Global law firm White & Case LLP was named one of the top international arbitration practices worldwide by Global Arbitration Review at its annual awards ceremony, held in Bogotá, Colombia, on February 21, 2013.
White & Case again placed second globally in the Global Arbitration Review 100, a guide to the world's leading 100 international arbitration practices. The methodology used to determine the rankings is based principally on the number and value of pending cases and hearings over 2011 and 2012. The survey highlighted the Firm's case load of 223 arbitration matters, valued at US$73 billion, including multiple "bet-the-company" cases.
The Global Arbitration Review "lifetime achievement award" went to former White & Case lawyer Stephen M. Schwebel, who is a former judge and president of the International Court of Justice. Judge Schwebel started his career at White & Case working on the Aramco v Saudi Arabia arbitration. In his acceptance speech, Judge Schwebel recounted his time at White & Case and described Aramco v Saudi Arabia as "one of the most important international arbitrations of the 20th century." In addition, White & Case was nominated for "large international arbitration practice that impressed during the past year," and the Firm's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) victory in SGS Société Générale de Surveillance S.A. v. Republic of Paraguay was nominated for "most important published decision of 2012 in jurisprudential terms."
The commentary of the Global Arbitration Review 100 notes that "White & Case enjoys a reputation as a formidable opponent – and results to match," and describes the Firm's practice as "First class. White & Case has more than justified its reputation over the years. Examples include: winning US$877 million for a Czech bank against Slovakia in 2004 (then the largest-ever ICSID award); numerous cases for states at ICSID (usually with costs), including, during one sequence, three cases on the bounce for Romania; and winning a case for Ukraine by summary dismissal (the first time that had been done at ICSID). Recently it won the jurisdictional phase of Abaclat – the bondholder case and first use of a [mass claims] procedure at ICSID…. In 2012, the firm achieved the notable feat of winning a case for import inspection services provider SGS built on a BIT's umbrella clause. SGS had attempted similar claims twice before (with different counsel, against different states) without success. It also won one of the largest awards ever obtained against Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, on behalf of two engineering clients."
The Global Arbitration Review awards ceremony was held on the eve of the 16th Annual International Bar Association (IBA) International Arbitration Day in Bogotá. White & Case's Global Head of International Arbitration, Paul Friedland (Senior Vice Chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee), and Partner Aloke Ray, were speakers at the IBA International Arbitration Day. White & Case also hosted a dinner in Bogotá for leading international arbitration practitioners in Latin America and worldwide.
Jonathan C. Hamilton, White & Case's Head of Latin American Arbitration, notes that "the choice of Bogotá as host city for these important arbitration events is a clear indication of the growing significance of Latin American arbitration on the world stage."
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