Perth eyed as mining disputes arbitration hub

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Perth is tipped to likely become the hub for dispute arbitration in the resources industry but it is not without a rival in the Asia-Pacific region.

In an interview with Business News Western Australia, Nicholas Ellery, partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth said that there is a “push to get more of the arbitrations done in Perth.”

The movement is being spearheaded by the Perth Centre for Energy and Resources Arbitration (PCERA) which was established in late 2014. The law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth is a founding member of the organisation.

According to Ellery, making Perth the hub for arbitration in the resources industry makes sense, because the Western Australia city is increasingly being regarded as the business hub for the resources industry.

Business News Western Australia notes that other firms, like Herbert Smith Freehills, are thrilled for more local arbitration.

Nonetheless, Perth has a rival in the Asia-Pacific region in Singapore which is also promoting itself as a regional arbitrator, the publication notes.

Perth becoming the primary hub for resources arbitration will also take some time, Ellery noted. For example, contracts in the industry are signed years before work starts, he said.

Nonetheless, there are several key factors that are leading the increase of arbitration in the said industry, the lawyer said.

Ellery said that falling revenues and increasingly large and complicated deals contribute to multiplying disputes. Furthermore, the adaption of sometimes inappropriate policies from other industries to the resources industry was also cited by Ellery.

Another factor identified was increasing interest from overseas investors looking at resources projects all around Australia to invest in.