GAR Live New York looks at Commisa v Pemex

GAR Live New York looks at Commisa v Pemex

20 September 2016

A panel at GAR Live New York considered the US Second Circuit’s decision in Commisa v Pemex to enforce an award annulled at the seat of arbitration, Mexico, and offered snapshots of the recent work of the ICC, the Supreme Court of New York State and a body that has set itself the task of restating US arbitration law.

GAR Live New York in pictures

15 September 2016

GAR Live New York took place on 13 November at the offices of Wilmer Hale Cutler Pickering and Dorr in the World Trade Centre.


John Fellas

Hughes Hubbard & Reed

John Fellas is a partner in the New York office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed. He is co-chair of the firm's International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution practice and co-chair of the International practice. John focuses on the areas of international litigation and arbitration.

In addition to being a member of the New York City Bar Association, he is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He has served as counsel, chair, sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in arbitrations under the American Arbitration Association (AAA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and ad hoc rules.

Catherine Amirfar

Catherine Amirfar is a litigation partner in the International Dispute Resolution Group and Co-Chair of the firm’s Public International Law Group. Her practice focuses on international commercial and treaty arbitration, international and complex commercial litigation, and public international law.

Ms. Amirfar regularly represents multinational corporations, sovereign states and international organizations in both U.S. courts and before international arbitration tribunals.

Keynote Speaker

Gerald Aksen

Independent Arbitrator


Julie Bédard

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Christopher Drahozal

KU School of Law

Grant Hanessian

Baker & McKenzie

Richard Kreindler

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Yasmine Lahlou

Chaffetz Lindsey

Miriam Harwood

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle

Edward Kehoe

King & Spalding

Edna Sussman

Sussman ADR

Rachel Thorn

Chadbourne & Parke

Michael Young

Allen & Overy

Janet Walker

Osgoode Hall Law School & Arbitration Place, Toronto

Jan Woloniecki


Gervase MacGregor


Luka Misetic

Squire Patton Boggs

Alexis Mourre

President, International Court of Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

John Pierce

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Justice Charles Ramos

New York County Supreme Court

This conference has been accredited with 6 CPD points.


8.30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs’ opening remarks

9.10: Session one: The year in review

All you need to know about what’s happened in international arbitration since GAR ’s last visit to New York. The discussion will take in:

  • Developments related to awards annulled at the seat of arbitration (including, of course, the current status of the Yukos proceedings);
  • The latest updates to institutional rules and guidelines around the world;
  • The draft Restatement on the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration;
  • An update on the CETA and TTIP negotiations;
  • The increasing relevance of corruption allegations in international arbitration

Catherine Amirfar

Alexis Mourre, President, International Court of Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 
Janet Walker, Osgoode Hall Law School & Arbitration Place, Toronto
Christopher Drahozal, KU School of Law
Justice Charles Ramos, New York County Supreme Court

10.30: Coffee break

11.00: Session two: GAR Live Symposium

Our espresso ­version of the popular Tylney Hall format

Rachel Thorn, Chadbourne & Parke
Grant Hanessian, Baker & McKenzie

12.30: Lunchtime Speaker
Gerald Aksen, Independent Arbitrator

13:00: Networking lunch

14.00: Session three: It’s advocacy, Jim, but not as we know it

In US litigation, the trial is “the moment”. In international arbitration, the hearing is…well, a bit less than that. It’s a moment of importance, certainly. But because more details of the case are submitted in advance in writing - witness statements, case memorials etc – over several rounds, the hearing doesn’t stand out quite so much. It’s just the latest in a series of moments that the parties have to influence the tribunal. Together, those moments add up to the playing field on which the advocates joust. So how do you make the most of them?

In this panel, leading names will share their collective wisdom on the art of advocacy in international arbitration. Questions they’re expected to discuss include:

Opening thoughts

  • What makes IA advocacy a different art?
  • Using procedural conferences, document production and interim measures applications and the like to get your narrative across

The importance of written advocacy

  • What makes a witness statement , or memorial, pop?
  • Should you ever hold anything back? Is there a place for the element of surprise, or does it backfire?

At the hearing

  • What are you allowed to do to prepare witnesses in advance of their testimony?
  • How do you cross-examine a witness when you have not taken his or her deposition?
  • Should you adjust your style to the nationality or legal background of the Tribunal?
  • When things go wrong: how does one deal with surprises (new documents, sick witnesses – or worse)?

The arbitrators’ view

  • What is effective advocacy from the standpoint of the arbitrators?
  • What do they find ineffective?

John Fellas, Hughes Hubbard & Reed

Julie B édard, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Richard Kreindler, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Edward Kehoe, King & Spalding
Luka Misetic, Squire Patton Boggs

15.20: Coffee break

15.50: Session four: The GAR Live debate -
Motion: “This house believes that Brexit represents a big opportunity for New York”

John Pierce, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Debaters :
Miriam Harwood Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle
Jan Woloniecki, ASW Law
Yasmine Lahlou, Chaffetz Lindsey 
Michael Young, Allen & Overy

Judges :
Edna Sussman, Sussman ADR
Richard Kreindler, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Gervase MacGregor, BDO

17.15: Chairs’ closing remarks

17.30 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a cocktail reception kindly hosted by Squire Patton Boggs


Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street New York, 10007, USA


Registration is no longer available.