Martin Beckmann


“In the event of disputes on technical matters, a sound settlement cannot be taken for granted. Courts assess matters from a legal point of view but have no understanding of the technical part. Many arbitration institutes employ only legal experts. The tech business, however, really is a specialisation. There are always disputes, and businesses often are not aware of the possibilities of arbitration

Speed, security and soundness

Often, contracts are neither well-written nor drawn up by a legal expert. On top of that, expectations often do not meet reality, which may give rise to controversy. Moreover, circumstances may change, especially in the case of multiannual projects. In practice, I see that everybody seeks a speedy solution. Everybody wants to know the position of their business as a result of a dispute. Also, everybody wants a sound decision, where there is trust and matters are dealt with substantively and knowledgeably. One does not want endless disputes over the small print at the bottom, spend lots of money while being able to see the wood for the trees. 

Wat veel mensen niet weten over arbitrage

I often find myself explaining how arbitration works. There is a ‘complaint’, and there is defence, we deal with items of evidence and often with expert reports. Oral meetings usually take place, where we also heard witness, if needed. Lastly, we conclude and write an award.  This award is confirmed by the court, which is a formality to see if no procedural errors were made. It is no substantive check. What might surprise many people is that this works worldwide! The New York Convention of 1958 documents arbitration internationally. In the tech business, with its large-scale international cooperation, this is a huge advantage! You may go to court with the award in any other country. In short: arbitration results in an internationally binding award.’

About Martin

Martin was born in Germany, lived in the US and is now based in Eindhoven/Kerkrade. He was awarded both a degree in law as in technical subjects at several universities. As a result, he speaks the language of engineers, software developers, and of legal experts, which makes him best suited to build bridges between law and technology. He has held various positions within both professional fields, at home and abroad, and founded his consultancy firm in 2001.

Tips from Martin

  • Write good contracts.
  • Do not wait too long. Do not allow disputes to simmer. Put the dispute on the table and try figuring it out together
  • However, when facing a dispute, do realise that good legal assistance does not have to mean lawyering up.
  • If you prefer to work with an arbitrator rather than the court, do make proper arrangements at a contract. There are standard clauses Incorporate in the contact the number of arbitrators to involve, via which institute, how the arbitrators are chosen and where matters take place. Unpleasant surprises afterwards can be prevented.
  • Make sure you know upfront what it is you wish to achieve with the procedure.