I’m very pleased to announce a major appointment by the our law school: starting next year, international arbitration scholar and arbitrator extraordinaire (and repeat University of Miami Visiting Professor) Jan Paulsson, will join our faculty as the first holder of the new Michael Klein Chair in Law.
This is a big deal for us in several ways.
First, Jan is globalization personified: born a Swedish national, he grew up in Africa but attended high school in California, eventually wound up at Yale Law School. He has worked primarily in Paris, most recently as the head of the Paris-based arbitration practice of one of London’s (and Europe’s) leading law firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He has extensive contacts and experience in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean (and for all I know the rest of the world too).
Second, Jan is arguably the leading arbitration advocate, and arbitrator, of his generation although Jan himself would be far too modest to claim any such thing. Multi-lingual, he is also an incredible multi-tasker, holding or having held many of the key jobs in the international arbitration world, including the Presidency of the London Court of International Arbitration and the World Bank Administrative Tribunal while moonlighting every few years as an on-the-spot arbitrator for the Olympic Games (someone has to be on tap to decide doping challenges). He has also written very extensively in the field, authoring two scholarly books and a slew of articles, as well as editing or contributing to the major practitioner works in his field. Indeed, I'm told that when he joins us Jan will be the most-cited member of the faculty.
Third, he’s coming to Miami to head up a new institute that will focus on international arbitration, with a particular focus on Latin America. I will have more to say about this in the future, but I think there's every reason to believe that under his leadership we should be able to build something world-class.
International arbitration is something of a poor stepchild in the US academy – we in the US are neither the primary users of it nor do we supply a particularly large share of the leading advocates (at least in private law), arbitrators, or scholars – although we do have a few domestic stars. But my sense is that US legal academics in particular do not have a visceral sense of the extent to which arbitration has come to play an essential role in the settlement of international commercial and financial disputes. (This may be because we have a reasonably functional domestic legal system or because historically so much of our trade was domestic.)
At UM we already have a healthy international arbitration curriculum, but bringing Jan Paulsson to Miami as the head of a new center will put us in the first rank of the US institutions focused on this increasingly important area of transnational law. Starting next year we will be offering an LL.M. concentration in arbitration as part of our comparative and international LL.M programs.
But to top it all, it turns out that Jan Paulsson is a very nice person – so when I say it's going to be a pleasure to have him on our faculty, that's no formality.
Formality can, however, be found below, where I quote the official announcement being issued by the law school today.
CORAL GABLES, FL (January 9, 2009) – The University of Miami School of Law today announced the appointment of Jan Paulsson to the Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair beginning in the academic year 2009-10. Paulsson is head of the public international law and international arbitration groups at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and has had his professional base in Paris for 30 years. He is currently also the president of both the London Court of International Arbitration and the World Bank Administrative Tribunal.
In his post, Paulsson will head a newly established institute for international arbitration at the University of Miami School of Law, that will include an enhanced international curriculum, LL.M. specializations, training, and CLE programs.
“We are very excited that Jan Paulsson, one of the world's leading experts on international arbitration, is joining our faculty,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala. “With his leadership, the University of Miami School of Law will be prominently positioned as an important center for the study of international law.”
“Jan is a fascinating combination of academic intellectual and powerful practitioner, who in many ways mirrors the strengths of the person whose chair he will hold – Michael Klein, distinguished UM Law alumnus and former partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP,” said Acting Dean Paul Verkuil. “We are lucky to have him.”
The school will benefit from Paulsson's expertise as counsel or arbitrator in over 500 arbitrations in Europe, Asia, the United States and Africa. He has also acted before a great variety of international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.
“Knowing Jan for over 20 years as an opponent, a scholar, a teacher, an author and a leader in the field of international arbitration, he is a brilliant advocate, an extraordinary and principled arbitrator and truly one of the leading stars in the international community in terms of substance and ability,” said American Bar Association President-Elect and UM Law alumna Carolyn B. Lamm. “I am certain his scholarship and stature will enable the Law School to establish a pre-eminent Latin American arbitration program.”
Mr. Paulsson holds an A.B. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Diplome d'études superieures spécialisées from the University of Paris. His many scholarly publications include the books Denial of Justice in International Arbitration published by Cambridge University Press and (forthcoming) The Idea of Arbitration to be published by Oxford University Press.