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Manila, Philippines, July 2015 — Quisumbing Torres’ (QT) Dispute Resolution Practice Group, headed by Donemark J.L. Calimon, hosted Arbitration 101: Tips, Tricks and Traps last 30 June.  Through this event, QT provided representatives from a 29 organizations with an overview of arbitration as well as practical insights and discussions of key issues on and recent developments in arbitration, drafting of arbitration clauses, interim measures of protection and institutional arbitration.

“Arbitration as an alternative to dispute resolution means that if you avail of this mode of resolution, you basically skip the trial court litigation process,” said Donemark as he began the day’s session with an introduction to arbitration.  “Arbitration is usually confused with mediation.  In arbitration, the result will be a binding award.  Even if the parties do not agree, the award rendered by the arbitrator will be binding on both parties as long as there is a valid arbitration agreement and the proceedings in the arbitration were conducted in accordance with the agreement of both parties.  On the other hand, mediation only becomes binding if there is an agreement between the parties to settle the dispute.  If the parties cannot agree, one party cannot compel the other party to enter into any settlement agreement,” he further explained.

Chan Leng Sun, SC, head of both Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group and Baker & McKenzie’s Asia Pacific International Arbitration Practice Group Steering Committee discussed the Do’s and Don’ts of Drafting Arbitration Clauses.  “For organizations with cross-border transactions, arbitration is no longer an alternative.  It is the preferred method of dispute resolution in international transactions,” emphasized Leng Sun. He further discussed the essentials of effective arbitration clauses, the importance of selecting the seat of the arbitration and the nuances in selecting the Tribunal.  He also provided an overview of institutional arbitration.

“The effectiveness of interim measures of protection depends on many factors. However, a well-drafted arbitration agreement incorporating modern, well-tested arbitration rules and providing for a seat of arbitration with an arbitration friendly legislation and where national courts have a pro-arbitration attitude, such as Hong Kong,  is key,” explained Philipp Hanusch, senior associate in Baker & McKenzie Hong Kong’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group in his discussion of the Pros and cons: How protective are interim measures of protection?

In the second half of the event, Donemark, Leng Sun, Philipp and Chiann Bao, Secretary-General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), together with associates of the QT Dispute Resolution Group ran a mock arbitration. This mock arbitration gave the audience a glimpse of what goes on in an actual arbitral proceeding and during the enforcement stage the follows the issuance of an arbitration award.  QT associates who played key roles in the demonstration included Michael Macapagal, Camille Bianca Gatmaitan, Dranyl Jared Amoroso, Anna Carmi Calsado and Grace Ann Lazaro.  Mia Carmela Imperial, partner in the Dispute Resolution Practice Group who served as the event’s host, narrated for the mock arbitration.

The final session focused on international arbitration.  Chiann Bao discussed international arbitration under the rules of HKIAC, while Donemark provided the perspective under the rules of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc (PDRCI).

Quisumbing Torres’ Dispute Resolution Practice Group represents parties in commercial arbitrations, including arbitrations conducted under the arbitration rules of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI) and of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as well as in ad hoc arbitrations under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Arbitration Rules, among others.  For years 2014 and 2015, Chambers Asia Pacific ranked the Arbitration Team of the Firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Band 1.

Donemark, the head of the group, specializes in domestic and international commercial arbitration, but also has extensive experience in civil and criminal and corporate litigations. He is one of the founders of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIARB) and is a member of the board and an officer of the PDRCI.


Donemark J. L. Calimon is a partner at Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein. He is a member of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group and has more than 20 years of experience in dispute resolution, including civil, criminal, corporate and regulatory litigation, as well as commercial arbitration. He is one of the founders of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators and is a member of the panel of arbitrators of the Singapore International Arbitration Center, the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, and the Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution (PICCR). He currently serves as secretary general of the PICCR.