The SCC Platform
The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce launches the SCC Platform – a digital case management system for all cases administered by the SCC.
Digitalization and technical innovations are developing fast, and the legal industry is no exception. With increased complexity, cyber security concerns and data privacy rights there is an increased need for highly secure communication and file sharing in international arbitration. Digital communication and file-sharing tools continuously rank as one of the most wanted features in surveys by practitioners across the world. One of the first international arbitration institutions to respond to this demand is the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), which launched the SCC Platform in September 2019.
The core of the SCC Platform is a file sharing function, where all case material can be uploaded. The material is organized based on the preference of the arbitrator and parties and it can be viewed on the Platform itself, downloaded or printed. It is also possible to search all material for keywords or phrases. In addition to file sharing, the platform contains a case calendar, overview of all participants in the case, a notice board for tribunal and SCC notices, and a page containing a general overview of the proceedings.
Arbitration.ru asked Lise Alm, head of business development at the SCC, to describe the platform and why the SCC has chosen to offer this. “This has been something we have wanted to offer for a long time. We see a strong need for a tool like this among the practitioners. It is also important to us to ensure that we can facilitate a smooth arbitration process and high cyber security for all parties,” she explains. “As a neutral third party and an institution, we have a unique position to be able to offer this type of solution. Also, it would be difficult for an individual arbitrator to offer. This is a way to increase the service level provided by the SCC, but it is also a way for us to ensure that we step up to the plate in terms of cybersecurity and digitalisation of arbitration at large.”
All new arbitrations registered with the SCC are assigned a site on the SCC Platform and all communication with the SCC takes place on the platform. It is voluntary for the parties to use the platform for case communication beyond interactions with the SCC, but so far most parties have chosen to utilize the offer to use it for all case-related communications.
“Our users see many benefits with the platform,” says Lise Alm, “it’s easy to navigate and use which saves time and costs in the administration of the case. It organizes all files in an easily navigable way, provides a smooth and secure way to share sensitive content and keep track of case deadlines and process. It also fulfils the tribunal’s archiving responsibility.”
Access to the platform is included in the administration fee for all cases administered by the SCC. The access includes storage for most cases. Only in the largest, longest proceedings will the SCC charge a fee for additional storage beyond a certain limit. Lise Alm explains: “The intention is that the fee will not be applicable in most cases, only in very large or document heavy cases. In the cases where the fee is applicable, the fee will aim only to cover the SCC additional cost.”
The SCC Platform is based on software provided by HighQ, a company in the Thomson Reuter group. HighQ provides a platform-based product targeting the legal industry and which is broadly used by law firms across the world. This is the first time the software has been tailored for use in arbitration. “Based on the functionality we needed and the level of security we required, HighQ was the only option for us,” explains Lise Alm. “And since we were first in adopting it for the specific needs of arbitration, we have spent a lot of time ensuring the system is relevant for our users.”
In addition to adopting the software to the arbitral process, the SCC worked with external consultants to ensure the security of all data and communication exchanged through the SCC Platform.
“Naturally this is a focus area for us, as cyber security is one of the main motivations behind the SCC Platform,” Ms. Alm says. “HighQ has numerous security features in place and a highly experienced team in charge of those features. This was a big reason why we chose to go with this particular software.”
The assessment of security was divided into several areas. One of the aspects the SCC evaluated when selecting the system was the user friendliness of the system. Ensuring a user-friendly user experience both in the HighQ software and the setup of the platform was not only a way to increase the attractiveness of the system, but also a security aspect. Many security breaches are based on human error and any system that is built in a way to minimize errors is also safer.
When it comes to the system’s technical security, in addition to assessing the system architecture and security features, SCC carried out so called penetration tests on the system, which means hiring consultants to try to “hack” into the system in order to detect any vulnerabilities. Other areas of security scrutiny concerned the physical storage and back up facilities, security and system access policies, and contractual and regulatory aspects.
Currently, the SCC is on a world tour to promote the platform and discuss the opportunities and challenges of digitalization and cybersecurity in arbitration. On October 9, the tour stopped by St Petersburg and on December 5, the SCC will talk more about these matters on the Swedish Law Day in Moscow.
“As part of the launch, we released a short video from the SCC confession cam where I talk about the platform. On the SCC World Tour, the first question I get is often about this video. It might be my big claim to fame in arbitration”, Lise Alm concludes with a big smile.
Business Development Director at SCC