Abu Dhabi Chamber

For the first time in the Middle East, a woman will serve as the president of an arbitral court, nearly half of which are women


The new Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre has announced the inaugural members of its Court of Arbitration.

The Court will be led by Maria Chedid, who chairs the international arbitration practice at the global law firm of Arnold & Porter. Ms. Chedid is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Lebanon, and will serve as the first woman president of an arbitral court in the Middle East.

The inaugural Court is made up of fifteen leading practitioners, nearly half of whom are women, and includes, among others, the former ICJ Judge and Prime Minister of Jordan, Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh; the former Attorney General of the United Kingdom, Lord Peter Goldsmith; senior ADNOC corporate counsel, Lara Hammoud; and global arbitration luminaries Funke Adekoya from Nigeria, Byung-Chol (B.C.) Yoon from Korea, and Michael Schneider from Switzerland.

The Court has a wide geographic reach, with members based in eleven jurisdictions, including five from the Middle East region (four of whom are from the United Arab Emirates) and ten others from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Ms. Chedid welcomed the appointment of the inaugural Court members, saying that she is “pleased to be joined on the Court by such distinguished colleagues with diverse experience and backgrounds in a variety of roles and industries. The calibre of the individuals who have agreed to serve on the Court demonstrates the significant role this institution will play. The Court will be instrumental in establishing the Centre as a leading dispute resolution provider in the region, upholding the Centre’s values of excellence, fairness, and efficiency.”

Leading arbitration practitioner and scholar, Gary Born, who chairs the international arbitration practice at the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, was central to the establishment of the new Centre and serves as Vice-Chair of the Centre’s Board of Directors. Commenting on the constitution of the Court, Mr. Born said: “Throughout my time working on the development of the Centre, I have been uniformly impressed by Abu Dhabi’s vision and commitment to ensuring that the Centre will be one of the world’s preeminent dispute resolution institutions. This group of stellar arbitration practitioners, carefully selected to serve as trusted guardians of the Centre’s work, is a further reflection of that ambition.”

The Court will convene in Abu Dhabi for its first meeting at the end of January, immediately preceding the official launch of the Centre.


The full membership of the Centre’s Court is as follows:


Ms. Maria Chedid (President of the Court)

Arnold & Porter

Ms. Funke Adekoya

Funke Adekoya & Company

Mr. Ali Al Aidarous

Al Aidarous Advocates

Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh

Doughty Street Chambers

Dr. Hassan Arab

Al Tamimi & Co.

Ms. Utku Coşar

Arbitration Chambers

Lord Peter Goldsmith

Debevoise & Plimpton

Ms. Lara Hammoud

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Mr. Eri Hertiawan

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

Ms. Dawn Yamane Hewett

Quinn Emanuel

Ms. Blossom Hing

Drew & Napier

Ms. Kathleen Paisley

Ambos Law

Mr. Michael Schneider


Mr. Sami Tannous


Mr. Byung-Chol (B.C.) Yoon

Kim & Chang


Update On20 Apr 2020

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