Australia: Australian Arbitrator Appointed to the International Court
Last Updated: 26 November 2002

Sydney: Coudert Brothers' partner, Michael Polkinghorne, has been appointed to the ICC's International Court of Arbitration, the world's leading organisation in the field of international commercial dispute resolution. The three-year appointment makes him the second Australian on the Court, and strengthens Coudert Brothers' representation with Jingzhou Tao, managing partner of the Beijing office of Coudert Brothers, an alternate member since 2001.

The Court was created by the International Chamber of Commerce in 1923. It has facilitated over 10,000 international arbitration cases involving parties and arbitrators from more than 170 countries, and was conceived specifically for business disputes that arise in an international context The ICC's Rules of Arbitration facilitate arbitrations in numerous global centres, whilst the Secretariat for the Court resides in Paris.

Polkinghorne, who is based in Paris, returned to Australia last month to speak on international arbitration at the Union Internationale des Avocats congress held in Sydney. He said of his appointment: "I am pleased and honoured to be asked on to the Court, whose role extends to the review of the awards of ICC tribunals around the world.

"The ICC remains particularly relevant as our world shrinks and international disputes become an unfortunate commonplace. I look forward to a closer involvement in the whole process," he added .

Polkinghorne will continue to practise with Coudert during his appointment to the Court as a partner in the Paris office of Coudert Brothers, and is a former head of the firm's Bangkok and Vietnam offices. His practice involves alternative dispute resolution, notably in the state-contracts and energy fields, as well as in foreign investment issues, particularly in South and South-East Asia. He was counsel on the Pyramids Plateau case, one of the leading authorities on international expropriation, and was advisor to Mozambique and Vietnam on those countries’ arbitration legislation. He is presently working on cases in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including an expropriation claim against a state of the former Yugoslavia, and an international corruption case with claims valued at over US$ 500 million.

His appointment to the Court is effective from 1 January, 2003.

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Note to editors: Coudert Brothers in an international law firm specialising in corporate and commercial law. Operating as a global unified partnership the firm comprises 650 lawyers based in 30 offices in 18 countries around the world.

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