Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
New to Who's Who Legal?
New to Who's Who Legal?
Menu
User Menu
New to Who's Who Legal?
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Christopher Boog

Christopher Boog

Schellenberg Wittmer LtdLöwenstrasse 19PO Box 2201ZurichZurichSwitzerland8021

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Arbitration 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Christopher Boog is identified by sources as “one of the superstars in Switzerland” when it comes to arbitration, and “obviously a top name”. One respondent effuses that Chris belongs among the best arbitration counsel of his generation”.

Questions & Answers

Dr Christopher Boog is vice chair of Schellenberg Wittmer’s international arbitration practice. He represents clients in international commercial, investment and sports arbitration matters. Christopher has acted as counsel and arbitrator in more than 120 complex investment, commercial and sports arbitrations seated in common law and civil law jurisdictions worldwide, involving a wide array of matters and under many different laws. His main areas of specialisation include construction and engineering, energy, commodities, investment and sports law, life sciences, automotive and mining.

What do you enjoy most about working in arbitration in such an international context?

Navigating between different cultures, including legal and corporate cultures, and adopting procedures and advocating in a way that takes into consideration the cultures involved. I strongly believe that arbitration – at least in certain parts of the world and in the minds of certain practitioners – is still insufficiently diverse. Keeping an open mind and finding fitting solutions, in terms of both procedure and advocacy, for each individual case is one of the biggest challenges, but also one of the biggest joys, of our profession. 

Has covid-19 had an impact on commercial arbitration? Are parties willing to be flexible in procedure and approach to get it over the line?

It has had an impact, though minor in comparison to other industries. In my experience, parties are willing to be flexible to adapt previously agreed procedures so long as the case lends itself to such changes. I believe not all cases do.

Have the skills needed to be a successful arbitrator substantially changed in light of covid-19? If so how?

I do not think they have. One of the key skills of any arbitrator, irrespective of covid-19, is to be flexible and approach each case with an open mind in terms of procedure and otherwise. That skill is even more important in light of covid-19. Those with a standard PO1 may struggle. I believe the covid-19 situation, especially with virtual hearings, is far more challenging for counsel. 

To what extent can virtual hearings be relied on to decide high-stakes multibillion-dollar cases between parties?

Whether a virtual (merits) hearing is appropriate in any given case will depend on many different factors, one of which may be the amount in dispute. What I am seeing at times is tribunals rushing to order virtual hearings because it is “of-the-moment” to do so and institutions – for good reason – are supporting the narrative of “everything is running as normal”. I would have hoped for a more nuanced approach and more awareness for the fact that virtual hearings, as appropriate as they are and as well as they do work in some cases, in others are simply not appropriate for an array of reasons, ranging from cybersecurity or privacy concerns to the fact that a virtual hearing can put one party at a serious disadvantage over another, especially in ongoing proceedings where a party may have made its arrangements, including representation, under the agreement that there would be an in-person hearing. This may not be the most popular thing to say right now, but what I am currently seeing and hearing at times reminds me of a marketing campaign more than anything. 

If you could implement one reform in international arbitration, what would it be?

This is hard to say generally because again, I am a strong believer in a more tailor-made approach. I would not call it a reform as such, but it still seems like something of a revolution, to some, to suggest getting rid of all forms of paper.

What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

Learn Mandarin Chinese. 

What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?

Work hard; be humble; be respectful; and, most importantly, be patient and nimble, especially in developing and adapting your business case into new and evolving fields of law or business. And get fully qualified in one jurisdiction; which jurisdiction is secondary. Taking internships in large arbitration practices around the world, however many, is good practical experience, but in most firms, it will not replace a full legal qualification, even in international arbitration. 

Global Leader

Arbitration 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Christopher Boog is identified by sources as “one of the superstars in Switzerland” when it comes to arbitration, and “obviously a top name”. One respondent effuses that Chris belongs among the best arbitration counsel of his generation”.

Biography

Dr Christopher Boog is vice-chair of Schellenberg Wittmer's international arbitration practice. He is based in the firm's Zurich and Singapore offices and represents clients in international commercial, investment and sports arbitration matters.

Christopher has been counsel and arbitrator in more than 120 complex arbitrations seated in common law and civil law jurisdictions worldwide, involving a wide array of matters and under many different laws. His main areas of specialisation include construction and engineering, energy, commodities, investment and sports law, as well as the pharmaceutical/life sciences, automotive and mining industries.

Examples of Christopher's recent work include: representation of an international construction consortium in several parallel multibillion-dollar arbitrations regarding one of the world's largest infrastructure projects; lead counsel to the licensor in a multibillion-dollar licensing dispute regarding one of the world's best-selling drugs and the payment of royalties under the related licence agreement; representation of a state in several investment arbitrations; and successful representation of 39 Russian athletes who challenged lifetime bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Two CAS panels cleared 28 of the athletes of any wrongdoing and reduced the bans for the other 11 athletes.

Christopher regularly publishes and speaks on topics related to arbitration. He is a vice-president of the Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution and a vice chair of the IPBA international construction projects committee. Christopher holds a PhD from the University of Zurich (summa cum laude; Professor Hug Prize).

National Leader

Switzerland - Arbitration 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christopher Boog is endorsed for his “very large arbitration practice” and his stellar reputation as a “very devoted and decisive practitioner”. One impressed peer adds, “You know that he is going to do an amazing job.” 

Biography

Dr Christopher Boog is vice-chair of Schellenberg Wittmer's international arbitration practice. He is based in the firm's Zurich and Singapore offices and represents clients in international commercial, investment and sports arbitration matters.

Christopher has been counsel and arbitrator in more than 120 complex arbitrations seated in common law and civil law jurisdictions worldwide, involving a wide array of matters and under many different laws. His main areas of specialisation include construction and engineering, energy, commodities, investment and sports law, as well as the pharmaceutical/life sciences, automotive and mining industries.

Examples of Christopher's recent work include: representation of an international construction consortium in several parallel multibillion-dollar arbitrations regarding one of the world's largest infrastructure projects; lead counsel to the licensor in a multibillion-dollar licensing dispute regarding one of the world's best-selling drugs and the payment of royalties under the related licence agreement; representation of a state in several investment arbitrations; and successful representation of 39 Russian athletes who challenged lifetime bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Two CAS panels cleared 28 of the athletes of any wrongdoing and reduced the bans for the other 11 athletes.

Christopher regularly publishes and speaks on topics related to arbitration. He is a vice-president of the Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution and a vice chair of the IPBA international construction projects committee. Christopher holds a PhD from the University of Zurich (summa cum laude; Professor Hug Prize).

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2020. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866