Counterclaims in International Commercial Arbitration


Counterclaims in International Commercial Arbitration - A conversation with Bill Slate, Co-Founder and Chairman, Dispute Resolution Data

By Holden Moore

Bill_color_headshot.pngIn a recent discussion with Bill Slate, he explained the significance of counterclaims as they are often inappropriately disregarded because their nature is misunderstood.  Mr. Slate pointed out that filing an arbitration is “a matter of fact rather than a matter of law.” He stated, “Counterclaims are filed because arbitration motions fail to be fulfilled and a standing disagreement hovers between all parties. In such a situation, a party has one of two options available; answering an arbitral initiative or filing a counterclaim.”  

To determine which option to pursue, Mr. Slate said that one must, “Do research concerning counterclaims in that part of the world and by case type.” Furthermore, he explained, counterclaims are “unlimited in terms of amount and recovery,” and noted, “a case filing fee is incurred with the party that files the counterclaim.”  Mr. Slate further expounded on the emerging importance of data. As he put it, "Data makes the case, as it provides parties engaged in arbitration motions key information pertaining to how they will gain success.” 

During the interview, Mr. Slate took a moment to share some of his experience, revealing, “Some arbitrators frown upon counterclaims because they are viewed as an aggressive response; however, not all arbitrators hold this perspective.”  He then explained the importance of anticipating counterclaims during the planning strategy and how the data in the DRD database provide subscribers a helpful projection of the likelihood of any counterclaim success by case type and geographic region.  Lastly, in order to avoid counterclaims altogether, Mr. Slate recommended, “State your strongest case at the onset to not inadvertently open the door to the filing of a counterclaim.”  

For more information on counterclaims and other data, please contact Dispute Resolution Data at [email protected]