Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law
Elliott E Geisinger
Office:
15bis, rue des Alpes
PO Box 2088
1211
City:
Geneva
State:
Geneva
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 22 707 8000
Fax:
+41 22 707 8001

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Elliott Geisinger heads Schellenberg Wittmer’s international arbitration group. Since 1994, his practice has focused on international arbitration. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in complex commercial disputes involving international construction contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements, sponsorship contracts, and sales and distribution contracts.

Elliott has regularly represented clients in arbitration-related court proceedings, in particular investment-related matters. Several of his cases have been reported on, in the official collection of Swiss Supreme Court cases and in arbitration journals. Elliott specialises in contract management in large-scale construction projects.

What motivated you to work in arbitration?

The variety of cultures and cases, which make it a field of the law where open-mindedness is at its most important.

What is your secret to success?

Remembering what attracted me to arbitration in the first place, plus intellectual curiosity and “constructive doubt” at all times.

How has your practice evolved?

Clients have always been demanding, but are becoming increasingly so. I view this as a positive development because it challenges one’s ideas and makes “constructive doubt” indispensable, so that in the end the quality of work can only increase.

What has been the most memorable case you have worked on?

Very honestly: all of them. No two cases are alike; some end brilliantly, some in frustration; and all of them made me progress.

What advice would you share with other lawyers who hope one day to be in your position?

Never think that what you do as a matter of course should be everyday practice: always challenge your assumptions and rethink your methods.

As head of the firm’s international arbitration group, what is your vision for the group for the next 12 months?

Our group is already recognised as one of the few Swiss arbitration practices that can hold its own (and more!) against any major international firm, at significantly lower cost because we tailor our case management to the clients’ needs – not the other way around). My vision is to increase awareness of this image, continue to attract top international talent and expand our practice in Singapore.

Have there been any major legal and/or commercial developments in Switzerland and Europe that are affecting the practice area?

The increasing number of investment arbitrations seated in Switzerland.

There is also a continuing and worrying trend towards short-sighted over-lawyering. Three most obvious examples are: ever-more cases where a claimant brings proceedings against more than one respondent without any obvious strategic advantage, thereby triggering debates on jurisdiction that delay the debate on the merits; an increasing tendency to seek “urgent” interim measures from arbitral tribunals as a tactical tool, thereby distracting the arbitrators’ attention from the substantive issues; and needless document production requests, which can backfire.

What are the firm’s main priorities for the future to allow it to maintain its leading market position?

Continuing to invest in our team, by continuing to attract top talents, and in technology. Also, we are aiming to give maximum exposure to our very promising “rising stars”, of which we have many. Our team culture is also something that we must preserve, both internally, but also and mainly when working with our clients. Of course, continuing the so-far very successful Singapore venture is another top priority.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Arbitration

Elliott Geisinger heads Schellenberg Wittmer's international arbitration group. Since 1994, his practice has focused on international arbitration. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in complex commercial disputes involving international construction contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements, sponsorship contracts, and sales and distribution contracts.

In addition, Elliott has regularly represented clients in arbitration-related court proceedings. Several of his cases have been reported on, in the official collection of Swiss Supreme Court cases and in arbitration journals. Additionally, Elliott specialises in contract management in large-scale construction projects. He also has advised Swiss corporations in investment disputes.

Elliott has authored and co-authored several publications in the fields of international arbitration and private international law. He sat on the arbitration committee of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1999 to 2003, and was elected to the executive board of the Swiss Arbitration Association in 2007, becoming vice-president in 2010, and has been president since 2014. Elliott is also a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy.

After graduating from the School of Law of the University of Geneva in 1986, where he also obtained a Master of Laws in 1990, Elliott Geisinger served as a teaching and research assistant in private international law between 1986 and 1992. He was an associate with another business law firm in Geneva prior to joining Schellenberg Wittmer in 1996, where he has been a partner since 2002.

Schellenberg Wittmer is one of the leading business law firms in Switzerland. Over 140 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore advise domestic and international clients on all aspects of business law. The firm's areas of expertise include: banking and finance, competition and antitrust, construction,  dispute resolution and international arbitration, intellectual property/information technology, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, private clients and estates, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, taxation, white-collar crime and compliance. Schellenberg Wittmer's Singapore office covers key jurisdictions and markets in the Asia-Pacific region, assisting clients in both inbound and outbound investments as well as in international arbitration. 

WWL says: Elliott Geisinger is “highly recommended” by sources, who report that he is “extremely well regarded, efficient and organised".

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Elliott Geisinger heads Schellenberg Wittmer’s international arbitration group as global chair. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in over 120 international arbitrations in complex commercial disputes involving international construction contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements, sponsorship contracts, and sales and distribution contracts. He has also advised foreign states and Swiss corporations in investment disputes.

Elliott is particularly specialised in construction and engineering matters. He is co-founder of the Istanbul International Construction Law Conferences project, with Professor Dr Yesim Atamer of Istanbul Bilgi University (www.construction-law.bilgi.edu.tr). Contract management in large-scale construction and infrastructure projects is a further specialisation of his.

Elliott regularly represents clients in arbitration-related court proceedings. Elliott has represented parties before the Swiss Supreme Court in several landmark cases, many of which have been reported in the official collection of Swiss Supreme Court cases and in arbitration journals.

Elliott is highly recognised and ranked for his work as counsel and arbitrator by leading international directories such as Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, GAR, Expert Guides, ILO and. Who’s Who Legal

They describe him as “a high-caliber arbitration counsel who is a fantastic technician and construction specialist”. As a winner of ILO’s Client Choice Award, clients said: “as a lawyer, Elliott is flexible enough to think like an engineer or a project manager.” Additionally, according to clients “he is very careful with the details, but never lets go of the big picture. He is reliable, responsive and quick”. He comes “highly recommended”, by sources, who report that he is “extremely well regarded, efficient and organised”. Elliott’s reputational expertise is further described as “a well-known arbitrator with a wealth of experience acting as both counsel and arbitrator in complex construction disputes”.

Elliott is president of the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA) since 2014, having been elected to the ASA board in 2007 and becoming ASA vice-president in 2007. He sat on the arbitration committee of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1999 to 2003. Elliott is also a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy. Elliott is one of four arbitration experts currently advising the Swiss government on the on-going revision of Swiss law of international arbitration. He has authored several publications in the fields of international arbitration and private international law.

Schellenberg Wittmer is one of the leading business law firms in Switzerland. Over 140 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore advise domestic and international clients on all aspects of business law. The firm's areas of expertise include: banking and finance, competition and antitrust, construction, dispute resolution and international arbitration, intellectual property/information technology, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, private clients and estates, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, taxation, white-collar crime and compliance. Schellenberg Wittmer's Singapore office covers key jurisdictions and markets in the Asia-Pacific region, assisting clients in both inbound and outbound investments as well as in international arbitration.

WWL says: The "excellent" Elliott Geisinger is a "very able counsel and arbitrator" who sources describe as "one of the best in the market".

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Construction & Real Estate

Elliott Geisinger heads Schellenberg Wittmer's international arbitration group. Since 1994, his practice has focused on international arbitration. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in complex commercial disputes involving international construction contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements, sponsorship contracts, and sales and distribution contracts.

In addition, Elliott has regularly represented clients in arbitration-related court proceedings. Several of his cases have been reported on, in the official collection of Swiss Supreme Court cases and in arbitration journals. Additionally, Elliott specialises in contract management in large-scale construction projects. He also has advised Swiss corporations in investment disputes.

Elliott has authored and co-authored several publications in the fields of international arbitration and private international law. He sat on the arbitration committee of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1999 to 2003, and was elected to the executive board of the Swiss Arbitration Association in 2007, becoming vice-president in 2010, and has been president since 2014. Elliott is also a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy.

After graduating from the School of Law of the University of Geneva in 1986, where he also obtained a Master of Laws in 1990, Elliott Geisinger served as a teaching and research assistant in private international law between 1986 and 1992. He was an associate with another business law firm in Geneva prior to joining Schellenberg Wittmer in 1996, where he has been a partner since 2002.

Schellenberg Wittmer is one of the leading business law firms in Switzerland. Over 140 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore advise domestic and international clients on all aspects of business law. The firm's areas of expertise include: banking and finance, competition and antitrust, construction, dispute resolution and international arbitration, intellectual property/information technology, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, private clients and estates, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, taxation, white-collar crime and compliance. Schellenberg Wittmer's Singapore office covers key jurisdictions and markets in the Asia-Pacific region, assisting clients in both inbound and outbound investments as well as in international arbitration. 

WWL says: Elliott Geisinger is a well-known arbitrator with a wealth of experience acting as both counsel and arbitrator in complex construction disputes.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Elliott Geisinger heads Schellenberg Wittmer's international arbitration group. Since 1994, his practice has focused on international arbitration. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in complex commercial disputes involving international construction contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements, sponsorship contracts, and sales and distribution contracts.

In addition, Elliott has regularly represented clients in arbitration-related court proceedings. Several of his cases have been reported on, in the official collection of Swiss Supreme Court cases and in arbitration journals. Additionally, Elliott specialises in contract management in large-scale construction projects. He also has advised Swiss corporations in investment disputes.

Elliott has authored and co-authored several publications in the fields of international arbitration and private international law. He sat on the arbitration committee of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1999 to 2003, and was elected to the executive board of the Swiss Arbitration Association in 2007, becoming vice-president in 2010, and has been president since 2014. Elliott is also a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy.

After graduating from the School of Law of the University of Geneva in 1986, where he also obtained a Master of Laws in 1990, Elliott Geisinger served as a teaching and research assistant in private international law between 1986 and 1992. He was an associate with another business law firm in Geneva prior to joining Schellenberg Wittmer in 1996, where he has been a partner since 2002.

Schellenberg Wittmer is one of the leading business law firms in Switzerland. Over 140 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore advise domestic and international clients on all aspects of business law. The firm's areas of expertise include: banking and finance, competition and antitrust, construction, dispute resolution and international arbitration, intellectual property/information technology, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, private clients and estates, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, taxation, white-collar crime and compliance. Schellenberg Wittmer's Singapore office covers key jurisdictions and markets in the Asia-Pacific region, assisting clients in both inbound and outbound investments as well as in international arbitration.

WWL says: Elliot Geisinger is highly regarded in the construction market as "a very strong arbitrator who is organised and efficient".

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Construction which can be purchased from our Shop.

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