Institute Prize

ICC Institute Prize winner announced

  • 29 November 2023

Sabrina Pearson-Wenger has been awarded the 2023 ICC Institute Prize for her thesis on “Good Faith in International Commercial Arbitration: its Application by Arbitral Tribunals to the Parties' Contract and the Arbitration Agreement’’. The prize, including €10,000 prize money in recognition of her outstanding work, was handed to Ms Pearson-Wenger during a special award ceremony to conclude the 43rd ICC Institute of World Business Law Annual Conference.

Born in the United Kingdom, Ms Pearson-Wenger is the ninth laureate of the prestigious award. She is a newly qualified lawyer practising in international commercial arbitration and co-founder of Arbius AG in Bern, Switzerland, where she offers legal services in international and domestic arbitration and mediation as well as IT-based legal services. Ms Pearson-Wenger also works as a scientific collaborator at the Swiss University of Neuchâtel. Her portfolio already includes several publications on arbitration.

Chair of the ICC Institute Eduardo Silva Romero, laureate Sabrina Pearson-Wenger, and Chair of the jury Nayla Comair-Obeid

It is an honour and, in my view, it also seems apt to submit the fruit of my research work to the distinguished institution at the heart of the cases that inspired me to write my PhD Thesis. I am humbled, to be awarded the 2023 edition of the ICC Institute Prize.

Ms Pearson-Wenger

Since 2007, the biennial ICC Institute Prize has honoured legal writing excellence that looks to innovate in international commercial law, including arbitration. The Prize is open to anyone under the age of 40 on the closing date for entries.

A total of 27 participants (13 men and 14 women) from nine countries submitted their work for the 2023 edition of the Prize, the second highest number of entries ever received. All entries were carefully reviewed by an international jury comprising nine Council members of the ICC Institute. Given the significant number of submissions, 18 ICC Institute members assisted the jury in reading and evaluating the theses.

“The winning thesis stands as a pinnacle of academic excellence, marked by impeccable organization, deep analysis, and original insights. Its comparative approach introduces a layer of complexity, adding depth to the study and showcasing the author’s analytical skills. The jury swiftly reached a unanimous decision, recognising the thesis for its comprehensive, well-crafted narrative, and excellence across all dimensions.”

The chair of the jury, and ICC Institute Council member, Professor Dr Nayla Comair-Obeid

Ms Pearson-Wenger’s thesis addresses “Good Faith in International Commercial Arbitration: its Application by Arbitral Tribunals to the Parties’ Contract and the Arbitration Agreement”. The work aims to address some of the uncertainties relating to the application of good faith by arbitral tribunals. It does so by studying how the notion is applied by arbitral tribunals in international commercial arbitration to both the parties’ contract and the arbitration agreement. In addition, the dissertation proposes a framework for the future application of good faith by arbitral tribunals.  

Submissions for the next edition of the ICC Institute Prize open in April 2024. The ICC Institute is committed to recognising legal writing excellence to strengthen the ties between academic institutions and practising lawyers.