August 23, 2007
Which Professors Get to Be International Arbitrators?
Posted by David Zaring

Susan Franck and Jeffery Commission are my go-to sources for information on the exploding universe of investment arbitration claims against countries. Think NAFTA, or, more commonly, arbitrations done pursuant to bilateral investment treaties by a World Bank outfit known as ICSID. If a foreign investor thinks that, say, Argentina treated it differently than it did domestic investors when it passed that currency stability law, then it can go to ICSID after a straightforward exhaustion process. The idea is that foreign investors don’t want their rights judged by the domestic courts of less developed countries; ICSID is the mechanism used to contract out of that default presumption.

But you probably knew that. What you didn’t know is which American arbitrators are most likely to handle ICSID disputes. Commission has come up with the answer (see tables D and E). Charles Brower is our iron man, with 6 concluded and 6  pending arbitrations under his belt. He is an emeritus White & Case partner. Michael Reisman (Yale, 4 pending)), and Andreas Lowenfeld (NYU, 2 pending + 2 concluded), looked like our most commonly used professors, though Ronald Cass (BU), David Gantz (Arizona)  and David Caron (Berkeley) have also received work, as has Thomas Buergenthal (a professor/international judge), Benjamin Civiletti (a former AG), and Fred Fielding (the White House counsel).

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