International Arbitration Collaboration - Celebrating 10 Years of Miami Law & Young ICCA Partnership

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International Arbitration former students

Young ICCA, the young practitioners’ group of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, this spring celebrated its 10th anniversary of providing educational resources, practical training, and mentorship networks in the field of international arbitration to young practitioners and students from around the globe.

Young ICCA has sought to further open doors to arbitration through initiatives like the Young ICCA full-tuition scholarship partnerships. The first scholarship partnership of its kind began in 2012 with Miami Law, under the leadership of adjunct faculty member Marike Paulsson who then served as lecturer and inaugural director of Miami Law's International Arbitration Institute. While in this position and as a founding co-chair of Young ICCA, Paulsson developed the scholarship collaboration between Young ICCA and Miami Law to award one full-tuition scholarship to an outstanding Young ICCA member to study in what is now known as Miami Law’s prestigious White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program.

When Young ICCA was established, plenty of other arbitration groups geared toward young practitioners existed. Yet, as Paulsson, who thought of the idea of Young ICCA in 2008, remembers, “for many students and young lawyers in developing regions, it was close to impossible to get into these [programs].” Instead, with Young ICCA’s inception, the organization sought to bridge this gap and help those previously underrepresented in the field gain access.

As a result of Young ICCA and its dedication to “opening the doors of international arbitration” globally in the past decade, Paulsson said that they have been able to “create bridges with developing regions and support burgeoning lawyers around the world.” In the past ten years, Young ICCA has thrived, growing from just a few hundred members at its outset to over 7,000 members worldwide and continues to see growth.

To be considered for the scholarship, each year applicants participate in an essay competition where they address recent developments in the area of international arbitration. Since the Miami Law/Young ICCA partnership began, the Young ICCA scholarship has been awarded to eight outstanding students from around the globe, including Canada, Ecuador, India, Italy, Ukraine, and Venezuela, and continues to draw in diverse applicants to the program.

“White & Case LLP’s International Arbitration LLM program is strengthened and enhanced by the Young ICCA Scholarship recipients,” said Carolyn Lamm, J.D. ’73, Distinguished Faculty Chair of the White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program. “They have enriched our classes and the extraordinary educational experience we are able to offer our students. The Young ICCA scholarship program is important and invaluable to our Law School. We applaud Young ICCA’s anniversary.”

Meet Past Miami Law / Young ICCA Scholarship Recipients

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the second Young ICCA full-tuition scholarship was awarded to Canadian lawyer Eric van Eyken, IA LL.M. ’14. Van Eyken said that the scholarship provided him with the opportunity “to pursue a world class education in international law that would have otherwise been out of reach.” The Young ICCA Scholarship and educational opportunities provided through it, marked the transition point in my career, he says.

“From being a young practitioner of international arbitration to a specialist, with knowledge in all aspects of commercial and investment arbitration,” van Eyken says. Six years after completing his International Arbitration LL.M. degree, van Eyken says that “the knowledge and connections” he gained while at Miami Law aid him to this day in becoming a “better lawyer every week.”

After graduating from the LL.M. program, van Eyken worked as an associate with Hanotiau & van den Berg in Brussels, Belgium, under the supervision of Professor Albert Jan van den Berg who teaches “International Arbitration and the New York Convention” in the program. Van Eyken since has returned to his native Canada and now works as senior associate at Clyde & Co. in Montreal.

Davide Schiavetti, IA LL.M. ’16, was awarded the Young ICCA Scholarship and became the first student from Italy to attend the program. Schiavetti recalls that he had “the chance to learn from the authors of the very books that first sparked my interest in arbitration, in a very small class setting that allowed for constant debate, and direct learning experience.” Now, when Schiavetti thinks back to the day he learned he was chosen as the scholarship recipient he remembers two words in particular: career defining.

“I could not look back more fondly to the days I spent in the program, knowing that they have been key to my professional growth both in terms of knowledge and opportunities,” Schiavetti said. Immediately after graduating from the program, he spent a year at White & Case’s Washington, D.C. office working as an international lawyer in the international arbitration department headed by Carolyn Lamm, who also teaches “Investment Arbitration” in the program.

In 2016, Supritha Suresh, IA LL.M. ’17, was the fifth student to be granted the Young ICCA full-tuition scholarship and one of the first students from India to join the program. “I had just turned 23 when I was granted the Young ICCA Scholarship,” Suresh said. “The scholarship not only helped me enter the field and begin my career, but also gave me the opportunity to meet some truly remarkable people who have since helped me with personal and professional growth.”

For Suresh, the Young ICCA organization and scholarship partnership were incredibly influential in shaping her future. “The genuine support and the immense faith Young ICCA and Miami Law invest in us is incredible,” Suresh said. “Without this, I may not be who or where I am today.”

Immediately after graduating, Suresh worked with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes and subsequently Three Crowns in Washington, D.C. ICSID Secretary-General Meg Kinnear as well as Three Crown co-founding, D.C.-based partner Luke Sobota both teach courses in Miami Law’s International Arbitration Program.

Suresh now works as an international associate in Three Crowns’ newly-opened Bahrain office, headed by Professor Jan Paulsson, Miami Law’s Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair Emeritus and former faculty chair of the International Arbitration LL.M. Program. Paulsson continues to teach in Miami Law’s International Arbitration LL.M. Program, including his popular foundational course “Basic Concepts of International Arbitration.”

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ivan Bracho, International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. Joint Degree, ’19, was the first student from Venezuela to be granted the Young ICCA full-tuition scholarship. “The Young ICCA Scholarship drastically changed my career path and steered it toward International Arbitration,” Bracho said.

During his studies, Bracho was able to further advance in the field of arbitration by landing prestigious International Arbitration LL.M. Practicum placements with distinguished law firms and be involved in the Moot Madrid international arbitration competition team, an experience that Bracho describes as one of his favorite memories at Miami Law. “From having the opportunity to complete Miami Law’s International Arbitration LL.M. Program at no cost, to participating in Young ICCA’s mentoring program,” Bracho said, “I can safely attest today that it has been through this scholarship and support, that I have been able to bolster my career and get to where I am today.”

Bracho now works as an associate in the international arbitration practice group of Hogan Lovells in Miami, which is headed by Daniel E. González J.D. ’88, who teaches the hands-on practical skills “Forensics of Advocacy in International Arbitration” in Miami Law’s International Arbitration Program.

In 2018, Arundathi Venkataraman, IA LL.M. ’19, was the second student from India and the seventh student overall to receive the Young ICCA full tuition scholarship. “The Young ICCA scholarship is the entire reason I am where I am today!” Venkataraman said. “Without the funding, I would have found it very difficult, if not impossible, to pursue an LL.M. outside India, much less in the United States.”

For Venkataraman, the scholarship and subsequent LL.M. degree opened the doors that led to her current position and “continues to be a point of conversation” while searching for additional opportunities in the field, “I would say that the scholarship has not just influenced my career path, it has been the biggest driving force,” he said.

Venkataraman, who also worked with ICSID during her time at Miami Law, now works at Three Crowns in London.

Ecuadorian lawyer Edgar Bustamante Sierra, IA LL.M. ’20, was the 2019-2020 Young ICCA Scholarship recipient. Bustamante said that his “time in the International Arbitration LL.M. program was all I could have asked. I had the opportunity to learn from top arbitrators from around the world, engage in an internship with Hughes Hubbard & Reed through the International Arbitration Practicum Program and work on a prominent international investment arbitration case.”

According to Bustamante, this experience equipped him not only with the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed academically, but also with “valuable perspectives of American legal culture and case law which will undeniably represent an advantage for me back in my country.”

Bustamante’s practicum supervisor, Luis O’Naghten, a partner in the firm’s Miami office, also teaches “Federal Arbitration Act” in the program.

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Miami Law’s collaboration with Young ICCA is not just limited to this scholarship opportunity; both Young ICCA and Miami Law have worked together on numerous projects since the partnership began, offering students and young practitioners the guidance and education needed to succeed in the realm of international arbitration.

Miami Law has co-organized and hosted several Young ICCA Workshops such as “Emergency Relief: Institutional Role and Further Regulations” featuring international arbitrator Klaus Reichert in February of 2018 and more recently, in November of 2019 on the occasion of Miami Law’s hosting of the Global Rounds of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Moot Court Competition, “Interim & Provisional Measures in International Arbitration” featuring Cristina Cárdenas, Miami Law Int’l Law LL.M. ’04, and partner at Reed Smith, who teaches “International Arbitration in Latin American & the Caribbean” in the International Arbitration Program, among other Miami-based practitioners.

Notably, this year’s Annual Carolyn Lamm/White & Case lecture, hosted by Miami Law, featured the then president of ICCA, Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, who discussed the rise of international arbitration throughout the last century and provided an analysis on the methods for reform being discussed in the field today. The story of ICCA and Miami Law has come full circle with one of its first arbitration professors Lucy Reed taking the helm of ICCA this month. Miami Law has welcomed four ICCA presidents: Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Jan Paulsson, Lucy Reed, and Albert Jan van den Berg.

Several students of Miami Law’s International Arbitration LL.M. Program also have published papers on international arbitration-related topics on the Young ICCA Blog, many of them written during their time in the LL.M. Program as part of their course work.

“The Young ICCA full-tuition Scholarship offered by Miami Law’s International Arbitration LL.M. Program has helped open doors to the world of international arbitration for our students from around the globe,” says Sandra Friedrich, lecturer in law & director of Miami Law’s International Arbitration Institute and LL.M. Program. “We look forward to continuing to provide avenues of opportunity through which students from diverse backgrounds can access the field of international arbitration through our program.”