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Svenja Wachtel
Counsel | Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Svenja is counsel in the Litigation/Arbitration Department of the Munich office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Her practice concentrates on arbitration and complex commercial litigation with a particular focus on multi-jurisdictional legal actions. She is especially passionate about the changes and challenges digitalization and digital transformation mean for the legal industry and she regularly speaks about arbitration matters, in particular with respect to digitalization and digital transformation and founder of the Digital Coffee Break in Arbitration.

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Arbitration and digital transformation seem to be a perfect match. Especially during the current challenges the legal world is facing, arbitration has proven to be a reliable method to continue ongoing and initiate new disputes, to stay connected virtually and to keep learning through a variety of webinars. The rising use of virtual hearing centers and the switch from physical to virtual hearings is only one of the few adaptations we have seen recently. But, why is it that arbitration goes hand in hand with digital transformation and what are some of the down- and upsides when the use of technology expands significantly?

The following gives a brief response to these questions: Firstly, the flexibility and adaptability of arbitration is a key element of international arbitration and the parties' autonomy is inherent to the conduction of the arbitration (see section 1). However, when using new digital tools or new technologies, it is not the fanciest tool that wins. Rather, the one that provides a benefit to the practitioner and addresses the respective needs in each individual case (see section 2). Besides making the conduction of an arbitral proceeding (hopefully) more effective, digital transformation also supports diversity in international arbitration and plays a vital role in advocating for equality (see section 3).


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