Disputes can happen in any relationship - and the "court of arbitration was the only court that was consistently open and resolving disputes throughout the entire pandemic.  Even with lockdowns, arbitrators around the world were actively engaged in lawfully resolving disputes with final effect, using virtual telephonic, or other means.  Mediators, too, broke new ground helping unions and employees reach new agreements, using the same tools that made virtual arbitration a success.

During the pandemic, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proved itself to be the safest and most reliable means of dispute resolution, and this remains true today.  Lawyers, parties, witnesses, court reporters, and neutrals thrived in the virtual setting and benefitted from the costs savings and enforceability of result afforded by ADR.  Meeting virtually, arbitration and mediation participants shielded themselves from travel uncertainties, and arbitrators proved able to render fully enforceable awards and decisions, in a timely manner, following private and confidential hearings.

Arbitration is a private, out-of-court dispute resolution process where the parties empower a neutral third person to render a final decision that resolves their dispute.  The arbitrator has a duty to consider the arguments and facts presented by each side, and to render an enforceable award.  Dr. Simpson believes that the arbitrator's role is to foster a fair an efficient process that enables each party to present his or her case, and to receive a timely, enforceable resolution.

As arbitrator, Dr. Simpson has resolved a range of high and low value international disputes.  She also participates in initiatives to relieve COVID-stressed court dockets by encouraging parties to move  disputes to arbitration.

Many of the world's best arbitrators are trained as mediators - mediation expertise enhances an arbitrator's ability to bring tribunal members together to create a harmonious and unified final award.  Arbitration and mediation are, however, different processes with different requirements.  Dr. Simpson believes that an arbitrator should not seek to mediate between the parties, without all parties' prior express permission, memorialized in a separate agreement.  This helps safeguard the parties' expectations and the integrity of the dispute resolution process.

ADR is available, even when courts are not available or are not ideal.  Arbitration can be faster, less expensive, and less public than court-centered dispute resolution.  

Get in touch with Simpson Dispute Resolution - we are available to resolve disputes in both virtual and in-person settings.


Practice makes perfect - and why should arbitration be any different?

In a "Mock" arbitration, the client presents the case, including (if desired) the potential arguments of opposing counsel, to a mock arbitrator or arbitration panel.  The structure mirrors true arbitration proceedings.

While a mock arbitration can be conducted at any time, many clients find that a full mock arbitration may be most helpful to case preparation when conducted late in the document exchange process or shortly thereafter.

The entire mock arbitration can be tailored to the client's needs.  Following the close of the case presentation, Dr. Simpson can provide oral and/or written comments regarding the briefs, oral arguments, and/or case presentation.


Dr. Simpson started her unique dispute resolution practice by serving as Tribunal Secretary to senior arbitrators.  She has over 12 years of experience supporting Tribunals in complex, international, and investor-state cases, valued at up to $2.6 billion.

Dr. Simpson has been involved in international commercial and investment arbitrations chaired by Prof. Karl-Heinz Boeckstiegel, Prof. William W. (Rusty) Park, Ms. Edna Sussman, Prof. Homer C. La Rue, and others.  Several of these cases have become the most influential cases of the past decade, including Bear Creek v. Peru (ICSID 14/21) (elaborating the need for a "social license" to conduct business), UP v. Hungary (ICSID 13/35) (Global Arbitration Review's (GAR) "Most Important Award" of 2019, regarding the Achmea Decision's impact on ICSID jurisdiction), and Mobil Cerro Negro v. PDVSA (ICC) (shortlisted as GAR's "Most Influential Damages Award", 2012).  

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Boeckstiegel (2018):  "Starting from her time some eight years ago when she was at Cologne University, Katherine Simpson has helped me in many of the commercial and investment cases I chaired, as Secretary or Assistant to the Tribunal.  She proved to be highly efficient in supporting my case management, researching sources, or providing narrative drafts for decisions the Tribunal had to make.  Other members of the Tribunal and the staff of various arbitration institutions appreciated her work and she was well respected by counsel fo the parties.  Obviously, over the years, she gained a large amount of experience and I have no doubt that, by now, she could efficiently and successfully serve as arbitrator."

Prof. William W. (Rusty) Park (2018):  "Dr. Simpson has been an excellent Tribunal Secretary and has now doubtlessly arrived at the point where she will provide fine service as an efficient and intelligent arbitrator."