Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012

Harold Frey
Office:
Brandschenkestrasse 24
CH-8027
City:
Zurich
State:
Zurich
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 58 450 80 00
Fax:
+41 58 450 80 01

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Harold Frey leads the litigation and arbitration practice of Lenz & Staehelin in Zurich. He has represented clients in numerous international arbitrations as well as in litigation proceedings before Swiss courts. Matters include a wide range of legal issues (such as joint venture, M&A, licensing and general contract law disputes) and industries (such as telecoms, pharmaceutical, industrial and construction). Harold Frey also sits as arbitrator.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

I always enjoyed the exchange and presentation of arguments, the art of persuasion. 

Over time, I have learned to appreciate the many advantages of working in private practice: the variety and the flexibility of the work; and the ability to select my clients and areas of practice, and to determine my own schedule.

What do you believe are the most important issues for clients when looking to conduct an arbitration?

The possibility to shape and conduct proceedings in a way that suits their interests and the particularities of the specific transactions. They want to obtain an appropriate opportunity to present their case, yet avoid protracted proceedings, all of which requires good case management by the (presiding) arbitrator.

What skills make a successful arbitrator?

Arbitrators should be able to listen and express themselves in clear terms – in procedural orders and awards as well as orally at hearings. Also, the ability to understand complex facts, and how they are relevant in the context of the issues in dispute.

What advice would you give to young lawyers looking to sit as arbitrators in the future?

Be interested in the facts (not just the law). Try to approach each case with an open mind. Don’t just use templates; consider what works best in each individual case.

Given the recent discussions over the lack of openness and opaque nature of arbitral cases, particularly investor-state arbitrations, is arbitration practice in need of reform?

I am not sure the recent criticisms regarding investor-state arbitration, such as the perceived lack of openness, call for a reform of the commercial arbitration practice in general. At the same time, some have pointed out that there are too many initiatives for ever-new guidelines and regulations and so-called best practices that may cause further confusion. What we need is common sense and practitioners who keep acting professionally (even without further ethical or procedural rules).

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

The pool of international arbitration practitioners – both for counsel and arbitrators – has widened considerably. Competition is a good development and we should embrace it. Today, arbitration is a widely accepted and preferred way of dispute resolution. In Switzerland, international transaction agreements nowadays routinely contain arbitration clauses.

Are the traditional seats of arbitration (ie, London, Paris, New York) still the best places to conduct an arbitration?

The traditional seats, which I believe include Zurich and Geneva, still play a major role in international arbitration today, and I think rightly so. Lawyers from around the globe feel comfortable advocating their clients’ cases in these places, and they can draw from an exceptionally large pool of experienced arbitrators.

What has been your proudest moment in practice?

As counsel, each case I am able to resolve efficiently and to the satisfaction of my clients makes me proud. Of course, there were achievements that made me particularly proud – often in cases where the stakes for my clients were very high or success was less obvious.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Arbitration

Harold Frey leads the litigation and arbitration practice of Lenz & Staehelin in Zurich. He has represented clients in numerous international arbitrations as well as in litigation proceedings before Swiss courts. Matters include a wide range of legal issues (such as joint venture, M&A, licensing and general contract law disputes) and industries (such as telecoms, pharmaceutical, industrial and construction). Harold Frey also sits as arbitrator. 

Harold Frey is a lecturer on arbitration and advocacy at the University of Zurich.

Harold Frey completed his graduate and postgraduate studies in Zurich (lic iur) and holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law in New York. He has been admitted to the Zurich Bar and to the New York Bar. He speaks German and English.

He is a member of the following professional associations: Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Zurich Bar Association (ZAV) as well as the New York Bar Association.

Lenz & Staehelin is the largest Swiss law firm with over 200 lawyers and with offices in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne. Lenz & Staehelin's scope of activities covers all areas of business law for Swiss and international clients.

WWL says: Harold Frey is an international arbitrator with experience representing clients in a diverse range of arbitral proceedings. Sources observe his “talent for keeping control of proceedings” as a key skill.

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

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Harold Frey leads the litigation and arbitration practice of Lenz & Staehelin in Zurich. He has represented clients in numerous international arbitrations as well as in litigation proceedings before Swiss courts. Matters included a wide range of legal issues (such as joint venture, M&A, licensing and general contract law disputes) and industries (such as telecom, pharmaceutical, industrial and construction). Harold Frey also sits as arbitrator. 

Harold Frey is a lecturer on arbitration and advocacy at the University of Zurich.

Harold Frey completed his graduate and postgraduate studies in Zurich (lic iur) and holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law in New York. He has been admitted to the Zurich Bar and to the New York Bar. He speaks German and English.

He is a member of the following professional associations: Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Zurich Bar Association (ZAV) as well as the New York Bar Association.

Lenz & Staehelin is the largest Swiss law firm with over 200 lawyers and with offices in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne. Lenz & Staehelin's scope of activities covers all areas of business law for Swiss and international clients.

WWL says: Harold Frey is “a hard-working and thorough practitioner”, well known for his leading dispute resolution practice.

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

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Litigation

Harold Frey leads the litigation and arbitration practice of Lenz & Staehelin in Zurich. He has represented clients in numerous international arbitrations as well as in litigation proceedings before Swiss courts. Matters include a wide range of legal issues (such as joint venture, M&A, licensing and general contract law disputes) and industries (such as telecoms, pharmaceutical, industrial and construction). Harold Frey also sits as arbitrator. 

Harold Frey is a lecturer on arbitration and advocacy at the University of Zurich.

Harold Frey completed his graduate and postgraduate studies in Zurich (lic iur) and holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law in New York. He has been admitted to the Zurich Bar and to the New York Bar. He speaks German and English.

He is a member of the following professional associations: Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Zurich Bar Association (ZAV) as well as the New York Bar Association.

Lenz & Staehelin is the largest Swiss law firm with over 200 lawyers and with offices in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne. Lenz & Staehelin's scope of activities covers all areas of business law for Swiss and international clients.

WWL says: Harold Frey has a “very impressive” litigation practice, which features notable experience in M&A disputes as well as in cases involving construction and infrastructure projects.

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

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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