technician who remains in the room throughout.
Succinct Hearing Screen
The virtual hearing room offers a decluttered screen focused on tribunal, advocates, experts and witnesses. Clients and multiple support lawyers can attend the hearing and remain off screen at the back of the hearing room. Access can be granted if required. An IAC technician will assist with housekeeping, labelling attendees to assist the tribunal and bringing individuals in and out of the hearing screen as required.
Physically Separated Breakout Rooms
Tribunal and each party has access to physically separated password protected breakout rooms, linked from the IAC Online dashboard. Here everyone in their relevant group can see each other, speak privately with the peace of mind that you are the only people in that particular room.
Other providers use same platform breakout rooms which some tribunal and clients are not comfortable with.
Each hearing operates via a unique easy to navigate dashboard. This makes for a user friendly platform that includes a universal countdown clock, one click access to you breakout room or the hearing room. Imbedded links to your chosen transcription or evidence projection provider, all provide a one stop shop to all of your online hearing requirements.
The IAC provide full administrative support with extensive training, familiarisation and on screen configuration. Each attendee is contacted in advance, walked through the platform and made ready for the first day of your hearing.
Highly experienced IAC technicians are ever present. They are used to accommodating different time zones and adapting to tech offered in numerous jurisdictions. Enthuses is placed on prehearing testing, registration, familiarisation.
All IAC Online hearings have an in-house technician allocated to the case and available from the start and can also assist with hardware advice. Each person’s screen(s) can be tailored to their own preference.
Technicians run remote configuration of screens, mics and cameras. Essentially they get everyone ‘match fit’ and ready to start the hearing on time.
Moving into the hearing room, our technicians, who remain in the hearing room throughout act as the safety blanket, often muting people who forget too or dealing with technical glitches.
‘It’s like the swan analogy – we keep the hearing progressing gracefully on screen, with our technicians paddling ferociously behind the scenes to keep things moving’.
E-bundles, Transcription and Evidence Projection
IAC Online has collaborated with experienced leading transcription and electronic document management companies. For further information, please click the following links:
The IAC is an ideal venue for those grouping together to conduct hearings connected with individuals, law firms or other arbitration centres around the world.
IAC is one of the most technically advanced centres in the world and connects seamlessly with all other ADR centres globally.
We regularly conducted semi virtual hearings and offer a bespoke service for each case.
The state of the art facilities offer incomparable video conferencing facilities, screens, microphones and comfort.
Our social distancing protocol includes access via an underground car park, individual private breakout rooms and zero physical interaction with other disputes.
IAC Online can also be incorporated for your proceedings as well as all popular video conferencing platforms.
Whilst lawyers regroup, and less connection are required, this surprisingly extends testing and configuration. Thankfully our technicians are well versed in such configurations and on hand from the outset.
IAC Virtual Arbitration Suites
At the IAC we have virtual hearing suites comprising a private office (with stunning views) including three monitors (more if required), HD cameras, microphones, laptops, ergonomic chairs, adjustable lighting, great coffee, hosts and IAC technicians on hand.
The eight suites are often used by individual lawyers, tribunal, in conjunction with IAC Online and groups of lawyers regrouping for hybrid hearings.
What sets us apart
- Physical IAC Online tech suites to use where required or as a back up
- One of the most technically advanced centres globally
- Naturally set up to connect to all platforms and numerous global locations
- Market leading bespoke platform
- Online arbitration room – A decluttered screen focused on tribunal, advocates and witnesses
- All involved, clients, support lawyers etc can attend and sit at the back of the hearing room
- Hearing room dashboard, allowing all to navigate between the hearing room and physically separated private breakout rooms
- Two layer added security
- Full administrative support
- IAC technician in the virtual arbitration room at all times
- User friendly, impartial and in control
- IAC Online supports hearings from 10 attendees through to 100.
Transcription, e-bundles, evidence projection
IAC Online has collaborated with experienced leading transcription and electronic document management companies. For further information, please click the following links:
Requirements & Practical Tips
Running your virtual hearing
In advance of your virtual hearing, the following items are essential:
- Wi-Fi connection: 8 Mbps download / 1.5 Mbps upload is the minimum requirements for effective video calls. Check your broadband speed.
- Screened device with camera, sound and microphone capabilities
- Recommended minimum screen size 13” and 1920×1080 screen resolution
- Pre system walk through and training.
To get the most out of your virtual hearing experience the following items are desired:
- Work with e-bundles.
- We have an IAC technician in the room to assist tribunal. Making your own firms IT professional know you will be attending a virtual hearing online and having their contact details is helpful in case you encounter hardware issues.
- iPad/tablet – to provide real-time transcription, or run the video call. This works well alongside a laptop/desktop (iPads limit you to 9 visual attendees – this is often sufficient given the layout of IAC Online).
- Dual monitors or ultra-wide screen – one to show the hearing and the one to show e-bundles, personal email, etc.
- Dual monitors can easily be achieved with a lead connecting to a TV (our IT team can provide guidance).
- Agree to use breakout rooms in advance.
- Agree how you will communicate during the hearing with the rest of your team – email, WhatsApp, etc.
Prepare in advance not only for the case in hand but the virtual aspect of your hearing. Minor disruptions are inevitable and the less disruption participants can cause will assist in making your hearing run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
- Treat the hearing room with the respect you would an in-person hearing.
- Dress as you would for an in-person hearing.
- Turn mobiles on silent but have them visible as they will likely be required.
- When you are not speaking, mute your mic.
- Remain patient – everyone involved behind the scenes understands the importance of the hearing and will be working to make the experience as seamless as possible.
- Consider time zones.
- Do not make comments after the hearing and ensure you have left the hearing before calling colleagues.
- Check what others can see – Make sure camera angle doesn’t show notes. Your background is clear of other files or items you do not want to share with others. A number of platforms allow you to blur backgrounds and even pick your own (company logo could work well).
- Lighting can also affect how you appear to others – although it is healthy, natural light isn’t always ideal and isn’t consistent. A room well-lit with synthetic light provides a consistent view.
- Adjust your camera so your face fills 75% of the screen – this is good practice for all.
- Minimise devices on your home broadband line where possible to improve bandwidth.
- Close all desktop windows you do not need to access during your hearing.
- If using one screen, split the monitor screen in two in Windows 7 or 8 or 10, press the left mouse button and at the top of the screen “grab” the window. Keep the mouse button pressed and drag the window all the way over to the RIGHT of your screen. Now you should be able to see the other open applications to the left and you need to click the application you would to appear. Your screen will now be split in two.
- Make sure your machine is up to date. Laptops have a tendency to kick you out of your VPN if you don’t follow your IT department’s updates – getting you back in the virtual hearing room could only take 5 minutes, but will feel like 5 hours as you wait.
- Conduct pre-hearing tests with your colleagues – familiarise yourself with how the platform works.
- Make sure you are plugged and powered – flat batteries are annoying at the best of times.
- Stick to lines of communication everyone is used to. Whilst you might know how the chat feature works, your clients or colleagues might not and this could be a disaster.
- Clean your camera with a glasses cloth – it can make a big difference.
- Have papers nearby and in a sensible order
- Shut your office door so you are not distracted by external elements – pets and children, etc.
- Put a note on your front door so you are not disturbed by deliveries – or make people aware you might have to step away briefly.
- Prepare as you would for an in-person hearing – eat well, and use the bathroom during breaks.
- Remember, you are in constant view – your camera isn’t a mirror for you to preen yourself.
Doug Jones – Independent Arbitrator
I have had the opportunity to use IAC Online for a hearing with Parties and experts from 10 separate locations spread across Australian, Middle East, UK, Europe, and North America.
The assistance provided for training prior to the hearing, with trial runs, and the hearing itself was key to the success of the hearing, which was attested to by all the participants. This was so notwithstanding very different technological abilities amongst the participants.
What has been developed by the IAC represents a present state of the art offering which will doubtless mitigate the debilitating effect of COVID-19, and in many ways point the way towards effective hearings in the post COVID era.
Constantine Partasides QC – Partner, Three Crowns LLP
“The IAC offering works well in the age of Coronavirus; easy-to-use technology, and helpful technical assistants on hand throughout, that allows participants to focus on what they need to focus on – the hearing substance.”
John Judge – Independent Arbitrator
“The IAC Virtual Platform has been an easy yet extraordinary tool to use for today’s procedural hearing. It was the first time ever that counsel and the tribunal have met “face to face”, albeit virtually. With counsel and Tribunal members spread across four continents and six time zones, it performed flawlessly, and far superior to a telephone conference or simple reliance on the papers. Counsel and the Tribunal were able to more effectively engage with one another, pursue probative questions to get the heart of the issues and read each other’s reactions. Certainly a major cost savings for the parties. The secure tribunal breakout room readily facilitated immediate and private deliberations. A great tool for use going forward, during and after the pandemic.”
David Brynmor-Thomas QC – Arbitrator
‘Congratulations and thanks for how well you hosted our entirely online hearing. Both the service we had from your staff and the quality of hearing we were able to have were very high quality’.
‘I particularly liked the way advocates, witnesses and the tribunal have camera and mic access, with other attendees “at the back of the room” to see and hear everything, able to join the hearing if need be but with no risk of them accidentally being heard or joining in’.
‘The operation of the call by the IAC technician was great, as the Presiding arbitrator was not distracted at all’.
‘Your integration with Optus worked very well on screen’.
‘The separate breakout rooms are useful, set up in such a way that they are definitely secure’.
Rosemary Jackson QC – Mediator
“It was very helpful to have technical help on hand whenever someone’s sound or video dropped out, or when they needed help to get to the right breakout room.
As Day 2 of the mediation wound towards a successful conclusion after 3am it was very reassuring to have the cheery voice of the technical assistant, on hand, sounding as bright and energetic as she had been when we commenced at 9.30am the previous morning.”
Louis Flannery QC & Heidrun Walsh – Mishcon de Reya
“The IAC team stepped up during an unprecedented crisis where long planned physical hearings had to be pushed into the virtual world or otherwise faced delays.
The IAC team provided invaluable online hearing support, from assisting each participant with their individual technical set up, the offering of countless test sessions and the coordination of the individual providers (such as interpreters, court reporters and document sharing platforms). It managed to replicate – as far as possible – a physical hearing situation by even providing an online breakout room!
We can highly recommend the IAC for any virtual hearings and will certainly use it again and hopefully not only in a virtual world.”
Philippa Charles – Arbitrator
“Very many thanks to you and to all the IAC team for a seamless offering in supporting my hearing this week. The integration of the IAC video platform with Opus 2 is fantastic, allowing the witnesses to view the documents being shared by the EPE operator while being cross-examined with minimal delay (probably no less time than they would spend turning up a document in a hard copy bundle), while I could view the transcript and the bundle on a second screen. All the witnesses were ready to join into the hearing room at the moment they were required, again with minimal delay. The stability of the feeds was excellent throughout – but I was particularly impressed with the prompt interventions from the IAC technicians to deal with any glitches as they arose, and we lost relatively little time over our three days to technical problems.
What surprised me the most was how much like an “ordinary” hearing it felt, despite every participant joining from a different location: the hearing environment is maintained, and I am sure assisted, by keeping the focus of the Tribunal on the active participants and reducing the visual clutter or distraction which might be posed by a wider group appearing on screen. It has been a pleasure, and I look forward to the next opportunity to work with you and your tam, before too long. I would be happy to recommend to tribunal colleagues or to the parties that they use this system in preference to a wait of uncertain duration before we can have hearings in person again.”
I really mean that this has been a pleasure, Owen – you and your team have been brilliant end to end.”
Richard Fernyhough QC
As a tribunal member, I was at first apprehensive as to whether I would be able to master the technology which was new to me. But after your helpful and sensitive training sessions I felt much more confident. On the “ techy” side I also got help from Owen Lawrence and Charles Frake which included good advice on which additional display screen to buy and which connecting cable I needed for my Apple Mac PC. Very much a complete service.
So far as the hearing of 10 days was concerned, it all went off remarkably smoothly considering the different time zones involved and witnesses giving evidence in three languages with two interpreters. Inevitably there were the odd minor glitches occasionally but, whenever they occurred, Rachel Bidmead was onto it like a shot and invariably fixed it very speedily indeed.
To my mind it is highly likely that virtual hearings will become the norm in international arbitration, and IAC is very well placed to benefit from this potential market.
Yash Kulkarni QC – Lead Counsel
“Our experience over the past week has been first class. Well done on setting up an excellent platform for virtual arbitration that has the effect, as you say, of lawyers being able to do their lawyering and arbitrators being able to do their arbitrating without thinking too much about the surreal nature of a virtual hearing…!
Having the IAC technician in the background the whole time meant that things ran very smoothly indeed. The ability to have documents brought up to the tribunal and to witnesses meant that what might have been otherwise challenging delays in witness handling became seamless.
Well done again. I would have no hesitation in recommending the IAC for my next arbitration.”
“We were very impressed and grateful for how smoothly everything ran.”
“huge thank you from us for arranging today’s hearing, getting everyone up to speed with the tech, and being on hand today to assist. It was clear, impressive, and the technology worked very well and we will report back to the wider team on what was a very positive experience”
“Many thanks to the entire IAC team for their proactive and helpful attitude. We were particularly impressed with how seamlessly they liaised with and organised the factual witnesses to ensure the hearing went smoothly and without issue.”
Magic Circle Law Firm
“By far the most user friendly platform we have used. Support was first rate and the arbitration room screen made the hearing easy to follow”
“On behalf of the three of us, can I thank you and the IAC team for all your help and patience.
It could not have gone more smoothly and we were very reassured and impressed by the software and how well it works.
“Members of Atkin Chambers using the IAC’s virtual hearing platform were impressed by the operation of the technology and its user friendliness. Counsel from Atkin Chambers were amongst the active participants in a hearing in an international arbitration. The active participants comprised the tribunal members, counsel and instructing solicitors, all of whom were able to see and hear one another clearly. Passive users reported that they were able to see and hear the participants clearly. In addition the platform allowed the documents to be shared clearly on screen”.
Just wanted to say thanks for organising that video call so efficiently! It went really smoothly and was probably the best experience I’ve had so far. I won’t need the back-up recording you made as everything was very stable from my end and I’m happy with the recordings I made. Thank you for doing that for our peace of mind.
Hope to work with you again soon!”
IAC Online has hosted virtual arbitrations with top firms and sets
Thank you to all of our clients over the last few months and the excellent feedback in relation to our online platform.
International Arbitration Centre
190 Fleet Street
Tel: +44 (0)203 928 7272
DDI: +44 (0)203 928 7288
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