Derains & Gharavi

Arbitration (International) Department

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What the team is known for Paris-based arbitration boutique led by highly regarded specialists who frequently act as counsel or arbitrator in prominent cases. Familiar with the rules of all major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, UNCITRAL and ICSID. Particularly noted for work on behalf of either private individuals or corporate entities pursuing BIT claims against Eastern European or Asian states. Key sectors include the energy and natural resources, construction and mining spheres. Also benefits from a well-reputed public international law practice, representing sovereign states from the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Strengths"Their team has multi-jurisdictional qualified lawyers which allows them to find the right answer on the spot. When dealing with international matters and multi-jurisdictional issues, they're like a fish in water," enthuses one interviewee.

"The team knows investment arbitration inside out and deals with complex factual and legal issues in a very convincing manner," reports one source, adding:"They effectively direct local counsel and anticipate what's coming, so we are always a couple of steps ahead of the game."

Work highlights Advised Devincci Hourani and Issam Hourani on a USD170 million ICSID case against Kazakhstan over the alleged expropriation of a pharmaceutical business.

Notable practitioners

Peers consider founding partner Hamid Gharavi to be an important driving force behind the firm's international arbitration practice and report that "he's extremely good at finding the arguments and strategy." In addition to his work as counsel, Gharavi is regularly appointed as arbitrator.

Melanie van Leeuwen increasingly attracts attention for her work as arbitrator in commercial cases. One source highlights her "excellent reputation" in the arbitration community and another notes that she is "very methodical."

Yves Derains is highlighted by one source for his "incomparable experience" and "magnificent career" as arbitrator. He enjoys a tremendous reputation among commentators for his experience in UNCITRAL and ICSID arbitrations involving European or Latin American states. Derains has valuable experience in handling cases under BITs and the Energy Charter Treaty.