Representing parties in international arbitration is not the preserve of counsel teams in big law firms. Practitioners who operate independently or through small firms form a significant proportion of counsel in arbitrations, although their work can sometimes be overlooked. Hear from our panel of leading arbitration practitioners, from the Registrar of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and from the Head of Arbitration Professional Practice at Ciarb, on the methods, skills and resources that can be deployed on a range of arbitrations on an independent basis or through a small firm.
Please note, times listed are in British Summer Time (GMT+1).
Tunde Ogunseitan FCIArb, is an international dispute resolution practitioner. He has extensive dispute resolution experience in private international law, foreign investment and commercial contract cases. He obtained practical experience in several firms including Steptoe, Cadwalader and Zurich Financial, specialising in dispute resolution, asset tracing, maritime law insurance, structured finance and debt capital markets. He formerly led the Common Law jurisdictions of the ICC Secretariat for over 7 years and was instrumental in the ICC’s recent push to increase the organisation’s dialogue with the African Market. Tunde teaches alternative dispute resolution and international commercial arbitration at the SOAS University of London and UCLY in Lyon, France. He is currently a trustee of ODRAfrica. He holds Court seats on the SCCA and the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA). Tunde is part of the Ciarb teaching faculty in London and was a founding member of the IBA 40 under 40.
Foluke Akinmoladun is the Managing Solicitor of Trizon Law Chambers, Lagos Nigeria. She is a lawyer, accountant, mediator and arbitrator. Her work experience covers both domestic and international commercial legal matters. She is also a Chartered Secretary and a Business Rescue and Insolvency practitioner. She is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration and ADR in Paris and a member of the London Court of International Arbitration. Foluke is a peer reviewer for ICSID journal, coordinated by the University of Oxford. She has a blog titled “Dede’s law and business series” where she writes on legal and business matters especially in the maritime space. In addition, Foluke is a professional student member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK Nigeria Branch and also a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators. Foluke completed the prestigious Diploma in International Arbitration with the Africa Arbitration Academy 2023 and was the best overall co-participant for the 2023 cohort. She is among those short listed for Global Arbitration Review 45 under 45 from Nigeria.
Christopher Chinn is an independent arbitrator and counsel based in Paris. He is admitted as an attorney in Paris, England & Wales, and New York, and acts on behalf of clients to successfully resolve a broad range of disputes, including construction and engineering matters under FIDIC forms of contract, disputes arising out of shareholder and partnership agreements, and investor-state claims. Born and raised in Hawai’i, Chris has been involved in international arbitration since 1999-2001 when he trained in Paris at Coudert Brothers, one of the first leading international law firms with a specialist practice group in arbitration. He has since worked at leading law firms in New York and Paris. In addition to his native English, Chris is fluent in French and speaks conversational Polish. Chris is a fellow of Ciarb and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Branch. He has also taught Ciarb courses as a member of its Approved Faculty and represented Ciarb at the UNCITRAL Working Group II.
Mercy Mcbrayer is Ciarb’s Head of Arbitration Professional Practice. Mercy is a United States qualified attorney (Texas) and certified mediator with experience as party counsel in commercial business litigation and arbitration. She is an assistant editor of the Ciarb Journal, a Teaching Fellow in international arbitration at Queen Mary University of London, a speaker and lecturer on issues of international arbitration and ADR, and moot coach.
Kevin Nash is Registrar of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and leads the SIAC Secretariat in the provision of case management services. Over the course of the past decade, Kevin has overseen the administration of thousands of international cases under all versions of the SIAC Rules and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Under the Singapore International Arbitration Act 1994, Kevin is the statutory taxation authority and he is empowered to authenticate and certify awards and arbitration agreements. Kevin worked closely on the revisions to the SIAC Rules 2013, SIAC Rules 2016, SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules 2017, and leads the SIAC Secretariat on the drafting of the seventh edition of the SIAC Rules. He frequently speaks, lectures and conducts training on contemporary issues in arbitration. Recognised for being ‘truly exceptional in his passion for, and knowledge of, international arbitration’ and is listed by Who’s Who Legal as a Global Leader and National Leader for Southeast Asia in international arbitration.
Tomas Vail is recognised as a leading arbitration practitioner and has represented clients throughout the world, most frequently in Russia and the CIS, Southern/Eastern Europe and Africa, conducting disputes under the LCIA, SCC, ICC, ICSID and UNCITRAL rules. He leads Vail Dispute Resolution, an independent disputes practice based in London. Tomas’ experience includes advocacy of multi-billion dollar disputes and negotiating settlements at the highest levels of government, on behalf of both states and investors. He has particular experience of the petroleum, mining and renewables industries, advising on high-value disputes between energy companies and states/state-owned entities. Tomas also has experience of complex disputes in the construction, telecommunications, financial services, commodities, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors, including joint-venture and post-M&A disputes. He is a member of the New York Bar and is a solicitor of England and Wales. He is fluent in Russian, French and English.