Ank Santens | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Ank Santens
Ank Santens

Ank Santens

Partner, New York

T +1 212 819 8599 / +1 212 819 8200


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Ank Santens has “a dedication and commitment rarely encountered. You can be sure she will really fight for [your case] with all her resources.” (GAR 100 2010) She is “excellent at defusing difficult situations and distilling what needs to be decided.” (Chambers USA 2014)


Ank Santens is an international arbitration lawyer based in New York. She is "a 'future leader in the profession,'" and "handles investment treaty and commercial arbitrations with equal aplomb" (Chambers USA 2013).

Ank serves as counsel or arbitrator in commercial, investment, construction and sports arbitrations under all major international arbitration rules (ICC, ICDR/AAA, ICSID, LCIA, UNCITRAL, Court of Arbitration for Sport), as well as in ad hoc arbitrations and arbitrations under the rules of several regional centers.

Clients who benefit from Ank's advice come from a variety of industries, including energy, infrastructure and construction, mining, insurance, telecommunications, maritime, pharmaceutical, financial services, logistics and consumer goods.

Corporate clients look to Ank for a wide range of commercial disputes, post-M&A disputes, and disputes concerning joint ventures and other shareholder arrangements. Sovereign clients seek Ank's counsel on investment treaty disputes, as well as disputes relating to oil and gas concessions and sovereign borders.

Ank regularly advises on the drafting of dispute resolution clauses in international contracts. She seeks to resolve disputes in the most effective manner for clients, and in several cases has been able to obtain an early resolution through creative strategies and the use of negotiation and mediation.

Ank's international credentials are underlined by her work in the Firm's Paris office from 2004 to 2006, and her client-centered approach comes partly from her prior experience in the legal department of a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey, US.

Ank is Chair of the Arbitration Committee and a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA). She also serves on the ICCA Task Force on Third Party Funding, the Program Committee of NYIAC, the Subcommittee on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards of the IBA, the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), and the Editorial Committee of International Arbitration Case Law.

She frequently speaks on international arbitration at conferences around the world and has published on the subject in a variety of publications.

Ank co-chairs White & Case's New York's Women's Network and is past Secretary of White & Case. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Flemish in the World USA, Assoc. and International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP), an international pro bono organization, as well as on the Advisory Board of the female lawyer mentorship scheme launched by Falabella, the Vance Center and the Carey law firm in Chile. She is helping Haiti build a culture of international arbitration as part of the country's efforts to rebuild and attract foreign investment.

She was named the "Global Rising Star of the Year" (Euromoney’s Global Commercial Arbitration Awards 2014), one of the "45 under 45" (Global Arbitration Review 2011), and one of the 44 "Rising Stars" in New York (New York Law Journal 2013).

Bars and Courts

  • Solicitor of England and Wales
  • New York State Bar
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York


  • JD, Columbia University, New York (one semester)
  • LLM, Columbia University School of Law, New York
  • Licentiate in Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Single Candidature in Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • ERASMUS Student, Law Faculty, University of Granada, Spain


  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish


Post-M&A ICC arbitration in New York, 2014

Ank represented a European telecommunications company (buyer) in a $200 million claim against another European telecommunications company (seller) under the litigation indemnity in a New York-law governed Share Purchase Agreement between the two companies. The case settled on terms favorable to Ank's client.

Investment treaty case, 2014

Ank is defending Bulgaria against claims arising out of investments in Bulgaria's electricity distribution sector. (EVN AG v. Republic of Bulgaria, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/17)

Investment treaty case, 2014

Ank is defending Bulgaria in a case arising out of concession agreements for the provision of waste collection and street cleaning services in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. (Novera AD, Novera Properties V.V. and Novera Properties N.V. v. Republic of Bulgaria, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/16)

Post-privatization ICC arbitration seated in London and governed by English law, 2013

In an ICC arbitration seated in London and governed by English law, Ank represented an Eastern European State in its $100 million claim for a clawback payment due under its privatization contract with a private equity fund for the privatization of the national telecommunications company. Ank's client prevailed and was awarded costs.

Maritime case, 2013

Ank represented a Latin American chemical company in an ad hoc maritime arbitration seated in New York against the Latin American owner of a tanker. The case settled on terms favorable to Ank's client.

Arbitrator ICDR case, 2013

Ank chaired a three-member tribunal hearing claims totalling over $100 million among several Latin American companies, arising from a transportation agreement for the use of a crude oil pipeline in Latin America.

Construction/infrastructure case, 2011

In a fast-track ICC arbitration in New York, Ank represented a Caribbean owner in a dispute with a renowned Japanese contractor, regarding the construction of a desalination and utilities plant in the Caribbean. New York law applied. Ank's client defeated the contractor's claim for wrongful calling of the performance bond and prevailed on most of its counterclaims for faulty construction.

Insurance cases, 2010-2012

Ank has represented an international energy insurer in several ad hoc arbitrations seated in London and arising out of insurance policies governed by New York law.

Court of Arbitration for Sport case, 2010

Ank represented the ticket of 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov and several national chess federations in a CAS arbitration against the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in relation to FIDE's 2010 internal elections.

Speaking Engagements

"Preparing Your Case: The Experts", June 2015: PLI's International Arbitration 2015 program, New York (panelist)

"Practice and Procedure", 2015: LCIA Symposium on International Commercial Arbitration, Washington, DC (moderator) (with Michael Collins QC)

"Effectively Employing ADR", 2014: At a conference entitled "The Effective General Counsel in the Boardroom" organized by the National Association of Corporate Directors, Washington, DC (speaker)

"Investor-State Mediation: A New Trend for the Resolution of Investment Disputes", 2013: at the Eight Annual ICC New York Conference, New York (speaker)

"Strategies Employed by New York's Best International Arbitrators", 2013: The NYSBA Global Law Week, New York (panelist)

"Integrity in International Sport: Current Challenges and Legal Responses", 2012: The International Law Weekend, New York (moderator)

"Interpreting the FIDIC Disputes Clauses: How Binding Are DAB's 'Binding Non-Final' Decisions?", 2012: The FIDIC Americas Contract Users' Conference, New York (speaker)

"2012 International Arbitration Survey: Current and Preferred Practices in the Arbitral Process", 2012: Launch at the IBA Annual Meeting, Dublin (speaker)

"Presentation of Evidence", 2012: The Swedish Arbitration Days, Stockholm (panelist)

Ank taught a week-long workshop on international arbitration to Haitian senior practitioners, academics and judges (Port-au-Prince, 2012)


  • The US Law of International Commercial Arbitration Restated, 21/1 Disp. Res. Mag. 8, [pincite 8-12], Fall 2014 (with Professor Catherine A. Rogers and Suyash G. Paliwal)
  • International arbitration: a PRIME choice?, Financier Worldwide, July 2012 (with Trina Ng)
  • Chapter on Belgium in the World Arbitration Reporter, 2011 (Juris) (with Olivier van Outryve)
  • United States country reporter for the New York Convention Country Reports, Reports (IBA Subcommittee on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards), 2010
  • Arbitration between main contractor and owner: Can its outcome also bind a subcontractor?, Global Arbitration Review, Vol. 4, Issue 5, 2009 (with Kate Brown de Vejar)
  • Expert Determination Clauses in Contracts Providing for International Arbitration – What Happens when the Expert's Decision is Not Final and Binding?, Arb. Int'l., Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 687 et seq., 2007
  • ICSID Amends its Arbitration Rules, [2006] Int.A.L.R. 4, pp. 119-22, 2006 (with Andrew McDougall)

Awards & Recognition

Rising Star of the Year, Euromoney's Benchmark and Expert Guides, Global Arbitration Awards 2014

New York Law Journal 44, 2013

One of 44 "Rising Stars" in the New York legal profession

Global Arbitration Review 2011

One of the world's "45 under 45" international arbitration practitioners

GAR 100, 2011

"Garry Kasparov … [t]he former chess world champion said the [team led by Ms. Santens] displayed 'a combination of big-picture understanding and management of the smallest details despite heavy time pressure'. 'I would never consider going to any other firm.'"

International Arbitration, Chambers USA

Leading Individual, Global Arbitration Review 100

The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration

International Arbitration, Legal 500 Latin America

Who's Who Legal, Arbitration

Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law