In March, Adrian Winstanley joined DRD as the team’s European Advisor. Here, he talks about his expertise and why he’s excited about DRD’s future.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in arbitration?
I came to the law quite late, after a career in business that embraced advertising, ceramics, interior decorating, and catering, when further challenges beckoned. After completing my law studies and qualifying as an English solicitor at Clifford Chance, I requested, and was given, a place in that firm’s highly-regarded arbitration practice.
I was subsequently approached by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), one of the world’s leading arbitral institutions, which was looking for a Registrar for the London Secretariat. I took up that post in 1997, becoming Executive Director and Director General in 2000. I spent a total of 17 years with the LCIA, during which time the caseload expanded exponentially; premises and staff grew proportionately; and we opened offices in Dubai, India, Mauritius, and Korea.
What do you see as the main value of arbitration?
Commerce and trade make the modern world go round, and cross-border trade can be a significant stabilizing influence in the geo-political and global economic landscapes. Effective dispute resolution is essential to lubricate the wheels of commerce. Arbitration, which offers an unbiased, efficient, cost-effective, and binding alternative to State Court litigation, is now universally the first choice method of resolving disputes in the widest range of contractual and treaty relationships. That, in a nutshell, is why I consider arbitration to be important, and of value to all stakeholders.
What do you particularly enjoy about your work in ADR?
What I enjoy about the ADR field in general is its inherent diversity; geographic, cultural, legal, economic, commercial; the quality of ADR services now available, and the quality and expertise of those who work in the field.
What will your role be with DRD?
As European Adviser to DRD, with a long-established network of colleagues and associates in European institutions, law firms and businesses, I shall be offering DRD an informed perspective on the European ADR market and endeavoring, directly and indirectly, to facilitate the take-up of the DRD offering by contributors and researchers.
How did you come to get involved with DRD, and why did you want to get involved?
I was approached by Bill Slate, a friend and colleague of many years, with whom I had worked as a co-Officer of IFCAI, and with whom I had much in common given our respective roles as the heads of two leading arbitral institutions. My admiration for Bill, and his boundless enthusiasm for DRD, were more than enough to make me want to get involved.
How do you see the diverse institutions with which you have experience benefiting from DRD’s data?
Arbitral institutions exist to serve the legal and business communities. To do so, they need constantly to be evaluating the relevance, accessibility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their rules and services. An accurate and comprehensive view of the market will, in my view, be an invaluable asset in this continuous monitoring, and there simply is no other data available that compares with DRD’s.
What would you say is the most important thing you bring to your role with DRD?
Experience, expertise, energy, and enthusiasm.