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!”