If you have not yet heard of Arbitration Lunch Match, it is the international women’s networking event of the moment for female arbitration practitioners, co-founded by ArbitralWomen members Ulrike Gantenberg (Gantenberg Dispute Experts) and Lisa Reiser (Baker McKenzie).
Instead of networking with the arbitration community at a conference or convention, female participants are matched with up to four other women working in arbitration to meet for an intimate lunch in their hometown. But one key detail will not be revealed: participants will not be given the names of the other women they have been matched with. It’s a blind date!
Arbitration Lunch Match started in Germany in the midst of the first Covid-19 wave in spring 2020. In autumn 2021, Arbitration Lunch Match went global, with the first lunches taking place in locations outside Germany. By 2022, Arbitration Lunch Match had become a global phenomenon and was a runner up for the Pledge Award at the GAR Awards 2022!
For the next Arbitration Lunch Match round taking place from 9 to 13 May 2022, there are so many event locations to choose from that it is hardly possible not to be captivated by it. This time around, female arbitration practitioners can choose between lunches taking place in 32 cities and 20 countries simultaneously.
The founders of Arbitration Lunch Match recognize that such achievement and international reach became possible only with the help of 34 enthusiastic, dedicated and extraordinary female colleagues across the globe who serve as ambassadors of Arbitration Lunch Match.
Members of ArbitralWomen who serve as ambassadors include Board member Elizabeth Chan and members Niuscha Bassiri, Cecilia Carrara, Kate Corby, Christina Doria, Alexandra Johnson, Sally Kotb, Gillian Lam, Annabelle Möckesch, Judith Mulholland, Désirée Prantl, Noradèle Radjai, Eugenie Rogers, Anna Stier, Marieke van Hooijdonk, Gretta Walters, Irene Welser, and Laura Zimmerman.
The founders, ambassadors and participants agree: “In a time when we were forced to keep the distance, Arbitration Lunch Match has united the female arbitration community in a new way.”
“We were inspired to launch Arbitration Lunch Match when Covid-19 made large gatherings impossible, but video conferencing did not satisfy our need for social contact and casual exchange” commented Ulrike Gantenberg. Covid-19 certainly put social contacts and networking events to the test. But it also sparked new ideas and innovative paths such as Arbitration Lunch Match which is hopefully here to stay even after Covid-19 has long gone.
“One of the aspects about Arbitration Lunch Match we are most proud of is the bond it created among female arbitration practitioners across the world,” explained Lisa Reiser. With Arbitration Lunch Match, participants meet up to four other female arbitration practitioners in their hometown – some have met before, others are new acquaintances. At the same time, however, participants become part of the larger community of female colleagues who simultaneously meet for lunches in other cities across the world. This connection is boosted by the organizers’ call to publish posts and photos of the lunch matches on LinkedIn, which creates a second layer of networking outside the local arbitration community.
ArbitralWomen President Dana MacGrath commented, “I attended my first Arbitration Lunch Match round in the autumn of 2021. I met some fabulous women in my hometown of New York at a lovely outdoor restaurant venue. Since then, I have collaborated with some of those women on speaking engagements and strategies to navigate the arbitration field as women. In the days leading up to the luncheon, it was clear the Arbitration Lunch Match ambassadors were doing a lot of work to manage the arrangements of all the lunches – bravo and thank you!”
Elizabeth Chan, ArbitralWomen Board Member and one of the main drivers of Arbitration Lunch Match in Asia, said, “I had the pleasure of co-organizing the first edition of Arbitration Lunch Match in Hong Kong in autumn 2021. We had over 50 participants from all walks of arbitration: external and in-house counsel, experts, academics, third party funders, representatives from arbitral institutions and more. We tried to include a mix of participants from different organizations at each lunch. The lunches offered a rare cross-institutional networking opportunity and demonstrated the depth of arbitration expertise in Hong Kong.”
Registration for Arbitration Lunch Match takes place exclusively via the website www.arbitrationlunch.com. Registration for the upcoming round will close on 22 April 2022. Register today to join in and be part of the next round of Arbitration Lunch Match!
Submitted by ArbitralWomen Members Ulrike Gantenberg and Lisa Reiser