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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Jones Day

18 February 2011

Jones Day’s arbitration strength is mainly in France and China. In Paris, three partners are dedicated to the area and the firm is regarded by others in the market as having a serious ICC practice. As well as sitting as arbitrators, members of the firm also edit a number of books in the field, and Sigvard Jarvin was for many years the general editor of the SCC’s review in Sweden.

Who’s Who Names:
Michael W Bühler, Sigvard Jarvin and Jingzhou Tao

In China, the firm recruited Jingzhou Tao in 2008 – arguably the local market’s best-known specialist. Tao, who practises as a foreign lawyer in China and divides his time between China and France, is a member of GAR’s editorial board. As well as acting as an advocate, he is much in demand as an arbitrator, and has chaired some of CIETAC’s highest-value cases. His arrival helped to restore Jones Day’s profile for arbitration in Asia, after a well-regarded team in Singapore left in 2007 to rejoin the firm they had originally been poached from four years earlier.

Ranking organisations put Jones Day on the top rung in China, and solidly in the mid-to-upper part of the table in Paris. A number also pick out Mercedes Fernandez, a partner in the Madrid office, who is an alumnus of Bernardo Cremades’ firm and focuses on energy and construction work. Fernandez is acting as counsel to Spanish water company Urbaser and Chilean energy group Enersis in separate claims against Argentina at ICSID. Another big name is Michael Bühler, who is a member of the ICC Court.

Who uses it?

The firm has acted as co-counsel to Russian state-controlled uranium producer Tenex, helping to defeat a US$1 billion SCC claim by the US’s Globe Nuclear Services and Supply (the tribunal awarded Tenex US$6 million in costs). Occidental used them in an ICC case over Yemeni oil rights, which ended with a US$140 million settlement in Occidental’s favour. Spain’s Acciona group, the US’s Diebold and the government of Laos have also turned to the firm in recent years. Another long-term client has been Chevron in its multi-faceted environmental litigation in Ecuador, although much of the limelight in that case has lately been hogged by co-counsel Gibson Dunn (in ancillary US court proceedings) and King & Spalding (in the arbitration against Ecuador at The Hague).

Recent events

Jones Day has pursued an aggressive expansion plan in the last few years. In early 2011, it announced plans to ally itself with Saudi Arabia’s Al Sulaim & Al Awaji law firm, giving it three new offices in Jeddah, Khobar and Riyadh. That follows news that the firm is seeking clearance from the Brazilian bar association to set up an office in São Paulo, where it intends to relocate its Latin America practice. New offices have also recently been opened in Boston, Dubai and Mexico City.

In Hong Kong, partner Simon Powell left after six years to take up a position at Latham & Watkins, while Philip Georgiou was promoted to partner. In Frankfurt, commercial arbitration specialist Dieter Strubenhoff joined as of counsel from Hogan Lovells. Nicholas Cotter was promoted to partner in London.

On the case front, Jones Day helped Tenex prevail in set-aside proceedings brought against the US$6 million cost award in its favour. The Svea Court of Appeal upheld the SCC award and awarded Tenex a further €1.6 million in costs. In the Urbaser v Argentina case at ICSID, the firm failed in its controversial efforts to have New Zealand arbitrator Campbell McLachlan disqualified from the tribunal on the basis of his academic writings.

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