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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Catherine Amirfar

New York, USA Global Guide 2022 Ranked in 3 departments
Ranked in : International Arbitration: CounselArbitration (International)Public International Law
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Lawyer profile for Global 2022

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Global 2022
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USA 2021

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Global
International Arbitration: Counsel - USA

Band 1

Catherine Amirfar 's leading practice benefits from her previous work as a former adviser to the US Department of State. She is experienced in handling complex investment treaty arbitrations for both states and investors.
"Catherine is a lawyer of amazingly strong skills in written and oral advocacy, and she becomes a master of all the details and facts of a case." "She is a delight to work with because she is authoritative and provides not only sound legal counsel but also sound practical counsel, understanding our business needs." "Catherine Amirfar is one of the best arbitration lawyers out there."
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Arbitration (International) - Global Market Leaders

Band 2

According to one client, Catherine Amirfar "must be the best lawyer in the world for arbitration," and they highlight that "she is highly intelligent, excellent at analysis, gets straight to the point and makes clients comfortable from day one." Amirfar is a much-admired figure for investor-state arbitration as well as major public international law matters ranging from maritime boundary disputes to sovereign responsibility.
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Public International Law - Global Market Leaders

Band 1

According to one client, Catherine Amirfar "must be the best lawyer in the world for arbitration," and they highlight that "she is highly intelligent, excellent at analysis, gets straight to the point and makes clients comfortable from day one." Amirfar is a much-admired figure for investor-state arbitration as well as major public international law matters ranging from maritime boundary disputes to sovereign responsibility.
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Practice Areas

Catherine Amirfar is Co-Chair of Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution Group and the Public International Law Group, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Her practice focuses on public international law, international commercial and treaty arbitration, and complex international commercial litigation. Ms. Amirfar also maintains a highly active pro bono practice, advising NGOs and individuals in a wide variety of human rights matters. Most recently, she has led work in conjunction with the Clooney Foundation for Justice on a number of high-profile cases seeking the release of unlawfully imprisoned journalists around the world.

With over twenty years of experience, Ms. Amirfar has argued before federal and state courts throughout the United States, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and arbitration tribunals sitting around the world. She has deep expertise representing states, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations and multinational companies.

Ms. Amirfar has a long history of wider involvement in her field beyond client work. Ms. Amirfar currently serves as President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), for which she has been co-hosting a podcast called “International Law Behind the Headlines.” ASIL is one of the most prestigious organizations within the field of international law, with 4,000 members from more than 100 nations. She also serves as a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Advisory Committees of the American Law Institute for the Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States and for the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. Ms. Amirfar is also a member of the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), the leading global organization of international arbitrators and arbitration practitioners, the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, and serves as Co-Chair of the ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages in International Arbitration. In 2021, Ms. Amirfar was appointed Deputy Co-Chair of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, an independent body that was established in July 2019 at the request of the United Kingdom and Canadian governments to provide advice to countries that are members of the Media Freedom Coalition of States.

Prior to rejoining Debevoise in 2016, Ms. Amirfar spent two years as the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, and received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award in recognition of her contributions. During her tenure as Counselor, Ms. Amirfar advised the State Department on its most significant litigation matters involving international law and foreign relations, and liaised with senior officials of the Departments of Justice and Defense, the National Security Council and the Office of White House Counsel. She represented the United States before international bodies and advised the State Department on international legal issues arising in the areas of human rights, armed conflict, sovereign and diplomatic immunity, international arbitration and claims settlement, and the intersection of U.S. and international law.

Ms. Amirfar has written extensively on international arbitration, the relationship between international law and U.S. domestic law, international human rights and humanitarian law; investor-state disputes; and the law of consular and diplomatic immunities. She is a frequent lecturer on international law and has guest-lectured at Yale Law School and NYU Law School, among others.

Global

This individual is also ranked in:

USA 2021
Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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