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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Sally Harpole & Co

18 February 2011

New in 2011. This solo practice was set up by US national Sally Harpole in 2001 to enable her to pursue arbitrator work. Fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, she has an association with China stretching back more than 30 years, and is unquestionably a pioneer in the field in the region. She was in the first tranche of non-Chinese lawyers appointed to the CIETAC panel of arbitrators in 1979 (Michael Moser was another), coinciding with the country’s “open-door policy” to foreign trade and investment. Around that time, she established US firm Graham & James’ Beijing office and managed it throughout the 1980s. A 10-year secondment at Deacons ended around 2000 when the Hong Kong part of that firm broke in two.

Who’s Who Name:
Sally A Harpole

A Chinese lawyer in Beijing told GAR that Harpole is “highly regarded in Chinese arbitration circles” and consequently receives regular appointments at CIETAC “partly because of [her] Chinese language abilities”. In 2008, she was appointed to CIETAC’s supreme governing body for a three-year term.

Harpole told a GAR reporter recently that most of her working time is spent sitting as an arbitrator in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur and Stockholm. She was one of the arbitrators for the SCC arbitration between French food product company Groupe Danone and its Chinese joint venture partner. The claims were fought across eight jurisdictions before the parties agreed a settlement – just hours before the tribunal issued its award. Harpole has represented multinational and Chinese entities and can boast experience as counsel to clients in aviation, nuclear power, the hotel industry, television, film and live entertainment.

She is a former co-chair of the IBA’s arbitration committee and was a member of the AAA’s taskforce on the exchange of documentary and electronic materials. In addition, she’s a visiting professor and senior fellow at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.

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