Supported By:


Nawi Ukabiala, Debevoise NY (Associate) and BASIL representative;
Prince-Alex Iwu, Diaz, Reus & Targ LLP Miami and Young ICCA Events Coordinator;
Tolu Obamuroh, White & Case Paris (Associate);
Matthew Morantz, Curtis NY (Associate) and Young ICCA Events Coordinator;
Theominique D. Nottage, Higgs & Johnson Bahamas (Associate) & Young ICCA Co-Chair.

Young ICCA and BASIL Workshop on Improving the Participation of Minorities in International Arbitration

Date: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:25 PM
Location: Debevoise & Plimpton, 919 Third Ave., New York
Organised with: Blacks of the American Society of International Law (BASIL)
Registration: Registration is free of charge. Click here to register


Keynote: Diversity in International Arbitration, Prof. Ben Davis (University of Toledo)

This keynote will discuss historic trends (including available statistics) regarding diversity in international arbitration. Starting from a description of four discrete areas of under-representation at the American international arbitration bar (women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons and minorities), our speaker will focus on the issue of under-representation of minorities. Prof. Davis will explore possible underlying causes, remaining barriers-to-entry and set the stage for our the evening’s two panels.

Panel 1: Can I get a … Diverse Tribunal?

In November 2018, Brooklyn-born rap artist Shawn Carter (also known by his stage name, Jay-Z) petitioned a NY court to stay a contract-based arbitration brought against him and three of his companies.  The arbitration clause called for the appointment of a sole arbitrator via a strike-out method – starting from candidates picked from the AAA’s roster.  In his petition, Jay-Z argued that the arbitration clause was void for breach of NY public policy against racial discrimination, because the AAA roster included only one non-conflicted black candidate.  Using Jay-Z’s petition as a jumping-off point, this panel will discuss various issues related to the appointment of minorities to international arbitral tribunals.

  • Moderator:
    Ucheora O. Onwuamaegbu, Arent Fox DC (International Attorney)
  • Speakers:
    Naana A. Frimpong, King & Spalding Atlanta (Counsel)
    Randa Adra, Crowell & Moring NY (Counsel)
    Mohannad A. El-Murtadi Suleiman, Curtis NY (Associate)

Panel 2: Is a ‘Minority Pledge’ Needed in International Arbitration?

    Drawing from their own paths leading them to international arbitration-related fields, our panelists will debate the pros and cons of a “pledge” to increase the representation of minorities in international arbitration – and will discuss the effectiveness of other initiatives (e.g. diversity riders/resolutions; mandated client/service-provider ‘legal supply-chain’ diversity).

      • Moderator:
        Natalie L. Reid, Debevoise NY (Partner)
      • Speakers:
        Apoorva J. Patel, WilmerHale DC (Associate)
        Charline O. Yim, Gibson Dunn NY (Associate)
        Estefanía San Juan, White & Case Miami (Associate)
        Jordan C. Wall, Willkie Farr & Gallagher NY (Associate)

      Additional information: A cocktail reception with optional speed-networking stations will follow the workshop. 1.5 hours of CLE credit can be provided for participation in this event. All participants are expected to bear their costs of transportation to, from and within New York, as well as incidental expenses. They are further responsible for any necessary visa arrangements.

      This event will be video recorded, attendees should contact the steering committee before the event if they do not want to be videoed or photographed.


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