Pierre Tercier
Office:
5 ch Guillaume-Ritter
CH-1700
City:
Fribourg
State:
Fribourg
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 26 425 48 48

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Pierre Tercier is an emeritus professor of the University of Fribourg, the honorary chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and a prominent international arbitrator with extensive international arbitration and dispute resolution experience. He is highly respected in the international legal and business community as an arbitrator, lecturer and author. He is a visiting professor of law at numerous universities around the world, including in Geneva, Paris, Turin and Washington DC.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN ARBITRATION?

I already had a career as a professor at the University of Fribourg, but I was fortunate to be appointed rather soon as arbitrator in some cases. The number of cases increased with the time and I was able to devote myself fully to this activity as an independent arbitrator, following the end of my position as chairman of the ICC Court of Arbitration. Arbitration is the perfect complement to being a professor and I may add that an academic career can also be a good basis for arbitration.

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

Compared with when I began practising, the field has radically changed to become more and more professional. The cases that come are more complex and the procedures more standard.

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

I have always preferred to be part of a panel. You feel better with co-arbitrators with whom you can exchange views and experiences.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ARBITRATION PRACTITIONERS?

Have a very good background in law; a good introduction in arbitration; a good command of languages; and an open mind to other cultures and to the practice. For the rest, “pray to God” (Jan Paulsson).

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 US and Europe remain very important, but it is obvious that the picture is changing, especially with the entry of Asia, but also the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

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

The most exciting, interesting and difficult case for me was the Abaclat case (ICSID) but each case is interesting.

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?

It is evident that arbitration will grow and continue to substitute for national courts. It is essential that the system allows everybody to have access to justice; that the procedure is conducted in an efficient and cost-saving manner; and that the arbitrators remain perfectly neutral.

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

At my age, the best I can hope for is to continue working for some years in the future as long as I have the pleasure and interest to do it and as long as I have the trust of the parties.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Professor Pierre Tercier is an emeritus professor of the University of Fribourg, the honorary chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and a prominent international arbitrator with extensive experience in international arbitration, having served mainly as president in more than 100 international arbitrations under various rules (ie, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SIAC, CRCICA, SCC, UNCITRAL, etc) covering various sectors. 

For over a generation, Professor Tercier has also been one of the most respected legal scholars in the country. He has authored more than 250 legal writings, focusing on contract law and international arbitration. He was professor of law and the dean of the University of Fribourg. He also taught at the University of Geneva and the EPFL in Lausanne, in Paris I, Paris II, Paris IV, Cambridge University, Columbia Law School and at the Max-Planck Institute for private international law. Currently, Professor Tercier teaches selected topics in international arbitration at the University of Geneva/Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Torino University and Georgetown University Law Center, among other institutions. 

Professor Tercier is a member of the governing board of ICCA, a former president of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC and a former chairman of the Swiss Commission on Competition, the Swiss Cartel Commission and the Swiss Insurance Law Society. 

He completed his postgraduate studies in Hamburg (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Germany) and at the University of Cambridge, and received a doctorate in law and legal practice degree from the University of Fribourg.

WWL says: Pierre Tercier is a revered name in the international arbitration market, recognised for his “excellent arbitration work” and vast experience in the space.

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

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Arbitration

Professor Pierre Tercier is an emeritus professor of the University of Fribourg, the honorary chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and a prominent international arbitrator with extensive experience in international arbitration, having served mainly as President in more than 100 international arbitrations under various rules (ie, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SIAC, CRCICA, SCC, UNCITRAL etc) covering various sectors. 

For over a generation, Professor Tercier has also been one of the most respected legal scholars in the country. He has authored more than 250 legal writings, focusing on contract law and international arbitration. He was professor of law and the dean of the University of Fribourg. He also taught at the University of Geneva and the EPFL in Lausanne, in Paris I, Paris II, Paris IV, Cambridge University, Columbia Law School and at the Max-Planck Institute for private international law. Currently, Professor Tercier teaches selected topics in international arbitration at the University of Geneva/Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Torino University and Georgetown University Law Center, among other institutions. 

Professor Tercier is a member of the governing board of ICCA, a former president of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC and a former chairman of the Swiss Commission on Competition, the Swiss Cartel Commission and the Swiss Insurance Law Society. 

He completed his postgraduate studies in Hamburg (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Germany) and at the University of Cambridge, and received a doctorate in law and legal practice degree from the University of Fribourg.

WWL says: Pierre Tercier is “a heavyweight arbitrator” who is “very well established” in the Swiss market. One source effuses: “I have a lot of respect for him – he is one of the top arbitrators in the country."

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

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