The hosting in Edinburgh of the 25th Congress of ICCA was a long time coming in two senses. Firstly, the largest global gathering of arbitration professionals was put back two years because of the pandemic. From a broader perspective however, Scotland as a seat for arbitration has been on quite some journey. Although, resolution of disputes by arbitration is long rooted in scottish tradition, the promotion of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 with its modern fit for purpose regime established a new solid foundation for arbitration to flourish. The Act operating in a well-established legal system backed by a supportive judiciary creates the right conditions for Scotland to be considered an appropriate choice of seat.

As an official sponsor, Brodies was proud to support the conference which saw hundreds of experts in international arbitration gather in the capital. It was a particular pleasure for us to host a breakfast seminar with our friends at Herbert Smith Freehills at our new Edinburgh Office overlooking the Castle.

Lord Clark, the arbitration judge in Scotland, opened the session with an engaging talk tracing arbitration's long history in Scotland right up to the present day. He touched on one of the recurring themes of ICCA – enlightened thinking and Scotland's important historical contribution to international knowledge and society during the Enlightenment. Edinburgh, we were reminded, was no newcomer to the international stage.

Arbitration has been a part of Scotland's legal landscape since medieval times. Why is this unique? Well, because Scotland's legal system is a distinctive blend of Roman law (in the civil law tradition seen in many countries around the world) and common law (in the English law tradition).

This idiosyncrasy of Scotland's legal system was another recurring theme. Scotland is not just a place familiar with arbitration, but it is also a place well-suited to arbitration. Scotland's legal tradition is one which blends the civil law with the common law. Where, we were being asked to contemplate, could be a more suitable place to conduct international arbitration.

In the lively panel discussion, which followed Lord Clark's talk, which I was delighted to chair, the different approaches of common law and civil law systems to collaboration in international arbitration were explored by Professor Maxi Sherer, Craig Tevendale, David Parratt KC and Duarte Henriques. We were invited to consider Tribunal techniques for encouraging party collaboration, opportunities, and risks for parties to co-operate, including the potential for collaborative procedural measures and the disruptive effect of new technologies.

After the dust of ICCA has settled, we are reminded that whilst a new spring for arbitration in Scotland is well underway, we will continue to focus on our clients wherever they are and wherever they wish to do business and continue to participate in both ad hoc and institutional arbitrations in the LCIA, the ICC and further afield.

With the opening of our office in Abu Dhabi we will continue to project our international arbitration offering well beyond