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Where are the arbitration stars of the future, and which firms will they call home? “The firms with an edge,” says Emmanuel Gaillard of New York-based Shearman & Sterling’s Paris office, “are those that can pack together common law and civil law lawyers as a team and bridge the cultural gaps.” Gaillard himself is a bicultural package. “Fifteen years ago this guy was a French law professor who barely spoke English,” says William Laurence “Laurie” Craig of Coudert Fr�res in Paris. Today, by contrast, Gaillard is known for his “American litigation style” — which is a compliment when used to describe a Frenchman. Or look at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. In its Paris office, Jan Paulsson has assembled the kind of polyglot team that may be well-suited to the next stage of market evolution. A child of missionaries, he was born in Sweden and raised in West Africa, but all his higher education took place in the U.S. His group in Paris includes a Canadian, an Australian, a New Zealander, and a Greek Cypriot. Gaillard says admiringly: “Jan is a very international animal.” But they both face competition. Take a look.
A Slightly Arbitrary list of the Arbitration Elite
Allen & Overy 77 lawyers (64, Europe; 28, London)
Baker & McKenzie 94 lawyers (31, Europe)
Clifford Chance 85-90 lawyers (36, London)
Coudert Brothers 25-30 lawyers (7, Paris)
Debevoise & Plimpton 43 lawyers (35, New York)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 70 lawyers (20, Paris)
Fulbright & Jaworski 21 lawyers
Herbert Smith 40 lawyers (19, London)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed 32 lawyers (16, New York)
Ince & Co. 114 lawyers (83, London)
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue 50 lawyers outside the U.S.
Linklaters 100 lawyers (34, London)
Shearman & Sterling 55 lawyers(45, Europe; 32, Paris)
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett 30 lawyers (25, New York)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom 30 lawyers (25, New York)
White & Case 46 lawyers (30, Europe; 9, New York)
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering 25 lawyers (14, London)

SOURCE: The firms. NOTE: This chart approximates the collective commitment of resources to international arbitration by major British and American firms. It is not exhaustive, and cross-comparisons are perilous, because the definition of “arbitration lawyer” varies among firms.

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