13 September 2022, Berlin
When DIS40 was founded in autumn 2002 by Patricia Nacimiento, Stefan Kröll, Thorsten Lörcher and Friedrich Blase, the founding members could hardly imagine that 20 years later, the DIS40 would be among the leading young arbitration practitioners' organisations. But here we are, DIS40 today has over 2,000 members around the globe with regional groups in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, the Rhine/Ruhr region, Stuttgart, London, and Zurich.
Thanks to the volunteer work of the DIS40 co-chairs and regional representatives, DIS40 organises countless events for young arbitration practitioners, shepherds a mentoring program together with DIS, and liaises with other young practitioner groups around the globe. Since 2018 alone, and notwithstanding the pandemic, DIS40 organized more than 130 events both in person and online.
The topics of the DIS40 events have ranged from hands-on arbitration topics like best practices to enhance the efficiency of arbitral proceedings to issues such as the Trump administration's impact on international dispute resolution. Besides organising after-work-events, capacity building has always been another central pillar of DIS40's work. Since DIS40 members have very different access to training opportunities depending on their respective employers, about 10 years ago, the DIS40 started offering capacity building workshops on a variety of topics that young practitioners encounter in their day-to-day practice such as cross-examination, valuation, or third-party funding. In addition to being valuable for the individual practitioner, these workshops also help to maintain and improve the quality of the German arbitration landscape.
From its inception, another goal of DIS40 always was the international integration of the German arbitration community. In 2009, the DIS40 co-founded the Co-Chairs' Circle (CCC), a platform for the exchange between young arbitration practitioner groups around the globe. Today, about 40 organizations are part of this network. In 2014, the DIS40 hosted the first Global CCC Conference in Berlin, which was attended by 150 delegates from all over the world. The Global CCC conference has since taken place every two years with stops in Helsinki, Rome, and Brussels. At the last conference in Brussels, DIS40 was selected to host the 5th Global CCC Conference in 2024 in Frankfurt. Hosting the young international arbitration community in Frankfurt will provide for an excellent opportunity to showcase the quality and diversity of the German arbitration scene.
As of 2015, the DIS40 has started to invite below 40 inhouse counsels to co-chair the organization. This innovation was introduced to instil the users' perspectives from the very beginning in young arbitration practitioners.
DIS40 is fortunate to be able to count on the support of the DIS, the leading arbitration institution in Germany. And it is no coincidence that the DIS' current leadership team is composed of many former DIS40 co-chairs and representatives.
As this autumn marks DIS40’s 20th anniversary, we will celebrate with old and new friends on a boat cruise through Berlin on 13 September 2022, the eve of the traditional DIS40 Autumn Conference. To the next 20 years!
The program of the DIS40 Autumn Conference is available here.
Johanna Büstgens, Elizabeth Hincapié, Evgenia Peiffer, Moritz Schmitt, Alessandro Covi