14 Jun 2022
The CIArb Young Members Group (YMG) Global Steering Committee is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 CIArb YMG Writing Competition:
Winner: Simon Bianchi
First runner-up: Pushkar Keshavmurthy
Second runner-up: Gladwin Issac
The case dealt with the security for costs application in an investor-State arbitration.
The Committee thanks the brilliant members of the Honorary Jury: Nayla Comair-Obeid, Jaroslav Kudrna, Prof. Dr. Nikos Lavranos, Tafadzwa Pasipanodya, and Maria Irene Perruccio.
It also extends its thanks to the excellent Editorial Jury: Dr. Kabir Duggal, Dharam Jumani FCIArb, Noreen Kidunduhu MCIArb, Amanda Lee FCIArb, Alexander Leventhal, Ana Gerdau de Borja Mercereau FCIArb, and Trisha Mitra.
Simon Bianchi is a Swiss-qualified lawyer specializing in international commercial and investment arbitration involving a variety of sectors. ISimon completed a Bachelor of International Relations (2015), a Certificate in Transnational Law (2016), and a Master’s degree in Business Law (2017) from the University of Geneva. After graduation, he trained with Tavernier Tschanz (2018-2019), a boutique law firm in Geneva active in both M&A and international arbitration, and was admitted to the Geneva Bar in 2019. Afterwards, Simon joined LALIVE as an associate in international arbitration with a special focus on post-M&A, energy and pharmaceutical disputes (in both investment and commercial arbitration contexts). He also taught at the University of Geneva, where he supervised the student team for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. In May 2022, Simon graduated from Columbia Law School's LL.M. program as a James Kent scholar (the School's highest recognition for outstanding academic achievement). During his LL.M., he was also a research assistant to Prof. Kabir Duggal with a focus on investor-State dispute settlement, as well as one of the Co-Chairs for the Columbia Arbitration Day. He intends to sit the New York bar in July 2022.
CIArb YMG: Why did you participate in the 2021 Writing Competition?
Simon: Because the Writing Competition represents a unique opportunity for students and young arbitration practitioners to improve their writing and practical skills. Indeed, the competition not only allows participants to act as a presiding arbitrator deciding on a disputed legal issue, but it also requires the drafting of a short and concise procedural order, as well as an explanatory note detailing the reasoning underlying the procedural order to the co-arbitrators.
CIArb YMG: What do you think of the work of CIArb YMG Global Steering Committee?
Simon: The CIArb YMG Global Steering Committee does incredible work when it comes to organizing events and activities for young practitioners and students interested in international arbitration and, more generally, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. By enabling young practitioners to immerse themselves in ADR and to work on relevant practical skills at an early stage in their career, the Committee actively participates in ensuring the future of international arbitration and ADR.
CIArb YMG: What are your plans for the next 1-3 years?
Simon: Having worked for some years as an international arbitration practitioner in Switzerland and recently graduated from Columbia Law School's LL.M. program, the plan for the next few years is to go back to private practice in international arbitration. In this regard, I am currently looking for an associate position in international arbitration in the United States (or, alternatively, in Europe). From a personal perspective, I am equally interested in commercial and investment arbitration, and I hope that I will be able to combine both activities in my future practice.
CIArb YMG: What are your wishes for arbitration and ADR?
Simon: The recent world events should serve as a timely reminder that the peaceful resolution of conflicts and international disputes remains the work of each generation. In this context, international lawyers should strive towards not only reforming and improving international arbitration and ADR so as to ensure that they remain attractive and efficient dispute resolution mechanisms, but also promoting their use as a means to foster the rule of law.
In addition to reaffirming the fundamental role of arbitration and ADR in global politics and peace diplomacy, it is also essential to address certain structural concerns which, while more down to earth, are nonetheless fundamental in today's world. In particular, diversity and environmental impact. In this respect, I wish that the current trend towards more diversity in international arbitration will continue to gain broad support through various initiatives, and that the nascent reflexions about how to make international arbitration greener be further developed in the next few years. Indeed, the long-term sustainability of arbitration and ADR, and their wide acceptance by the international community, necessarily go through addressing the fundamental issues of our time.
Pushkar Keshavmurthy is an Indian qualified Advocate and an accredited Commercial Mediator. At present, he serves as a Case Manager at the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) and administers high-stake disputes arising from various sectors and industries. As a Global Policy Diplomacy and Sustainability (GPODS) Fellow, his research focused on sustainable energy transition and post-Covid recovery with diverse economic models of India in association with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution from NALSAR University. He is an incoming LLM Candidate at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
Gladwin Issac is an Indian qualified (2018) lawyer currently working as an Associate in the Litigation and Arbitration practice of S&R Associates in Mumbai. Prior to joining S&R Associates, Gladwin undertook short-term work placements with key stakeholders in the field of international dispute settlement including GAR 100 law firms, an intergovernmental organization, India’s Ministry of Law and Justice, a leading arbitral institution in the Asia-Pacific region, and an investment policy think-tank – where he worked on a broad range of law and policy issues in this field. Gladwin holds a bachelor's degree in Law (LL.B., first-class honours) from Gujarat National Law University (2018) and a Master's degree in Law (LL.M., magna cum laude) specializing in international dispute settlement (MIDS), jointly awarded by the University of Geneva and The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (2020). He has also completed advanced courses from the International Academy for Arbitration Law (2018), the World Trade Institute (2018), and the Xiamen Academy of International Law (2019).