White & Case Retains Number One Ranking in International Arbitration

3 min read

For the third year in a row, White & Case has been ranked the top international arbitration practice in the world by Global Arbitration Review, as announced at an awards ceremony in Milan on March 29, 2017.

The Global Arbitration Review GAR 30 ranking of the world's leading international arbitration practices highlighted the Firm's 160-plus arbitration practitioners and its large case load valued at US$124 billion.

Global Arbitration Review lauded White & Case, noting that "the firm has 'big names', lots of offices and a history as a pioneer in this area… So how did it get to this enviable position?" The publication cited several key factors:

A Pioneer: "White & Case was one of the first US law firms to do extensive work overseas," dating back more than a century. "Today's international arbitration practice grew from those origins. As a result of its early foreign work, international disputes began to arrive on its doorstep."

Depth: "The practice now offers more than 160 lawyers working around the globe, including a number of spots where rivals aren't on the ground."

Breadth: "Of the firm's 40 offices, 20 are home to international arbitration names. As well as the usual centres – London, Paris, New York, DC, Stockholm, Hong Kong and Singapore – the list includes Mexico City, Miami, Frankfurt and Moscow. The practice also now has a presence in Geneva and Seoul."

Quality: "White & Case has a reputation around the market as a fearsome and creative opponent. In fact, in ICSID work, a survey by Credibility International recently assessed White & Case as the 'winningest' law firm at ICSID."

Clients: "White & Case is blessed with a list full of clients that return." Clients described our Practice as "simply the best" and "superb from the beginning to the end" with "good strategic judgment, strong argumentation and a diligent approach to every matter." "To say we were pleased would be an understatement."

Diversity: "Of the top practices, White & Case is one of the least male-dominated: senior female partners include Carolyn Lamm (a recent past president of the American Bar Association), Abby Cohen Smutny, Andrea Menaker, Ank Santens and Anne-Véronique Schlaepfer."

Results: "Looking at the recent past, big White & Case wins include:

  • Establishing jurisdiction for tens of thousands of Italian bondholders to bring a collective ICSID claim against Argentina (the famous Abaclat case), eventually securing them a US$1.35 billion settlement;
  • A US$740 million ICSID win for Canadian mining company Gold Reserve against Venezuela;
  • Helping the Philippines triumph in a long-running ICSID dispute over an airport terminal, by having the case thrown out twice;
  • 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 defending the award against corruption allegations in the French courts);
  • Obtaining a US$295 million payout for Siemens and its South Korean partner to end a decade-long ICC dispute with Mexico's Pemex over a refinery upgrade;
  • The first dismissal of a treaty claim at ICSID because of corruption (Metal-Tech v Uzbekistan);
  • Knocking out the bulk of a 'bet the company' treaty claim against Uzbekistan (investor Oxus Gold won only US$10 million of the US$1.3 billion it was seeking);
  • A US$40 million win for SGS against Paraguay thanks to a treaty's 'umbrella clause' (the company had failed in two similar cases against Pakistan and the Philippines, using other counsel); and
  • Helping Peru to bring the first ICSID case by a Latin American state as part of a larger dispute that ended with a US$40 million payout to the government."

A complete version of White & Case's GAR 30 commentary can be found here.

The White & Case International Arbitration Practice was established more than three decades ago and has repeatedly been recognized at the top of its field worldwide.

John Templeman
Global Arbitration Practice Manager
White & Case LLP
+1 646 885 2312
[email protected]