The New Merchants and cross border Dispute Resolution

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Paris | New York | Lisbon

Trade has always been the driving force for societal changes. The ones willing to brave into the unknown, navigating wild seas searching for the next opportunity – the merchants – reshaped our cross-border relations, contributing to global development and along this path changing the rule of law as such. 

Based on once upcoming new challenges, a special kind of law emerged, structured upon customs, good practices, and contracts, the lex mercatoria, was a truly global law. Since then, it has been in constant development, sustained by the autonomy of the will, by the agreements which transcends national legal boundaries and local legal systems.

Surely, as any kind of commercial relation, issues might arise, and as such with traditional legal systems, this global rule of law urged for a dispute resolution mechanism. Henceforth, International Arbitration came into the scene, providing a path to fulfill those needs and solve legal disputes, in a state independent way – delivering a decision-making procedure to those fast-paced advances of a truly global law. Later on, with the Pélissier du Besset case, or the Unidroit principles, even the states recognized a new legal order applicable to cross-border demands.

Along this path, the New York convention of 1958 represented a great achievement, where once adamant sovereign states decided to recognize and accept Arbitration decisions, even enforcing arbitral awards inside their borders – becoming a key instrument for international arbitration. Contracts and Arbitrations are and always will be deeply connected, as part of an autopoietic – state independent – legal system.

Nonetheless, society continued to change, and as such a mirror held up against life, law also changed and adjusted itself to the new reality.

We are living on an algorithm and data-driven world, on a place where international contracts are established a “click” away. Whether purchasing something on eBay or “buying” copyrights on YouTube, our instruments to develop global business became substantially more dynamic and complex (yet simple). Platforms as such eBay are bringing to international commercial contracts, foreign exchange agreements, global payments schemas, and to supply chain conditions, the simplicity of “button push” (or a declaration of “I Consent”).

Most likely traditional state law is no longer able to frame and embrace those advances, providing a satisfactory and efficient dispute resolution system. Thus, international institutional or ad hoc disputes resolution mechanism are taking back the stand, providing a newly reinterpreted simplified commercial arbitration, providing the means to solve those “complex” commercial matters under eBay’s Dispute resolution system, or intellectual property disputes at YouTube’s “Content ID” dispute system, as simple examples.

We are the new merchants, now navigating through the wild and unknown seas of technology. As such, our legal needs are being adjusted to and by disruptive technologies, and new solutions are needed in order to provide us the tools to do business on this cosmopolitan, connected and global legal society. Those are simple examples and daily situations, but what about the complex corporate ones?

Victoria Associates has been forged inside this context. Created by and from the global context and aligning different minds from various expertise and legal systems.

Our highly innovative and experienced professionals are a joint global effort to provide your business with the vessel necessary to navigate into the tortuous and complex waters of global dispute resolution, providing the tools and the knowledge to solve the most complex disputes that might arise in your quest for profit beyond state borders. Born in the land of the great explorers, we can guide you through the toughest disputes.

Please contact us if you have any question – info@victoria.associates

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