Business + Law Can = International Arbitration

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Raveena Mital's picture

Namaste all! As I sit amidst the cultural diversity of India and sign up for my JD courses in CUHK, I cannot help but ponder on what this new journey will shape out to be. I mean, doing the JD program after a BBA Accounting & Finance degree is not that typical like I mentioned before, and people are always curious to know what it will bring. In other words, what will a Business and Law graduate contribute towards the society? This I believe strongly lies in the field of International Arbitration!

As the name itself suggests, international arbitration is used to resolve disputes/conflicts that arise due to international agreements. Globalization’s interdependency has incentivized many multinationals to integrate their operations both vertically and horizontally. Hence, they constantly strive to enter numerous deals with other and gain better profit margins. But of course, cooperation and conflict come hand-in-hand, and thus integration of operations in this highly competitive environment often results in disputes between different parties. Moreover, rapid technological advancement has shortened the life cycle of differentiated products, leading firms in this area to become paranoid on IPR issues.


In short, all these reasons eventually create tension, disagreements, and battles between companies, making them drag each other to court and incur high litigation costs.

This is where the job of an international arbitrator comes into play. He/she helps the two parties reach an out-of-court settlement. In other words, these professionals hear the entire story and then reach a binding solution that both sides are willing to comply with. Let us take the famous battle between Apple and Samsung for example. These two companies have been filing lawsuits with each other till date. A recent headline talks about Samsung’s allegation against Apple infringing its 3G technology rights by not licensing out on fair rates. As an international arbitrator, I would have considered both the companies’ points, and not declared a complete ban on certain models at once. Rather, I would have listed several alternatives so that both the firms’ needs are addressed, keeping in mind that over tight regulation and inhibitions can limit perfect competition and growth in the long term. The macro-impact is very crucial here since disputes among multinationals have effects on various stakeholders at every level. This unique mindset on being able to apply the consequence of legislation in the business environment is surely what differentiates business-law students from other law graduates.

Thus, cost and time effective solutions can be found in international arbitration. Moreover, professionals in this field can help the parties overcome the complications of dealing within the courts of numerous jurisdictions for international purposes. Each jurisdiction has its own rule of law and hence many times it can be quite difficult and cumbersome for the court to explicitly choose one law the works worldwide. Thus arbitrators here aim to resolve disputes without having to both violate already-set rules and not act unfairly towards any end.

Such demand and nature of international arbitration has made me choose this line of law as I pursue the JD after my BBA Accounting & Finance. I already possess a vast depth of business knowledge from my undergraduate study. Now is the time where I couple this understanding with an understanding of the legal principles and find the overlap between the two divisions. This means I would need to choose my electives carefully and focus on courses that deal with “International Finance Law”, “Banking Law” and “Issues in International Law.” I am ready to take on such methods in order to find the overlap. This is because this intersection between law and business is the starting point towards both international arbitration and a dispute-free environment

I guess in my view, this is how business students can best couple their study in JD in order to contribute meaningfully to the society. But surely, everyone may have different views based on their different personalities.

Well I will close the matter here for now but stay tuned as classes in this new JD adventure start soon next month!