A delegation of Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) went to US to visite Kenneth Feinberg
On June 18, 2012, a delegation of BAC composed of General Secretary Wang Hongsong, Division Chief Chen Fuyong and Secretary Xu Jie went to Washington D.C., U.S. to pay a visit to Kenneth Feinberg, who was the administrator for handling the oil spill accident in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Kenneth Feinberg is a partner of Feinberg & Rozen, LLP. He has successfully handled a number of compensation matters in major public accidents, including the compensation in the class action of Agent Orange product liability in Vietnam War, the national compensation in the 9.11 accident, the compensation in the gun shooting accident at Virginia Tech University, and the executive compensation during the financial crisis etc. After the occurrence of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Kenneth Feinberg accepted the appointment by the Obama Administration and the entrustment of BP to serve as the administer of BP¡¯s Compensation Fund, who is responsible for establishing a temporary compensation team, developing compensation rules and handling the claims for damages arising from the oil spill. Since June 16, 2010, appointed by the Obama Administration, Mr. Kenneth Feinberg has been in charge of a compensation fund of 20 billion US dollars . The Gulf Coast Claim Facility (GCCF) that was run by him has well settled more than 1 million damages claim cases of the Gulf Oil Spill, and paid more than 6.2 billion US dollars to 220,000 claimants, of which 840 million US dollars was paid expeditiously in the second moth following the establishment of GCCF, averaging 27 million US dollars per day . That successfully buffered the outburst of a large scale conflicts. Although that mode of dispute resolution of GCCF gave rise to some disputes, it is fair, transparent and efficient according to the evaluation of the Department of Justice of US. It is highly effective in settling conflicts immediately after the occurrence of group disputes .
Mr. Feinberg is an expert enjoying a high reputation in dispute resolution in the circles of law and politics in U.S., who is rich in social administrative experience and wisdom, and is also highly skilled in coordination and mediation, good at handling complicated and difficult group urgencies involving social and public interest. With his endeavor, many funds were founded for major group urgencies in the US, and a compensation funds based dispute resolution mode was developed, in which an impartial independent third party mediates and handles compensation matters; that mode has achieved good social results. His experience and practices in this regard are valuable references for the legal sector of China.
BAC has long been diligent in fulfilling its social responsibilities, and striving to develop into a diversified dispute resolution center for arbitration, mediation, and review and assessment on disputes over construction work to meet the diversified requirements of the parties, as well as a research, training and promotion center for diversified dispute resolution so as to improve the diversified dispute resolution mechanism in China, contributing to the harmony and stability of the society. Soon after the occurrence of the oil spill in the Bohai Gulf in 2011, BAC focused its attention on the mode and experience in handling the compensation in the Gulf Oil Spill and assigned Lawyer Chen Guang who was then studying in US to be trained in Feinberg & Rozen, LLP. Mr. Feinberg not only briefed on the experience and practices in handling the Gulf Oil Spill, but also presented the relevant data and materials. Apart from expressing gratitude to Mr. Feinberg, BAC also hoped to deepen the cooperation with him in areas of the research on diversified dispute resolution and personnel training, etc. through the visit of the delegation.
Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) Visited International Law Institute in US on Invitation
On June 19, 2012, a three-person group of BAC composed of General Secretary Wang Hongsong, Division Chief Chen Fuyong and Secretary Xu Jie went to Washington, D.C. of the United Stateson invitation to visit the International Law Institute. The party was warmly welcomed by Professor Don Wallace, Jr, the Director of the Institute, Robert Sargin, the Vice-Director of the Institute, and Anne Marie Whitesell, the head of the dispute resolution team of the Institute and former Secretary of Arbitration Court of International Chamber of Commerce. Both parties briefed each other on the status, objectives, advantages and needs on their respective side and discussed and exchanged their opinions on the possible cooperation between them in the future.
The International Law Institute was founded in 1955, which was affiliated with Georgetown University originally and has become an independent Institute for academic research, publishing and training in legal practice since 1983. Teachers engaged by the Institute are well recognized experts or scholars in the profession with rich experience and profound professional knowledge, and are familiar with handling international disputes. The Institute is frequently entrusted by some governments and funds to provide trainings, as well as consulting and technical support in international law and economic policies to some governments and various economies.
Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) Was Invited to Attend the 25th Anniversary Ceremonyof Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Watched the Advanced Mediation Training Courses at the School of Law of Pepperdine University in the U.S.
On June 22, 2012, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of the School of Law of Pepperdine University in the U.S. held its 25th Anniversity Ceremony. General Secretary Wang Hongsong, Division Chief Chen Fuyong and Secretary Xu Jie attended the ceremony on invitation. At the ceremony, Professor Thomas Stipanowich, Academic Chief of the Institute introduced BAC to the attendees and highly praised the active role played by BAC in promoting diversified dispute resolution. Representing BAC, General Secretary Wang Hongsong, extended the most sincere gratitude to Professor Thomas for the yearly substantial support and assistance of his colleagues and him to BAC.
Since 2007, BAC and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution have established cooperative relationships and cooperated with each other in the training and promotion of diversified dispute resolution. General Secretary Wang Hongsong was engaged as one of the 52 members of the Senior Consulting Committee of the Institute, which are composed of the presidents of American Arbitration Association, some well known American arbitration institutes such as JAMS and CPR, senior judges, professors, scholars, the chief legal consultants of government departments and large companies as well as the partners of internationally recognized law firms. The committee holds meetings every year to communicate on the problems and experiences in the training and teaching of diversified dispute resolution, and explore its orientation and goal in the future. Before or after each meeting, the Institute will arrange related academic meetings and training programs and invite the members of the Consulting Committee to attend such meetings. With the assistance of the Institute, BAC has successfully conducted three sessions of training programs for mediators, the contents and effects of which were highly praised by the trainees, and with the assistance of BAC, the institute has also successfully conducted trainings and fieldwork for students in China, disseminating its ideas, knowledge, skills and experience in dispute resolution.
The dispute resolution course of the School of Law of Pepperdine University has ranked number one consecutively for a number of years in U.S. Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, taking the advantage of its abundant research resources and the faculty of high caliber, has designed and carried out multi-type training programs of dispute resolution, and continuously innovated in its training programs to accomodate the development and meet the needs of the society. The current mediation training program constitutes 15 short term training courses of three days. One of the courses of ¡°Advanced Mediation¡± was lectured by Bruce Edwards, the founding partner of JAMS, an American arbitration institution, and Nina Meierding, a senior lawyer and mediator. The two lecturers, centered on the ideas of modern commercial mediation, delivered more lectures on a systematic practical mediation mode and based on yearly practices, demonstrated the necessary skills , do¡¯s and don¡¯t¡¯s in the procedures of systematic mediation to the trainees. The course of ¡°Mediation in Construction Work¡± was lectured by George Calkins, a senior expert of the JAMS and Victoria Chaney, a justice of Second Ciruit of the United States Court of Appeals. The two lecturers, based on their rich experience in representation and trials, and by presenting many real mediation cases in construction work, lectured on the state of disputes in American construction work, and demonstrated the mediation method for complicated construction work disputes. All the trainees of the course were people with rich practical experience who engaged in the practices of law, politics and commerce all around the world. An interactive teaching methodology was employed for the course. The superb teaching skills of lecturers and the passion of the trainees created an excellent interactive class atmosphere.
Since the establishment of its mediation center in last August, BAC has focused more on the training of its personnels. During the visit, all the members of the delegation attended all the sessions of the courses of ¡°Advanced Mediation¡± and ¡°Mediation in Construction Work¡±, and gained a deep understanding of their contents and teaching methodology. The delegation was deeply impressed by the exquisite design of the courses, the fascinating teaching contents, the superb teaching skills and the passionate feedbacks of the trainees. BAC acquired a deep understanding of the frontier commercial mediation method in America through the observation and study, and it would help BAC improve its training for mediators in the future.
* secretary for the Beijing Arbitration Commission