For the fourth year in a row, White & Case has been ranked the top international arbitration practice in the world by Global Arbitration Review (GAR), which announced White & Case’s top spot at its GAR 100 awards ceremony in Paris on April 12.
White & Case once again took the top spot in the GAR 30, a ranking of the "busiest practices, which is generated from the size and number of the disputes all the firms in the [GAR 100] have argued in the past two years," according to GAR.
GAR selects its GAR 30 firms following a detailed analysis of such metrics as the number of merits hearings and jurisdictional hearings in a two-year period and the amount of money at stake, the number of hours billed to arbitration and the number of pending cases in which a firm’s members have been appointed as arbitrators.
White & Case's roster of more than 180 arbitration practitioners and its large case load, valued at US$144 billion (up from US$124 billion in last year’s GAR 30), were both cited by GAR as factors that helped the firm retain the top slot.
In its ranking report on White & Case, GAR wrote: "Though a lot of work is for sovereigns, there are some niche areas associated with particular offices. In Paris and London, there’s a heavy focus on project and construction work…. Meanwhile, in Mexico City and Washington, DC, areas of special interest are investor-state work and Latin America…. Few would dispute that White & Case is a formidable opponent whatever the type of arbitration…. It's also worth noting that, of the top practices, White & Case is one of the least male-dominated."
Of White & Case's ranking, Paul Friedland (New York), global head of the White & Case International Arbitration Group, said: "Our top ranking in GAR attests to client confidence in our Group. Clients come to us for their highest stakes cases, and a large portion of our work is for repeat clients. We’ve been expanding while keeping our practitioners busy. No reason to see this trend changing in the near future."
GAR cited among White & Case's recent accomplishments the Firm’s establishing jurisdiction for tens of thousands of Italian bondholders to bring a collective ICSID claim against Argentina (the famous Abaclat case); a US$740 million ICSID win for Canadian mining company Gold Reserve against Venezuela; winning the complete dismissal of a €322 million ICSID claim against Hungary over a lakeside casino resort that never got built; helping a Lebanese-owned company win US$550 million against the Republic of the Congo; and the first dismissal of a treaty claim at ICSID because of corruption (Metal-Tech v Uzbekistan). These ICSID victories represent the fraction of the Group’s cases that can be publicly disclosed.