Dr Thomas Klink (Richter am Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart, stellvertretender Vorsitzender des Berufungssenats des Stuttgart Commercial Court) and Laure Aldebert (Membre de la chambre internationale de la Cour d’appel de Paris) presented the structure, jurisdiction, procedure and the efficient case management of their courts. Anna Stier (Omni Bridgeway) shared her very positive impressions of the Netherland Commercial Court, handling the cases with efficiency and competence. Dr Martin Bernet (Bernet Arbitration/Dispute Management) explained the idea behind the project of the creation of Zurich International Commercial Court that should be able to conduct proceedings fully in English. Gustav Flecke-Giammarco (Seven Summits Arbitration) underlined the potential of commercial courts as an alternative to arbitration but stressed that there are many helpful contract drafting suggestions to consider when trying to “fit the forum to the fuss”.
The panelists agreed that commercial courts take a pragmatic approach in resolving the cases brought before them, applying case management techniques similar to those in arbitration. They look for solutions and facilitate settlements. They handle cases fast and at relatively low cost. The panelists unanimously agreed that commercial courts are an alternative to arbitration, not a competitor. They can be especially attractive for medium-sized companies where the confidentiality is not of the highest priority. According to a survey conducted after the panel discussion, 90 % of the participants would consider choosing a commercial court in a case, compared to only 34 % before the panel discussion.
Hartmut Hamann and Gustav Flecke-Giammarco