Thevenin Serves as Arbitrator at Annual Vis Moot Practice Session

USCIB/ICC USA held it’s 12th Annual Vis Moot Practice Session earlier this month. The practice moots help law school students hone their advocacy skills in preparation for competing in one of the premier events in international arbitration – the Willem V. Vis Moot Competition in Vienna, Austria — which brings together over 300 law schools competing before hundreds of the world’s best international arbitration experts.

The Practice Session was co-organized with the ICC International Court of Arbitration’s North America office, and included eight law schools (Brooklyn, Cardozo, Fordham, Heidelberg University, New York, New York University, Pace University and the University of Bucharest) with over 30 New York-based arbitration professionals serving as mock arbitrators.

This year’s problem involved the sale of bakery goods under the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods and applied the UNICTRAL Rules of Arbitration to the parties’ dispute.

“USCIB/ICC USA is proud to help support this effort to help train tomorrow’s law leaders in international arbitration,” said Nancy M. Thevenin, general counsel of USCIB/ICC USA, who also served as a mock arbitrator at the practice session. “We thank Javier H. Rubinstein of member firm Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, for hosting this event and for serving as a mock arbitrator.  We also thank Seoun “Nikole” Lee, deputy director, Alexandra Akerly, manager, strategy and development; and Mehr Kaur, promotion, officer of the ICC Court in North America for taking on the oars of organizing the practice session this year.”

New ICC Arbitration Rules and Note

International Law And Human Rights ConceptThe International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration recently adopted new ICC Arbitration Rules and Note, which was approved by the Bureau of the Court on February 22 and went into effect earlier this month. The Note consolidates previously existing notes into one cohesive guidance document.

“The Note is an important step towards the implementation of our new policies to foster the efficiency and the transparency of ICC arbitrations. The possibility for any party to seek the provision of reasons for a wide range of Court decisions is a landmark change as well as a message of accountability to our users,” said President of the Court Alexis Mourre.

The Note also introduces a wide range of additional services that are now available to the parties in ICC cases, such as the recommendation of administrative secretaries, services for the organization of the hearing, the organization of transparent proceedings or the use of sealed offers.

Additional information on the Note can be found here.

ICC Welcomes New Court Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has recently announced the appointment of Alexander G. Fessas as secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration (“ICC Court”) and director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services and Ana Serra e Moura as deputy secretary general of the ICC Court. They will succeed Andrea Carlevaris and José Ricardo Feris, respectively, who are returning to private practice at the end of May.

Fessas, a Cypriot national born in Athens, currently serves as managing counsel and is the third most senior member of the ICC Court’s Secretariat. He started his career with ICC working as deputy counsel in the Eastern European team in 2011. He was later promoted to counsel, first in charge of the North American team and later in charge of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East team. Before joining ICC, Fessas was an associate at Stelios Koussoulis & Partners, an Athens-based law firm until 2007, and a sole practitioner thereafter.

Moura, in turn, currently serves as counsel in charge of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. She joined ICC as deputy counsel of the same team in 2011. Moura is also the project manager of the opening of the ICC Court Secretariat’s office in Sao Paulo, which will be announced shortly. She is admitted to the Portuguese Bar. She obtained her law degree from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon and furthered her studies at the Instituto de Empresa Law School in Madrid. In addition to Portuguese, her native language, she speaks English, Spanish and French. Moura has ample experience in both commercial and investment arbitration, as well as commercial and corporate law.

For additional information on their appointments, please see this ICC Press Release.




USCIB is the U.S. National Committee to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which has long been the world’s leading organization in the field of international commercial dispute resolution. Through its affiliation with ICC, USCIB’s Arbitration Committee serves as the primary contact point in North America for information about the ICC International Court of Arbitration® (the ICC Court) and ICC’s wide range of dispute resolution services.


Serve as a contact point for the ICC Court in North America.

Current Priorities

  • Nominate Americans to serve as members of the Court and as ICC arbitrators.
  • Act as a referral source for parties seeking arbitrators, mediators, experts, or counsel in ICC arbitration proceedings.
  • Participate in and nominate USCIB members to serve on the ICC Arbitration Commission and ICC Arbitration Task Forces, such as the Task Force on Drafting Arbitral Awards, Task Force on Arbitrating Competition Law Issues, Task Force on IT in Arbitration, Task Force on Guidelines for ICC Expertise Proceedings, Task Force on Criminal Law and Arbitration, Task Force on Reducing Time and Costs in Complex Arbitration, Task Force on European Contract Law, and Task Force on “Amiable Composition and ex aequo et bono”.




Grant Hanessian
Baker McKenzie


Nancy Thevenin
General Counsel
212-703-5047 or

Crys Won
Executive Assistant, Office of the President
212-703-5049 or


Rocky Mountain
Washington D.C.
Corporate Counsel
Transactional Lawyers
Young Arbitrators Forum

Click here for a full list of USCIB Arbitration Committee officers

  • Conduct regional briefings on the ICC arbitration system, and sponsor conferences for practitioners on current issues in international arbitration and ADR.
  • Co-sponsor international dispute resolution seminars with international dispute resolution institutions, bar associations, corporate counsel organizations, and potential users of arbitration and other forms of ADR.
  • Collaborate with the Canadian and Mexican National Committees of the ICC and with various Latin American National Committees to promote ICC arbitration and dispute resolution in the Americas.
  • Participate in the trilateral NAFTA 2022 Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes to promote ADR for private commercial disputes in the NAFTA region.
  • Work with the U.S. Department of Commerce to distribute information on the ICC Court to commercial offices in U.S. embassies and consulates.
  • Meet with officials from countries around the world to discuss the ICC’s arbitration system and other dispute resolution services.
  • Identify opportunities for ICC arbitration and/or ADR to be designated as a means of dispute resolution for domain name and other e-commerce disputes and in multilateral and regional instruments, such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and BITs.
  • Co-host with ICC Annual Miami Conference on Dispute Resolution in Latin America.
  • Co-host with ICC U.S. based conferences on ICC dispute resolution services.

Please use the links below to explore recent statements and reports, news stories on USCIB’s website, and media coverage related to our work.

News Stories

Thevenin Serves as Arbitrator at Annual Vis Moot Practice Session (2/26/2018) - USCIB/ICC USA held it’s 12th Annual Vis Moot Practice Session earlier this month. The practice moots help students hone their advocacy skills in preparation for competing in one of the premier events in international arbitration – the Willem V. Vis Moot Competition in Vienna, Austria — which brings together over 300 law schools competing before hundreds of the world’s best international arbitration experts.
USCIB Welcomes New General Counsel for Arbitration (10/6/2017) - Nancy M. Thevenin joined on October 2nd as a part-time consultant with the title of General Counsel. Thevenin's portfolio will include supporting the USCIB Arbitration Committee and coordinating the work of the U.S. Nominations Committee.

Read More

Press Releases

Thevenin Joins USCIB as General Counsel (10/11/2017) - Nancy M. Thevenin has joined the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s leading global companies, as general counsel.
Arbitration and ADR Rules ICC Unveils New Rules of Arbitration (9/14/2011) - New York, N.Y., September 14, 2011 – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched a much-anticipated revised version of its Rules of arbitration, with the aim of better serving the existing and future needs of businesses and governments engaged in international commerce and investment, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), ICC’s American national committee.

Read More

Hold the Date: ICC Institute Masterclass for Arbitrators

ICC Institute Masterclass for Arbitrators: Overview of fundamentals and best practices related to serving as an arbitrator

Please save the date for the upcoming ICC Institute Masterclass for Arbitrators: Overview of fundamentals and best practices related to serving as an arbitrator,

Date: March 13-15, 2017

Location: Washington, DC

This advanced level training will provide participants with an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into some of the provisions of the 2012 ICC Rules of Arbitration while learning about the latest developments and best practices related to serving as an international arbitrator.

Topics to include:
• The role and appointment of arbitrators
• Establishing the arbitrator’s authority to create a suitable working framework
• Conduct of the proceedings and case management techniques
• Mock arbitral tribunal to explore issues pertaining to relations between arbitrators
• Drafting enforceable awards and scrutiny by the ICC International Court of Arbitration

Who should attend:
• Practitioners who have significant experience in international commercial arbitration as counsel, but little or no experience as arbitrators.
• Arbitrators who wish to reinforce their knowledge.

Registration information will be circulated when it is available. If you are interested in attending, please email Alexandra Akerly.

12 Reasons to Attend ICC’s Miami Arbitration Conference


Hundreds of legal professionals from the United States and Latin America are set to converge in Miami next month for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Miami Conference on International Arbitration.

Originally launched 14 years ago with just 60 participants, the annual event now attracts around 550 practicing lawyers, arbitrators, mediators, corporate counsel and academics for debate, discussion and insight into the latest trends and developments in international arbitration

The Miami Conference was the first of many ICC regional arbitration conferences that take place worldwide today and with even more participants expected this year.

We bring you 12 highlights of the event to get you geared up to attend. See all 12 on ICC’s website.

ICC New York Conference Explores Regional Arbitration Landscape

ICCNewYorkConferenceOver two hundred practicing lawyers, corporate counsels, dispute resolution practitioners and academics from around the world participated in the 11th International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) New York Conference on International Arbitration on September 14, 2016.

The high-level event proved to be a successful blend of thought-provoking discussions and stimulating networking opportunities for professionals wanting to keep pace with the latest North America arbitration trends.

The one-day conference kicked off with speeches from ICC International Court of Arbitration President Alexis Mourre and ICC Court Secretary General Andrea Carlevaris. During his address, Mourre outlined principle objectives and long-term vision for the Court.

“With more than 200 registered delegates, the ICC North American regional conference held in New York is a testament to the continuous growth of our workload in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This conference is already the main arbitration event in the region and we look forward to it becoming even more successful in the years to come,” said Mourre.

Finding balance in institutional reform

The first item on the agenda was a discussion on the series of reforms recently adopted by the Court. These changes are part of an on-going strategy that aims to modernise and enhance transparency and predictability procedures in ICC Arbitration. However, these policies bring to light questions regarding the role of an arbitral institution, its tools made available to satisfy users’ needs and appropriate methods of regulation. Expert opinions and perspectives were debated by the panel comprising leading arbitration practitioners. Each made comments as to whether or not the reforms sufficiently meet user expectations. Global Chief Litigation Counsel at GE Oil and Gas, Michael McIlwrath, said: “It feels as though the past four years have seen more changes in the practice of international arbitration than the previous 40. But more progress remains to be made.”

Confronting problems of parallel proceedings

While simultaneous proceedings are by no means a new phenomenon, they have become increasingly more commonplace. Parallel arbitrations between the same or closely related parties; multiple arbitrations in a series of vertical contracts; civil suits in one or more courts; even criminal investigations and prosecutions have progressively turned into companions to international arbitration. The second conference panel explored how international arbitration and other dispute resolution mechanisms work together, and at times conflict, in managing the many facets of a complex case. Panellists provided insight and effective strategies to employ when dealing with such complexities.

Challenges of witness testimony

The final panel dealt with the flaws in witness testimony. Although it is commonly presented in international arbitration, cognitive science has demonstrated the unreliability of human memory. The panel explained the contemporary scientific understanding of witness recall and whether the implications of this research present a problem in arbitration procedures. When discussing how arbitration practice can improve arbitrators’ ability to reliably determine facts, Associate Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the City University of New York, Deryn Strange, voiced her thoughts on changes that should be made. She said: “Memory evidence should be treated in similar ways to biological evidence – protected from any distorting or contaminating influence at every step of the judicial process.”

The conference concluded with an interactive mock plenary session. The exercise celebrated the Court’s inaugural working session in New York City, which took place on September 15-16, 2016. In the more than 90-year history of the Court, this is only the second occasion where the full Court met outside of its Paris headquarters – the first having occurred only recently in Hong Kong on June 30, 2016.

Court working sessions include a ‘regular’ plenary session – a monthly meeting, deciding on challenges against arbitrators and scrutinising draft awards in cases with states or state entities as parties, and draft awards reached by majority.

Court working sessions also include sessions on Court activities of the previous 12 months, and sets out objectives for the following year. Reports on the Court’s activities and future work were presented by Mourre and Carlevaris.

The two-day working session concluded with a roundtable discussion. The secretariat and Court vice presidents announced their first conclusions on the Court’s recently-introduced practices. These practices comprise communications of reasons on Court decisions; the publication of arbitrators’ names on the ICC website; diversity in the appointment of arbitrators; tackling delays in the timely submission of awards; and reduction and uplift of arbitrators’ fees.

For those who were not able to attend the sold-out ICC New York conference, the next regional arbitration event is the ICC Miami Conference, 13-15 November 2016 .

University of New South Wales Wins 11th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition

Mediation_awardLauded as the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) biggest educational event of the year, the International Commercial Mediation Week is the premier international mediation moot, run by the ICC International Centre for ADR.

After six days and 147 rigorous and fast-paced mock mediation sessions, the University of New South Wales’ Katherine Mackellar, Connor Taylor, Roshan Evans and Self Rumbewas have been crowned as the winners of the 11th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition, which was held on February 10 in Paris at the Maison du Barreau.

The final capped off an exciting Mediation Week that originally began with 65 teams from 32 countries who put their problem-solving skills to the test in real cross-border commercial dispute scenarios. However, it was the efforts of the University of New South Wales (Australia) that turned out to be the most victorious against Auckland University (New Zealand). Two U.S. schools – Cornell Law School and Pepperdine University – qualified for the competition’s quarterfinals.

The final problem was drafted by Rosemary Jackson, who is part of an international working group of mediation experts. It involved a dispute between a world-renowned pastry chef and an exclusive caterer to the stars with a failed icing situation. The bittersweet issue was observed by 350 spectators.

The winners not only walk away with coveted internships at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Centre for ADR, as well as the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution as part of the Competition’s prize, but an ample amount of first-hand experience, advice from and connections with world renowned mediators.

The team, which was headed by Competition veteran, Rosemary Howell, was selected for their communication skills, strong presence and teamwork after a thorough selection process that included an interview, written application and several other examinations.

“It is my last year at university, so it is an incredible high note to go out on,” said Mackeller who represented her team in the final.

“My sincere congratulations go out to everyone who participated in this year’s Mediation Competition,” said Andrea Carlevaris, director of ICC’s dispute resolution services and secretary general of ICC’s International Court of Arbitration. “We certainly hope that all students will return home having forged some exceptional connections in addition to having further built upon their already outstanding skills and knowledge in support of mediation as an alternative form of dispute resolution.”

ICC-Atlanta Center Cooperation to Bolster Services in North America

ACIAM-conference-roomThe International Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation – a state-of-the-art hearing and conference facility for international dispute resolution affiliated with the Georgia State University College of Law – have announced efforts to enhance cooperation under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) entered into January 15.

The collaboration is set to benefit the international arbitration community and reinforce the commitment of ICC’s International Court of Arbitration to North America, the largest constituency of ICC Arbitration users.

The MOU is the latest step by the Court to bolster its presence in the United States following the establishment of a case management team in New York operating under the corporate name of SICANA Inc.

“US parties rank first as users of ICC Arbitration and other ICC dispute resolution services,” said Andrea Carlevaris, secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. “The opening of an office administering ICC arbitrations in New York City in 2013 is a tangible sign of our commitment to North America and has boosted our services in the country. The MOU with the Atlanta Center is another step in the same direction for us to raise our profile in the region.”

Shelby Grubbs, the Atlanta Center’s executive director, noted: “We are thrilled to be aligned with the ICC, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious international institutions offering arbitration and alternative dispute resolution services. Atlanta is the commercial capital of the Southeastern U.S., a region with a $3.3 trillion economy. With our location and great logistics, we are confident that we can help the ICC expand in North America.”

Under the parameters of cooperation outlined in the MOU, the Atlanta Center will provide hearing and conference space to ICC facilities for the Court of Arbitration to conduct its operations in Atlanta. In return, ICC will advocate the use of the Atlanta Center for arbitration hearings in the city and in neighbouring areas. Through the end of 2016, the Atlanta Center will provide hearing space to the ICC and parties booking through the ICC at a 40 percent discount.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2013, the ICC International Court of Arbitration is one of the oldest and most respected institutions for international commercial arbitration, an appealing alternative to litigation for companies and states. In addition to the Court’s wealth of expertise, partnerships with respected partners such as the Atlanta Center demonstrate ICC’s commitment to keep pace with contemporary interests and concerns of dispute resolution service users around the world.

The Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation is located on the fourth floor of the Georgia State University College of Law at 85 Park Place NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. For additional information on the center go to:

ICC Court Announces New Policies to Foster Transparency and Efficiency

gavelThe International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration® announced two major decisions aimed at enhancing the efficiency and transparency of ICC arbitration proceedings. Both decisions were unanimously adopted and announced at the Bureau of the Court at its session on December 17, 2015.

Promoting transparency for users and other stakeholders

As of January 1, 2016, the Court will publish online the names of the arbitrators sitting on ICC cases, their nationality, and whether their appointment was made by the Court or by the parties, as well as which arbitrator is the tribunal chairperson.

This information will be published once the tribunal is constituted and updated in case of changes to the tribunal’s composition. The information will remain on the court’s website after the case is terminated. In order not to compromise party confidentiality, the case reference number and the names of the parties and of counsel will not be published.

Parties will, by mutual agreement, have the option of opting out of this limited disclosure. They may also request the Court to publish additional information about a particular case.

Cost consequences for unjustified delays in submitting awards

In a further groundbreaking move, the Court stated that ICC arbitral tribunals are expected to submit draft awards within three months of the last substantive hearing concerning matters to be decided in an award or, if later, the filing of the last written submissions. This timeframe will be set at two months for cases heard by sole arbitrators. If a draft award is submitted beyond that timeframe, the Court may lower the arbitrators’ fees by up to 20 percent.

In deciding on such reductions, the Court will take into account any delays incurred in the submission of one or more partial awards. As a further measure to encourage efficiency, the new policy provides the Court with the possibility to increase the arbitrators’ fees above the amount that it would otherwise have considered fixing in cases where a tribunal has conducted the arbitration expeditiously.

“Users are concerned by the time and costs of international arbitrations, and rightly so,” said Alexis Mourre, president of the ICC Court. “The expeditious resolution of disputes is one of our top priorities.”

Mourre continued: “By releasing this new note, we send a clear signal to tribunals that unjustified delays will not be tolerated, and we provide transparency on the consequences that the Court will draw from such situations.”