Philippe Pinsolle
Office:
Avenue Pictet de Rochemont, 20
CH-1207
City:
Geneva
State:
Geneva
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 79 957 59 75

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Philippe Pinsolle is the head of Quinn Emanuel’s international arbitration practice for continental Europe and is based in Geneva. According to sources quoted by Who’s Who Legal, Philippe is “one of the absolute masters in the field” of arbitration, a “great oral advocate” and “one of the most impressive names around at the moment.” Over the past 25 years, he has appeared as counsel or served as arbitrator in more than 250 arbitrations.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

After 20 years with another law firm, I created Quinn Emanuel’s Paris office in January 2013, which now has five partners and 25 associates dedicated to international arbitration, white-collar and commercial litigation. I have now moved on to another challenge: chairing the firm’s international arbitration practice in continental Europe.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION?

International arbitration requires a combination of top litigation skills, international sensitivity and deep knowledge of the relevant industry. That makes it a uniquely attractive proposition for any young lawyer wishing to engage in international contentious work, and that made it a very attractive proposition for me.

WHICH INDUSTRY SECTORS ARE THE BUSIEST IN YOUR PRACTICE AT THE MOMENT? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

The usual suspects (oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, construction) are still very busy. This is due to the fact that they are dependent on the variations of the price of commodities. We also see a rise in claims based on the wrongful intervention of the regulator, especially in the financial sector. Those claims are primarily treaty claims. Finally, a new trend seems to be emerging with more and more agreements dealing with IP rights ending up in arbitration. We now see many cases where an arbitration for breach of a confidentiality agreement will coexist with one or more patent litigations.

WHY DOES PARIS REMAIN SUCH A POPULAR SEAT FOR INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION?

Paris offers a unique combination: a good law on arbitration (some would say the best), the unfailing support of the French courts and a centralisation of all annulment requests before a specialised chamber of the Paris court of appeal comprised of the same three magistrates. This specialised chamber guarantees complete predictability of annulment decisions. Because French courts have supported arbitration for decades, it has ensured stability, enabling the parties to take full advantage of the French law on arbitration, which, essentially, allows the parties to conduct the arbitration the way they want, including by using procedural techniques from all other the world, provided that due process and the equality between the parties are respected. So long as French courts will support arbitration, Paris will remain a highly attractive venue for international litigants.

AS HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION FOR CONTINENTAL EUROPE, HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE FIRM DISTINGUISHES ITSELF FROM THE COMPETITION?

I do not have much to do because my firm already distinguishes itself from the competition by the fact that it is, by far, the largest litigation-only firm in the world. We have the deepest and most senior bench available on the market with top-notch expertise in the most discrete areas of contentious work, spanning from data protection to complex financial arrangements. The same applies to our arbitration team.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IMPACT WILL THE PROLIFERATION OF THIRD-PARTY FUNDING HAVE ON INVESTMENT ARBITRATION?

Third-party funding is here to stay and has had a profound impact on the manner cases are arbitrated. For the time being, the impact is primarily limited to two aspects: security for costs and costs allocation. On the first aspect, third-party funding, when disclosed, will often help the other party to obtain security for costs if the funder does not cover adverse cost order. On costs allocation, again on the assumption that the third-party funding arrangement has been disclosed, the tribunal will take into account the existence of the funding arrangement when allocating the costs, especially on reasonableness.

IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?

Each case where the result exceeds the expectation is a proud moment, and of course, the reverse is true. If you are lucky, the former situation happens more often than the latter.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO DEVELOP YOUR PRACTICE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

Over the past few years, I have participated in a collective effort to build a premier international arbitration practice and I intend of course to continue.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Philippe Pinsolle is the head of international arbitration for continental Europe.  He has acted as counsel in more than 220 international arbitrations, with a particular focus on investor-state arbitrations and commercial disputes involving the energy, power, oil and gas, construction and defence industries. He has been involved in arbitrations under the auspices of virtually all major arbitration institutions, as well as in ad hoc cases under the UNCITRAL rules or otherwise.  He has also served as arbitrator in more than 45 cases, as well as expert witness on arbitration and French law issues.

Chambers Global reports that clients have described him as an “outstanding strategist” with a “great tactical sense”. His “pragmatic approach, great intellect and technical prowess set him apart”. Philippe has also been praised as an “oil and gas specialist”. Global Arbitration Review wrote in its GAR 100 survey that “Philippe Pinsolle is by many accounts a leader in his generation in Paris – possibly the leader” and Who’s Who Legal said: “Philippe Pinsolle is “a big player in both commercial and investment-treaty arbitrations” according to sources who note, “He is one of the absolute masters in the field.” He is regarded as “a great oral advocate” who is “one of the most impressive names around at the moment.'"   

Chambers Global has ranked Philippe Band 1 for international arbitration. He is also ranked in this publication for Africa-wide dispute resolution and global-wide public international law.

WWL says: 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 cases”.

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

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