Gaëtan Verhoosel
Belgium
  • PositionPartner
  • FirmCovington & Burling
  • Age-
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Gaëtan Verhoosel

Gaëtan Verhoosel

Belgium
  • Position: Partner
  • FirmCovington & Burling
  • Age: -

Partner
37
Covington & Burling, London
Belgian

Why international arbitration?

Because it is as good as the practice of law gets.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

My work on two treaty arbitrations against Ecuador for Occidental Petroleum Corporation over the past 10 years.

Who do you consider your mentor?

Several: Steve Bond, Donald Donovan, David W Rivkin.

Who else in the field do you admire?

All those who take their work seriously but not themselves.

What other career might you have chosen?

Something that would have led to an early retirement, because I cannot imagine being enticed by any occupation for so long as I have been by arbitration.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Get advocacy roles as soon as you can.

Do you sit as an arbitrator?

Yes. ICC default appointment, aged 33.

What are the biggest challenges facing arbitration?

(Understandable) user disgruntlement.

If you could change one thing about the system...?

Length, length, length.

What’s been your most memorable moment in a hearing?

Cross-examining a retired law professor from a Latin American country who asked me halfway through, “You have already qualified as a lawyer, have you not?”

What’s your favourite city to arbitrate in?

Rio. I think that’s obvious.

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