Shearman & Sterling LLP

Arbitration (International) Department

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What the team is known for Boasts a market-leading presence that emanates from the superb reputations of key individuals in Paris and benefits from a supporting team in London. Acts for states and state-owned entities, as well as prominent investors and private companies on some of the largest investment treaty disputes, often brought under ECT and BIT claims. Also represents prestigious international clients in strategically significant commercial arbitrations. Often acts on high-value matters involving infrastructure and energy entities that are active across the African continent and in the Middle East. Also has substantial experience in handling disputes relating to M&A transactions and joint ventures.

Strengths Clients enthuse: "They have provided clear advice, they are very good at judging how things will develop. They provide commercial and strategic advice rather than just a specific drafting. Their advocacy is also very good and their attention to detail is excellent."

Another commentator highlights the lawyers' quality work, saying: "They are really at the top. In terms of technical knowledge and expertise, they are really outstanding," and adding: "They are extremely pleasant. They are absolutely loyal and fair."

A further source notes: "Everything is planned in advance and you do not have to be afraid of mistakes being made under time pressure."

Work highlights Advised EssilorLuxottica on an ICC dispute concerning governance following the company's EUR50 billion merger.

Notable practitioners

Emmanuel Gaillard is regarded as a standout name in the arbitration space, acting as both counsel and arbitrator. He comes recommended for his handling of complex commercial and investor-state arbitration cases across various jurisdictions in Europe, as well as in Africa and Latin America. A source deems him to be "at the forefront of the profession," with "impressive rhetorical verve."

Yas Banifatemi has strong expertise in both investment treaty and commercial arbitrations across a variety of sectors such as energy and life sciences. She also attracts attention for her experience of cases relating to the Middle East and Africa. Clients report: "She is one of the best professionals with whom I had the pleasure to work on arbitration cases," adding that "she is passionate and open to discussion."