Loukas Mistelis
School of International Arbitration
67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
+44 79 1234 8262

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Loukas Mistelis is the Clive Schmitthoff Professor of transnational law and arbitration and director of the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London. He is a member of the academic committee of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration; the advisory board of EFILA; the academic committee of AIPN; and the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators. He is also president of the Court of CEDRAC.

Professor Mistelis has been a member of the Athens Bar since 1993 and frequently sits as an arbitrator.

Was it always your plan to pursue a career in arbitration?

I acquired an interest in arbitration from the start of law school through discussions with my professors in civil procedure and public international law. When I delved further into private international law and conflict of laws, during my graduate studies, it became clear that arbitration was my calling as it combines national and international law and bridges public and private international law.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Queen Mary and the School of International Arbitration?

I am fortunate to teach, and learn from, very bright students from all over the world and to lead academically the world’s oldest and most prestigious arbitration research centre with the most extensive and diverse curriculum.

Is arbitration now the most respected form of alternative dispute resolution?

Most certainly. It provides neutrality and expertise that most national courts may not have readily available. The enforceability of arbitral awards has also been a substantial factor for the widespread acceptance of arbitration.

What are the main qualities that make a successful arbitrator?

An abundance of common sense; strong interpersonal skills; and being a good listener, an excellent communicator, an effective manager of the process and a quick learner – two cases are rarely alike, and facts and legal issues are often complex.

How has the international arbitration landscape developed since you first began your career?

It is much more democratic and open. Connections are still important but the pool of arbitrators is getting larger, and the pool of arbitration counsel is getting bigger. Some of the new participants come into the process with their domestic litigation “baggage”, but they are learning quickly. Also, arbitration has developed in jurisdictions where there was hardly any practice 20 years ago.

What do you consider to be the role of an expert witness in arbitral proceedings? Do you feel that expert witnesses effectively fulfil that role in practice?

Expert witnesses can have a significant role, provided they understand that this role is to assist the tribunal to make a decision and that they are not hired guns. Tribunals can benefit from expert witnesses who are independent in their thinking and are good communicators.

Given the development of arbitration internationally, can post-Brexit London remain a preferred seat for parties to conduct arbitrations?

London has historically been a major arbitral seat and this position was never conditioned on EU membership. The quality of English courts and their supportive role in arbitration, the availability of counsel and arbitrators as well as experts, and the strong position of certain industries will no doubt remain in London even after Brexit.

Looking back over your career, what have you been proudest of?

Having assisted 35 PhD students to complete their doctoral studies under my supervision; the series of QM arbitration surveys which I started in 2005, and my other publications (such as my textbook with Lew and Kröll, in particular); and the development, with colleagues, of the QM curriculum from two courses when I joined to some 20 modules and several programmes.


Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Loukas Mistelis is director of the School of International Arbitration and the Clive Schmitthoff professor of transnational commercial law and arbitration at Queen Mary University of London. He teaches international commercial arbitration, international investment dispute settlement, energy disputes and ADR on the LLM programme. He was also the secretary of the advisory council of the Convention on Contracts for International Sale of Goods (CISG–AC) from 2001 to 2007 and is the coordinator of the Queen Mary Case Translation Programme, part of an award-winning database (www.cisg.law.pace.edu).

Professor Mistelis was educated in Greece (LLB, Athens 1991); France (certificate in international and comparative human rights, IIHR, Strasbourg, 1990); Germany (MLE, 1992, and Dr iuris, 1998, at Hanover Law School, Germany); and Japan (certificate in Japanese international trade law, Keio University Law School, Tokyo, 1998). He has been a member of the Athens Bar since 1993, and has guest-lectured at many universities, including Hamburg, Hamline, Keio, Lisbon, Maastricht, Roma III, LUISS, NYU, NUS, Pepperdine, PUC São Paolo, Sciences Po and Warsaw. He is fluent in English, German and Greek, has a good knowledge of French and a basic knowledge of Polish, Russian and Spanish.

He is chairman of the court at the Cyprus Eurasia Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Centre (CEDRAC). He has been on the ICSID panel of arbitrators since January 2014, as well as on the panels of many other arbitral institutions, including JCAA, KLRCA and CAM-CCBC. His wide arbitration experience covers ad hoc and ICC, ICSID, LCIA, LMAA, Swiss Chambers, SCC GCC Arbitration Centre and Moscow cases. Parties in these cases have been from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, BVI, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Moldova, Nigeria, Russia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the

United State. Subject matters have included foreign investment, sales contracts, share purchase agreements, distribution agreements, defence contracts, infrastructure and construction agreements, counter-trade, mining, media, natural resources and oil and gas transactions. He acts mainly as an arbitrator but also as a counsel and expert witness in arbitration proceedings.

His publications (in English, German, Greek and Russian) include seven innovative empirical surveys on corporate attitudes towards dispute resolution (2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), more than 60 refereed articles and 13 books, including Mandatory Rules of Law in International Arbitration (2010); Concise International Arbitration (2015); The Role of Arbitration in Shipping (2016); Arbitrability in International Arbitration (2008); Pervasive Problems in International Arbitration (2006); Commercial Law: Perspectives and Practice (2006); Comparative International Commercial Arbitration (2003); and Foundations and Perspectives of International Trade Law (2001). He is also the editor of the World Arbitration Reporter – The International Encyclopedia of Arbitration Law and Practice (2010). He is member of the editorial boards of Arbitration International, the International Journal of Arab Arbitration, the Journal of International Dispute Settlement and Global Arbitration Review, and is general editor of the Oxford International Arbitration series and of European Investment Law and Arbitration Review.

WWL says: Loukas Mistelis has a comprehensive understanding of the nuances of complex disputes and is described as "an excellent arbitrator" by sources.


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

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