cross-border dispute glossary

Welcome to the Cross-Border Dispute Glossary!

Our comprehensive site equips you with the essential tools to navigate the complexities of cross-border disputes. Whether you’re a legal professional, a business owner, or simply seeking to expand your knowledge, our glossary is designed to provide concise and accurate explanations to empower you in the realm of cross-border disputes.



Administrative costs refer to the expenses associated with the administration and management of the dispute resolution process. These costs are separate from the fees charged by arbitrators, mediators, or other dispute resolution professionals involved in the case.

Advocacy refers to the representation of a party’s case or position during the dispute resolution process. It involves the effective communication and presentation of arguments, evidence, and legal reasoning to support the party’s position and persuade the decision-maker, whether it is a judge, arbitrator, or mediator.

Adjudication is the process of resolving a dispute by an adjudicator who examines the evidence and issues a binding decision.

An appeal refers to the legal process by which a party seeks a review of a decision or judgment rendered by a lower court or arbitral tribunal. When a party is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may choose to file an appeal to a higher court or appellate body to have the decision reviewed and potentially overturned or modified. 

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution where parties agree to submit their dispute to one or more impartial individuals for a binding decision. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.

An arbitrator is a neutral third party that oversees the alternative dispute resolution method of arbitration.

At the conclusion of the arbitration, the arbitrators render their decision in the form of an arbitral award. This award is final and binding on the parties. Enforcement of the award can be sought in accordance with relevant national and international laws.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to methods of resolving disputes without a trial, such as mediation or arbitration.


An associate is a junior or senior attorney who works for a professional law firm, or is employed by another attorney. They are not considered partners or members of a law firm.


Asset tracing refers to the process of identifying and locating assets to enforce a judgment or resolve a dispute.

Attachment indicates the act of seizing or freezing assets to secure a claim in anticipation of a dispute or legal action.

Authentication is the process of verifying the validity and integrity of documents or evidence used in a cross-border dispute.


BIT refers to a treaty between two countries that establishes the terms and conditions for investments made by investors from one country in the other country, providing protections and mechanisms for dispute resolution.

Bankruptcy is a judicial process undertaken when a company is unable to repay its debts.  Depending on the numerous solutions and consequences the corporation seeks, bankruptcy proceedings are filed under several chapters of the bankruptcy code. 


Bankruptcy proceedings refer to legal proceedings initiated when an individual or entity is unable to repay debts, which can involve cross-border disputes when multiple jurisdictions are involved.


A benchmark is a milestone or a goal. Oftentimes, funding or compensation bonuses are tied to benchmarks.

Binding arbitration indicates a dispute resolution process where the parties agree to be bound by the decision of an arbitrator or arbitral tribunal, which is enforceable in cross-border disputes.

Breach of contract refers to failure to fulfill the terms and obligations agreed upon in a contract, which can lead to cross-border disputes if the contract involves parties from different jurisdictions.

A budget constraint refers to the financial limitations or restrictions that parties face in relation to the costs involved in resolving the dispute.


Choice of law indicates the selection of the governing law that will be applied to a cross-border dispute.

A claimant is a person who goes to court to make a legal complaint against someone else. The claimant commenced this action to recover damages that were sustained while working for the defendant.

Commercial arbitration refers to a method of resolving cross-border disputes through the use of an arbitrator or arbitral tribunal, as opposed to litigation in court.

Commercial transactions refer to the exchange of goods, services, or financial arrangements between parties from different jurisdictions. These transactions involve business activities conducted across international borders, often involving contracts, agreements, or commercial relationships.

Compliance audits cover the examination and evaluation of a company’s adherence to applicable laws, regulations, internal policies, and industry standards. These audits aim to assess the extent to which a company complies with legal and regulatory.

Confidentiality refers to the protection of sensitive information and maintaining privacy during cross-border dispute resolution proceedings.

Corporate compliance covers both internal policies and procedures, as well as federal and state laws. Enforcing compliance helps your company prevent and detect violations of rules, which protects your organization from fines and lawsuits.

Corporate governance refers to the system of rules, practices, and processes by which companies are directed, controlled, and operated. It encompasses the relationships between various stakeholders, such as shareholders, board members, management, employees, and other parties involved in the company. It establishes the framework for decision-making, accountability, transparency, and the protection of stakeholders’ rights and interests.

Concurrent jurisdiction is the authority of multiple courts from different jurisdictions to hear and decide on a cross-border dispute.

Conflict of laws refers to the legal rules used to determine which jurisdiction’s laws apply to a cross-border dispute.

Counsels provide legal advice, guidance, and representation to a party involved in the dispute. They act as an advocate for their client’s interests, offering strategic advice, conducting legal research, preparing legal documents, presenting arguments, and negotiating on behalf of the client. The counsel’s role is to protect and advance their client’s rights and positions throughout the dispute resolution process, whether it involves litigation, arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution methods.

A counterclaim is a defendant’s claim against the plaintiff in response to the plaintiff’s first claim.

A cross-border dispute is one that involves parties from different countries or has international elements.

Cross-examination refers to the process where one party’s lawyer questions the opposing party’s witness during a trial or hearing. Through cross-examination, the examining lawyer aims to elicit favorable information, expose inconsistencies or contradictions in the witness’s statements, and undermine their credibility to support their client’s case.

A case management conference is a meeting between the parties and the court to discuss the procedural aspects and scheduling of a cross-border dispute.

Civil Law refers to a legal system based on codified laws and statutes, typically found in continental Europe and other jurisdictions, used to resolve cross-border disputes.

Choice of forum refers to the selection of the court or tribunal where a cross-border dispute will be heard and resolved.


Damages refer to financial compensation that one party in a cross-border dispute seeks for losses or harm incurred as a result of the other party’s conduct.

Damage experts, also known as quantum experts, refer to professionals who are used as expert witnesses to assess and assist with damage calculations. They usually have a background in economics, mathematics, and financial or accounting fields.

Discovery is the pre-trial phase in which parties gather evidence and information from each other in preparation for the dispute resolution process.

A dispute resolution forum refers to the specific venue or institution where parties can seek resolution for their disputes. These forums provide a formal structure and procedures for parties to present their arguments, evidence, and claims, and ultimately reach a resolution with the assistance of judges, arbitrators, mediators, or other neutral third parties.

A digitalized arbitration system refers to the use of digital technologies and platforms to facilitate and streamline the arbitration process. It involves the application of digital tools and techniques to enhance efficiency, accessibility, and transparency in arbitration proceedings.

Direct negotiation in cross-border disputes refers to the process of parties engaging in direct discussions and negotiations without involving third parties or formal dispute resolution mechanisms.

Due process refers to the fair and impartial treatment of parties involved in a dispute, ensuring their rights are protected throughout the proceedings.

Due diligence is the process of conducting thorough investigations and assessments to evaluate the risks and potential issues involved in a cross-border dispute.

Defamation means making false statements about a person or entity that harm their reputation, which can lead to cross-border disputes regarding libel or slander.

Disqualification of an arbitrator indicates the removal of an arbitrator from a cross-border dispute due to conflicts of interest, bias, or other disqualifying factors.

Default judgment refers to a court ruling in favor of one party in a cross-border dispute when the opposing party fails to respond or participate in the legal proceedings.

Damages assessment is the evaluation and quantification of the monetary compensation or restitution owed to a party in a cross-border dispute for the harm or losses suffered.


Enforcement is the process of ensuring that a court judgment or arbitral award is carried out and its terms are implemented, which can be complex in cross-border disputes due to different legal systems and jurisdictions.

Enforceability is the ability to have a court or authority compel compliance with a judgment or decision.

An expert witness refers to a professional with specialized knowledge who provides opinions and testimony on specific issues within their area of expertise.

Extradition is the legal process by which a person accused of a crime is transferred from one country to another to face trial.

Exclusive jurisdiction refers to a situation where a court or arbitration tribunal has the sole authority to hear and decide a particular dispute, which can impact cross-border disputes when multiple jurisdictions claim jurisdiction over the same matter.

Expedited proceedings or expedited arbitration procedures indicate accelerated or fast-track dispute resolution procedures designed to resolve disputes more quickly and are often used in cross-border disputes to ensure a timely and efficient resolution of the matter.

External counsel refers to legal professionals or law firms that are engaged by parties involved in a cross-border dispute to provide legal advice and representation. These external counsels are typically independent from the parties and are hired to offer specialized expertise in navigating the complexities of cross-border legal matters.


A forum selection clause is a provision in a contract that designates the jurisdiction or forum where any disputes arising from the contract will be resolved, often a key consideration in cross-border disputes.

A franchise agreement is a contractual arrangement where a franchisor grants a franchisee the right to operate a business under its established brand, which can give rise to cross-border disputes related to intellectual property, territorial rights, or breach of contract.

Fraud refers to intentional misrepresentation or deceitful conduct with the purpose of deceiving another party, which can be grounds for challenging contracts and initiating cross-border disputes.

Foreign direct investment is an investment made by an individual or company in one country into business interests located in another country. This type of investment can give rise to cross-border disputes over the protection of investments, expropriation, or breaches of investment agreements.

A full and final settlement refers to a resolution or agreement that fully and finally resolves a dispute, usually involving a complete release of all claims and obligations, which can be sought in cross-border disputes to achieve a comprehensive resolution.

Fair market value is the price at which an asset or property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an open market; it is often a relevant consideration in cross-border disputes involving valuation, expropriation, or compensation.

Forceful execution is the enforcement of a court judgment or arbitral award through coercive measures, such as seizing assets or freezing bank accounts, which can be sought in cross-border disputes to ensure compliance with the decision.

Fair trial rights refer to the rights and principles that ensure a fair and impartial trial, including access to justice, due process, the right to legal representation, and the opportunity to present evidence, which are critical in cross-border disputes involving judicial proceedings.

Fit-for-purpose mechanisms refer to methods or mechanisms that are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs and complexities of cross-border disputes. These mechanisms are designed to address the challenges arising from the involvement of parties from different jurisdictions, diverse legal systems, cultural differences, language barriers, and varying legal frameworks.


Governing law is the legal system or jurisdiction chosen by the parties to govern their contractual rights and obligations, often a key consideration in cross-border disputes.

Good faith refers to the principles of honesty, fairness, and trustworthiness that parties are expected to adhere to in their dealings, which can be relevant in cross-border disputes involving contractual obligations or negotiations.

A guarantee is a promise to be responsible for another party’s obligations or liabilities, often used in cross-border disputes to secure performance or payment.

Global enforcement refers to the process of enforcing court judgments, arbitral awards, or settlement agreements across different jurisdictions, which is often a challenge in cross-border disputes due to variations in legal systems and enforcement mechanisms.

Green arbitration, also known as sustainable arbitration or eco-arbitration, refers to the application of environmentally conscious principles and practices in the arbitration process. This can include considerations such as reducing paper usage by adopting electronic filing systems, conducting virtual hearings to minimize travel-related carbon emissions, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and encouraging the parties and arbitrators to consider environmental factors when making decisions.

Group litigation, which is frequently pursued in cross-border disputes involving mass torts or collective harm, is a legal action brought by a group of people or entities having related claims against the same defendant.


Hybrid dispute resolution refers to a mechanism that combines elements of different methods, such as mediation and arbitration, to tailor a process suitable for the specific dispute.

A hardship clause is a provision in a contract that allows for the modification or termination of the contract if unforeseen circumstances arise, making performance excessively difficult or burdensome.

A high-stakes dispute refers to a legal conflict where the outcome has significant consequences or implications for the parties involved. These disputes typically involve substantial financial, reputational, or strategic interests that are at risk. They can arise in various contexts, including commercial litigation, intellectual property disputes, employment disputes, shareholder disputes, and complex business transactions. The stakes may involve large sums of money, the potential loss of valuable assets or rights, or the impact on the parties’ business operations and relationships.

A high-value dispute case refers to a legal dispute or conflict that involves a significant amount of money or assets. Typically, these cases involve substantial financial stakes, complex legal issues, and multiple parties. They often arise in commercial transactions, corporate disputes, construction projects, intellectual property disputes, international trade, and other areas where significant financial interests are at stake.

A hearing is a formal proceeding in which parties present arguments, evidence, and testimony to an arbitrator or tribunal to resolve a cross-border dispute.

Harmonization refers to the process of aligning laws, regulations, and procedures across different jurisdictions to promote consistency and facilitate cross-border dispute resolution.

A horizontal dispute is a cross-border dispute between parties operating within the same industry or sector.

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is a leading institution in the field of international arbitration based in Hong Kong.

As an independent and non-profit organization, the HKIAC provides a neutral and efficient platform for resolving commercial disputes through arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution methods. The center offers state-of-the-art hearing facilities, a diverse panel of arbitrators, and a robust set of arbitration rules and procedures.

Hot-tubbing is a dispute resolution technique where experts from different disciplines are examined together in a joint session to provide their opinions and engage in discussion.


In-house counsel refers to legal professionals who work directly within a company or organization involved in a cross-border dispute. They are employed to provide legal advice and representation on matters related to the dispute. In-house counsel play a crucial role in managing and strategizing the company’s legal position, coordinating with external counsel, assessing risks, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations in multiple jurisdictions.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organization and tribunal that has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the most serious international crimes. The ICC is based in The Hague, Netherlands.

The primary mandate of the ICC is to bring justice to victims and hold individuals accountable for crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. It complements national criminal justice systems and steps in when a country is unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute these crimes itself.

Insolvency proceedings are formal measures taken to deal with company debt. In the context of cross-border disputes, this process involves navigating the complexities of multiple jurisdictions and coordinating with various stakeholders, including creditors, debtors, and courts in different countries. The goal is to ensure fair and efficient distribution of assets, maximize recovery for creditors, and facilitate the resolution of financial distress in a cross-border context.

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind that are protected by legal rights. It encompasses a wide range of intangible assets, including inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images used in commerce.

ICJ refers to the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, which resolves legal disputes between states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by UN organs and specialized agencies.

The International Dispute Resolution and Risk Management Institute (IDRRMI) is a reputable institution dedicated to promoting effective and efficient methods of resolving international disputes and managing associated risks.

With a focus on dispute resolution mechanisms, the IDRRMI provides comprehensive training programs, workshops, and resources to individuals and organizations involved in cross-border disputes.

An investment treaty dispute refers to a dispute arising from an alleged breach of an international investment treaty between a foreign investor and a host state, typically resolved through international arbitration under the auspices of a relevant investment treaty or arbitration rules.


Jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court or arbitral tribunal to hear and decide a cross-border dispute, typically determined based on factors such as territoriality, consent, and applicable laws.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organization and tribunal that has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the most serious international crimes. The ICC is based in The Hague, Netherlands.

The primary mandate of the ICC is to bring justice to victims and hold individuals accountable for crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. It complements national criminal justice systems and steps in when a country is unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute these crimes itself.

A joint venture agreement indicates an agreement between two or more parties from different jurisdictions to collaborate on a specific business venture, which may give rise to cross-border disputes regarding issues such as profit-sharing, management control, or breach of contract.

Judgement refers to a final decision or ruling issued by a court in a cross-border dispute, determining the rights and obligations of the parties involved.


Jurisdictional dispute is a dispute that arises when multiple courts or arbitral tribunals claim authority over a cross-border dispute, requiring resolution to determine the proper forum for the dispute.

A joint expert report is prepared by jointly appointed experts in a cross-border dispute, providing their independent and impartial opinions on technical, scientific, or specialized matters relevant to the case.

Judicial review covers the process by which a higher court reviews the decisions or actions of a lower court or administrative body in a cross-border dispute, to ensure they were made in accordance with applicable laws and procedures.

Judgement enforcement refers to the process of enforcing a court judgment or arbitral award in a cross-border dispute, which may involve seeking recognition and enforcement in a different jurisdiction than where the judgment or award was issued.

Judicial precedent refers to a previous court decision or ruling that serves as a legal authority and guide for future similar cases in cross-border disputes, providing consistency and predictability in the application of laws.


KCAB INTERNATIONAL is the international division of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board established to meet the growing demand for alternative dispute resolution services. KCAB INTERNATIONAL offers user-friendly dispute resolution services tailored to meet the needs of parties through time efficient and cost-effective case management procedures. The new division has dedicated world-class hearing facilities with state-of-the-art technological support for users.

Knowledge management refers to the process of capturing, organizing, and sharing knowledge and information related to cross-border disputes.

Knock-for-Knock clause refers to a contractual provision commonly used in cross-border disputes to allocate liability for damages between parties involved.

A key witness is an individual who possesses crucial information and plays a significant role in a cross-border dispute case.

Know-how refers to technical knowledge and expertise relevant to the subject matter of a cross-border dispute.

A kick-out clause is a contractual provision allowing one party to terminate or exit an agreement in the event of specific circumstances or disputes.

Kit arbitration refers to an alternative form of cross-border dispute resolution where the parties agree to resolve their disputes using pre-selected procedures.

A knotty issue is a complex or challenging matter that requires careful consideration and resolution in cross-border dispute cases.

A knowledge gap refers to a lack of information or expertise that may hinder the effective resolution of cross-border disputes.


The legal framework is the set of laws, regulations, and rules that govern cross-border disputes and provide a foundation for resolving conflicts between parties from different jurisdictions.

A legal opinion is a formal written statement provided by a legal expert, outlining their professional assessment and analysis of the legal issues involved in a cross-border dispute.

A limitation period refers to the specified time limit within which a party must bring a legal action or claim in a cross-border dispute, after which the right to seek a legal remedy may be barred.

Liquidated damages refer to a predetermined sum of money specified in a contract, which a party agrees to pay as compensation for a specific breach or failure to fulfill contractual obligations in a cross-border dispute.

Litigation refers to the process of resolving legal disputes through formal court proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. It involves parties taking their disputes to court and presenting their arguments and evidence before a judge or jury.

A loan agreement is a legally binding contract between a lender and a borrower that outlines the terms and conditions of a loan. It sets forth the rights and obligations of both parties regarding the borrowing and repayment of funds. Loan agreements are commonly used in various financial transactions, such as personal loans, business loans, and mortgages.


Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral third party, known as the mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation is often chosen as an alternative to litigation or arbitration, offering a more flexible, cost-effective, and collaborative approach to resolving conflicts.

Meta-mediation refers to a specialized form of mediation where multiple mediators work collaboratively to facilitate the resolution of complex and high-stakes international disputes

Mutual legal assistance is the cooperation and exchange of information between law enforcement authorities and the judicial systems of different countries in cross-border disputes involving criminal offenses.

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) is an agreement between two or more countries to provide assistance in gathering and exchanging information for criminal or civil matters

Multi-jurisdictional refers to legal disputes that involve multiple jurisdictions or legal systems.

M&A stands for “Mergers and Acquisitions,” which refers to the process of combining or acquiring companies to create a larger entity or achieve strategic objectives. M&A activities involve the consolidation of businesses, assets, and operations through various transactional structures, such as mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases, or stock swaps.

Merits are the substantive issues and facts of a dispute that are considered by a court or arbitral tribunal in making a decision.


Negotiation is the process of discussion and communication between parties in a cross-border dispute, aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable resolution without the need for court intervention.

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legally binding contract that establishes confidentiality obligations between parties involved in a cross-border dispute, ensuring the protection of sensitive or confidential information.

Non-binding refers to agreements or decisions that are not legally enforceable and do not create a binding obligation on the parties involved.


Off-take agreements, also known as purchase agreements or supply contracts, are contractual agreements between a producer or seller of a product and a buyer or purchaser. These agreements outline the terms and conditions for the sale and purchase of a specific quantity of goods or commodities over a specified period of time.

An Of Counsel is an attorney who is affiliated with a law firm or organization but is not a partner or an associate. Of Counsel attorneys typically have specialized expertise or experience in a particular area of law and provide legal advice and assistance on a case-by-case basis. They may work closely with the firm’s partners and associates, providing guidance and support in complex cross-border dispute matters.

Offshore jurisdiction refers to a jurisdiction located outside of one’s own country, often chosen for specific legal and tax advantages in cross-border transactions or disputes.

Ownership disputes arise when multiple parties claim ownership rights over a particular asset or property across borders, requiring resolution through legal means.

Obligations are legal responsibilities and duties that parties must fulfill in a cross-border dispute, as defined by applicable laws, contracts, or agreements.

Offshore assets are held by individuals or entities in a foreign jurisdiction, which may become subject to cross-border disputes involving ownership, transfer, or enforcement of rights.