Focus on End Customers – Value Proposition and Purpose of Arbitration  


Focus on the end customers is a rising topic in arbitration at the moment. Ms. Claudia Salomon, the President-elect of the ICC Court, emphasised the importance of client mindset in the 6th Annual AtlAS Lecture. According to Ms. Salomon, the international arbitration community has not effectively responded to needs of the parties, who are not usually the loudest participants in the discussion on arbitration. Similar topics were also discussed by Secretary General Santtu Turunen in two blog posts published in Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

Instead of the product features or specific legal interests of the broad arbitration community we should look at the value proposition from the end users’ perspective. Value proposition for end customers is faster dispute resolution and enforcement of substantive rights, leading to more foreseeable and more profitable business results. Not only the saved resources – time and money – but also the profits of allocating them in actual business should be taken into account. For further reading, the post by Santtu Turunen is available at Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

Arbitration institutes, or any actors on the arbitration market, eventually serve the society by focusing on their end customers and the value proposition for them. Serving the end users also serves the society. The arbitration community could follow the advise of Simon Sinek in his business book best seller and start with WHY. According to Sinek, customers follow the WHYs, not the WHATs. This is probably very true in arbitration as well. A WHY of an arbitration institute is more relevant and easier to assess for the stakeholders than any single features of the institute’s services. Arbitration is there to offer efficient dispute resolution and enforcement of substantive rights for our customers. This translates into predictability and efficiently allocated resources, and a good business environment. In the society, these WHYs contribute to dynamic effect through increased economic activity, eventually creating prosperity and welfare for all. This was further discussed in a post by Santtu Turunen at Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

Further, value proposition and WHY of arbitration were also discussed by Santtu Turunen and Peter Riznik at the 11th episode of the Vienna Arbitration Talks.

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