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

T +1 212 819 8200


in LinkedIn profile

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 specialist based in New York.  She serves as counsel or arbitrator in commercial, investment, construction, and insurance arbitrations around the world, under all major international arbitration rules (ICC, ICDR/AAA, ICSID, LCIA, UNCITRAL) as well as under ad hoc and regional rules.

Ank has been named one of the "Most Highly Regarded Individuals" in Arbitration (Who's Who Legal's Future Leaders 2017), Best in Commercial Arbitration (Euromoney's Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2016), Rising Star of the Year (Euromoney's Global Arbitration Awards 2014), one of 44 "Rising Stars" in the New York legal profession (New York Law Journal 2013) and one of the world’s "45 under 45" leading international arbitration practitioners (Global Arbitration Review 2011).

Clients and market sources say:

"'Great lawyer' Ank Santens is tipped by market sources as a 'future leader in the profession,' and is currently involved in a number of matters for key clients of the firm.  She handles investment treaty and commercial arbitrations with equal aplomb."  (Chambers USA 2013)

"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.'" (GAR 100, 2011)

Clients who benefit from Ank's advice come from a variety of industries, in particular energy and infrastructure, but also mining, insurance, telecommunications, maritime, pharmaceutical, financial services, logistics, waste management, and consumer goods. They hail from around the globe, with a particular focus on Europe and Latin America.

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 has a track record of obtaining an early resolution through creative strategies and the use of negotiation and mediation.

Ank's client-centered approach stems from her experience early in her career in the legal department of a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. She worked in White & Case's Paris office from 2004 to 2006.

Ank is a member of the Board and the International Arbitration Council of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR). She is a Vice Chair of the Arbitration Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) and a Member of the Executive Committees of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA) and the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA).  She serves on the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third Party Funding, the Program Committee of NYIAC, and the Editorial Committee of International Arbitration Case Law.  She is a past Chair of the Arbitration Committee of CPR and a past member of the Advisory Board of Columbia University's Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration (CICIA).

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

She is on the IEL Energy Arbitrators List and on the roster of arbitrators of the ICDR (American Arbitration Association), the Câmara de Conciliação, Mediação e Arbitragem CIESP/FIESP (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and the Lagos Court of Arbitration (Nigeria).

Ank is a past co-chair of White & Case's New York's Women's Network and 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. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the female lawyer mentorship program launched by Falabella, the Vance Center and the Carey law firm in Chile, and the Board of Trustees of the French-American School of New York.

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


Investment treaty case, 2017

Ank is representing the investors in an ICSID claim against Argentina concerning the nationalization of the country's private pension system (MetLife, Inc., & Others v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/17/17)

Construction/infrastructure case, 2017

Ank is representing the owner in a AAA arbitration concerning the construction of a flue gas desulfurization project at a power plant located in the U.S.

Post-M&A ICC arbitration in New York, 2015

Ank represented a Latin American retail company (buyer) in an arbitration against a Latin American private equity fund (seller) concerning various warranties, indemnities and tax provisions in a New York-law governed share purchase and indemnity agreement. 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 defended 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

"Further Issues to Consider in the Arbitration Clause", 2017: ISDA Conference on "Derivatives Disputes; Litigating and Arbitrating the ISDA Master Agreement", New York (speaker)

"Interim measures in International Arbitration", 2016: ITA Workshop, Dallas (speaker)

"Are allegations of corruption subject to a higher standard of proof?", 2016: The King's College-Columbia Praelium, London (advocate)

"Strategic and Practical Considerations in Multi-Jurisdictional Disputes", 2016: Hedge Fund and Capital Markets Litigation Committee Program, New York (panelist)

"A Spotlight on Ethics in International Arbitration: Advocates, Arbitrators and Awards", 2016: ITA-ASIL Conference, Washington, DC (co-chair and moderator)

"Institutional Appointment v. Party Appointment", 2015: 32nd ICC/ICSID/ICDR Joint Colloquium on International Arbitration, Washington, DC (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)


  • The State of Play of Enforcement of Emergency Arbitrator Decisions, Journal of International Arbitration, Vol. 34, Issue 1, 2017 (with Jaroslav Kudrna)
  • 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

One of the "Most Highly Regarded Individuals" in Arbitration, Who's Who Legal’s Future Leaders 2017

Best in Commercial Arbitration, Euromoney's Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2017

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