As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, businesses are facing significant levels of instability and uncertainty caused by weakened financial markets and disruption to workplace operations and business pipelines. It is almost certain that such instability and uncertainty will result in a growth in the number and types of disputes, as businesses become unable (or unwilling) to perform existing contractual obligations and/or have to re-adjust to new pressures on their finances and operations.

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In this report, we provide our views on the types of disputes that will arise from the COVID-19 crisis, in both the short and the longer term. We then consider whether COVID-19 may have a broader impact on the way we resolve disputes in the future.

Author

Andy Moody is a partner in the Dispute Resolution team in the London office of Baker & McKenzie where he focuses on international arbitration. He has advised and acted as advocate in numerous arbitrations subject to all the major rules. Andy focuses his practice on the energy, mining and infrastructure sector. Andy has written numerous articles on arbitration, private international law and public international law in a number of leading journals and texts, and is also the co-author of the book International Arbitration A Practical Guide. He speaks and teaches regularly on international arbitration, including at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, and has led training days on international arbitration in Mumbai, Mexico City and Istanbul.

Author

Henry Garfield is a senior associate in the Dispute Resolution team in the London office of Baker & McKenzie and a member of the Compliance and Investigations group. Henry is an English qualified solicitor. Henry also worked in the San Francisco office for an extended period and has been seconded to the litigation and regulatory investigations team of a well known bank. During his secondment, Henry played a leading role in the internal legal team on a number of high profile investigations and disputes. Henry has also been seconded to the UK Serious Fraud Office, during which he was the Case Lawyer on a high profile and significant multi million pound investigation.

Author

Lauren Gest is an associate in the Dispute Resolution team in the London office of Baker & McKenzie. Lauren maintains a diverse range of matters throughout the department's practice areas, spanning commercial litigation to investigations and arbitration cases. During her training contract, Lauren spent three months on secondment in the Dispute Resolution department of the Firm's Hong Kong office, primarily advising clients in respect of compliance and investigations in the Asia-Pacific region.