Dear Friends,

At the end of 2003 the current Spanish Arbitration Act was passes, based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, and constituted a new and decisive boost to international arbitration in our country. Soon after, in 2005, a group of enthusiastic lawyers who believe in arbitration as a formula for conflict resolution constituted the Club Español de Arbitraje (Spanish Arbitration Club), with the aim of promoting arbitration in the business and legal communities, of being a forum in which to exchange ideas among specialists in the field, of promoting the study and investigation on the institution of arbitration, of setting out a set of arbitration good practice guidelines and promoting the creation of a great arbitration community specifically aimed at the practitioners of arbitration in the Latin American republics.

Among the first decisions of the Club were the organization of an annual Conference on arbitration, launched in 2006, and the constitution of international chapters of the Club. Ten years have sped by, and our Club is readying to hold its X Annual Conference, has more than 900 members from 39 countries belonging to 26 chapters over four continents.

Many things have happened over the last ten years in the arbitration world, and we, at the Club, believe that the 10th Conference is a magnificent opportunity to review and analyze them. Furthermore, we also believe that having reached the 10th anniversary calls for this conference, if only to thank all those who have, through their effort, enthusiasm and collaboration, contributed to achieving this landmark, to be a special meeting, both in the number and quality of the speakers, as in its length, thanks to the additional events, and especially, the prolongation into the Madrid Arbitration Week (MAW), scheduled directly after the 10th Conference, which we wholeheartedly support.

Nothing would make us happier than to have the pleasure of sharing the events, discussing experiences and doubts surrounding the arbitration institution, during the 10th Conference and the MAW with their respective programs, as follow:

For the 10th International Arbitration Conference, under the title "THE EVOLUTION OF ARBITRATION IN THE LAST DECADE", we have selected a number of issues which have the common denominator of having set the most novel and important trends, and still setting them, with regard to the configuration of international arbitration, an institution whose very expansive and multinational character leads it create its own responses to the most delicate issues.

All the Sessions will have two common characteristics. One, the configuration by which we wish to, as we usually do, substitute the classic presentation with a lively exchange of opinions and experiences led by a moderator, where the attendance will be welcome to take part; and the other, the analysis by the different players in arbitration: the lawyers counseling the parties, the arbitrators, the experts, the Arbitration Tribunals, the judges and even the supranational institutions.

The First Session will address "party representation in international arbitration", a review of the latest contributions regarding the role of lawyers in arbitration, as well as the powers of tribunals on the conduct of these legal representatives.

The Second Session will address "complex arbitrations: multiple parties, multiple contracts and consolidation" which are ever more recurrent in international arbitration and where the answer is not always easy, especially from the perspective of the rights of the parties and the multiple legislations involved.

The Third Session will deal with "experts: allies of the parties or assistants to the arbitral tribunal?". This has also been a subject for debate in the last decade and is fundamental in ensuring the technical creditworthiness and the material fairness of the arbitrators' decisions.

In the Fourth Session we will discuss "conflict of interest in international arbitration", a core matter for arbitration to be a trustworthy institution which affect arbitrators, experts and lawyers.

The Fifth Session will address "time and cost optimization" a practical yet fundamental matter in maintaining arbitrations best practical characteristics, speedy resolutions at moderate cost.

The Sixth Session will deal with "the European Union and Arbitration", a sensitive question, especially since the latest positions adopted by the Union on arbitration matters.

In the Seventh Session we will deal with "the Judiciary and Arbitration" another issue which is permanently and recurrently at the center of discussion, but which will allow us to get firsthand knowledge on the latest Judiciary position and to share our concerns with judges, natural allies of arbitration.

The Eighth Session will refer to "Investment Arbitration". We are aware that this is also a recurrent matter in Arbitration conference the world over, and the CEA itself dedicated a session to this issue in its 9th Conference last year. However, in view of the circumstances and changes which have taken place recently in this field and the apparent evolution of investment arbitration in its strictest sense toward other investment arbitrations not subject to the Washington Convention, we considered it would be useful to develop the matter further.

Finally, the Ninth Session will ask "where is arbitration going?", a very useful question and reflection arising from the ideas brought forward, in a world with an ever growing number of players, but where economic autarchy and State capitalism are also more and more frequent. Our arbitration community should not cease in its efforts to know and understand the future which lies ahead, at times pressingly so.

Lastly, on Sunday 7, before the formal start of the 10th Conference sessions, the CEA-40, the splendid group which gathers the younger members of our Club and is the best guarantee for its future, will be holding their own 9th CEA-40 Meeting, and on Wednesday 10, after closing the 10th Conference, the III Coffee on Business Mediation will take place.

The 10th Conference will also include a number of social events, described in the program, the highlight of which is the Gala Dinner Commemorating 10 years of the Club, on Tuesday 9 at the Casino de Madrid.

As we mentioned at the outset, the 10th Conference is part of the Madrid Arbitration Week (MAW) and the Conference will be followed by two days, Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June, of academic and social events which include: visits to the Spanish Parliament and Supreme Court, as well as a number of events organized by arbitration tribunals, academic institutions and forensic companies.

We believe that the number and quality of the speakers and moderators, both Spanish and foreign, and the array of hot issues to be discussed make this conference hard to better.

Yours most sincerely,

José Antonio Caínzos
Presidente del Club Español del Arbitraje

David Arias
Presidente del Club Español del Arbitraje

Julio González Soria
Presidente del Comité Organizador
Vicepresidente Club Español del Arbitraje