1. Why did you choose and how did you start your Arbitration career?
When I first heard about international arbitration during a discussion with a young lawyer working in the field, I was attending my first year at Sciences Po in Paris, so I had not even started my legal studies yet. I was immediately interested by this field because this young associate was very passionate about his job and because it seemed to be a challenging career with a strong international aspect. The first class on international arbitration I ever attended was at the University of Chicago Law School while I was an exchange undergraduate student there. I then decided to specialize in Business Law back in Sciences Po and completed a Master’s in Commercial Dispute Resolution there, which focused on all methods of dispute resolution and therefore provided me with a good knowledge of both French procedure and French arbitration law. I then decided to complete a Master’s in Private International Law and International Business Law at the Sorbonne Law School and I really enjoyed this topic. International arbitration was a natural outcome for me since it is a means of dispute resolution that is mostly used for commercial disputes with an international aspect, which allowed me to deal with the practical aspects of private international law and with all the legal issues arising out of international contracts, which I had studied in depth. I completed several internships during my studies in the dispute resolution practice of law firms in France and Brazil and started as an associate at Linklaters four years ago once I qualified as a lawyer in Paris.
2. We have seen that you were a teaching assistant one day, do you think that an academic career may make difference in Arbitration?
International arbitration is a field that is constantly evolving, and it is particularly important to be aware of the different trends and evolutions in several jurisdictions, which makes it more challenging than in other areas.
Having an academic activity (I would not speak of an academic career in my case) helps being up to date and understanding the new challenges that may arise from time to time. This can be done by teaching, but also by writing articles or attending conferences or trainings. It is however important to choose the ones with the best content, which can be challenging in a field with so many conferences happening all over the word throughout the year. Besides the academic activities, I think it is also very important for young practitioners to aim at gaining experience both as counsel and as secretary to arbitral tribunals. I find the experience on the arbitral tribunal’s side fundamental to improve the work as counsel and it of course helps developing the skills necessary to potentially act as arbitrator in the future.
3. What qualities must be present in an intern/associate in Arbitration?
Good legal skills and strong business awareness, which makes all the difference. Enthusiasm and resilience are also crucial.
4. Do you have any particular tips for young people who are looking for their place in Arbitration?
The success of international arbitration has led to an increase in the number of students
interested in this field and to a consequent increase in the courses specialized in this topic.
However, I think it is very important not to focus only on arbitration and try to gain knowledge in more substantive fields.
Although it has become fundamental to have had academic or practical experience in arbitration to be able to find a position in a specialized team, anyone with a good knowledge of a particular substantive field will be of great added value.