The DIS came to Sofia in the beginning of December 2023 and raised its flag for the first time on Bulgarian soil. The purpose of the event was to introduce the DIS and make Bulgarian legal practitioners aware of the dispute resolution tools which the DIS can offer. The event in Sofia was under the patronage of Irene Maria Plank, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Bulgaria.
Ms Plank opened the discussion and supported the DIS in this endeavour. Ambassador Plank highlighted the good economic relations between Bulgaria and Germany and the advantages of using arbitration as a method for resolving cross-border commercial disputes.
It is important to note that, according to the Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft (German Eastern Business Association), Bulgaria is one of Germany’s most important trading partners in Eastern Europe. Moreover, the foreign trade figures show that Germany buys more from Bulgaria than it exports.
These intensive trade relations need to be backed up by solid dispute resolution mechanisms. In this context, the event proved to the participants that the DIS offers valuable tools and mechanisms for the international business.
Special guest of the event was the Secretary General of the DIS, Ramona Schardt. Together with Ivan Petrov, Bulgarian-qualified lawyer and Counsel at the DIS, they presented the DIS as institution and its arbitration rules. An important aspect of their presentation was the dispute resolution services offered by the DIS, in particular, the type of case management that the DIS provides to its users.
In the context of arbitration made in Germany, Evgenia Peiffer, Counsel at CMS Munich, arbitrator with a focus on disputes related to Central and Eastern Europe, and also Bulgarian national, gave an overview of the advantages of Germany as place for arbitration of international disputes.
The second part of the event consisted of a panel discussion with leading Bulgarian arbitration practitioners on the mechanisms in the DIS Arbitration Rules designed to improve the efficiency of arbitration. In particular, the panellists shared views with one another and with the audience on Annex 3 of the DIS Arbitration Rules (Measures for Increasing Procedural Efficiency). The exchange of views proved to be very engaging and enriching. The panellists were Emil Emanuilov (Senior Partner, Kambourov & Partners, Sofia), Gergana Monovska (Partner at Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov Law Firm, Sofia) and Assen Alexiev (Independent Arbitrator, Sofia). The discussion was moderated by Evgenia Peiffer and Ivan Petrov.
The discussion was followed by a lively get-together where the panellists and the audience continued to exchange ideas, share experiences and foster new connections.
The event was jointly organised by DIS and DIS40, and in particular by Evgenia Peiffer and Ivan Petrov, and sponsored by CMS.