ICC Court inaugurates counsel guild

  • 28 May 2013
ICC Court

Former and current leaders and managers including presidents of the Court, as well as counsel of the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration gathered in Paris at ICC headquarters last week to celebrate the launch of an ICC Court Counsel Guild.

The guild will facilitate contact between former and present members of the Secretariat of the Court and will act as a cornerstone for ICC to document the long and important history of the Court and its Secretariat through exchanges made at meetings or via a group’s dedicated intranet platform.

“It has been a privilege for me to work with the Secretariat since 2009. We are a tight knit group of colleagues with a lot of common knowledge, a lot of common memories and a great deal of experience. The case load at ICC is enormous and the amount of work that goes into processing those cases is really quite remarkable,” said Court President John Beechey.

“Everything changes continuously at the ICC Secretariat but the spirit and cohesion of its members remain the same,” said Secretary General of the Court Andrea Carlevaris. “Having held various gatherings over the years, the idea of bringing together past and present members of the Court’s management is not new. What is new is the idea to give it a permanent and regular framework in the form of the guild.”

The inaugural cocktail and dinner featured a series of tributes to former Court leaders and counsel who made notable contributions during their time at ICC.

Paying homage to former President of the Court Michel Gaudet, former Secretary General of the Court Stephen Bond said: “None of us got here today by ourselves. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.”

Sharing the sentiment, ICC Special Counsel Mireze Philippe said: “ICC Arbitration was built progressively over decades and was built with so many valuable predecessors who contributed to drafting rules, building practices, finding solutions to complex situations, being inventive, contributing to constitute case law and shaping arbitration. ICC remains the forerunner in arbitration and the inspiration for so many dispute resolution institutions, hearing centres and moot practices made possible through the contributions of our predecessors.”

The administrative staff at the Secretariat of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce is divided into teams. Headed by a counsel and dealing primarily with cases relating to certain regions or language groups there are currently seven arbitration case-management teams based in Paris and one in Hong Kong. The Secretariat also has teams in charge of coordinating internal practices including a legal training programme, publications, events, marketing and promotion and a documentation and research centre. There is also a team to manage the work of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR as well as a team in charge of the ICC International Centre for Amicable Dispute Resolution that administers mediation, expertise and dispute board cases as well as domain names disputes.

The first meeting of the guild was particularly historic, taking place shortly before the ICC and Court secretariats move from current headquarters to new offices in the heart of Paris that will provide a modern working environment, with state-of-the-art equipment and meeting rooms.

Ms Philippe, who initiated and organized the convivial first meeting of the guild, collected historic Court information and documents including photographs, to share with former and current colleagues. “Every member past and present has contributed to the life of the Court Secretariat and to building the reputation of ICC Arbitration,” she said.

“I didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation to join the guild,” said Matthew Secomb, Partner at White & Case who was Counsel at ICC from 2001 – 2005. “It’s been a wonderful event and it is great to have formal recognition that there is a group of people out there who have had a common experience at ICC.”

The launch of the ICC Court Counsel Guild inspired the initiation of a deputy counsel guild and it is hoped to bring both groups together at a future event.

Guild membership is exclusive to former and current ICC leaders and managers at the Secretariat of the Court.

For more information please visit ICC Arbitration and ADR