Spotting the need
In 2010, Lord Woolf of Barnes, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and Jeffrey Golden, Governor at The London School of Economics and former senior partner in Allen & Overy LLP’s global derivatives practice, began to inquire about the need for an independent tribunal and educational resource dedicated to complex financial transactions. Professor Golden had first lectured and written on this subject just prior to the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. A roundtable in The Hague with top finance experts including lawyers, judges, market practitioners, regulators, central bank officials, and founders of the derivatives and structured finance industries in October 2010 was followed by a series of meetings with lenders, market participants on both the dealer and buyer sides, jurists and financial market regulators in global financial centers including Dubai, Moscow, London, New York, Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin. Consensus was overwhelming: The Panel of Recognized International Market Experts in Finance (P.R.I.M.E. Finance) was the overdue answer to a vital market need and an important complement to global efforts at regulatory reform. With generous support from the Dutch government and the City of The Hague, P.R.I.M.E. Finance was established in 2012. Lord Woolf of Barnes chaired the organization’s five-member Advisory Board, and Professor Golden leads the seven-member Management Board, which includes a three-person executive committee. Advisory and Management Board members are not compensated and cover their own costs and expenses in connection with the project.
Our core strength
P.R.I.M.E. Finance is so named for its core strength: a panel of over 130 legal and financial experts with a collective 4000+ years of relevant experience. This carefully vetted international group includes sitting and retired judges, central bankers, regulators, academics, representatives from private legal practice and derivatives market participants. Many have first-hand experience structuring and executing transactions, as well as of the laws, regulation and standard documentation of the structured finance market, creating a combination of legal and market expertise that is both ideal to the task at hand and completely unprecedented. The Panel of Experts counts among its members a retired UK Supreme Court Justice, a former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Founder-Chairman of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a former Attorney General for England and Wales, and a former Judge and President of the International Court of Justice.
Exceptionally diverse expertise
Exceptionally diverse in geographical representation, market and jurisdictional experience, linguistic skills and nationalities, all P.R.I.M.E. Finance Experts share a deep commitment to the goals of the organization, including its independence. Neutrality and transparency are not only organizational precepts, but also the ethical responsibility of panel members who are sitting judges. Many experts on the panel have reached a point in their careers when their invaluable experience is combined with more time to give back, and P.R.I.M.E. Finance actively mines this resource.
P.R.I.M.E. Finance is here to stay
In December 2015 P.R.I.M.E. Finance and the PCA have entered into a ground-breaking Cooperation Agreement pursuant to which the PCA will administer cases under the P.R.I.M.E. Finance Arbitration Rules. In addition to the option of selecting from the collective wisdom of our Panel of Experts when appointing arbitrators and mediators, parties can now draw upon the experience of the PCA’s legal counsel and case managers for the administration of their cases. Under the P.R.I.M.E. Finance Arbitration Rules, the Secretary-General of the PCA also acts as an Appointing Authority in cases where the parties cannot reach agreement on the appointment of an arbitrator.