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.

Strengths"The team was impressive all around," notes one interviewee, who goes on to highlight"the availability of all team members from senior partner to junior associate, the faultless management of the expert selection process and the versatility of the lawyers in the team, who were able to address questions of a highly technical nature." 

Clients agree that the firm is "clearly excellent in this field."

Work highlights Defended Lithuania in ICSID arbitration against a BIT claim brought by Veolia Environment concerning district power and heating generation systems in Lithuania.

Notable practitioners

Peers describe Paris-based Emmanuel Gaillard as "really exceptional" and "very versatile." Also deemed to be "outstanding," he boasts a leading global reputation and is highly sought after as an advocate in complex cases, as well as frequently sitting as arbitrator. Gaillard represents a range of private companies, state-owned entities and governments in major international proceedings. Sources note that he is "intellectually very powerful, can plead difficult cases convincingly and is realistic and down-to-earth."

Yas Banifatemi is a high-profile figure in the Paris market who stands out for her work defending states and state-owned entities in ICSID and ICC arbitrations. She is identified by sources as a leading figure in the investment treaty and energy arbitration areas. A client describes Banifatemi as "one of the most outstanding lawyers I have ever met," elaborating: "She quickly grasps the problems of the file, even on complex and very technical subjects."