Lawyers and Arbitration redux...

Back in 1993 Andrew Caiger (now a barrister in South Africa) and I submitted a paper to the Modern Law Review, which was then under the editorship of the late Simon Roberts. The topic of the paper was lawyers and arbitration in construction disputes based on a series of interviews we had done.

Simon was a wonderful editor helping me through the writing process with encouragement, never short, well, almost never. One of his requests was that we shorten the manuscript because of the word limits imposed by publishers. I had arrived at the final draft, duly shorter, and to make it easier for the editors I double-spaced it. After I emailed it to Simon I received a brusque call asking what it was about shortening I found difficult. For once, the explanation was easy.

That year the MLR instituted the Wedderburn Prize for the best article and Andrew and I won it. The day the letter came was soon after a discussion of the value of socio-legal research with my then head of school. He saw no value in it at all, a waste of time and a distraction from proper doctrinal work. With joyous glee I showed him the award letter--the MLR is a top journal in law and he knew that--and he shook his head and I believe his mouth was about to form an "O". He and I had no problems with research after that.

Simon Roberts sadly passed away in 2014. In honour of Professor Simon Roberts the Modern Law Review published a special issue in 2015. The first three articles are by Simon and the preamble continues "These articles are followed by a further seven MLR articles which are influenced by and relate to Simon’s work in these areas." Our paper was one of the seven. Andrew and I have made this paper available at SSRN for download.


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