MR. LAIRD: I wanted to first thank everyone on this panel in advance--thank you very much--and introduce you to our moderator, who is one of our stalwart participants in this annual conference. I think Matthew has been to many, if not most, of the conferences over the last seven years, so thank you to you and your firm for your continued support.
Matthew Slater is a partner Washington office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He has been deeply involved in energy sector arbitrations, notably in the famous Yukos arbitration representing the Russian Federation, and has worked extensively in the field of the Energy Charter and is expert in its obligations and procedures. So, I think it’s excellent to have you here and moderating the panel, and I will pass it over it you.
MR. SLATER: Well, hopefully “stalwart” doesn’t mean last man standing, but I will stay standing during this panel because we have been graced with five panelists, and just to leave room for everybody and give them a chance to spread out a little bit. I’ll be here, with apologies to those behind the columns.
As with some of the earlier panels, what I will do is start by introducing our two authors.
And before telling you about them, I just want to emphasize that the ground rule of the conference was to ask the authors to advocate a position that they were assigned and don’t necessarily endorse. And I would say more generally, please understand that I have asked our panelists to proceed in the same fashion, to try to bring out points for discussion and elucidation without them necessarily being ones that they adhere to, and certainly none of the comments should be associated with their clients or positions in particular proceedings.