Dr. Jalal El Ahdab (Jil Ahdab) MCIArb

Jalal is a Partner at Bird & Bird, Head of the firm's International Arbitration Practice in Paris. He acts mainly as a counsel in a variety of sectors. He is  also an arbitrator and an expert. He is today chair of the CIArb European Branch.

What is your current role?

Since April of 2018, I chair the European Branch of the CIArb, which brings me pride and a lot of joy, working with people, at the level of the Committee and of our national Chapters, of great value and with a genuine commitment.

I am also a partner with Bird & Bird and head there our International Arbitration group in Paris. My practice covers notably Europe, Africa and the MENA region, focusing on international disputes and foreign investments. I am also a former UNCITRAL representative, a member of the ICC Court and co-chair of the IBA ARF.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in ADR thus far?

Managing, after hitting some wins and losses over 10 years, in 2 separate cases – one of 1M€ value and the other worth more than 1bln $, but equally important for my respective clients – and roughly at the same time, to incite the parties to settle their disputes. 

What’s, currently, is the most important issue in ADR?

Making it accessible, meaning both more understandable to lay people and definitely much more cost-efficient. Perhaps equally important is the necessity to make it more diverse and gender-neutral.

What is the best thing about being a member of CIArb?

The people, the people and the people: there is clearly a community of members, all pretty much convinced of the virtues of international arbitration and of the need to spread its spirit through education and trainings. Education is also a key value in and for our old – but looking forward to becoming younger – Institute. In times of drawback and ignorance, this counts a lot.

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