We are experts in the resolution of commercial disputes with specialist expertise in matters involving science, technology and intellectual property. Some of the more common forms of dispute resolution that we offer are mediation, arbitration, adjudication, expert determination and mini trial. We are also able to negotiate major deals on your behalf and assist your organisation in its strategy development and implementation. Below is a summary of each of these services.
Mediation is a confidential process in which a neutral third party, the Mediator, assists the parties to resolve their dispute by agreement. The Mediator does this by helping the parties to consider options they may not have thought of, and by broadening the parties’ perspectives of how to achieve each of their objectives. We only use mediators with a strong scientific and technological aptitude in order to maximise the probability that a solution will be found which is satisfactory for all parties to the dispute. Click here to find out more about an ArgyStar.com mediation including likely costs and procedures.
In contrast to mediation, which involves an agreement to settle, in arbitration a one or three member panel makes a decision that is binding on the parties, much in the way a judge will issue a judgement and make orders after litigation. In arbitration, however, the parties have the ability to choose a panel of one or more neutrals with subject matter expertise and who can straddle multiple jurisdictions and legal systems as well as conducting the proceedings under a confidentiality regime that protects trade secrets and reputations. ArgyStar.com offers a special service to patent holders which enables multi-jurisdictional patent disputes to be resolved efficiently in a single global arbitration. This is especially suited to the pharmaceutical industry in disputes between originators and generics. See our Publications and News pages for more information on this concept.
Sometimes a dispute involves one key issue the resolution of which may determine the outcome of the whole dispute. Where this is a scientific or technical question we can provide an expert in the subject matter who will be able to give a ruling on the key issue. Usually this is on the basis that the expert’s determination is binding on the parties, but the parties can also ask for a non-binding determination, after which they may be able to resolve their dispute alone or with the assistance of a mediator.
First made popular in the United States, a mini-trial can be a swift and effective way of resolving a seemingly intractable dispute. Basically it involves one of our experienced arbitrators and mediators chairing a panel the other members of which are the chief executives of the disputing parties. Each party’s legal team and witnesses then present their best case to the panel in an abbreviated process, following which the chairman of the panel helps the two executives to reach either an agreed settlement or, if they wish, a binding ruling on all or key issues in dispute.
Many people enter into negotiation of major deals without having good negotiation skills. They may be canny business people but have not had experience in a hard fought negotiation. Our negotiators have decades of experience as partners in top law firms and in other roles that equip them well to represent you and to lead your negotiating team. Frequently a skilled negotiator can achieve objectives that are disproportionate to the party’s apparent bargaining power. This is how we add value for our clients.
Most people confuse strategy with tactics. A strategic decision almost always precludes alternative courses of action, which means it must be made with great care and with all available information. Whilst we can also advise on tactics, our highly experienced strategists can help you brainstorm and workshop corporate plans and competitive edge options.
Our principal, Philip Argy, is an experienced commercial mediator and arbitrator, having successfully resolved thousands of disputes, many of them highly complex involving tens of millions of dollars. He specialises in intellectual property, science, technology, consumer, franchising and competition issues and has an Australian Government Negative Vetting 2 security clearance enabling him to assist in cases involving classified information. He has been a computer buff for nearly 50 years as well as being an experienced programmer. Philip left Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now called King & Wood Mallesons) at the end of 2007 after being with the firm for almost 32 years (24 of them as a partner). He established ArgyStar.com primarily to evangelise and implement dispute resolution and avoidance strategies in the IT sector, applying the ADRoIT Principles, jointly developed by the Australian Computer Society, IAMA, and the Project Management Institute. He is a director and founder of the Technology Dispute Centre and a Consulting Principal at Keypoint Law – an innovative model in legal service delivery.
Philip qualified at the University of New South Wales for a Bachelor of Commerce (Information Systems) degree in 1975 and a Bachelor of Laws the following year. He is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Western Australia, a Fellow of the Resolution Institute and was also one of the first mediators to be accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System which first came into force in 2008.
Philip is on the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) panel of neutrals for the resolution of intellectual property and technology disputes, especially those involving domain names. He is the sole Australian member of the prestigious Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Centre’s Tech List. Euromoney’s Best of the Best has repeatedly listed Philip as one of the best information technology lawyers in the world. Philip is a renowned strategist in both commercial negotiations and commercial litigation, bringing his enormous breadth of legal experience and deep technical expertise to bear on activities as diverse as food and drug regulation; patent, copyright and trade mark litigation; franchising, outsourcing; electronic commerce and digital signatures. He is frequently commissioned to prepare expert determinations on both legal and technological matters. Philip is an experienced angel investor and business and professional mentor.
Philip was a member of the Federal Attorney-General’s Electronic Commerce Expert Group and a member of the first auDA Names Panel that prepared the domain name eligibility and allocation policy for the .au space. He was also a member of the first auDA Competition Panel and he drafted the auDRP – Australia’s domain name dispute resolution policy. Philip is also inaugural Chairman of the Registrants’ Review Panel, established to resolve disputes between registrants and auDA over domain name cancellations. In Artificial Legal Intelligence, published in 1997 by Dartmouth Press, Philip is officially credited with having written the first legal expert system in Australia (which began life as his consumer rights problem-solving flowchart). Acquisition International’s panel voted him Commercial Mediator of the Year for Australia in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Philip is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Past President (and Honorary Life Member) of the Australian Computer Society and he speaks extensively on subjects such as alternative dispute resolution, professionalism, risk management, electronic evidence and record retention. Philip has appeared as an expert witness before Parliamentary hearings in relation to On-line Content Regulation, Cybercrime and Spam. In 1996 Information Age nominated Philip as one of the 50 most influential people in Australia in the information technology field, and he was awarded a ComputerWorld Fellow in 1997 for services to the Information Technology industry.
He is an elected member of the Executive of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and is a past Chairman of the eCommerce Committee as well as being a member of the Competition & Consumer Committee almost from its inception. He is also a Past President and founding member of the New South Wales Society for Computers and the Law, and a long standing member of the Australian Corporate Lawyers’ Association. Philip is Chairman of the Law Society of NSW Legal Technology Committee and a member of the Dispute Resolution Committee as well as being a member of Australia’s National Standing Committee on Cloud Computing. He was a director and Treasurer of the Mediator Standards Board for seven years, and is a former chairman of the Webcast Committee of the International Technology Law Association. He also chairs the Ethics and Standards subcommittee of the Australian Council of Professions. For over 20 years Philip played a key role in the selection and implementation of much of Mallesons’ computer technology and sophisticated communications facilities, and he can provide both legal and technical advice to clients who are supplying or installing information and communications technology.
Philip acted as Mallesons’ Executive Director (Technology & Information) in 1996 and 1997, and chaired the firm’s Technology & Information Committee for many years. He was also editor of the Australian edition of Computers For Lawyers, first published in 1986 by Longmans. Philip spent 1982 as a Senior Associate in Mallesons Stephen Jaques’ New York office. He became a partner in January 1984 and led Mallesons’ acclaimed Intellectual Property & Technology Group for more than 15 years.