Advocacy in International Commercial Arbitration: ASA Special Series No. 36 - ASA Advocacy Prize (2012) Awarded to Philippe Pinsolle Laudatio
Henry Peter is Professor of Law at the University of Geneva. Since 1998 he has been Program Director of the Master in Business Law common to the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Freiburg and the University of Lyon 3-Jean Moulin (under a program LL.M. in International and European Law).
Besides his teaching and research, Henry Peter is Senior Partner in a law firm in Lugano. He is frequently appointed as presiding arbitrator, sole arbitrator or co-arbitrator in commercial or sports arbitration.
He has been a member of the Swiss Takeover Board since 2004 and of the Swiss Commission of sanctions on the Swiss Exchange since 2007. He was President of the Geneva Business Law Association from 2003 to 2006. He is a member of the editing board of the Swiss Review of business and financial market law and a board member of the Banking and finance law Centre at the University of Geneva. He is a vice-President of the Swiss Olympic Association chamber disciplinary panel for doping cases. Between 2003 and 2008, he was a member of the expert group on the Concordat insolvency proceedings appointed by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice. He is a member of the Swiss Arbitration Association and president of its Swiss Italian section since 2003.
Henry Peter was honorary consul of Sweden for the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland from 1994 to 2010. He has authored or edited numerous books and articles in his various fields of activity.
Dear Colleagues, dear Friends, dear Philippe,
Probably much more than in ordinary proceedings, Counsel have a key role to play in the arbitral process. This requires many and exceptional skills. It is these skills that form effective advocacy; these skills that give their "lettres de noblesse" to arbitration and probably justify its existence; these skills that, through the "ASA Prize for Advocacy in International Commercial Arbitration", ASA seeks to honour and promote.
Being clear, concise, realistic, friendly and user-friendly; going to the point both in fact and law; facilitating the tasks of the tribunal; being fair and not misleading; being sober, respectful, not confrontational; acting with style, courtesy and dignity; avoiding personal attacks; being critically objective, always independent: these are some of the many qualities required, some of which, unfortunately, are "en voie de disparition".
I am told that, this year, ASA’s selection committee had many very strong candidates. The choice may not have been easy. What is certain is that they recognised that "rare breed", the "oiseau rare", the ideal candidate, and that they have made a totally convincing choice. Philippe Pinsolle is known to most of us. He studied in Paris and Oxford; he is admitted both in Paris and in England, as a Barrister. He joined Shearman & Sterling some 20 years ago where he is now a partner playing a central role in the firm’s international arbitration group in Paris.
Although still quite young, Philippe already has an impressive track record. He has acted as counsel in more than 150 international arbitration cases, some of which of significant importance. He has been chairman, sole arbitrator and party appointed arbitrator in numerous proceedings.
Several years ago, as a Counsel, I had the chance to work against him. Shortly thereafter an important and demanding client of mine needed assistance in a difficult case in Paris: guess who I selected? Philippe of course! This sequence of event is probably more telling than many words.