Arbitration 2017: Analysis

Arbitration continues to go from strength to strength, with an ever-greater number of parties turning to international tribunals to resolve their disputes. In this edition we select the leading 845 arbitrators and counsel from nearly 500 firms, as identified by their clients, opponents and peers.

In this section we pick out the firms with the largest number of featured lawyers in order, as well as the individuals who scored most highly in our voting around the world.

Thought Leaders
Albert Jan van den Berg Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
Toby Landau QC Essex Court Chambers, London
Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Bernard Hanotiau Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
Emmanuel Gaillard Shearman & Sterling, Paris
V V Veeder QC Essex Court Chambers, London
Henri Alvarez QC Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, Vancouver
L Yves Fortier CC QC Arbitration Place, Toronto
Julian Lew QC 20 Essex Street Chambers, London
Laurent Lévy Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Yves Derains Derains & Gharavi, Paris
Michael Schneider Lalive, Geneva
Michael Polkinghorne White & Case, Paris
Vera Van Houtte Independent Arbitrator, Leuven
Philippe Pinsolle Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Paris
Jason Fry Clifford Chance, Paris
Eduardo Silva Romero Dechert, Paris
Pierre Bienvenu Norton Rose Fulbright, Montreal
Audley Sheppard QC Clifford Chance, London
Alexis Mourre Independent Arbitrator, Paris
David W Rivkin Debevoise & Plimpton, New York
Donald Francis Donovan Debevoise & Plimpton, New York
Judith Gill QC Allen & Overy, Singapore
Douglas Jones AO Independent Arbitrator, Sydney
Klaus Michael Sachs CMS Hasche Sigle, Munich
Michael Hwang SC Michael Hwang Chambers, Singapore
Michael Pryles Independent Arbitrator, Melbourne
John Beechey Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Noah Rubins Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paris
Richard Kreindler Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Frankfurt
William Rowley QC 20 Essex Street Chambers, London
Gary Born Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, London
Stephen Jagusch QC Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, London
Nigel Blackaby Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Washington DC
Constantine Partasides QC Three Crowns, London

Leading Firms

Three firms stand out at the head of the research with 15 nominees selected apiece. White & Case is “universally regarded as being one of the foremost firms in this discipline”, and has a presence in six countries in our research. Interviewees “cannot speak highly enough of” Michael Polkinghorne in Paris, who is praised for his work on energy-related disputes as well as for his “considerable contribution to the world of arbitration as a whole”. Alongside him, the “excellent” Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall and Christopher Seppälä are also selected; the latter is recognised as “one of the world’s leading construction arbitration specialists”, as is the “technically excellent” Charles Nairac. Phillip Capper in London is similarly well regarded in this sector, while David Goldberg splits his time between London and Moscow and “offers clients real value through his expertise on Russia”. Julia Zagonek is based in Moscow and is “earning a real reputation as one of the local leaders”. The “always well-prepared and never less than excellent” Anne Véronique Schlaepfer is one of the foremost counsel in Geneva. Matthew Secomb in Singapore is “warmly endorsed” by clients. Paul Friedland in New York is global head of the practice group and a former member of the executive committee of the American Arbitration Association. “He is one of the big names in US arbitration,” according to our sources. Abby Cohen Smutny in DC is “exceptionally diligent and responsible with excellent judgement”, and the “eminent” Carolyn Lamm is widely known in the market as past president of the DC Bar and of the American Bar Association. In New York, Ank Santens is “very able and impressive” says one interviewee. “For her age she is incredibly highly respected in the field – I would recommend her in an instant."

King & Spalding moves to the top tier of this year’s research with an expanded contingent of 13 in this edition, including eight in the US. “Everybody knows” Doak Bishop in Texas, praised as “extremely hardworking and diligent” and a “great mind", while John Bowman “knows everything there is to know about energy arbitration”. Edward Kehoe is co-head of the firm’s practice and is both a “superb advocate and a commanding arbitrator”. “ICSID guru” Margrete Stevens in DC stands out for her knowledge of investment disputes. Caline Mouawad in New York is said to be "highly impressive, a very clear and effective writer". Outside the US, Jan Schaefer scores very highly in Germany: “When we were conflicted with regard to a potential new arbitration to be initiated for an important client I suggested him as an alternative. For a very good reason: he offers top quality in every respect, both as counsel and arbitrator." James Castello stands out in Paris, and in Singapore, Wade Coriell is described as “incredible” and “extremely visible”, while John Savage splits his time between Singapore and London and is “among the best in the business”. Alongside him in London, clients speak very highly of Thomas Sprange QC, who his described as “very commercial and user-friendly”. Sources add: “He has technical excellence – really gets the business – and his advocacy skills are brilliant.”

Herbert Smith Freehills once again appears at the top of our research, its 15 nominees spread across nine offices demonstrating the breadth and depth of the firm’s excellence in this area. Paula Hodges QC in London heads the practice and “it is difficult to think of anybody better or more qualified”. In Paris, Emmanuelle Cabrol exhibits "excellent client management skills and hunger for getting to the bottom of factual and legal issues", and she appears alongside the “superb” Isabelle Michou. In Germany, Patricia Nacimiento is described as “really excellent, particularly in investment treaty and public policy arbitrations". In the US, Laurence Shore, praised as both arbitrator and counsel, is deemed “phenomenal; among the best I’ve ever dealt with”. Also in New York, Christian Leathley is an “exceptionally good oral advocate" who is praised for his client skills and “ability to grapple with big picture issues”. In Hong Kong, Justin D’Agostino is global head of disputes and “by far one of the standout practitioners in the region”, while David Gilmore and Peter Godwin form part of a “very prominent team” in Japan. Brenda Horrigan is “one of the outstanding experts in China” – an assessment backed up by the number of recommendations she received – and is joined by the “always responsive” Jia (Jessica) Fei in Beijing. The “hugely experienced” Alastair Henderson is similarly renowned in the Singapore market, and Craig Shepherd stands out in Dubai as one of the foremost experts for construction-related disputes.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer fields 14 nominees in this year’s edition. Nigel Rawding QC heads the firm’s London-based international arbitration practice and is “second to none in terms of skill and insight” Alongside him in London, “clients absolutely love” Reza Mohtashami – “as lead counsel he was calmness personified, extremely clear in his thinking and a person we admire a lot”. Sylvia Noury is equally renowned, and earns praise as “extremely thorough, tremendously focused and very professional”. Noah Rubins is one of the most highly rated individuals in the French research – “the cross-examination he did was stellar,” says one client – and the “excellent” Peter Turner also scores extremely highly. Günther Horvath has “one of the finest reputations in Austria” – an endorsement borne out by the findings of our research – and Boris Kasolowsky scores similarly well in Germany: “He is business-savvy and understands our objectives and business requirements," says one client. “We found him to be professionally and academically accurate.” Rolf Trittmann is a member of the ICC Court of Arbitration representing Germany and is “a legendary figure”. Domenico Di Pietro and Lluís Paradell Trius both score highly in Rome. In the US, “leading light” Nigel Blackaby is global head of the firm’s practice and a “stalwart of international arbitration”. Brian King is one of the outstanding practitioners in New York, and Caroline Richard is deemed “hugely impressive” by our sources.

Baker & McKenzie sees 12 nominees included. In New York, Grant Hanessian chairs the firm’s international arbitration group in North America and is praised as "excellent in presenting issues succinctly". Lawrence Newman is also repeatedly recommended for his arbitration skills. Andy Moody is one of the most highly respected practitioners in London, and is praised as being “exceptionally good with clients, and with difficult and reluctant parties – including counsel!” Joerg Risse comes “strongly recommended” in Germany, and Stefan Riegler is "one of the leading young arbitration practitioners in Austria" and a "star performer with an incredibly bright future", while José María Alonso is a "giant of Spanish dispute resolution" and widely recognised for his litigation and arbitration practice. Vladimir Khvalei in Moscow is praised for his “client-oriented approach; he is very proactive with deep expertise and strong performance”. Habib Al Mulla is a “ubiquitous name” in Dubai.

Lalive once again stands out with 10 nominees selected. In Geneva, Michael Schneider is an “outstanding” practitioner who is commended for his “quick grasp of complex issues”, while Matthias Scherer “never fails” to deliver “intuitive and insightful” counsel to clients in relation to both domestic and international arbitration proceedings. Domitille Baizeau is a “dispute resolution expert” known for her “solutions-oriented approach” to cases, and Joachim Knoll is widely respected among peers who “would strongly recommend” him for his “exceptional” work as both arbitrator and counsel. Noradèle Radjai continues to impress clients with her “commitment, understanding, quality and focus” throughout the entire arbitration process, and Teresa Giovannini is exceedingly well versed in international arbitration, and wins praise for her great “dedication and professionalism”. The “fantastic” Veijo Heiskanen is highly recommended for his “distinguished” international arbitration practice, and peers “warmly endorse” Bernd Ehle for his strong expertise in international commercial arbitrations, particularly those relating to commercial transactions. Marc Veit is “one of the best” when it comes to handling multi-jurisdictional disputes, and is praised as “a very organised and responsive individual”.

Allen & Overy also sees nine of its nominees selected for inclusion, led in the voting by Judith Gill QC – “one of the best lawyers in the field of investment arbitration” and president of the London Court of International Arbitration. She is one of the most highly rated practitioners in this area worldwide, and forms a “wonderful team” with Matthew Gearing QC who “brings credibility to Hong Kong and the Asian market” and is said to be “head and shoulders above the rest, at the absolute top of the market.” Daniel Busse in Germany is rated as a “very smart and effective arbitrator” and Alice Broichmann is also highly rated. In London, Kate Davies is described as a “very talented young lawyer” and a “real driving force within the community”; she is praised as “extremely focused, driven and hardworking with enormous energy”. Mark Levy stands out for the quality of work as counsel in energy-related disputes. Virginia Allan performs very well in the Spanish research, as does Martin Magal in Slovakia, and Christopher Mainwaring-Taylor gives the firm a valuable presence in the UAE.

At Clifford Chance, Audley Sheppard QC in London is “one of the practice area’s leading lights” and earns universal praise for the “depth of his knowledge” – “the quality of his work over the years has constructed a reputation that is as well-deserved as it is impressive.” Jason Fry is global co-head of the international arbitration group and a former secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. “He is one of those to whom clients entrust a large portfolio of matters,” comment sources. “Due to his ability to see strategic picture beyond individual details of any case, he knows business and personalities inside out.” Also in Paris, Simon Greenberg is a former deputy secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and is rated as “obviously outstanding in view of his ICC past”. Bartosz Krużewski is one of the most highly rated individual in our Polish research, and Timur Aitkulov occupies a similar position in Russia. The “eloquent and insightful” Nish Shetty is among the most highly rated experts in Singapore, and Janet Whittaker is a “valuable addition to the firm’s practice” after joining from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in June 2016.

Hogan Lovells’ eight nominees include Samaa Haridi in New York. Cited as a “mentor” and “a real leader of the profession in the Middle East”; she is “really bright and tremendously active”. In Germany, Karl Pörnbacher is a "very experienced and impressive arbitrator", while Laurent Gouiffès in Paris is "known as one of the leading partners in investment arbitration and as a great strategist". At Hogan Lovells BSTL Eduardo Siqueiros and Luis Enrique Graham combine to form part of “one of the most experienced and effective arbitration teams in Mexico”.

Debevoise & Plimpton’s seven nominees are led by the “legendary” David W Rivkin. Internationally renowned as president of the International Bar Association, he is praised by clients for the “huge extent of his professionalism and ability to detail”. Sources say, “The team demonstrated a great ability to react on each problem related to our case." Alongside him in New York, Rivkin’s fellow co-chair of the international dispute resolution group, Donald Francis Donovan, also merits a place among the leading lawyers in this field worldwide. Mark Friedman “has earned his reputation in every respect. A lawyer who really does it all, with the ability to clearly, concisely and persuasively assert a client’s position and achieve results that are spectacular in every case.” In London, Lord Goldsmith QC is former UK attorney general and an “incredible legal mind”.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s seven-strong contingent includes two very highly rated practitioners in Canada. Pierre Bienvenu is "exceptionally intelligent and insightful" and comes "highly recommended" by all who work with him. A former co-chair of the IBA’s arbitration committee, he also served as a vice president of the LCIA Court and is among the most highly nominated individuals in the research worldwide. Martin Valasek is extremely well regarded across Canada and beyond for both investor-state and commercial disputes. In the US, Mark Baker is praised by clients as "analytical and hardworking, always available and represents parties with outstanding results". The “talented and persuasive” Kevin O’Gorman is rated for his “sharp and clear procedural skills”.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr also picks up seven nominees, with chair of the practice Gary Born described as “one of the pillars of the arbitration community” and “quite simply as good as it gets”. His track record includes more than 600 international arbitrations, including four of the largest ICC arbitrations in history. In London, Steven Finizio is “superb” and Franz Schwarz is also highly respected. “He gave one of the best cross-examinations I have ever seen,” says an interviewee. Maxi Scherer is said to be “the leading light of the next generation"; she is praised for her “strong combination of practice and academia" and described as a “thought leader”. In the US, the “excellent” James Carter scores very highly in New York alongside John Pierce; and Rachael Kent in DC garners high praise as “an extraordinary diplomat. She deals with people in a way one could only aspire to. A very effective advocate, really excellent."

The six nominees from Hanotiau & van den Berg include two of the world’s top arbitrators in the shape of the name partners. Bernard Hanotiau is "an absolute star – clearly one of the very best and most in-demand arbitrators in the world”. Albert Jan van den Berg is described as "simply the best arbitrator in the world: focused, sharp, with a sound analysis of both facts and law". Alongside them, Pascal Hollander comes strongly recommended for the success with which “he transposes his expertise and wealth of experience handling distribution disputes into the world of international arbitration”. Niuscha Bassiri is “a personable, responsive and innovative arbitration specialist” who is praised for her “clever and sophisticated advocacy”, while sources strongly recommend Olivier Caprasse on account of his leading practice both as counsel and arbitrator. According to one interviewee, “he is extremely bright, professional, precise and efficient”. Paul Lefebvre is an “absolutely first-class arbitrator and one of the finest chairs I have encountered”.

Schellenberg Wittmer’s six highly rated nominees are all based in Switzerland. Nathalie Voser is "one of the best disputes lawyers in the business" and strongly recommended by those who have worked with her, while Christopher Boog is "just brilliant", "one of the best advocates I have ever seen" and "definitely a leader in the field highly respected by colleagues". Sources "highly recommend" Georg von Segesser for his "excellent skills as chairman", particularly in cases under German law. His expertise covers M&A and joint ventures, as well as construction oil and gas and sports. Elliott Geisinger arbitrates and acts as counsel in a range of commercial disputes: he receives nominations from impressed sources across Europe and in the US. Martin Bernet impresses one particular source with his “skilful interventions at oral hearings, pleasant manners and excellent knowledge of the law combined with good judgement". Philippe Bärtsch is described as "very seasoned and capable; he is able to master key issues very quickly and has an impressive and deep knowledge of case law."

Three Crowns also sees six extremely well regarded individuals make the cut. Constantine Partasides QC is recognised as “one of the finest arbitrators in England” and is much praised by clients. “Constantine provides a critical view of the dispute that allows you to not only put your case in the most persuasive light but to also fully understand what to expect from the other side,” says a source, adding that “his analysis is always spot on.” Another interviewee says, “He has the ability to impart his knowledge in a manner that is both easily digestible and nuanced.” Gaetan Verhoosel is cited as “the number-one person I have ever encountered on the other side" and praised as “impressive in every aspect” and “a thorough oral advocate”. In the words of one interviewee, “He is liked by peers for his style and presence; he definitely deserves to be on any list of the best.” Lucy Martinez is "an outstanding name with bigger and better things still yet to come; she already completely outstrips the seniority of her call". In Paris, Todd Wetmore is “really excellent – even better than his reputation suggests”, while Georgios Petrochilos also scores highly. “I found him to be very clever at framing the issues and analysing the facts,” says one expert witness. “His academic credentials are very strong and he is particularly well versed in international public law theories,” comments another interviewee. Jan Paulsson is one of the most highly recommended individuals in the US research and “one of the godfathers of international arbitration”.

The seven nominees from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan all score highly. Philippe Pinsolle has acted as counsel in more than 200 international arbitrations and served as arbitrator in more than 45, and is “one of the outstanding practitioners in Europe – and the world”. Michael Young also scores very highly in our French research. In London, Stephen Jagusch QC is global chair of the practice and a “fearsome asset to his clients – you can see why he is so much in demand”. Alongside him in London, Anthony Sinclair is “undoubtedly a leader now in the treaty arbitration space, and will remain one for a long time". He is a “superlative case manager, a strong counsel with an impeccable academic background". In the US, David Orta is described as a "real player in both investor state and commercial arbitration".

Alejandro Escobar, the “strongly recommended” Johannes Koepp and Jay Alexander are three highly rated nominees from Baker Botts’ London office. The firm is very strong in the Middle East where Jonathan Sutcliffe is rated as "among the leading experts in the UAE" and much in demand for his energy-related practice, while Philip Punwar is said to be a "big name in arbitration in the Middle East" and impresses clients and peers alike in our research. In the US, Michael Goldberg is chair of the firmwide international dispute resolution group and very highly rated in Texas.

The six nominees from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle include the “sensational” Kate Brown de Vejar, one of the foremost arbitrators in Mexico for investor-state work. Former counsel at ICSID Gabriela Alvarez-Avila is similarly well respected across Latin America. In Paris, former chairman of the ICC Commission on Arbitration Peter Wolrich is “universally respected”, and Nadia Darwazeh brings clients “the immense benefit” of her previous experience as counsel at the ICC International Court of Arbitration. In the US, Claudia Frutos-Peterson "was really successful as counsel at ICSID and transitioned over to private practice most impressively". Also recommended is firm chairman George Kahale, who continues to be regarded as a leading international practitioner in oil-related disputes.

John Fellas leads a contingent of five nominees from Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and is “thought very highly of in the community”. He is praised as “very analytical and hardworking” and is one of the most highly nominated individuals in the states – as is the “utterly superb” John Townsend in DC.

Derains & Gharavi has four nominees selected. The "first-class" and "excellent" Yves Derains maintains his reputation as one of the very best arbitrators in France and worldwide, while Hamid Gharavi is "a rainmaker doing a lot of arbitration everywhere". He acts as both counsel and arbitrator on a range of complex disputes. Mélanie van Leeuwen is "strongly recommended" as "one of the best arbitration counsel" by sources who also comment on her "perfect management" and "knowledge of local regulations". In the US, Eloïse Obadia is a "really excellent" lawyer acting as counsel in a range of significant arbitrations, with particular experience in construction and energy matters.

Sidley Austin also garners four nominations in this edition. David Roney in Switzerland "provides that edge you are looking for at the top of the commercial arbitration market; he is brilliant regarding commercially sensitive proceedings." In the US, Benno Kimmelman is a "formidable counsel in both arbitration and litigation proceedings" and is also praised for his work as arbitrator. Dana MacGrath is a "real player in the New York market", praised for her arbitration work and overall disputes practice, and Stanimir Alexandrov is "one of the most sought-after arbitrators in ICSID arbitration" as well as being "very smooth as counsel".

At Eversheds, Rodman Bundy is well known in the Singaporean market, while in Italy, Giorgio Sacerdoti has vast experience in international arbitration and is "a seasoned professional who knows the intricacies of arbitration".

At Squire Patton Boggs, George von Mehren in London is a very well-regarded arbitration counsel who "specialises in energy disputes" involving pipeline construction and energy contracts. Haig Oghigian is "one of the leading arbitration experts in Asia" and scores highly for the "depth and breadth of his disputes expertise"; meanwhile Rostislav Pekař in the Czech Republic has "the best legal mind I have come across, and a track record representing states in investment arbitration that is difficult to beat". is one of the foremost firms in Austria with three nominees selected for inclusion. Alfred Siwy is a "star performer", according to our sources, who widely recognise the quality of his work. Christoph Schreuer comes highly recommended for his "immense experience" of investment cases, and Gerold Zeiler leaves sources "impressed with his excellent knowledge and understanding of cases and the particularities of the dispute".

Pierre-Yves Gunter joined Bär & Karrer from Python in January 2017 as co-head of the arbitration group and is among three practitioners from the firm recommended. He sits "among the leaders in Switzerland" and is "one of the best arbitrators of his generation".

At Simmons & Simmons, Stuart Dutson in London scores highly for the breadth and depth of his transactional arbitration experience around the globe. 

Independent arbitrator Eric Schwartz is a former secretary general and vice president of the ICC International Court of Arbitration who splits his time between New York and Paris. He is an "excellent arbitrator" who brings over 35 years of experience to bear on disputes in areas such as oil and gas and infrastructure. 

The UK Bar

Once again our research identifies many of the world’s leading arbitrators at the UK Bar. Toby Landau QC at Essex Court Chambers is “excellence personified” and a “genuine pleasure to work with”, while VV Veeder QC is “unbelievably erudite and impressive – I learn something every time I work with him”. Also based at Essex Court, Ian Hunter QC is internationally renowned thanks to his "wonderful expertise" and "distinguished track record" as counsel and arbitrator in oil and gas disputes as well as joint venture-related arbitrations. The “eminent” Martin Hunter is “a splendid arbitrator” whose vast experience and profound insight are “second to none”. Michael Collins QC divides his time between Essex Court and Crandall Hanscom & Collins in the US and is highly rated by all who work alongside him; "I would warmly endorse him for inclusion on any list of the best." David Williams QC splits his time between the UK and New Zealand and is "always in demand and very frequently appointed; this is due to his first-class abilities as an arbitrator."

Julian Lew QC at 20 Essex Street Chambers “continues to lead the profession”, while sources are effusive in their praise of William Rowley QC, calling him an "excellent chair" who is "very well known on the international scene". Charles Brower handles substantial international arbitration cases and comes highly recommended as a “senior statesman of the arbitration bar”. At One Essex Court, Alan Redfern is "a brilliant arbitrator who has a real gift for the craft" while Andrew Foyle deals with disputes in numerous industries and is "without a doubt one of the most gifted arbitrators". Christopher Style QC is "one of the country's foremost arbitrators" and demonstrates experience in all aspects of commercial arbitration, while Ian Glick QC is rated as "one of the finest barristers in this field" with experience across a huge range of rules and industries. Peter Leaver QC is "renowned as a preeminent arbitrator" in both ad hoc and international proceedings. Hilary Heilbron QC at Brick Court Chambers is said to be “doing great things for the profession”. Nicholas Fletcher QC at 4 New Square is held in “very high esteem” for his impressive arbitration practice, having been active in the field of international commercial arbitration for over 30 years. Douglas Jones splits his time between the UK, at London’s Atkin Chambers, and Australia; he boasts near-unmatched experience as an arbitrator and is "rated extremely highly" by sources around the world. At 39 Essex Chambers, Loretta Malintoppi is praised as an “extremely resourceful” lawyer who “takes great initiative as co-arbitrator. She is the most outstanding person with whom I have sat recently in these regards.” 


The Swiss bar remains the home to some of the practice area’s leading exponents. The two name partners from Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler are both listed among the most highly regarded lawyers in the field worldwide. Laurent Lévy is “one of the most brilliant minds in international arbitration”, and Gabrielle Kaufman-Kohler has acted in over 200 international arbitrations and is a “real thought leader in the profession”. Alongside them, Antonio Rigozzi is variously described by sources as “an excellent lawyer” and “a very skilled attorney”. Our interviewees "think very highly of" Sébastien Besson, "both as a very strong counsel and as arbitrator".

Three nominees appear from Homburger. Gabrielle Nater-Bass is “very much in demand, and for good reason”, while the “eminent” Markus Wirth is considered a “fantastic arbitrator” who is “up to speed and good at finding the right balance” in complex arbitrations. The "excellent" Felix Dasser is a "smart and creative" lawyer who acts as both an arbitrator and arbitration counsel on a range of disputes.

At Lenz & Staehelin, Xavier Favre-Bulle is a widely recognised figure in the market, and always demonstrates an “acute understanding” of the legal issues at hand, while Harold Frey is rated as “a hard-working and thorough practitioner”, well known for his leading dispute resolution practice.

Dominique Brown-Berset at Brown&Page comes "highly recommended" for her experience both as an arbitrator and arbitration counsel, while sources strongly recommend Franz Stirnimann Fuentes at Froriep thanks to his “intelligent and hardworking manner” and his ability to “process and simplify complex ideas”. In Zurich, Martin Wiebecke has a “tremendous reputation for the high quality of his work”, handling matters from a broad range of industries as part of his “high-calibre” practice, while at Bratschi Wiederkehr & Buob Sandra De Vito Bieri "works extremely diligently; she has very good availability and a superb sense for commercial aspects of a case". The “superb” Tobias Zuberbühler at Lustenberger is highly sought after as an arbitration specialist by clients who praise his “practical approach”, and Bernhard Meyer at MME Legal is “a great communicator”, and boasts a great reputation as a very well-respected figure in the field. Hansjörg Stutzer at Thouvenin is a highly eminent figure in the arbitration field. He covers a range of commercial disputes as well as sporting cases.

In Geneva, Paolo Michele Patocchi at Patocchi & Marzolini has acted as counsel and arbitrator where he is "a great mind, one of the leaders in the field”. Laurent Hirsch at Hirsch Kobel is extremely well regarded in Switzerland and beyond, and praised for his "technical skills and insight", while the “incredibly smart” Christopher Koch at Landolt & Koch is recognised for his ability to “quickly pinpoint the key issues in a case”. Philipp Habegger of Habegger Arbitration in Zurich is valued by clients for his great ability to “dig deep” into a case “in order to understand it in its entirety”.


Shearman & Sterling in Paris is home to Emmanuel Gaillard, one of the most highly regarded arbitrators in the world who receives numerous accolades from sources for his arbitration prowess. Alongside him, Yas Banifatemi "should be considered one of the very best in the business, she is quite brilliant". At Dechert, Eduardo Silva Romero has acted in more than 100 arbitrations and rated is “highly effective” and “always an excellent appointment” and praised for his “brilliant mind”. Independent arbitrator Alexis Mourre is "one of the best-known names in international arbitration" and is widely recommended for the quality of his practice. Dentons sees two highly rated nominees picked out: Barton Legum is "absolutely excellent" and one of the premier investment treaty arbitration experts in France, while Jean-Christophe Honlet is deemed “a consummate professional” known for his “incisive analytical mind and shrewd counsel”. Philippe Leboulanger at Leboulanger & Associés is internationally renowned for the “clear-thinking” and “focused approach” he brings to arbitral proceedings. He frequently and proficiently presides as sole arbitrator or chairman in a range of ICC and ad hoc hearings. In Belgium, Vera van Houtte stands out as “one of Europe’s premier independent arbitrators” and is rated by all who have dealt with her – “I couldn’t endorse her more highly”. Aigoul Kenjebayeva in Kazakhstan has over 35 years of “excellent experience” and is described by sources as “leading light” in the field of arbitration.

In Germany, CMS Hasche Sigle stands out with four nominees including the “pre-eminent” Klaus Michael Sachs, who earns a place among the leading lawyers in the field worldwide, and Nicolas Wiegand: a "very fine counsel; well prepared, honourable, extremely bright and not too aggressive". Richard Kreindler at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is similarly well regarded worldwide as “organised, diligent and highly effective”. Two lawyers appear from Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte: Inka Hanefeld is a highly sought after arbitrator and counsel known for “consistently delivering top-class service in complex cases”, while Jan Heiner Nedden is “extremely well prepared and appreciative in his work, and he really discusses and takes the arbitrator role seriously”. At Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Wolfgang Kühn is a senior figure in international arbitration, “sophisticated and immensely knowledgeable”, while Ulrike Gantenberg is "a very impressive figure and one of the top young arbitrators in Germany." Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel is "a senior statesman of the arbitration world and an expert on ICC proceedings", and Hilmar Raeschke-Kessler at Rechtsanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof is highly rated by market commentators for his skill and proficiency as an arbitrator. He has over 30 years' experience arbitrating commercial disputes including energy, construction and foreign investment. Independent arbitrator Fabian von Schlabrendorff is greatly respected on the international stage for his activities as an arbitrator: “He is reticent, intelligent and an excellent lawyer,” says one source. Erik Schäfer at Cohausz & Florack is an experienced and adept arbitration counsel and arbitrator on disputes involving intellectual property, including licensing and trademark matters. Sabine Konrad at McDermott Will & Emery is a “vigorous and keen practitioner” with great experience handling international commercial and investment treaty arbitration cases, and Anke Meier at Noerr is rated as "a sharp-minded individual who can get to heart of the issue". Richard Happ at Luther is renowned for his “sharp legal mind” and is considered by clients to be “a real leader in the field with strong business understanding and acumen”, while Rouven Bodenheimer at LLS Lungerich Lenz Schuhmacher "is not only a master in fighting and leading complex disputes but also in avoiding them, to the benefit of us and our commercial goals". In Austria, Christian Konrad of Konrad & Partners is an internationally renowned practitioner who “demonstrates excellent skills as counsel”.

In London, Wendy Miles QC at Debevoise & Plimpton is "strongly recommended as one of the best in the UK, if not all of Europe". Independent practitioner David Howell is a "very experienced and highly effective arbitrator" for construction, energy and engineering disputes in particular, while the “fantastic” Stephen Fietta at his own firm is an internationally renowned practitioner known for his proficiency in investment arbitration cases before ICSID. Loukas Mistelis at Queen Mary, University of London is an eminent authority and prominent name in the field known for his "wonderful breadth of knowledge and expertise" and "personable manner".

ARBLIT – Radicati di Brozolo Sabatini Benedettelli has three nominees in the Italian research. Luca Radicati di Brozolo is praised for his “high level of accuracy and objectivity”, with particular expertise relating to investment arbitration. Michele Sabatini focuses his practice on commercial and investment arbitration, regularly assisting domestic and foreign clients with their most complex disputes; they praise his “willingness to always go the extra mile for them”. Massimo Benedettelli is one of Italy’s “most prominent arbitrations specialists”, acting in dispute resolution proceedings relating to a range of industries including construction contracts, joint ventures, energy, intellectual property and international investments. Also in Italy, Michelangelo Cicogna at De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani is one of Italy's foremost arbitration experts and is praised both as counsel and arbitrator. Duarte Henriques at BCH Lawyers is our top-rated Portuguese practitioner and is particularly notable for his expertise in intellectual property matters.

In Denmark, Niels Schiersing of Copenhagen Chambers is an "extremely impressive individual with a very well rounded arbitration practice". José Rosell is described to researchers as "one of the finest arbitrators in Scandinavia", and his expertise relating to financial disputes is also repeatedly cited. Carita Wallgren-Lindholm at Lindholm Wallgren in Finland is strongly recommended by peers, who credit her “commanding presence” “one of the best arbitrators in the country”. In Sweden, James Hope at Vinge regularly undertakes cases both as an arbitrator and counsel involving complex disputes in the telecommunications, technology and IT sectors. Two nominees are selected from Mannheimer Swartling: Jakob Ragnwaldh is a “remarkable lawyer” and wins praise for his “keen eye for detail”, and Robin Oldenstam is “a pleasure to deal with”, and is highlighted for his “outstanding work” before the ICC, UNCITRAL and the SCC. Hans Bagner at MAQS is internationally recognised as a stand-out lawyer as well as “a great tactician”.

In Poland, independent practitioner Piotr Nowaczyk is an "excellent arbitrator, always responsive, clear and considered". Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz at Gessel is well versed in international arbitrations and boasts over 20 years of experience. According to sources, she is a “superb arbitrator” and a pioneering force in Polish arbitration. Rafał Kos at Kubas Kos Gałkowski (KKG) is a "tremendously active and always impressive member of the Polish arbitration community".

Crenguta Leaua at Leaua & Asociatii in Romania regularly acts as counsel or arbitrator in international commercial arbitration and impresses respondents with her “professionalism and diligence”. Cosmin Vasile at Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners has "complete mastery of the law from a substantial standpoint as well as from a procedural one" and was repeatedly commended as a "strategy guru."

Three nominees appear from Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners in Russia, where Ilya Nikiforov is a key player in the market regarded by peers as “an excellent choice”. In Ukraine, Olena Perepelynska at Integrites is a "pleasure to work with" and "one of the leading figures in the CIS arbitration community".

Three lawyers also appear from Akinci Law Office in Turkey, with Ziya Akinci rated as “the leading figure in Turkish arbitration” and Karen Akinci also internationally recognised. Cemile Demir Gökyayla provides "an academic understanding of arbitration and strong expertise in commercial disputes". At Cosar Avukatlik Bürosu, Utku Cosar is one of the best arbitration practitioners in Turkey and is praised as "extremely responsive on every occasion where I have referred work to her".

North and South America

Canada is home to some of the outstanding individuals in this field. Henri Alvarez QC at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Vancouver is “among the most attentive, thoughtful arbitrators currently active - always well-prepared and genuinely outstanding”. The “always excellent” Yves Fortier CC QC at Arbitration Place in Toronto also appears at the very top of our global list. He appears alongside Janet Walker – a “formidable presence in the market” with “a long track record of success and achievement” serving as arbitrator before all the major national and international arbitration institutions – and John Lorn McDougall, whose practice encompasses all aspects of corporate and commercial disputes resolution having sat as an international arbitrator since 1990, with clients praising him as “exceptional in terms of efficiency and quality”. Todd Weiler in Ontario is regarded as "one of the best in the business for investor state disputes, and Stephen Drymer at Woods "comes very highly recommended" as one of the outstanding practitioners in the country.

In the US, "everybody knows" Rusty Park at Boston University Law Faculty "and everyone respects him – he is fantastic". At Columbia University School of Law, George Bermann is a "luminary" and "a mentor to most of the lawyers listed in this field" according to admiring sources. Edna Sussman at SussmanADR is a "true leader" in the arbitration field and regularly arbitrates on complex domestic and cross-border disputes. Sources "highly rate" John Hinchey at JAMS, with his expertise as an arbitrator in construction and infrastructure disputes particularly noted. Marc Goldstein is lauded by peers as far afield as China, Canada, the UAE and Portugal for his outstanding capability as an arbitrator, and the “excellent” Eric van Ginkel is an accomplished arbitrator who comes particularly well-regarded for his considerable experience sitting as arbitrator in intellectual property disputes. Thomas Brewer in Seattle is "superlative" and is particularly noted for his expertise relating to IP disputes. Glenn Hendrix at Arnall Golden Gregory in Atlanta is described by sources as “very diligent and pragmatic, thorough and extremely professional”, serving as arbitrator and counsel in international proceedings, while Ryan Reetz at Bryan Cave in Florida is a "first-class disputes lawyer", praised for his work as counsel as well as arbitrator in international commercial disputes. Also in Miami, José Astigarraga acts for large international corporations from the US, Europe and South America, who praise him for “his quick grasp of the detail and consistent, high quality service”. John Tieder at Watt Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald is an expert in construction disputes and frequently counsels clients on international arbitration in the area.

In Brazil, Sergio Bermudes at Escritorio de Advocacia Sergio Bermudes enjoys a stellar reputation thanks to his tenacity and expertise in ICC arbitrations. He is joined by colleague Fabiano Robalinho Cavalcanti: “a very skilled and well-known lawyer” whose arbitration practice continues to go from strength to strength. Marcelo Roberto Ferro at Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide is a "high-flyer" who sources consider “one of the best arbitration specialists in Brazil”, while Adriana Braghetta at L O Baptista Schmidt Valois Miranda Ferreira Agel is regarded as "undoubtedly one of the best” in the country” for arbitration matters. Eduardo Grebler at Grebler Advogados is a widely endorsed arbitrator known for his contractual expertise and experience in construction and infrastructure disputes, and Adriana Noemi Pucci in São Paulo is a specialist in domestic and international commercial arbitration, with clients particularly praising her “awareness of each and every detail of a case”.

Cristian Conejero Roos at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría in Chile has sat as arbitrator in numerous cases and is recognised as "one of the nicest, brightest and most highly regarded in his field". Herfried Wöss of Wöss & Partners is regarded as one of the leading arbitration counsel in Mexico. His expertise covers a range of energy disputes, as well as franchise agreements and contractual matters involving telecommunications and pharmaceuticals clients. Katherine González Arrocha in Panama is "a prominent and popular arbitrator in the region". José Daniel Amado at Miranda & Amado in Peru is "one of the foremost arbitrators in Latin America" according to our sources. In Ecuador, Rodrigo Jijón-Letort of Perez Bustamante & Ponce is a top Ecuadorian litigator who possesses superb expertise and experience as counsel in domestic and international arbitration.  Eduardo Zuleta at Gomez-Pinzon Zuleta leads our research in Colombia and is "one of the finest practitioners in Latin America".

Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Bae Kim & Lee is one of the leading firms in Asia with three nominees selected for inclusion. John Bang is "one of the most experienced counsel in Korea" and universally well regarded. Kap-You (Kevin) Kim handles a range of national and international arbitrations and is described by sources as a “well-known figure in the Korean market for foreign companies doing business in Korea”, while Matthew Christensen is noted as "an expert on the Korean market and the region" and "a highly regarded arbitration lawyer". Yun-Jae Baek at Hanol Law Offices is a respected arbitrator who is “always organised and shows a good knowledge of the case and the issues at stake”, while Liz Kyo-Hwa Chung is one of three nominees from Kim & Chang and "one of the few women in Korea to gain real traction in this area and that is because she is very good at what she does." Benjamin Hughes is based at Seoul National University and is recognised by clients and peers as one of the foremost arbitrators in Asia.

In Hong Kong, Michael Moser has “a sharp mind and is very agreeable to work alongside”, with particular expertise and experience being involved in arbitrations in Asia. Kim Rooney at Gilt Chambers is a "very experienced and highly effective arbitrator" who is praised for both her commercial and investor-state work. John Beechey possesses a “formidable intellect and powerful insight” and is “undeniably worth a place on any list of the finest practitioners worldwide”.  Louise Barrington at Aculex Transnational is a "very visible and much valued member of the arbitration community in Asia".

The “effervescent” Michael Hwang SC is “one of the most commonly appointed arbitrators in Singapore, and with good reason”. Alvin Yeo SC at WongPartnership is regarded as a "leading light" in the market who possesses "strong arbitration credentials and experience", while Helen Shi at Fangda Partners in China is experienced both as an arbitrator and arbitration counsel in varied areas such as construction, financing and international trade. At Obeid Law Firm in Lebanon, Nayla Comair-Obeid is considered "one of the market leaders" in both ad hoc and international arbitration in the Middle East, and the "extremely impressive" Ziad Obeid is highly experienced in investment arbitration across numerous sectors. Marwan Sakr of SAAS Lawyers in Beirut is "a smart lawyer with an excellent knowledge base."

The “very prominent and knowledgeable” Michael Pryles is highly recommended in Australia, and Daniel Kalderimis at Chapman Tripp has "played an important role in New Zealand in terms of developing the sector". He is praised as "exceptional; a very smart guy and a really excellent advocate."

Sumeet Kachwaha of Kachwaha & Partners is "one of India's premier arbitrators" and highly respected throughout the community; and Colin Ong in Brunei is praised as “a very knowledgeable practitioner, easy to work with and very innovative in providing solutions." Hassan Ali Radhi is “one of the top commercial advocates in Bahrain”, while Mohamed Abdel Wahab at Zulficar & Partners in Cairo impresses all he works with. "I was cross-examined by him and he did a great job, he really earned my respect" says one interviewee. "He is a great asset to the Middle Eastern arbitration community." The "detail-oriented” Karim Youssef is praised for the quality of his strategic thinking and his international outlook, earning recognition as "one of the top practitioners in this field in Egypt". Funke Adekoya SAN at AELEX in Nigeria is known as “a most reliable and impressive counsel”, representing both local and transnational clients in domestic and international proceedings

Alec Emmerson at Clyde & Co in Dubai is "diligent and always well prepared, with fantastic attention to detail". He was cited for his "valuable understanding of UAE law."

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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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