Local and international arbitration experts will be part of a featured panel at the upcoming International Business and Finance Summit (IBFS) that is being hosted by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) in Bimini in early February.

Simone Morgan-Gomez, Partner in the law firm of Callenders & Co., will moderate the session which will focus on “Why The Bahamas”, with panelists taking the opportunity to speak to developments locally; next steps in positioning this jurisdiction as a seat for arbitration and an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre; the important international instruments on arbitration Law; international versus domestic arbitration; and what the approach should be vis a vis regional competitors.

The panelists include Calvin A. Hamilton of Hamilton law firm in Madrid; Nancy M. Thevenin, Special Counsel, Global Coordinator, International Arbitration Practice Group, Baker & McKenzie; and Bertha Cooper-Rousseau, Chairman of the Bahamas Branch, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Mrs. Morgan-Gomez says all three panelists are firmly on board with the approach of structuring discussions around practical issues, not the least of which will be the steps needed to build local awareness as well as international credibility – and investor confidence. The role of the Bahamas Branch of the Chartered Institute for Arbitrators in building a national plan for arbitration development also will be explored.

**The Panelists:**

Mr. Hamilton has a prominent history of involvement with arbitration dating back over 20 years, and is widely regarded as one of the top arbitration practitioners in Spain. Hamilton is an international commercial arbitration and litigation boutique located in Madrid. Mr. Hamilton has acted both as counsel and as arbitrator in scores of arbitrations across Europe, Latin America, the USA, Africa and the Caribbean under the rules of the ICC, AAA, LCIA, Swiss Chamber of Commerce, Arbitration Court of Madrid, Barcelona Arbitration Tribunal, Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and UNCITRAL.

Ms. Thevenin’s areas of expertise include international commercial litigation and arbitration, creditor’s rights and business torts. She has handled disputes for multinational companies and governments in the financial services arena, as well as multiple other sectors. Her extensive experience includes having handled arbitrations under the auspices of the ICC and ICDR, taking part in mediations and advising on early resolution of matters that would otherwise become formal disputes.

Ms. Cooper-Rousseau is founding Member of the Bahamas Middle Temple Society (BTMS). In 2012, she was designated by the Government of The Bahamas to serve on the Panels of Conciliators and Arbitrators of The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, (ICSID). Ms. Cooper-Rousseau’s practice in her law firm Rousseau & Cooper is strongly focused on all areas of commercial and business law. She regularly works in conjunction with lawyers in other jurisdictions on multijurisdictional claims involving issues ranging from arbitration/alternative disputes resolution, trusts, tracing, and fraud to corporate governance and regulatory issues.

##About IBFS##

IBFS 2013 will be held at the Bimini Bay Resort, February 1-3. Over one hundred and forty delegates have signed up for the event which brings together BFSB Member Firms, Professional Industry Associations, Industry Regulators and the Bahamas Government in a structured setting for the exchange of views and dialogue about the global industry and implications for The Bahamas. Paul Winder, BFSB Chairman, points out *“The advice garnered from the annual event – combined with the experience itself – has proven beneficial not only to Bahamian financial institutions and service providers but to our international guests in their ongoing assessment of global options to meet corporate and personal plans, and lifestyle opportunities.”*

Visit [www.ibfs-bahamas.com](http://www.ibfs-bahamas.com) or contact BFSB’s Offices for more information on this premier event in BFSB’s calendar.