Arbitration 2019: Analysis

This year, GAR and WWL's research shines a spotlight on 796 leading arbitration lawyers who come highly recommended for their expertise in resolving complex international disputes. Through nominations from peers and clients, the arbitrators, tribunal members, chairs and counsel highlighted below have been identified as the leading names in the field. Our research covers experts in commercial and investor state disputes, and many practitioners possess expertise in both fields.


The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has idenitified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.


Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Emmanuel Gaillard Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paris
2. Audley Sheppard QC Clifford Chance LLP, London
3. Toby Landau QC Essex Court Chambers, London
4. Constantine Partasides Three Crowns LLP, London
5. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
6. Gary Born WilmerHale, London
7. Philippe Pinsolle Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Geneva
8. Bernard Hanotiau Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
9. Alexis Mourre Independent Arbitrator, Paris
10. Albert Jan van den Berg Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
11. Stephen Jagusch QC Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan UK LLP, London
12. Maxi Scherer WilmerHale, London
13. Eduardo Silva Romero Dechert LLP, Paris
14. Sophie Lamb QC Latham & Watkins, London
15. Wendy Miles QC Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, London
16. V V Veeder QC Essex Court Chambers, London
17. Judith Gill QC 20 Essex Street Chambers, London

Leading Firms and Sets

Essex Court Chambers

This prestigious UK chambers sees 13 highly accomplished arbitrators and counsel listed here.
Toby Landau QC is a “a big name” in England and a leading practitioner in the global market. He specialises in high-value commercial disputes and is held in high esteem as “an outstanding arbitrator”.
V V Veeder QC is “undoubtedly one of the greatest arbitrators in the world”, say peers. He is a distinguished expert in commercial and trade disputes and enjoys an excellent reputation for his experience on tribunals around the world.


This international law firm, headquartered in Switzerland, specialises in international disputes and sees nine lawyers listed here.
Domitille Baizeau is commended as “an absolutely amazing chair” who draws praise for “her high-level organisation throughout the entire procedure, her precision and great attention to detail”. Commentators add, “She is very good at managing both parties.
Michael Schneider is deservedly recognised as “a top practitioner” in the Swiss market. He is “impressive and efficient” and possesses vast expertise in construction and industrial disputes.
Joachim Knoll is “a very impressive arbitrator” who impresses market commentators with “his excellent ability to understand complex legal disputes and his excellent contributions to arbitration proceedings and awards”.
Noradèle Radjai is a highly regarded commercial and investment treaty counsel and arbitrator. Counsel speak highly of “her outstanding verbal representation and examination skills, particularly when conducting witness examinations and cross-examinations in hearings”.
Matthias Scherer stands out as “very experienced and sophisticated arbitration counsel” and is also widely known as “an excellent arbitrator”. He acts in major commercial and investment treaty disputes and possesses extensive expertise in commercial contracts.
Bernd Ehle is endorsed as “a very elegant arbitration practitioner” by prominent peers, who add that he is “well prepared and articulate with a profound knowledge of the law and an internationally minded, hands-on approach”.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

This international powerhouse firm achieves nine listings and is among the leading players in the region.
Noah Rubins is widely held to be “one of the best in Paris” and stands out for his expertise in investment treaty disputes in the construction and energy sectors. Peers say, “He knows his subject extremely well and shows excellent leadership,” while clients comment that “his strategic input has been invaluable”.
Sylvia Noury is an expert in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and comes highly regarded as “one of the very best” in her field. Peers say, “She is excellent on investment law cases,” and describe her as “the most thorough lawyer around”.
Nigel Rawding QC “is an outstanding advocate and strategist” who is “very well regarded” for his broad international experience and first-rate counsel in an arbitration context.

20 Essex Street Chambers

Eight barristers from this set are listed here.
Recent hire Judith Gill QC is held in high esteem as “an outstanding arbitrator, role model and leader in international arbitration”. She has broad experience in disputes in the energy, infrastructure and construction sectors. 
Julian Lew QC stands out as “a leading practitioner” in the UK and global market. He enjoys an excellent reputation as “an old hand who has seen and done it all” leading him to be “a reassuring presence as chair or sole arbitrator”.
Charles Brower is a distinguished judge and arbitrator who is identified as “a founder and a leader in the development of investment arbitration”. He is a longstanding expert in the field with encyclopaedic knowledge of commercial and investment disputes.
William Rowley QC continues to be “an arbitrator in demand” and is regarded to be “one of the very best” in the international market. Sources particularly point to “his serious intellect and excellent presence in the hearing room” as major strengths.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

This specialist arbitration and litigation firm achieves five listings in this section.
Philippe Pinsolle is well known as “a leader in international arbitration” and impresses peers and clients alike with his “excellent experience in commercial and investment treaty arbitration”. They note that “he has worked on some of the largest cases in the world”, and that “he provides only good and valuable advice.”
Stephen Jagusch QC “is a leading advocate” at the arbitration bar and is highlighted as “outstanding counsel” in high-value investment treaty and commercial arbitrations. Sources add, “He demonstrates high professionalism, conducts an in-depth study of the client’s needs and applies all possible skills and tools to achieve their goal.”
Anthony Sinclair draws praise as “a bedrock of the London arbitration community”. He comes highly regarded as “a charming and efficient practitioner, who gets directly to the point and always gets it right”.

Clifford Chance

This international firm has an impressive reputation in the region and sees six lawyers listed here.
Audley Sheppard QC is held in high esteem as “an excellent and extremely knowledgeable arbitrator”. Peers describe him as “a true specialist with a very human approach,” and add, “He is a very popular arbitrator and it is clear why.”
Simon Greenberg draws praise as “an extremely intelligent and to-the-point counsel and arbitrator”. He is a leading practitioner in Paris and impresses peers as “a skilful advocate with an acute commercial sense”.
Jason Fry is widely regarded as “a top lawyer” who is “very knowledgeable and capable” across a broad range of energy, infrastructure and trade disputes.

Shearman & Sterling

Three esteemed experts from this global law firm are highlighted here.
Emmanuel Gaillard “is a clear leader in his field” of commercial and investment treaty arbitration. He is regularly engaged as arbitrator and counsel in major international disputes and is widely endorsed as “a major and deeply influential player”. He stands out as the top name in EMEA in this year’s research.
Yas Banifatemi “is an excellent advocate” with deep expertise in the energy sector. She is held in high esteem as “one of the most experienced investment treaty counsel in Paris”.
Mark McNeill is well known as “an outstanding attorney” who is regularly engaged in high-stakes IP, technology, and oil and gas disputes. He impresses peers with “his extensive experience in investment and commercial arbitration”.

Hanotiau & van den Berg

This arbitration boutique achieves five listings in the region. Its two founding partners are highlighted here.
Bernard Hanotiau stands out as “an exceptionally well-organised and efficient arbitrator with a phenomenal practice”. Peers describe him as “a very big name in international arbitration” and he is widely regarded as “a clear leader in the field”. 
Albert Jan van den Berg is a "world-class" arbitrator and "excellent strategic lawyer" who is in high demand. He is regularly engaged in commercial disputes across a broad range of industries and is indisputably a leading name in the arbitration space.

Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler

This specialist arbitration firm based in Geneva and sees four esteemed practitioners listed here.
The “really outstanding” Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler is a leading figure and “a top name” in the Swiss market. She is “one of the best-known arbitrators” and is regularly engaged in major international disputes thanks to her vast knowledge of commercial and investment law.
Laurent Lévy is a leading arbitrator in the international marketplace and a go-to lawyer in Switzerland. Peers say, “He is always on top of the details,” and describe him as “a charming practitioner who is always a delight both to appear before and sit with”.

Three Crowns

This dedicated international arbitration boutique achieves five listings in the region.
Constantine Partasides QC is a distinguished practitioner who is widely endorsed as “one of the best in London and globally”. Market commentators say, “Constantine’s commercial judgement and advocacy skills put him among the greats.”
Gaetan Verhoosel stands out as “an excellent practitioner at the top of the field” who impresses peers with “his extensive experience and knowledge of international arbitration”. He acts as both arbitrator and counsel and is a go-to name for high-stakes disputes.
Georgios Petrochilos is held in high esteem as “one of the best international arbitration practitioners around”. Peers say he is “really impressive counsel” and commend him as “an excellent advocate in hearings and in in strategy”.
Reza Mohtashami QC is an “absolutely first-class” practitioner who is “unflappable as counsel” and comes “very highly regarded” for his expertise in energy and infrastructure investment treaty disputes.
Todd Wetmore is a “brilliant and very effective” commercial arbitration practitioner who is “very knowledgeable in the construction sector”. He is held in high esteem as a “very smart counsel” who also possesses strong experience as an arbitrator.

Latham & Watkins

This commercial law firm is a strong player in the international arena and achieves three listings in the region.
“Standout” practitioner Sophie Lamb is a leading figure in the international arbitration field who “really knows international law”. She has a strong commercial practice and vast experience in investment treaty disputes. Peers say, “Great judgement and top advocacy make Sophie one of the most formidable arbitration lawyers in London.”
Fernando Mantilla-Serrano comes highly recommended as “a very experienced, resourceful and precise lawyer” with an excellent reputation as a “sharp and clear counsel”.
Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert wins high praise as “an excellent practitioner with a superb international practice”. He is well known for his expertise in investment disputes.

Schellenberg Wittmer

This leading Swiss firm sees four lawyers listed here.
Nathalie Voser has an excellent reputation in the construction and energy sectors, with peers lauding her as "one of Switzerland's brightest stars". She is “well known for her counsel work” and also stands out as a top-tier arbitrator.
Christopher Boog is "a real thought leader" and "one of the best in the business" for international arbitration. Interviewees praise his "vast experience and hands-on approach" as well as his "strategic thinking and ability to mitigate risk".


This firm is home to four esteemed arbitration practitioners.
Gary Born is a “massively influential” name in the field who is “one of the very best” in the market. Sources are quick to comment on “his brilliant strategic mind” and note that he “outclasses many other veterans with his competence and charm”.
Maxi Scherer is a leading practitioner in this year’s research, standing out as “a brilliant legal mind” who “combines strong judgement with a calm and controlled manner”. Peers speak highly of “her excellent combination of academia and practice” and she is widely known as “one of the most prominent arbitration scholars in Europe”.
Franz Schwarz “seems to possess the winning gene” as counsel, say peers, who note that he “demonstrates a firm grasp of the most complicated aspects of any dispute”. He is also lauded as “an excellent and extremely well-prepared arbitrator” by market commentators.
Steven Finizio is a highly regarded expert in commercial and regulatory dispute resolution. Peers describe him as “a pleasure to work with” and speak highly of his strong experience resolving energy-sector disputes.

Derains & Gharavi

A prominent firm in France that achieves four listings this year.
Yves Derains is widely known as “a big figure in the arbitration world” and is highlighted as “the best in the market” in France. He is admired as “an outstanding, cooperative arbitrator” by impressed interviewees.
Hamid Gharavi is at the “top of the field” say market commentators, who describe him as “a very sharp and creative lawyer with a true understanding of and vision for the arbitration world”.
Melanie van Leeuwen is called “an excellent practitioner” by sources who comment on her expertise as both counsel and arbitrator. She draws praise for “her business-orientated approach and her care with the details”. 

White & Case

Obtains eight listings in the EMEA region, four of whom are based in France.
Michael Polkinghorne is “a brilliant and highly effective practitioner” who wins praise for “his impressive cross-examination of expert witnesses”. He comes highly recommended for his work as counsel and arbitrator in energy sector disputes.
Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall stands out as “powerhouse counsel” who is “smart, measured and trusted” in major international disputes. His broad experience spans the construction, energy and mining industries.
“Senior statesman” Christopher Seppälä stands out for his broad commercial experience and sophisticated knowledge of construction and engineering disputes. He is held in high esteem as “an authoritative figure in FIDIC cases”.
Charles Nairac is a highly recommended expert in commercial and investor state arbitration. He acts in energy and construction disputes and stands out as “calm and serious counsel” who is “great with clients”.

Other Leading Individuals


ARP’s Andreas Reiner stands out as “a diligent and experienced arbitrator” who is “very highly rated” for his dedicated practice. Peers say, “He really is one of the best arbitrators around.”


Vera Van Houtte at Van Houtte Partners stands out as “a top practitioner in the international arbitration field”. She is an expert in complex commercial and investor state disputes and “is highly skilled in technical construction matters”.
Hans van Houtte draws praise as “an excellent arbitrator” who is “very well regarded” as chair or arbitrator in sophisticated arbitrations around the world. He is regularly engaged in construction, finance and commercial disputes.


At Arbitration Chambers, Juliet Blanch is commended as “an outstanding speaker and thinker” by peers, who say, “Her popularity as arbitrator is testament to her ability.” She has broad experience in the energy, mining and commodities sectors.
Niels Schiersing is a stand-out name in global dispute resolution who is widely endorsed as "an excellent arbitrator". He excels in complex contractual matters in commercial and investment arbitrations.

Peter Rees QC of 39 Essex Chambers stands out as “a superb arbitrator” who impresses peers with his extensive knowledge of international commercial arbitration and his wide-ranging expertise in construction and energy disputes.
David Brynmor Thomas is highlighted as “an incredibly smart and efficient counsel” with deep industry knowledge of the energy and infrastructure sectors. He is regularly engaged in high-stakes commercial disputes.

Loukas Mistelis at Queen Mary University of London offers clients “extensive experience in international arbitration” and is widely regarded as “a leading academic”. He draws praise for his “pragmatic practice” as arbitrator and is identified as a go-to authority on investment treaty disputes.
Stavros Brekoulakis stands out as “a first-rate arbitrator and academic”. He is an expert in construction and commercial disputes and is regularly engaged in matters arising out of major infrastructure projects around the world.

Hilary Heilbron QC at Brick Court Chambers is “a very responsive and impressive arbitrator” who is also noted as being “excellent as counsel”. She is regularly engaged in high-value disputes with experience in both common and civil law.
Klaus Reichert SC “is not afraid to tackle the difficult issues” when acting as arbitrator and “brings a tonne of common sense to his cases”. He acts as arbitrator and chairman and is “excellent” in his role.
Leonard Hoffmann QC is a top arbitrator who “always gets it right”, according to peers in the arbitration community. According to one commentator, “For cases with high legal complexity, Lord Hoffmann is the perfect chair.”

London Court of International Arbitration’s Director General Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof “is doing excellent work” and is highlighted as “an excellent LCIA arbitrator”. She has a broad practice in commercial matters and is regularly engaged in complex mandates.

At Fietta, founder and principal Stephen Fietta is “an excellent and highly accomplished practitioner” who “has been involved in hundreds of good cases”. Peers describe him as “very, very impressive”, particularly in international investment law.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s Karyl Nairn QC draws praise as “an extremely intelligent and well-prepared practitioner” who comes highly recommended for her work in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. “She is balanced in her approach and has a brilliant mind,” say peers.

Wendy Miles QC is “a very well-regarded practitioner” and a standout name at Debevoise & Plimpton. She comes highly regarded for her “pragmatic and insightful advice” in major public international law disputes.

Linklaters’ Matthew Weiniger QC is well known as an “exceptionally able counsel”. He is widely considered “a level above the rest in terms of experience and knowledge of investment arbitration”.

Sophie Nappert is a “highly recommended barrister” at 3 Verulam Buildings. She acts as arbitrator and is well known for her “excellent practice” in investment treaty disputes.

Matrix Chambers’ Zachary Douglas QC is “widely recognised as a leading figure in international arbitration” and is well known as “a brilliant academic, counsel and arbitrator”. He has a strong commercial practice and interviewees call him “the leading specialist on investment arbitration”.

At Covington & Burling, “outstanding arbitrator and counsel” Stephen Bond stands out as “one of the leading international arbitrators of his generation”. Peers speak highly of his vast expertise in sophisticated commercial disputes and note his wide-ranging working under various arbitral rules.

Alan Redfern of One Essex Court “is at the pantheon level of international arbitration”, say market commentators, who describe him as “the father of the commercial arbitration field”.


Independent arbitrator and “dynamic president of the ICC court” Alexis Mourre is widely endorsed as “one of the leading arbitrators in the world” by peers, who describe him as “a key figure” in commercial and investor state arbitration. He is a distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience as both arbitrator and counsel.

At Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Brigitte Stern acts in high-profile disputes and impresses peers with her “rare combination of academic excellence and acute sense of the economic and practical problems at hand in a dispute”.

Independent practitioner Pierre Mayer is "one of the most sophisticated and intelligent arbitrators in the market" according to peers who "have a lot of respect for his work" as both arbitrator and counsel.

Eduardo Silva Romero co-leads the global arbitration practice at Dechert and stands out as one of the most highly nominated practitioners in this year’s research. He draws praise as “an uncontested leader with a rare intelligence” and peers say, “He is always the smartest guy in the room.”

Roland Ziadé is a standout name at Linklaters. He has extensive experience sitting as arbitrator in major despites and draws praise for “his multicultural mindset and excellent knowledge of commercial arbitration”.

Julien Fouret of Betto Seraglini is praised as “very good counsel, especially in investment arbitration”. He acts as counsel, chair and arbitrator and impresses peers with “excellent knowledge of procedures and international law”.

At Dentons, Bart Legum stands out as “an extremely hands-on and sharp-minded lawyer”. Peers speak highly of his “strong investment treaty arbitration practice and ability to provide insightful assessments on the merits of a case”.

Bredin Prat’s Raëd Fathallah “is undoubtedly one of the brightest minds of his generation”, say observers, who are left impressed by “his professionalism, experience and client-orientated approach”. Commentators say, “He quickly understands the needs of the client and always provides comments in a brief, concrete and substantial manner.”


Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s Richard Kreindler is widely regarded as being “the complete package as an arbitrator”. Market commentators describe him as “an excellent lawyer with a very sound knowledge of the law and of international arbitration” and speak highly of his “pertinent and deliberate oral pleadings”.

Daniel Busse of Allen & Overy draws praise variously as “an excellent arbitrator” and “a brilliant party counsel”, with sources agreeing that he is a leading name in the German market. He possesses broad expertise in disputes arising from energy and infrastructure projects, among other areas.

Gleiss Lutz’ Stephan Wilske is a distinguished expert in international arbitration. He is highlighted as “the best chairman in the German market” and draws praise for his “unconventional but effective approach to complicated matters”.

Klaus Michael Sachs is a leading name at CMS Hasche Sigle. He draws wide-ranging endorsements as “one of the best arbitrators” in the market from peers, who say, “He handles extremely difficult situations assuredly and creatively.”

Inka Hanefeld, founder of Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft, stands out as “an exceptionally good arbitrator with a strong international background” who is “very experienced and always well prepared”.


Laurence Shore is a leading light at BonelliErede who is well known for his extensive experience as counsel and arbitrator in major international disputes. He is celebrated as “a top-notch performer” and “a great advocate”.


At Peter & Partners, “impressive practitioner” Wolfgang Peter has "an excellent practice" that sees him work as both arbitrator and counsel on post-M&A disputes and joint ventures, with notable proficiency in the energy and industrial sectors.
Christoph Brunner is recognised for his "very balanced approach as arbitrator", and stands out for his "very profound knowledge" when it comes to disputes across the construction sector.

At Bär & Karrer, Pierre-Yves Gunter is celebrated as “one of the most well-respected arbitrators in Switzerland”. He acts as both counsel and arbitrator and is widely endorsed as “one of the very best” in the field.

Independent practitioner Pierre Tercier is well known as “a leading arbitrator and great mentor”. He has extensive experience as arbitrator and is highly regarded for his work in large-scale international disputes.

Paolo Michele Patocchi of Patocchi & Marzolini is noted for his "professionalism and unparalleled knowledge" by peers. Sources are left "impressed by his huge experience and mastery of the facts" as well as his "great sense of strategy".

Philipp Habegger of Habegger Arbitration draws praise as “an outstanding, quick and efficient arbitrator”. He has extensive experience in commercial disputes and is widely regarded as “one of the very best” practitioners in the Swiss market.


North America

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Nigel Blackaby Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP, Washington, DC
2. David Rivkin Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York
3. Jean Kalicki Kalicki Arbitration, New York
4. Henri Alvarez QC Independent Arbitrator, Vancouver
5. Jan Paulsson Three Crowns LLP, Washington, DC
6. Yves Fortier CC QC Independent Arbitrator, Montreal
7. John M Townsend Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Washington, DC
8. Donald Francis Donovan Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York
9. Paul Friedland White & Case LLP, New York
10. R Doak Bishop King & Spalding LLP, Houston
11. Mark Kantor Independent Arbitrator, Washington, DC
12. Julie Bédard Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, New York

Debevoise & Plimpton

Seven lawyers from the New York office of this white-shoe US law firm are listed here. 
David Rivkin is “top of the list” in the region, say peers, who speak highly of his excellent practice acting as both counsel and arbitrator. He is regularly engaged to act in major international disputes and enjoys a superb reputation as an ICSID expert. 
Donald Francis Donovan is “an extremely talented practitioner” who is “first-rate in arbitration cases”. He is well versed in international disputes and impresses clients with “his impressive capacity for understanding and scoping the conflict”.
Mark Friedman is highlighted as “one of the best counsel there is” in the US. He stands out as a “smart and fair” arbitrator and enjoys an excellent reputation for his experience in commercial and investor state arbitration.
Catherine Amirfar draws praise as “an excellent advocate” with a stellar investment treaty practice. Peers say, “She’s a star and does a superb job in complex cases.”

King & Spalding

This international business law firm achieves seven listings from its New York and Texas offices.
Doak Bishop is “an excellent counsel and arbitrator” with market-leading expertise in commercial and investment disputes. He has vast experience disputes involving Latin American parties and is highlighted as “a top lawyer for energy disputes”.
Craig Miles “is simply an outstanding counsel and one of the smartest minds in the field”, say market commentators, who speak highly of his expertise in commercial and investor state disputes.
Caline Mouawad stands out for “her responsiveness and clarity of thinking”. Peers say, “She is great on her feet and is an excellent advocate on complicated issues.”

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

This premier international law firm achieves six listings across the New York and Washington, DC markets.
Nigel Blackaby “is an extremely intelligent, diligent and precise practitioner” whom “no list would be complete without”. Peers regard him as “a star in the market” and highlight his strong Latin American practice.
Noiana Marigo is “an extremely powerful lawyer” who stands out for “her thorough understanding of the commercial and business considerations involved in every case”. She has outstanding expertise in the Latin American market.
Peers say of internationally renowned practitioner Brian King, “He writes excellent awards, is a great chair and is very commanding with the parties. He’s terrific and handles cases expertly.”

White & Case

Six esteemed practitioners from this leading international firm are listed here.
Paul Friedland is “a top-notch lawyer” who impresses peers with his “great presentation and excellent analysis” in commercial and investor state arbitrations.
Abby Cohen Smutny stands out as “a pillar of international arbitration”, according to impressed sources. Clients say, “She provides winning legal representation and advice on cases. She stands out with her excellent strategic thinking, persuasive advocacy skills and dedication to the case.”
Carolyn Lamm “is in a class of her own”, say peers, who speak highly of her excellent work as counsel and arbitrator in major cross-border disputes. She has a strong commercial practice and is a well-known expert in international trade disputes.
Ank Santens stands out as “a spectacular arbitration practitioner” for her sophisticated commercial arbitration practice. Market commentators say, “Ank is extremely smart and very impressive.”

Hughes Hubbard & Reed

This international firm specialises in business and financial law and dispute resolution and achieves four listings in the US.
John Townsend draws praise as “a thoughtful, intelligent and perceptive arbitrator” who impresses clients with “his exceptional ability to cut to the heart of a difficult legal issue” and his “encyclopaedic knowledge of international law”.
John Fellas “is very talented counsel” who stands out for “his excellent advocacy, strategy and organisational skills”. He deploys extensive experience in international disputes and is a go-to lawyer for complex cases.

Chaffetz Lindsey

This world-renowned dispute resolution firm achieves four listings in New York. 
James Hosking is widely endorsed as “a first-rate advocate”. He enjoys an excellent reputation as “a knowledgeable and strategic thinker” who is highly experienced in commercial cases and investment disputes.
Sources “have a lot of respect for” David Lindsey, a go-to representative to major clients in complex commercial disputes. His expertise spans the energy, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors.

Other Leading Individuals


Independent practitioner Henri Alvarez QC is “an unbelievably good arbitrator” who sources express “no surprise” to see appearing prominently in the listings. With over 30 years’ experience coupled with superb broad sector expertise, Alvarez is widely regarded to be “one of the best around”.

Yves Fortier CC QC is a top independent practitioner in Canada and “one of the leading arbitrators in the world, who almost needs no description”. Peers say, “He’s very smart, takes no nonsense and always seems to get it right.”

At Woods, Stephen Drymer stands out as “a very impressive disputes lawyer”. He is well known as “an excellent counsel, arbitrator and tribunal president” who brings excellent experience in common and civil law and across an array of industries and sectors.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Pierre Bienvenu is endorsed as “a leading global figure” and a first-rate counsel and arbitrator, who brings over 30 years’ experience to bear on matters. He is regularly engaged in high-stakes commercial disputes across a broad range of sectors. 


Jean Kalicki, independent arbitrator at Kalicki Arbitration, stands out as “one of the best-prepared and most diligent presiding arbitrators in the market”. Peers say, “The deep and efficient analysis in her rulings is extremely impressive and reassures the parties that she has understood both the big picture and the finer details.”

Three Crowns’ Jan Paulsson is a leading figure in the US described as “an extraordinarily good arbitrator” by peers, who speak highly of his first-rate international practice and add, “His reputation is well earned.”

George Bermann of the Columbia University School of Law “couldn’t be more wonderful” as arbitrator in high-stakes commercial and investment disputes. Peers add, “He is very smart and experienced, and is excellent on the theoretical details.”

Meg Kinnear, secretary-general of ICSID, is “a leader of the investment arbitration community”, according to interviewees. She specialises in international investment law and offers broad experience in dispute resolution.

Mark Kantor is an independent arbitrator who “truly knows the field”. He stands out as “a very smart and experienced arbitrator” who is “very well known for his work on damages”. We identify Kantor as a Global Elite Thought Leader in this year’s guide.

Independent arbitration specialist Eric Schwartz enjoys an “outstanding reputation” as “an absolutely terrific and very sharp arbitrator”. He is a distinguished expert in commercial and investment disputes in the infrastructure and energy sectors and is well known for “resolving issues with no fuss and no drama”.

Anne Marie Whitesell is “a highly knowledgeable expert” at Georgetown University Law Center. According to market commentators, who speak highly of her experience both as counsel and arbitrator, “She is one of the best people in the DC arbitration community.”

William Park at Boston University is a go-to practitioner who is highlighted as “an excellent arbitrator” with extensive expertise in international commercial disputes.

Independent practitioner Stanimir Alexandrov “is a leading figure” in the US market who is regularly engaged in investment and commercial disputes. He draws widespread praise as “an outstanding counsel and arbitrator”.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Christian Leathley comes highly recommended as “an outstanding arbitration professional” who has phenomenal experience in disputes arising out of Latin America.

Hogan Lovells is home to Samaa Haridi, “a very impressive lawyer” with extensive expertise in commercial and investment arbitration. She is a trusted adviser to major corporate and financial sector clients.

At Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Julie Bédard is highly regarded counsel who stands out as “an excellent team and case manager”. She has broad expertise in commercial contracts and has “tonnes of experience in Latin America”, according to sources.



Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. John Beechey Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2. Douglas Jones AO Independent Arbitrator, Sydney
3. Matthew Gearing QC Allen & Overy LLP, Hong Kong
4. Michael Pryles Michael Pryles, Toorak
5. Kap-You Kim Bae Kim & Lee LLC, Seoul
6. Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS, Hong Kong
7. Matthew Secomb White & Case Pte Ltd, Singapore
8. Michael J Moser 20 Essex Street Arbitrators, Hong Kong
9. Michael Hwang SC Michael Hwang Chambers LLC, Singapore
10. Sarah Grimmer Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Hong Kong

Leading Firms

Herbert Smith Freehills

This international firm has a strong regional presence and achieves six listings from its Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Australia offices.
In Hong Kong, Justin D'Agostino is widely endorsed as “a leader in the arbitration field” for his stellar practice both as counsel and as arbitrator. Peers say, “He is very well connected,” and note his excellent international profile.
Alastair Henderson draws praise as “a brilliant advocate” and “top-notch and efficient arbitrator”. Market commentators observe, “He has very sound judgement and is very commercially sophisticated.”
Brenda Horrigan is “a highly commended lawyer” and a leading name in Australia. She offers broad experience in disputes arising out of emerging markets and impresses peers with her strong international commercial and investment treaty practice.

Bae Kim & Lee

Three highly regarded practitioners from this eminent South Korean firm are listed here.
Kap-You Kim “is a huge name in the market”, say peers, who regard him as “one of the standout counsel in Korea”. He wins praise in particular for his “very strategic approach” to complex matters.
John Bang is a highly regarded specialist in cross-border dispute resolution who is commended by peers in three continents for his excellence in arbitration. He has a strong practice as both arbitrator and counsel and is regularly engaged to act in energy and construction disputes.
Matthew Christensen is “a stand-out lawyer” and a go-to representative to private and public sector clients. He has broad experience in complex commercial disputes and possesses deep expertise in the construction sector.

Allen & Overy

This international firm achieves two listings in this chapter.
Matthew Gearing QC is widely recognised as “a leading expert” in the international marketplace and comes highly recommended as “impressive counsel and a very effective arbitrator”.
Matthew Hodgson is an expert in the energy and construction sectors and stands out as “a deeply impressive lawyer and advocate”. He draws praise for “his commercial knowledge and comprehensive legal advice”.

Other Leading Individuals


Independent arbitrator Douglas Jones AO is widely endorsed as “one of the best arbitrators out there”. He offers “phenomenal experience” in the field and is “a leader in promoting international arbitration in Australia”.

Michael Pryles, “the arbitrator extraordinaire”, is an independent practitioner with an excellent reputation in the space. Peers say, “He encourages and enables each side to clearly articulate its position on the core, and often most controversial, issues,” and is well known for “his calm demeanour and methodical and fair approach”.


Colin Ong QC at Dr Colin Ong Legal Services maintains a worldwide reputation for his skill in arbitration, standing out as “a bright, resourceful and energetic lawyer with great experience in both civil and common law”. As arbitrator he is a “well-organised, well-informed and well-rounded” presence who “writes superb awards”, while as counsel he is lauded as a “formidable cross-examiner”.

Hong Kong

Independent arbitrator Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS is a highly regarded practitioner and a big name in the market. He is widely endorsed as “a very fine arbitrator” whose “experience speaks for itself”.

At 20 Essex Street Arbitrators, Michael Moser stands out as “an excellent arbitrator and strong tribunal member”. He is regularly engaged in some of the most sophisticated international disputes in the market.

Sarah Grimmer, secretary general of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, “is a sharp legal mind” who draws praise for her “invaluable experience in the field” of investment treaty and contractual disputes.

John Beechey at Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong is held in high esteem as “an excellent arbitrator and counsel” by peers, who describe him as “one of the very best” in the international market, a view reflected in his status as a Global Elite Thought Leader for the Asia-Pacific region.


At Nishimura & Asahi, Lars Markert is described as “an excellent and courageous arbitration practitioner” with vast experience in investor state disputes. Clients say, “He knows how to respond to the moving situation and win the arbitration.”


Robert Wachter of Lee & Ko “knows his cases inside and out and presents his arguments in a clear manner”. He is further endorsed as “an excellent advocate and meticulous cross-examiner” who is “patient yet tenacious with evasive witnesses and will not stop until he gets his answer”.

New Zealand

David Williams QC is a leading name at Bankside Chambers who is widely regarded as “one of the shining stars of the industry”. Peers are “consistently impressed by his excellent management of hearings” and describe him as “one of the very best arbitrators out there”.


The National University of Singapore is home to Lucy Reed, an accomplished arbitrator who is held to be “one of the leading lights of the international arbitration world”. She has nearly 40 years of experience in sophisticated international disputes.

Peers “would not hesitate to recommend” Matthew Secomb of White & Case, who comes highly recommended by peers and clients for “his ability to immediately understand the case and the relevant facts”.  Sources add, “He can translate everything into language the arbitrators understand without ever losing sight of the key legal issues.”

Michael Hwang SC at Michael Hwang Chambers is "one of the big names" in the Asian market, according to commentators. He brings 50 years of experience to arbitral appointments across a wide array of sectors and industries including real estate, banking and finance and IP disputes.


Latin America

Thought Leaders
1. Eduardo Zuleta Zuleta Abogados Asociados SAS, Bogota
2. Guido Santiago Tawil Independent Practitioner, Buenos Aires
3. Claus von Wobeser Von Wobeser y Sierra SC, Mexico City

Leading Individuals


Independent practitioner Guido Santiago Tawil stands out as “the most famous Argentine lawyer around”. He is highly knowledgeable in administrative law and regulatory matters and is highlighted as “a top-quality counsel and arbitrator” who is “highly influential in the field”.

Independent practitioner Roque Caivano possesses a strong commercial practice and draws praise as “a superb arbitrator” who is widely regarded to be “one of the best” in the regional market.


Renato Stephan Grion of Pinheiro Neto Advogados is well known as “an excellent lawyer” who enjoys a superb reputation for his involvement in high-profile cases. Peers say, “He is sharp, bright, and has the most international perspective and experience of any arbitration practitioner in Brazil.”
Gilberto Giusti is a leading figure in the market and is regularly engaged as arbitrator in high-stakes disputes. He has sophisticated knowledge of commercial dispute resolution and strong international expertise.

At Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados, founding partner Marcelo Roberto Ferro comes highly recommended as “an excellent lawyer” who impresses peers with “his complete understanding of arbitration law”.

Eduardo Damião Gonçalves is a leading light at Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados and brings broad experience to commercial disputes, with vast expertise in the construction sector in particular. Sources call him “a truly remarkable arbitrator” who is “very knowledgeable, strategic and thorough”.

José Emilio Nunes Pinto of Jose Emilio Nunes Pinto Advogados is “an excellent arbitrator” and is widely endorsed as “a star in arbitration in Brazil”. He is well known for “rendering decisions that go straight to the point”.

Valeria Galíndez, founding partner of Valença Galíndez Arbitragem, stands out for “her broad arbitration practice encompassing a diverse range of subject matters and applicable laws”. Peers say, “She is assertive and smart,” and hold her in high esteem as “one of the best arbitration practitioners in Latin America”.

João Bosco Lee of Lee Taube Gabardo Sociedade de Advogados draws praise as “one of the most knowledgeable arbitration lawyers in Brazil” and is commended for “his commercial and in-depth knowledge of international arbitration”.


At Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados, Andrés Jana is “excellent counsel and arbitrator” who is widely endorsed as “a true star across the board in arbitration”. He has extensive experience in international commercial and investment treaty disputes.

Felipe Ossa G at Claro y Cia is a prominent figure who is widely regarded as “to go-to lawyer on Latin American matters”. Peers describe him as “an excellent lawyer and arbitrator” and say, “He is very quick and detail-orientated and has an excellent sense of client needs.” 

Cristian Conejero Roos is “a standout lawyer” at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría who is known for his strong advocacy skills and sophisticated procedural knowledge. Sources add, “He is great to work with.”


Eduardo Zuleta of Zuleta Abogados Asociados is “a big name in the field” with a strong international practice as both arbitrator and counsel. Peers say he is “extremely good” in both roles and speak highly of his vast experience and sophisticated knowledge of energy-sector disputes.
Estefanía Ponce Durán stands out as “a very smart and straight-to-the-point lawyer” who impresses peers with “her very meticulous and deep legal analysis”.


At Von Wobeser y Sierra, Claus von Wobeser is a distinguished practitioner who is held in high esteem as “a leading figure internationally”. He has vast experience in international arbitration and stands out as “the clearest mind in Mexico”.
Adrián Magallanes draws praise as “a very skilled attorney” with a strong commercial and administrative practice. Peers say, “He can handle almost any substantive issue you throw his way. He seems to understand everything about how the world works, and it shows in his lawyering.”

Kate Brown de Vejar of Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle stands out as “a very sharp and smart lawyer” and is widely regarded to be “one of the best in investment arbitration” in the market. In the words of one peer, “You won’t find another lawyer in Mexico with her experience.”
Gabriela Alvarez-Avila stands out as “a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer” with an excellent reputation for her work in investment state arbitration.

Francisco González de Cossío of González de Cossío Abogados SC is a seasoned expert in construction and energy disputes. Peers describe him as “an extremely impressive, quick-witted, thorough and clear advocate”.

Back to top

Follow us on LinkedIn

News & Features

Community News



Pro Bono

Corporate Counsel

Women in Law

Future Leaders

Research Reports

Practice Areas


The Who's Who Legal 100


Special Reports



About Us

Research Schedule

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

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.

Copyright © 2019 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. |

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910 |

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK