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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Conway & Partners

18 February 2011

This Rotterdam construction and disputes boutique was created in 2008 by Shawn Conway – a former head of the international construction and arbitration at Van Mens & Wisselink.

People in Who’s Who:
Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$0.32 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
7 (of which 5 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:

It has since added sole practitioner Hugo Smit – once a senior partner at Trenité Van Doorne in Rotterdam (the firm that became Simmons & Simmons) – and Jos Bos, a former in-house counsel at Shell.

Today, six lawyers all practise a blend of international arbitration and litigation focused particularly on clients from the construction and engineering, maritime and technology sectors. Since starting they’ve worked on cases arising from projects in the Persian Gulf, China, Ghana and the Netherlands, with seats in Switzerland, London and the Netherlands. On at least two occasions, the outcome was a matter of commercial survival for the client.

In the world of antitrust, Shawn Conway and Nathan O’Malley have represented one side in the Eco Swiss-Benetton arbitration and related EU law proceedings. The hard-fought dispute has set a number of precedents in Dutch law on points of arbitral procedure, including challenges to arbitrators. It also led to a ruling from the European Court of Justice on the how arbitrators must approach issues of EU law.

Recent events

For Nathan O’Malley a personal highlight of 2010 was being appointed as an ICC sole arbitrator, as well as to two arbitrations administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that relate to matters in west Africa.

The also firm launched a new blog, Projects & Arbitration International, to track developments in the key industry sectors in which it operates.

It also had a positive experience using section 1782. Asked to defend a lower-tier subcontractor on a power plant, against a claim of some US$44 million, the firm used the third-party discovery technique to obtain critical documents from the main contractor, who stood outside of the arbitration. The documents enabled the firm to fend off the mid-level contractor’s claims. A favourable ruling from the ICC arbitrators resulted and the client avoided the risk of bankruptcy.

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