Independent Arbitrator

Presentation

I am an independent arbitration professional. I have a very long and versatile experience in the resolution of commercial disputes as counsel and arbitrator. Numerous international work assignments as well as activities in international professional organizations have taught me how to get along with different kind of people also in an international work environment. As an independent arbitrator focusing solely on arbitration, I will in most cases be free to act as arbitrator without conflicts of interest.

Independent arbitrator

I have over 30 years of experience in representing Finnish and foreign clients in commercial arbitration and litigation. I have acted as counsel, sole arbitrator, party-appointed arbitrator and chairman in numerous domestic and international arbitrations, nominated by, for example, the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce, the Redemption Board of the Finland Chamber of Commerce and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Such arbitrations have dealt, for example, with

  • Damages relating to breaches of competition law
  • M & A
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Delivery of machines and products
  • Agency and distribution agreements
  • Insurance coverage
  • Agreements of senior officials
  • Various other kinds of agreements between companies

Chambers Europe and Chambers Global have ranked me in the category ”Most in demand arbitrators” (2016).

Before focusing on my activity as arbitrator as of 1st of January 2017, I acted for a long time as the co-head of the dispute resolution team of HPP Attorneys, one of the major commercial law firms in Finland.

Acting as arbitrator I can take advantage of all the experience that I have gained over the years as an attorney. This includes:

  • Versatile experience in different fields of commercial law
  • In-depth knowledge of arbitral proceedings
  • Capability to get along with different kinds of people also in an international work environment
  • Capability to lead the arbitral proceedings in a cost-effective manner

Especially as sole arbitrator and presiding arbitrator it is of utmost importance to act in a manner that all parties of the dispute feel that they have been treated fairly, regardless of the outcome of the dispute.

Independence

Independence in relation to the parties of the dispute is a cornerstone when acting as arbitrator. In a small market such as Finland, where there is a relatively small group of experts specialized in arbitration, it is often difficult to find independent arbitrators. Having left the partnership in a big law firm, most of the problematic conflicts of interest no longer exist for my part.

Goals of arbitration

In a well-managed arbitration the parties involved get a fast, final and enforceable resolution to their dispute in a cost-effective manner. When the arbitral award has been drafted in a professional manner, even if the losing party does not agree with the decision made, he will feel he has been heard and his views have been taken into account. This sets high expectations to the professional skills of the arbitrators.

Arbitrator as a leader of proceedings

It is not enough that the arbitrators have experience on the subject matter of the dispute. Sometimes we hear criticism that arbitration lasts too long and thus turns out to be expensive. The delays may of course depend on the parties themselves or the busy schedules of the counsels but by using effective tools to lead the proceedings the arbitrators can significantly enhance the smooth run of the proceedings. This puts emphasis on the skills of the arbitrators to lead the proceedings in a well-organized, effective manner, at the same time respecting the parties´ right to present their case.

Arbitrator as service-provider

It is important for the arbitrators to remember that they are service providers. It is their duty to take care of the proceeding in such a manner where the goals of arbitration are met and there will be no grounds for challenging the arbitral award. The award must be drafted in such a way that the parties get a reasoned decision to all the issues they have asked the tribunal to resolve. In international arbitration the arbitrators’ capability to understand different legal cultures and also the behaviour of people coming from different cultures is crucial.

For the reasons mentioned above, the choice of arbitrators is of utmost importance for the proper management of arbitration.

Professional activities and lecturing

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Finnish Arbitration Association
  • Member of the Redemption Board of the Finland Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of the Task Force on Small Claims Arbitration of ICC Commission on Arbitration
  • Member of the Task Force on Arbitrating Competition Law Issues of ICC Commission on Arbitration
  • Member of a working group preparing recommendations on mediation for the European Commission / Project Marc 2000
  • Former long-standing Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR
  • Former Vice Chairman of the Mediation Board of the Finnish Bar Association
  • Former Member of the Committee of International Affairs of the Finnish Bar Association
  • Former long-standing Auditor of the Finnish Bar Association
  • Young Lawyers’ International Association (AIJA), member of the Executive Committee 1988–1992, National Vice President 1992–1998, Honorary Vice-President 2001 →
  • Numerous lectures on arbitration in international and domestic seminars and conferences
  • Lecturer in the Arbitration Academy of the Finland Chamber of Commerce

Contact

Tel: +358 40 547 4947

Email:

LinkedIn: fi.linkedin.com/in/pekkapuhakka