Bernard Hanotiau
Office:
Avenue Louise 480/9
1050
City:
Brussels
Country:
Belgium
Tel:
+32 2 290 3909
Fax:
+32 2 290 3939

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

Bernard Hanotiau is a member of the Brussels and Paris Bars. Since 1978, he has been actively involved in more than 500 international arbitration cases in all parts of the world. Mr Hanotiau is professor emeritus of the law school of Louvain University (Belgium). He is an advisory member of the ICCA governing board and the council of the ICC Institute. He is a member of the Court of Arbitration of SIAC and of the governing board of DIAC (Dubai). He is the author of Complex Arbitrations: Multiparty, Multicontract, Multi-issue and Class Actions (Kluwer, 2006). In March 2011, Mr Hanotiau received the GAR Award for Arbitrator of the Year. In April 2016, he also received the Who’s Who Legal Award for Lawyer of the Year: Arbitration.

Describe your career to date.

Since the age of 30, I have devoted my entire professional career to international arbitration, not only as an arbitrator but also as a professor, counsel, expert, author and panellist.

What do you consider to be your proudest achievement?

I am proud to have been able to contribute, by my various activities, to the development of international arbitration and also to have had the opportunity to decide disputes of paramount importance involving fascinating issues of fact and law.

What qualities make for a successful arbitrator?

These qualities are the same for all professions: rigour, creativity, a good legal mind and good common sense, experience and day-to-day involvement.

What motivated you to establish your own boutique law firm? What advice would you give to other practitioners looking to the same?

I wanted to set up a boutique firm totally devoted to international arbitration, and with a limited number of lawyers in order to avoid conflicts. It has been a wonderful experience that I recommend to everybody.

In your opinion, what are the most significant challenges associated with rules for disclosure at various arbitral institutions?

The rules of the game should be clear but it is not always the case. In my opinion, the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts should remain the first reference. For transparency and due process reasons, and to have a clear view of each institution’s jurisprudence, all decisions on challenges should be put in writing and communicated to all concerned.

What do you enjoy most about working in the field of international arbitration?

Each case is different, involves different industries and facts, and raises new intellectual challenges.

What steps does the arbitration community need to take to improve the efficiency of international arbitration proceedings?

It is impossible to answer this question in a few words. Efforts should be made by all participants. Too much time is spent at every step of the procedure, from the constitution of the arbitral tribunal to the issuance of the award. It is a shared responsibility.

How do you expect the field of international arbitration to develop over the next five years?

Notwithstanding the criticisms, arbitration will continue to grow in all parts of the world but its practice will be more complex and challenging than in the past.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Bernard Hanotiau is a member of the Brussels and Paris Bars. Since 1978, he has been actively involved in more than 500 international arbitration cases in all parts of the world. Mr Hanotiau is professor emeritus of the law school of Louvain University (Belgium). He is an advisory member of the ICCA governing board and the council of the ICC Institute. He is a member of the Court of Arbitration of SIAC and of the Governing Board of DIAC (Dubai). He is the author of Complex Arbitrations: Multiparty, Multicontract, Multi-issue and Class Actions (Kluwer, 2006). In March 2011, Mr Hanotiau received the GAR Award for Arbitrator of the Year. In April 2016, he also received the Who’s Who Legal Award for Lawyer of the Year: Arbitration.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN ARBITRATION?

Disputes submitted to arbitration were very rare when I started my career. I was fortunate to be in a firm handling a few arbitration cases, and I was already assistant professor at the Centre of International Law at the University of Louvain. I found this area of international law particularly fascinating. 

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

The cases – as well as the way the procedure is conducted – have become extremely complex and lawyers rarely do what would be needed to make the procedure efficient.

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

I prefer to be part of a panel. When you sit as sole arbitrator, you feel terribly alone and you have nobody to discuss things with.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ARBITRATION PRACTITIONERS?

The qualities needed to succeed in arbitration are the same as in any other profession: hard work, competence, rigour and creativity.

SOME SAY THAT BOTH THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA ARE NOW COMPETING WITH EUROPE AND THE US AS PREFERABLE SEATS OF ARBITRATION. TO WHAT EXTENT IS THIS TRUE?

The economic growth is moving towards the East – and so are the disputes.

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

It was a dispute between a leading international food company and their Chinese partners in various joint ventures. It involved eight consolidated arbitrations where we have been confronted with every possible legal or factual issue.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT ARBITRATION NEEDS TO ADDRESS IF IT WISHES TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND IMPROVE ITS EFFICIENCY AS A FORM OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

I believe that arbitration will continue to grow but in an ideal world, I would like lawyers to be more focused in their submissions and generally more efficient at every step of the procedure. It would also make arbitration more cost-effective.

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

Since the age of 30, I have devoted all my professional career to international arbitration – not only as arbitrator but also as counsel, expert, author and panellist. I plan to continue to do so. 

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Bernard Hanotiau is a member of the Brussels and Paris bars. In 2001, he established a boutique law firm in Brussels concentrating on international arbitration and litigation. The firm has offices in Brussels and Singapore.

Since 1978, Bernard Hanotiau has been actively involved in international commercial arbitration as party-appointed arbitrator, chairman, sole arbitrator, counsel and expert in various parts of the world. Mr Hanotiau is a member of the panel of arbitrators of, or receives appointments as arbitrator by, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC, Paris), the LCIA, ICSID, the AAA, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, SIAC, HKIAC, CIETAC, the BAC, the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, the KLRCA, the KCAB, the PCA in The Hague, WIPO, CEPANI, the NAI, the Swiss Chambers of Commerce, DIAC, the Danish Institute of Arbitration, the Cairo Centre of Arbitration, the French Arbitration Association, the French-German Chamber of Commerce, IATA and the CAS. He is also frequently appointed as arbitrator in UNCITRAL and other ad hoc arbitration cases.

He is a member of the ICCA advisory board and of the council of the ICC Institute and a member of the ICC international arbitration commission. He is also a former vice president of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration (Dallas), CEPANI and the LCIA Court. He is a member of the board of DIAC; the Court of Arbitration of the Istanbul International Arbitration Centre; the SIAC Court of Arbitration; the HKIAC international advisory board; and the International Arbitration Club.

In March 2011, Mr Hanotiau received the GAR Arbitrator of the Year Award; and in April 2016, he won the Who’s Who Legal Lawyer of the Year: Arbitration Award.

WWL says: 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 hold him in high esteem as “a clear leader in the field”.  

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

Follow us on LinkedIn

Practice Areas

Firms

Browse Firms

Search Firms

The Who's Who Legal 100

Awards

News & Features

Special Reports

Events

Shop

About Us

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. | http://www.lbresearch.com

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

http://www.whoswholegal.com | editorial@whoswholegal.com

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK