Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paris
Why international arbitration?
For the variety of the work and complexity of cases; the mix of legal cultures and interesting individuals; the number of fundamental issues that remain open and require reasoning from first principles; and hearing thrills.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The Peru v Chile maritime boundary case, pending before the International Court of Justice.
Who do you consider your mentor?
My partners, particularly Jan Paulsson.
Who else in the field do you admire?
Other senior figures - Professor Pieter Sanders, who did not invent international arbitration but came as close as possible to doing so in his time; and the late Dr FA Mann QC (sharpest writings one wishes to disagree with).
What other career might you have chosen?
I flirted with the law of war, a sub-division of public international law.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Read voraciously and ask the elder generations for advice.
Do you sit as an arbitrator?
Yes. My first appointment was at 33, by an institution.
What are the biggest challenges facing arbitration?
To stay current with the evolving - and by no means identical - preferences of users of the system.
If you could change one thing about the system...?
The UNCITRAL Model Law: it’s time we revisited it.
What’s been your most memorable moment in a hearing?
At the end of closing argument, appearing for a state in an ICSID arbitration, questioned by the tribunal: “Let me get this right. Gotcha - is that what you are telling the investor?”. It was clear we had some way to go in persuading the tribunal.
What’s your favourite city to arbitrate in?
Any bar Paris: best to be away from the office, to keep some distance from everyday work.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
L’Oranger in London.