Strategies for Persuasion in the Face of Subconscious Influences and Cultural Differences: Arbitrator Selection and Overall Themes - World Arbitration and Mediation Review, Vol. 9 No. 4

Jose I. Astigarraga
Suzana M. Blades
Mark W. Friedman
Jay Alexander
William Peter Hartert
Benoit Le Bars
Eduardo Damião Gonçalves
Page Count: 
26 pages
May, 2015
Author Detail: 

José I. Astigarraga is an experienced advocate who represents clients in international business disputes.  In the course of more than 30 years of practice, Mr. Astigarraga has handled a broad array of matters.  His experience includes representing companies in disputes stemming from joint ventures, distribution agreements, licensing arrangements, shareholder agreements, corporate acquisitions, supply agreements, power projects, EPC and other construction contracts, credit, investment and other financial contracts, telecommunications agreements, utility/public service tariffs, insurance coverage, performance bonds and foreign judgments.  Fully fluent in both English and Spanish, Mr. Astigarraga has handled cases emanating from virtually every country in Latin America.  He has held a variety of leadership positions in the field of international arbitration.  He was one of ten Americans initially appointed by the US Government to advise the NAFTA Commission on international arbitration and dispute resolution.  He serves on the ICC’s Commission on Arbitration and chairs the Americas’ Initiative of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, which seeks to promote the use of international arbitration in the Americas through education and training.  He has chaired the International Bar Association’s Worldwide Task Force on the Guidelines for Arbitrator Conflicts of Interest.  Mr. Astigarraga successfully led the effort to have the Florida Bar authorize non-Florida lawyers to handle international arbitrations in Florida and personally argued the petition before the Florida Supreme Court.  He is also a founder and director of the recently-created Asociación Latinoamericana de Arbitraje.  Mr. Astigarraga served as Vice President of the LCIA and one of the 35 members on the Court worldwide and has lectured across the globe on arbitration topics.  Mr. Astigarraga has served as arbitrator, co-arbitrator or chair before the ICC, the LCIA, and the AAA, among others.  The US Department of State designated him to represent the US as an expert at the Organization of American States’ conference on Private International Law.  The World Bank engaged him to conduct an assessment of Latin American insolvency systems, which he co-authored and the World Bank published.  Mr. Astigarraga has been active in efforts to promote commercial law reform in the Americas, through service for many years as Vice Chair of the Board of the National Law Center for Interamerican Free Trade.

Suzana Blades is Lead Counsel of Arbitrations at the ConocoPhillips Company in Houston.  At ConocoPhillips, Ms. Blades manages a series of investment and international commercial arbitrations around the world.  Prior to joining ConocoPhillips, Ms. Blades worked as a Senior Negotiator at the Hess Corporation in Houston and as an associate in the international arbitration group of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Blades is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, New York University School of Law and State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).  

Mark Friedman is a litigation partner in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York office.  He has broad experience in civil and criminal matters, concentrating on international arbitration and litigation.  Mr. Friedman has represented clients in a wide variety of disputes, including those concerning energy, mining, construction, shareholder relationships, joint ventures, telecommunications, and investments.  Many of his cases have involved complex technical matters, including manufacturing processes, infrastructure design and engineering, environmental issues, real options and other topics.  He has acted as counsel or arbitrator in disputes under the rules of the LCIA, ICC, AAA, ICDR, CPR, UNCITRAL and ICSID.  Mr. Friedman has been ranked as a leading individual by Chambers and many other independent guides.  Among other positions, he is a member of the Court of the London Court of International Arbitration, a member of the editorial board of Dispute Resolution International, and past Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Arbitration Committee, Vice-Chair of the International Dispute Resolution Committee of the International Section of the American Bar Association, and co-rapporteur of the International Law Association’s Commercial Arbitration Committee.  Mr. Friedman regularly speaks and publishes on international arbitration and compliance topics.

Jay Alexander is a partner at BakerBotts and co-chairs that firm’s International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution practice.  With nearly 30 years of legal practice in Washington D.C. and in London, Mr. Alexander focuses on the arbitration of commercial and investor-state disputes.  He routinely represents claimants and respondents, and has substantial experience in many industries, including the energy, telecoms, and financial services sectors.  Mr. Alexander has served as a law clerk to now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a judge on the International Court of Appeal of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, and as a trial advocacy instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA).

William P. Hartert, is In-House counsel with Enel S.p.A. – Head of Legal Affairs Business Development Global Generation, specializing in international M&A and construction Projects in the energy sector.  Mr. Harter holds a degree with honors from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium (1997).  Mr. Hartert was previously Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs of Engineering and Research Division before being Head of Legal Affairs Europe and New Countries of Renewable Energies Division, formerly senior Legal Counsel in charge of legal affairs for the development of new nuclear capacity in Italy as well as legal counsel in the Legal Affairs in International Division.  Within the Enel Group, Mr. Hartert has acquired extensive experience in litigation and was involved in several international arbitrations involving foreign investment and investment related disputes.

Benoit Le Bars, co-founder and Managing Partner of Lazareff Le Bars, represents clients in international arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution.  He also advises on contracts, international projects and litigation proceedings.  Mr. Le Bars specializes in corporate law, international trade law, international contracts, and the law of OHADA, on which topic he published a book in 2011, Droit des sociétés et de l’arbitrage international – Pratique en droit de l’OHADA.  An English updated version of this treaty (International Arbitration and Corporate Law: An OHADA Practice) has been published in December 2013.  In addition to his work as counsel, he also serves as elected president of the arbitral tribunal, sole arbitrator or co-arbitrator in a wide spectrum of international arbitrations.  For many years, Mr. Le Bars has been deeply involved in business and law in Africa.  His in-depth know‐how of OHADA law, as well as his passion for the continent, led him to create a quarterly magazine focused on corporate law in Africa, (MIDAA), as well as to host a conference for lawyers and business players across Africa (RIDAA), which is to be hosted on an annual basis in different jurisdictions in Africa.  Mr. Le Bars is also a professor of law in the US and in France.  In recognition of the quality of his courses, he has recently been awarded with the title of Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law by the Vermont Law School (US).  Mr. Le Bars began his career as an independent lawyer and counsel within a number of international law firms.

Eduardo Damião Gonçalves is a Litigation/ Arbitration Partner with Mattos Filho Law Firm in São Paulo, Brazil.  Mr. Goncalves has wide experience in litigation and act as a counsel and arbitrator in a variety of domestic and international dispute resolutions and complex disputes.  His experience includes disputes under the rules of various organizations, including the ICC, and the UNICITRAL, and the Brazilian rules in connection with merger and acquisition transactions, information technology agreements, telecommunications, satellites, insurance, construction, energy, and oil and gas matters, among others.  In addition, he regularly advises clients on environmental law and disputes before government agencies and federal and state courts.  Mr. Goncalves has published law review articles on arbitration law, and is a frequent speaker at alternative dispute resolution conferences both in Brazil and abroad.  Mr. Goncalves is a Lecturer in Law at Fundação Getúlio Vargas and was a visiting scholar at Boston University School of Law.  He holds a PhD in International Law from the University of São Paulo and a LLM from the University of Paris II (Pantheon-Assas).  Mr. Goncalves was Chairman of the Brazilian Arbitration Committee (2005 - 2009) and is currently a member of its Board of Directors.  He was a co-chair of Young-ICCA and of LCIA/YIAG for Latin America and he is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Amcham-SP Arbitration Center as well as of the FIESP/CIESP Arbitration Center and a Member of the ICC Latin American Group.  Mr. Goncalves is also a Vice-Chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee (2015 - 2016) and a Moderator of ITAFOR and a Member of ITA’s Programs Committee.  Mr. Goncalves has been nominated among the top Brazilian Arbitration experts in Chambers and Partners and Who´s Who for many years and was appointed in the last version of GAR 45 under 45, among the world top 45 arbitration lawyers under 45.