SIFoCC Meets in New York

At the same time as world political leaders were meeting at the United Nations, New York federal and state courts were hosting a meeting of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts.  This meeting was held on 27 and 28 September.  The meeting was attended by members of the judiciary from 35 jurisdictions around the world.  The objective of the Forum is to share best practices among commercial courts around the world to serve business and markets by offering effective and efficient means for resolving commercial disputes.

Lord Thomas, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Chairman of the Steering Group for SIFoCC said “it is striking to see so many of the world’s commercial courts gathering in New York, and at such senior level.  These are times when the opportunity to share best practices, discuss stronger contributions to the rule of law, and support developing countries, is more important than ever.  That is why SIFoCC has been formed, and it has a significant role to play.  All concerned are grateful for the warm welcome and support New York is giving.”  Loretta A. Preska, former Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, added: “New York courts are thrilled to welcome commercial court judges from around the world to New York, the world’s greatest center of finance and commerce.”

The inaugural meeting of the Forum was held in London in 2017.  This year’s meeting featured almost 100 members of the judiciary and their staff including, for example, James Allsop, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, Mrs. Gao Xiaoli, Deputy Chief Justice of the supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China,  The Rt Hon Lord Hope of Craighead KT of Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts, Jean Messinesi, President of the Paris Commercial Court, Geoffrey Ma, Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Judiciary,  Anthony Smellie, Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands, Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore, and Bart M. Katureebe, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda.  The judges reported on progress since the last meeting and discussed commercial issues of importance, including a multilateral memorandum on the enforcement of judgments between commercial courts, case management and technology.  The judges also heard from general counsel about what the users of commercial courts want:

  • Michelle H. Browdy: Senior Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, and General Counsel, IBM
  • Alex Dimitrief: Senior Vice President, and General Counsel, GE
  • Kimberley D. Harris: Executive Vice President, and General Counsel, NBCUniversal
  • Stacey Friedman: Executive Vice President, and General Counsel, JPMorgan Chase
  • Michele Coleman Mayes: Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, New York Public Library
  • Tony West: Chief Legal Officer, Uber