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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Castaldi Mourre & Partners

18 February 2011

Based in Paris with a second office in Milan, Castaldi Mourre & Partners prides itself on being the firm of choice in Franco-Italian matters – in which it offers arbitration, transactional and antitrust expertise.

People in Who’s Who:
1
Pending cases as counsel:
10
Value of pending counsel work:
US$0.3 billion
Treaty cases:
0
Current arbitrator appointments:
13 (of which 13 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
1

Firm co-founder Alexis Mourre oversees Les Cahiers de l’Arbitrage, a leading journal of French arbitration law, and has acted as advocate, arbitrator or expert in more than 100 cases. He’s had an entry in The International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration from the very first edition. Nowadays the firm has eight lawyers working exclusively on international arbitration, several of whom are fluent in Italian or Spanish. The practice has been picked twice since 2005 by a local magazine as “most promising team in international arbitration”, while Mourre has been named one of the top ten “indispensable” French arbitrators.

Much of the work emanates from the energy, telecoms, luxury goods and agro-industry. Italy’s Saipen, Piaggio and Tecnimont are past clients, as are France’s Eutelsat and UNESCO. Castaldi Mourre has helped Swiss power technology group ABB win a US$30 million arbitration in Zurich, and has been representing an Italian construction firm in a pair of ICC matters over public works contracts in Romania. The success of the arbitration practice means one associate is now devoted to arbitration-related court work full-time. Recent work in that regard includes resisting a set-aside action against an ICC award, representing holders of an ICSID award against Egypt in their bid to secure enforcement.

Recent events

Alexis Mourre was one of 16 experts asked by the European Commission to examine whether arbitration should be brought within the scope of the Brussels I Regulation, which requires EU member state courts to respect each other’s jurisdiction. In the run up to that appointment, Mourre and his colleague Alexandre Vagenheim were vocal in rallying support among European practitioners to propose a series of changes. The pair blogged about it in Kluwer, urged others to send comments, and led work preparing key organisations’ submissions within a very short time frame.

Mourre meanwhile was also named senior vice chair of the IBA arbitration committee for 2011 to 2013, and vice chair of the ICC Institute of World Business Law (under new chair Yves Derains), and received an appointment as president of an ICSID tribunal (his second such appointment) in a case by a Spanish waste management company’s US$96 million claim against Mexico.
He also defended the status quo in a debate with Jan Paulsson about whether arbitrators are better appointed by institutions than parties, at a packed event at London School of Economics.

Castaldi Mourre has lately welcomed two new Italian recruits – former ICC deputy counsel Valentine Chessa, who joined at the start of 2011, and Michela Chirichiello, who was legal adviser to a former president of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal.

Insight

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