White & Case's Nicolle Kownacki is a veteran of arbitration enforcement battles and has been named a Rising Star by Law360, earning a spot among the international arbitration attorneys under age 40.
In her interview with the publication, Kownacki highlights two of her many enforcement litigations—including a recent victory in the US Court of Appeals confirming the dismissal of an action to enforce an US$18 billion award.
She also discusses her advice for aspiring global disputes attorneys, the biggest case of her career, and why she decided to become an international arbitration attorney.
"The international component of my life was there from the beginning," Kownacki said. "Once I started working at the Department of Justice on extraditions, the idea of doing a legal aspect, rather than diplomacy or cultural, really solidified."
Kownacki also explained that international arbitration offers a "nice cross-section" of global affairs and legal issues, adding that she enjoys the field’s multiculturalism. As an example, Kownacki points to her ongoing work on the defense of the Republic of India against the enforcement of two arbitral awards across at least eight jurisdictions.
She notes that more and more "these global enforcement disputes are becoming multiforum and multijurisdictional," giving her an opportunity to connect with local counsel across the globe. "I think that [international arbitration] tends to be more diverse than some other areas of US law, and I love that."
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