Sep 5,2011 / News / E-Bulletin

Werksmans is proud to announce that chairman, Des Williams, has been appointed as the sole South African member of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

This appointment to the Paris-based arbitration court is yet another in a string of achievements during Des’ illustrious career. He is former co-chair of the Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA); and a current member of the IBA’s Legal Practice Division Council. He is also a director of the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA).

Having been with Werksmans since 1974, headed its Litigation Department from 1994 to 2005, and held the position of chairman since 2005, Des has long been an advocate of arbitration as an alternative to litigation in resolving disputes.

He believes that there is a great need for credible African centres of excellence for arbitration. As such, Des is lobbying for the changes that the South African government needs to make to its arbitration law to keep pace with the rest of the world.

He says that South Africa is facing difficulties in promoting itself as a regional arbitration centre for the resolution of commercial disputes. He is convinced that this is not for lack of expertise or opportunity but because the country has failed to implement the legislative reform required (South Africa’s Arbitration Act dates back to 1965).

He believes that it is high time South Africa caught up with the rest of the world by modernising its arbitration legislation.