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Huberman named commercial arbitrator of the year

The Lawyer International has selected Toronto litigator and commercial arbitrator Marvin Huberman, a sole practitioner, as Canada’s Commercial Arbitration Law Firm of the Year in its 2016 Legal 100 awards.

The international awards recognize firms and individuals that provide outstanding service in four areas: demonstrating a high degree of ability in complex situations, innovating and delivering value in a tough global economy, according to the online magazine. Nominations were received from around the world and a judging panel consisting of in-house counsel, banking and private equity professionals as well as corporations, made the final choices.

“I’m honoured and delighted to be selected, and I’m encouraged to remain focused on an area I’m very passionate about,” Huberman tells AdvocateDaily.com, adding he hopes the recognition serves to increase awareness of alternative dispute mechanisms as an effective tool for resolving complex conflicts that traditionally have been dealt with in litigation.

He says the most effective arbitrators are motivated by a sense of justice and aim to apply the law in a way that creates a fair result for all parties. A problem-solver by inclination, Huberman has worked on a number of complex arbitration cases and says his goal each time is the same: to come up with creative solutions that are informed by a sense of justice.

“To be an effective arbitrator you need certain qualities; it’s not for everyone. You need some knowledge and experience — that’s a given — but you also have to have some patience, empathy and analytical skills, and you have to be able to see the forest for the trees,” he says.

When each party tells their version of events in a formal dispute resolution process, the challenge is to look beyond the personalities and facade to the facts of the case, Huberman explains.

“Evaluating evidence requires a special set of skills. There are two or more sides in each battle, along with evidence and arguments. You have two people saying completely different things about what happened, and as the mediator, you have to cut through all of it to get to the right solution or decision, he says.

Although disputes of this nature are often rancorous, Huberman says it’s important that parties adopt a collaborative mindset from the outset of the process.

“When everyone works productively toward a solution from the beginning of an arbitration you minimize the effort and the expense,” he notes.

Working with clients to negotiate conflicts comes with its challenges, but it is always interesting and ultimately rewarding, Huberman says.

“I shepherd them through the process and get to play a pivotal role in helping them achieve their goals,” he says.

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