Leading the Way in Global Arbitration – The Pioneers of International Dispute Resolution

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In an increasingly interconnected world, international arbitration has become a vital mechanism for resolving cross-border disputes. At the forefront of this field, a group of exceptional lawyers stands out, demonstrating their expertise, strategic thinking, and unwavering commitment to their clients. These pioneers of international arbitration navigate complex legal landscapes, ensuring fairness, efficiency, and just outcomes. In this article, we explore the remarkable minds shaping the global market leaders in international arbitration, showcasing their accomplishments, reputations, and contributions to this dynamic and evolving practice.

Mark W Friedman – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

With a reputation for handling cross-border investor-state cases, Mark Friedman is widely recognized for his brilliance and lateral thinking approach. His expertise extends to countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela, where he has successfully resolved complex disputes. Mark’s unparalleled knowledge and innovative strategies make him a formidable force in the international arbitration arena.

Nigel Blackaby KC – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Nigel Blackaby KC is a distinguished practitioner with extensive experience in high-profile commercial and investment treaty arbitration cases. Clients and peers hold him in the highest esteem, lauding his exceptional legal skills and attention to detail. Nigel’s expertise and strategic thinking make him an out-of-this-world lawyer, ensuring his clients’ interests are protected in even the most sophisticated and challenging disputes.

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Gary Born – WilmerHale

Renowned for his expertise in complex commercial disputes, Gary Born frequently assumes party-appointed and sole arbitrator positions. His capabilities extend beyond commercial matters to include investment treaty arbitration, where he has achieved remarkable results. With his profound understanding of the intricacies of international arbitration, Gary has earned a prominent place among the global market leaders in dispute resolution.

Yas Banifatemi – Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes

Yas Banifatemi, based in Paris, possesses exceptional expertise in international arbitration and public international law. Her representation of the Algerian state and public entities in ICSID arbitrations highlights her extensive knowledge of the energy, infrastructure, and construction sectors. With her strategic approach and unwavering dedication, Yas has solidified her reputation as a leading authority in international dispute resolution.

Abby Cohen Smutny – White & Case LLP

Abby Cohen Smutny, as global head of White & Case’s international arbitration practice, represents states and investors in complex treaty arbitrations. Her impressive ability to recall case facts and her diligent and thoughtful approach make her an exceptional lawyer. Abby’s expertise in investor-state arbitration has made her a highly regarded practitioner in the global market.


International arbitration serves as a cornerstone of the global legal landscape, providing a fair and effective means of resolving cross-border disputes. The lawyers mentioned above, including Mark W Friedman, Nigel Blackaby KC, Gary Born, Yas Banifatemi, and Abby Cohen Smutny, exemplify the exceptional talent and expertise within the global market leaders in international arbitration. Their dedication to achieving just outcomes, strategic thinking, and profound legal acumen have solidified their reputations as pioneers in the field. As these remarkable minds continue to shape the future of international arbitration, they ensure that parties engaged in global disputes receive the highest level of legal representation and achieve equitable resolutions.

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