Arbitrator Training Method:
Observe / Practice / 360 Review

Faster and more cost-efficient than the courts, arbitration is becoming an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution. An effective arbitrator has an in-depth knowledge of arbitration procedures, an understanding of the decision-making process and an appreciation of how to best present a client’s case. IAA’s network of trainers includes some of the most experienced advocates in international arbitration today.

Our training groups consist of 12 people: six trainee arbitrators, three experienced arbitrators, two advocates and one facilitator. The course is led by the facilitator. The structure follows the format of a real arbitration and the group works together through each stage of the arbitration process, from preliminary and evidential hearings through to the final decision. The course structure involves Observation, Practice and 360 Review.


The facilitator invites the advocates to address a panel of three experienced arbitrators at a preliminary hearing. The trainee arbitrators observe how the chairman and wing members handle the advocates, submissions and issues.

After the advocates’ submissions, the panel would normally retire to discuss the submissions and decide the issues before them. For the purposes of the training course, all 12 members of the group remain in the room, allowing the trainees and advocates to observe the chairman as he or she manages the panel’s review of the issues before them.


The facilitator invites three trainee arbitrators to form a panel and hold a similar hearing. The advocates make similar submissions, but with new elements for the panel of trainees to consider. Again, where the panel would normally retire, the trainee arbitrators remain with the group. The experienced arbitrators observe the chairman manage their deliberations and the manner in which they convey their decisions.

360 Review

The facilitator invites observations and comments from the experienced arbitrators and offers his or her own. The other trainees are also invited to offer their observations and comments. In this way, a complete review of the process is obtained.

Advocacy training

  • Cross examination
  • Direct and re-examination
  • Opening and closing submissions
  • Effective handling of expert witnesses

Arbitrator training

  • How to ‘police’ cross examination
  • Handling advocates from different jurisdictions
  • How to get the best from co-arbitrators
  • Ensuring an enforceable award

Expert witness training

  • Working with advocates to produce your best report
  • Knowing when and how to say no to advocates
  • Helping advocates cross examine opposing experts
  • Withstanding cross examination on your own report

Factual witness training

  • What to expect if you are a witness
  • How to prepare to give evidence
  • How to give evidence effectively