International arbitration is showing signs of strong support and growth in Miami.

Arbitration as a primary source of dispute resolution is spreading across the globe and, according to the International Chamber of Commerce, attracts users from approximately 140 countries and independent territories.

Miami is a rising star within this group, having solidified its position among the top five cities in the world as the venue for arbitration in cases governed by the ICC, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, and other administered and ad hoc arbitrations.

Claiming its rightful place, Miami will be featured April 6-9, 2014, during the largest arbitration event in the world: the congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration.

Founded more than 50 years ago, the ICCA is a leading worldwide, nongovernmental organization dedicated to promoting and developing arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. One of the hallmarks of ICCA’s efforts is its biannual worldwide congress featuring presentations by the most prominent international arbitration practitioners and scholars.

Often referred to as the Olympics of the international arbitration world, this congress is regularly attended by more than 1,000 lawyers.

Miami won a contentious bid last year to host the congress after a team of representatives from the Miami International Arbitration Society, including Burt Landy, Daniel E. González, José I. Astigarraga, Judy A. Freedberg and John M. Barkett, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to present the case for Miami. The MIAS team touted a multitude of factors, such as the fact that Miami is among the top cities around the world selected as the venue for arbitration. By virtue of its geographic position at the crossroads of Latin America, Europe and North America, Miami competes with New York as the key city in the United States for international arbitration.

Practitioners increasingly see Miami being selected as the venue in arbitration provisions, even when there is no apparent connection to Miami among the parties or within the scope of work at issue.

Big Spotlight

The 2014 ICCA Congress in Miami will follow the 2012 ICCA Congress held a few months ago in Singapore, which boasted an inspiring 1,059 delegates and more than 60 renowned speakers.

Like Miami, Singapore was chosen as the host of an ICCA congress because it is on the rise as the focus of Asian international arbitration.

Indeed, Singapore and Miami share many of the qualities that make for a great arbitration venue. Singapore adopted the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law’s model law for international arbitrations, has opened the way for lawyers to practice international arbitration within the jurisdiction, has support facilities to assist the smooth and efficient running of arbitration and is widely recognized by parties trading in the region as a neutral and geographically convenient place to arbitrate.

The 2014 ICCA Congress promises to further solidify Miami’s place as a world leader in international arbitration. The congress will allow Miami to highlight the reasons why the city should be selected as the seat for arbitration.

In addition to the qualities it shares with Singapore, Miami can boast the fact that the ICDR and the JAMS Arbitration, Mediation, and ADR Services recently opened new state-of-the-art facilities. Also, Florida court trends demonstrate that arbitration agreements are favored and enforced in the state.

Plus, the number of law firms in Miami specializing in international arbitration is increasing, and attorneys at these firms are becoming prominent litigators in the field, especially in cases involving Latin America.

Demonstrating their commitment to international arbitration, these 10 firms with Miami offices were willing to be founding sponsors of the 2014 ICCA Congress before Miami won the bid to host the event: Akerman Senterfitt, Astigarraga Davis, Baker McKenzie, Diaz Reus, DLA Piper, Greenberg Traurig, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Shook Hardy & Bacon and White & Case.

MIAS is taking charge of preparing for the 2014 ICCA Congress. Leading international arbitration practitioners and academics, as well as judges, government advisers and corporate counsel from around the world, are expected to attend. More information will be available at www.iccamiami2014.com.

This event is the world’s biggest spotlight for international arbitration and, under it, Miami will surely shine.