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Charlotte International Arbitration Society Announcement

"Charlotte joins New York, Miami, and Atlanta"

January 14, 2015

On January 12th, the Charlotte International Arbitration Society announced that the Queen City had "joined New York, Miami, and Atlanta as a premier international arbitration venue."  The CIAS is the first international arbitration society in the Carolinas.

Nexsen Pruet attorney David Robinson is a Director of the the society and says that international business leaders often need a prompt and orderly way to resolve disputes and get on with their work.

“From agriculture to clean rooms and smart manufacturing, international business is exploding in the Carolinas,” Robinson said.  “CIAS will play a critical role in the continued integration of the Carolinas into the global economy.”

The complete news release from the Charlotte International Arbitration Society is below. See it in the Charlotte Business Journal and Yahoo! Finance.

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For Immediate Release


Charlotte joins New York, Miami, and Atlanta as a premier international arbitration venue with creation of the region’s first international arbitration society.

CHARLOTTE, NC, JANUARY 12, 2015 – Law firms and businesses based in North Carolina and South Carolina whose international client bases require them to have a global focus now have a resource – the Charlotte International Arbitration Society (CIAS).  The CIAS is being launched as part of a new non-profit  global commerce initiative based in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The CIAS will promote, encourage and facilitate the use of Charlotte, North Carolina as a leading venue for Carolinas – based businesses to negotiate, arbitrate, and resolve international commercial disputes.  Its membership includes law firms, businesses, and other professional organizations with interests in international trade and commerce.

“We are very excited to launch this needed and important resource – the Charlotte International Arbitration Society,” CIAS Chairman and President Chase Saunders said. “Our organization’s mission is to promote Charlotte as the most convenient venue for the arbitration of commercial disputes on the East Coast. One of the fastest growing cities in the South, Charlotte, a North Carolina – South Carolina border city, is a commercial hub thanks to its international airport and interstate highway configuration which makes travel within the region simple and cost-effective.  The city’s center is only minutes away from the airport, and features access to nationally-recognized hotels, professional support including translation services, and a variety of cultural and entertainment amenities.”

“The Arbitration Society will help promote something that we have long known to be true – that the legal and business communities in North Carolina and South Carolina are among the most innovative in the world,” CIAS Vice Chairman Daniel Piar said.  Mr. Piar, who is also a law professor and director of business development at the Charlotte School of Law, went on to say: “This is a place where business can be done at a level of sophistication comparable to anywhere else in the world.  At the Charlotte School of Law, we increasingly seek to engage international legal systems. The Arbitration Society will be a wonderful platform for the legal, business, and educational communities throughout the Carolinas to continue their international development.”

The founders of the Society include leading commercial lawyers who see the benefit of Charlotte as a forum.  

“We are already anticipating that our clients with businesses overseas will welcome the opportunity to name Charlotte as the venue for their arbitration clauses in an effort to limit costs and increase efficiency in the arbitration process,” Mica Nguyen Worthy, Secretary of the CIAS and litigation attorney with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP said.

Norma Abbene, Chairman and CEO of Abbene | Smith Global LLC, is one of many lawyers and businesspeople who have been drawn to Charlotte in recent years.

“Our lawyers and law firms in the Carolinas are immensely sophisticated but I have also found them to be friendlier and more accessible than their counterparts in other major cities where I have practiced law,” Ms. Abbene said.  “The Arbitration Society is another indication that Charlotte ranks along any city in the world when it comes to doing business.” 

David Robinson of Columbia, South Carolina based law firm Nexsen Pruet and chairman of the International Law Section of the N.C. Bar Association, agrees.  “From agriculture to clean rooms and smart manufacturing, international business is exploding in the Carolinas,” Mr. Robinson said.  “CIAS will play a critical role in the continued integration of the Carolinas into the global economy.” 

L.J. Stambuk, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, anticipates the influence of the Society on international economic development.

“The creation of this entity sends an important message to the international commercial community that the region is taking steps to help foreign companies which seek to relocate in the region and do business,” Mr. Stambuck said.

Why Charlotte and CIAS
Founded in 2014 in recognition of the central role that Charlotte and the Carolinas play as a hub of international business, the Charlotte International Arbitration Society actively promotes access to recognized international arbitration services in a cost-effective, convenient location.

Charlotte is centrally located on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina and enjoys significant economic interests in both states.  The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major East Coast air hub with frequent daily domestic and international flights.  Uptown Charlotte is minutes away from the airport and easily accessible by taxi and other ground transportation at any time of day.

The Charlotte metropolitan region is home to more than 2 million people, seven Fortune 500 headquarters, and nearly 1,000 foreign-owned firms representing 46 different countries. South Carolina is the home of thousands of exporting businesses and major international automotive and aeronautical manufacturers.

Charlotte offers all the amenities of major international cities without the expense of other urban centers.  The low cost of goods and services in Charlotte provides a cost-effective setting for any arbitration proceeding.

The Carolinas’ legal community understands and supports international business and arbitration.  Experienced arbitrators and arbitration practitioners are available from firms and providers serving North Carolina and South Carolina, and the CIAS invites all international arbitration service providers and practitioners to arbitrate in Charlotte. Furthermore, the CIAS is taking a leading role to support continuing education for lawyers, judges and other interested professionals in the advantages and challenges of participating in international arbitrations, so as to provide a well-educated community that readily understands the unique needs in international dispute resolution.

The CIAS exists to promote the use of Charlotte as a venue for international commercial arbitration, and to advance arbitration as a prompt and orderly method of dispute resolution. To assist parties and arbitrators, the CIAS provides a convenient list of affiliated service providers that may be needed during the course of an arbitration hearing or mediation. The CIAS will not charge for its services and will not manage the arbitration process.

The officers  and directors of CIAS are Chase B. Saunders, President and Chair, Superior Court Judge, Ret’d; Daniel F. Piar, Vice Chair, Charlotte School of Law;  Mica Nguyen Worthy, Secretary, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP; Kaumil Shah, Treasurer, GreerWalker; Norma Abbene, Abbene | Smith Global LLC;

John D. Branson, Parker Poe; Andrea Carska-Sheppard, Workplace Options LLC; George V. Hanna III Moore & Van Allen; William D. Harazin, K&L Gates; Reinhard von Hennigs ,BridgehouseLaw; Luther T. Moore, Belk, Inc.; Samuel T. Reaves, Troutman Sanders; David S. Robinson Nexsen Pruet; and David A. Shuford Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson.

For more information, visit www.


Norma Abbene (CIAS) (212) 608-7585

or email