Professor J. Martin Hunter (1937-2021)

It is with great sadness that ICCA marks the passing of ICCA Advisory Board Member Professor J. Martin Hunter on 9 October 2021 at the age of 84.


Professor Hunter was a long-standing Member of the ICCA leadership body, elected to the then ICCA Council in 1986 and serving as an Advisory Board Member since 2012. An active member of ICCA’s publications committee, Professor Hunter contributed to the ICCA Yearbook and several volumes of the ICCA Congress Series, publishing on a plethora of themes including comparative arbitration practices, the role of experts in international commercial arbitration, integrated dispute resolution systems, preventing delays and disruption in the arbitral process, the relevance of applicable law in proceedings, and more. Over 20 years, he acted as working group chair, rapporteur and commentator at ICCA Congresses held in New York, Stockholm, Vienna, Beijing and Montreal.


Professor Hunter continuously engaged young practitioners within the international arbitration community. He participated in Young ICCA’s first ever skills training workshop, held in Geneva on the fringes of ICCA’s 50th anniversary conference in 2011, helping to set the informal and interactive tone that has continued to characterize Young ICCA’s workshop programme. He was also a mentor in the early cycles of the Young ICCA mentoring programme, sharing a treasure trove of anecdotes and helpful tips on everything from writing styles for memorials, effective oral advocacy and managing an arbitration to matters of substance with mentees in many settings. Armed with years of experience, he generously shared practical insights into the field of arbitration, participating in lunchtime seminars at the Peace Palace in The Hague and teaching dispute resolution courses around the globe, including at Nottingham Trent University, Central European University Budapest, King’s College London, and University of Miami Law School.


Many people have felt the impact of Professor Hunter’s presence within the organisation, the field of international arbitration and their lives as practitioners.


Paying tribute to Professor Hunter and his many achievements, ICCA President Lucy Reed said: "We have lost another giant in international arbitration. Few have been as generous as Martin in helping launch careers, including for many ICCA members. He will be missed".


Fellow Advisory Board Member and Honorary ICCA President Professor Jan Paulsson, with whom Professor Hunter worked in various capacities, said: "The emergence of a professional community may enrich the lives of those who nurture it -- in work and in fellowship. Of this Martin was exemplary, part of the original core of ICCA, and much loved for it".


Fellow ICCA Board Member and long-time collaborator Constantine Partasides also paid tribute:

"Martin Hunter was so much more than a leading international arbitrator.  He was a visionary, who imagined earlier than anyone else that international arbitration could be a specialist area of commercial legal practice.  Together with his extraordinary friend Alan Redfern, he built the first such specialist team at my old firm of Freshfields, and hired a talented young fellow called Jan Paulsson to lead that practice internationally. He was a magical mentor, before that concept was a la mode, helping to develop generation after generation of leading lawyer.  He was an educator, who loved nothing more than to help young minds realise their potential in London, Miami, Orissa State and Brazil.  And of course, for me over the last 15 years he was a brilliant co-author, with encyclopedic knowledge of our field, a powerfully simple writing style and the kind of personality that would not allow co-authors or publishers to get away with missed deadlines!  But above all, he was a friend, who gave so many people a part of his limitless enthusiasm for life.  To his beloved wife, Linda, I say that his legacy lies in the deep and enduring affection of so many around the world on whose lives he has had a profoundly positive effect."


ICCA joins the Hunter family in celebrating Professor J. Martin Hunter’s remarkable life and accomplishments.