Bernard Hanotiau
Office:
Avenue Louise 480/9
1050
City:
Brussels
Country:
Belgium
Tel:
+32 2 290 3909
Fax:
+32 2 290 3939

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders

Bernard Hanotiau is a member of the Brussels and Paris Bars. Since 1978, he has been actively involved in more than 500 international arbitration cases in all parts of the world. Mr Hanotiau is professor emeritus of the law school of Louvain University (Belgium). He is an advisory member of the ICCA governing board and the council of the ICC Institute. He is a member of the Court of Arbitration of SIAC and of the Governing Board of DIAC (Dubai). He is the author of Complex Arbitrations: Multiparty, Multicontract, Multi-issue and Class Actions (Kluwer, 2006). In March 2011, Mr Hanotiau received the GAR Award for Arbitrator of the Year. In April 2016, he also received the Who’s Who Legal Award for Lawyer of the Year: Arbitration.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN ARBITRATION?

Disputes submitted to arbitration were very rare when I started my career. I was fortunate to be in a firm handling a few arbitration cases, and I was already assistant professor at the Centre of International Law at the University of Louvain. I found this area of international law particularly fascinating. 

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE MANNER IN WHICH ARBITRATION IS CONDUCTED AND ITS EFFICACY SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR PRACTICE?

The cases – as well as the way the procedure is conducted – have become extremely complex and lawyers rarely do what would be needed to make the procedure efficient.

WHICH DO YOU PREFER: SITTING AS SOLE ARBITRATOR OR AS PART OF A PANEL AND WHY?

I prefer to be part of a panel. When you sit as sole arbitrator, you feel terribly alone and you have nobody to discuss things with.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ARBITRATION PRACTITIONERS?

The qualities needed to succeed in arbitration are the same as in any other profession: hard work, competence, rigour and creativity.

SOME SAY THAT BOTH THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA ARE NOW COMPETING WITH EUROPE AND THE US AS PREFERABLE SEATS OF ARBITRATION. TO WHAT EXTENT IS THIS TRUE?

The economic growth is moving towards the East – and so are the disputes.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING ARBITRAL DISPUTE YOU HAVE WORKED ON DURING YOUR CAREER?

It was a dispute between a leading international food company and their Chinese partners in various joint ventures. It involved eight consolidated arbitrations where we have been confronted to every possible legal or factual issue.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT ARBITRATION NEEDS TO ADDRESS IF IT WISHES TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND IMPROVE ITS EFFICIENCY AS A FORM OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

I believe that arbitration will continue to grow but in an ideal world, I would like lawyers to be more focused in their submissions and generally more efficient at every step of the procedure. It would also make arbitration more cost effective.

YOU ARE ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST DISTINGUISHED ARBITRATORS – WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? WHAT ARE NOW YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES REGARDING YOUR CAREER?

Since the age of 30, I have devoted all my professional career to international arbitration – not only as arbitrator but also as counsel, expert, author and panellist. I plan to continue to do so.  

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Bernard Hanotiau is a member of the Brussels and Paris Bars. Since 1978, he has been actively involved in more than 500 international arbitration cases in all parts of the world. Mr Hanotiau is professor emeritus of the law school of Louvain University (Belgium). He is an advisory member of the ICCA governing board and the council of the ICC Institute. He is a member of the Court of Arbitration of SIAC and of the Governing Board of DIAC (Dubai). He is the author of Complex Arbitrations: Multiparty, Multicontract, Multi-issue and Class Actions (Kluwer, 2006). In March 2011, Mr Hanotiau received the GAR Award for Arbitrator of the Year. In April 2016, he also received the Who’s Who Legal Award for Lawyer of the Year: Arbitration.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN ARBITRATION?

Disputes submitted to arbitration were very rare when I started my career. I was fortunate to be in a firm handling a few arbitration cases, and I was already assistant professor at the Centre of International Law at the University of Louvain. I found this area of international law particularly fascinating. 

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE MANNER IN WHICH ARBITRATION IS CONDUCTED AND ITS EFFICACY SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR PRACTICE?

The cases – as well as the way the procedure is conducted – have become extremely complex and lawyers rarely do what would be needed to make the procedure efficient.

WHICH DO YOU PREFER: SITTING AS SOLE ARBITRATOR OR AS PART OF A PANEL AND WHY?

I prefer to be part of a panel. When you sit as sole arbitrator, you feel terribly alone and you have nobody to discuss things with.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ARBITRATION PRACTITIONERS?

The qualities needed to succeed in arbitration are the same as in any other profession: hard work, competence, rigour and creativity.

SOME SAY THAT BOTH THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA ARE NOW COMPETING WITH EUROPE AND THE US AS PREFERABLE SEATS OF ARBITRATION. TO WHAT EXTENT IS THIS TRUE?

The economic growth is moving towards the East – and so are the disputes.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING ARBITRAL DISPUTE YOU HAVE WORKED ON DURING YOUR CAREER?

It was a dispute between a leading international food company and their Chinese partners in various joint ventures. It involved eight consolidated arbitrations where we have been confronted with every possible legal or factual issue.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT ARBITRATION NEEDS TO ADDRESS IF IT WISHES TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND IMPROVE ITS EFFICIENCY AS A FORM OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

I believe that arbitration will continue to grow but in an ideal world, I would like lawyers to be more focused in their submissions and generally more efficient at every step of the procedure. It would also make arbitration more cost-effective.

YOU ARE ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST DISTINGUISHED ARBITRATORS – WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? WHAT ARE NOW YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES REGARDING YOUR CAREER?

Since the age of 30, I have devoted all my professional career to international arbitration – not only as arbitrator but also as counsel, expert, author and panellist. I plan to continue to do so. 

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Bernard Hanotiau is a member of the Brussels and Paris bars. In 2001, he established a boutique law firm in Brussels concentrating on international arbitration and litigation. The firm has offices in Brussels and Singapore.

Since 1978, Bernard Hanotiau has been actively involved in international commercial arbitration as party-appointed arbitrator, chairman, sole arbitrator, counsel and expert in various parts of the world. Mr Hanotiau is a member of the panel of arbitrators of, or receives appointments as arbitrator by, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC, Paris), the LCIA, ICSID, the AAA, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, SIAC, HKIAC, CIETAC, the BAC, the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, the KLRCA, the KCAB, the PCA in The Hague, WIPO, CEPANI, the NAI, the Swiss Chambers of Commerce, DIAC, the Danish Institute of Arbitration, the Cairo Centre of Arbitration, the French Arbitration Association, the French-German Chamber of Commerce, IATA and the CAS. He is also frequently appointed as arbitrator in UNCITRAL and other ad hoc arbitration cases.

He is a member of the ICCA advisory board and of the council of the ICC Institute and a member of the ICC international arbitration commission. He is also a former vice president of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration (Dallas), CEPANI and the LCIA Court. He is a member of the board of DIAC; the Court of Arbitration of the Istanbul International Arbitration Centre; the SIAC Court of Arbitration; the HKIAC international advisory board; and the International Arbitration Club.

In March 2011, Mr Hanotiau received the GAR Arbitrator of the Year Award; and in April 2016, he won the Who’s Who Legal Lawyer of the Year: Arbitration Award.

WWL says: Bernard Hanotiau is “world-famous” for his prowess as an arbitrator, according to sources, and is “one of the very best in the space”.

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

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