The only Indonesian firm so far to appear in the GAR 100, KarimSyah owes its inclusion to two figures: Karen Mills and Iswahjudi Karim. Mills is thought to be the country’s only chartered arbitrator, credited as having done much to improve the quality of arbitration locally, and is regularly considered as an arbitrator for major Asian disputes. Originally from the US, she has made Indonesia her adoptive home since relocating in 1983. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and co-chair of its local chapter, and is on the appointing authority of the Chinese European Arbitration Centre. Indonesian national Iswahjudi Karim also has a solid reputation in the international arbitration community, and is accepting a growing number of arbitrator appointments. In the past year he has begun sitting as co-arbitrator in at least two ICC cases.
- People in Who’s Who:
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Treaty cases:
- Current arbitrator appointments:
- 14 (of which 2 are as sole or chair)
- No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
Established in 1997, the firm cut its teeth assisting the government and the State Electric Company against the US’s Cal Energy in the Dieng and Patuha cases. The firm takes credit for restoring the government’s confidence in international arbitration, after helping it to win the first arbitration the state had filed. State entities including Indonesian infrastructure company Persero and Malaysian oil company Petronas are among its major clients. Asked to name a high-stakes case, it points to Indonesia’s dispute with Newmont Mining and its Japanese partner over a copper mine – an UNCITRAL arbitration that could have led to the government losing its constitutional right as owner of the minerals.
In 2010, Mills joined the board of ArbitralWomen, a body that promotes and supports women in international dispute resolution. A team at KarimSyah represented the Indonesian state-owned oil company Pertamina in arbitration against a subsidiary of a major European bank – a novel experience, the firm said, that exposed it to the common-law practice of discovery.