07 Oct 2021

Arbitration services group Arbitra expands team with six new members

New arrivals join 18-strong founding member team put together by London arbitration community figurehead Owen Lawrence in July

James Bridgeman SC and Juvelanis Ngowi

Arbitra, a management support service for arbitrators based in London and Washington DC, has added six new members to its ranks, bringing the group’s total headcount up to 24. 

The new arrivals join Arbitra’s 18 founding members just a few months after the group was launched by leading London arbitration community figure Owen Lawrence in July. 

They include Ireland-based veteran James Bridgman, Scottish advocate and chartered arbitrator William Frain-Bell, investment treaty arbitration specialist Brian Kotick, London-based independent arbitrator Adrian Lifely, Dentons EALC East African Law Chambers founder Juvelanis Ngowi and tribunal secretary and Cairo and Paris bar member Randi Ayman. 

The cohort adds expertise across a number of additional jurisdictions, with Frain-Bell and Kotick both having extensive experience handling matters in the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific, while Bridgeman currently serves as senior counsel of the Bar of Ireland and is one of Ireland's representatives on the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes' (ICSID's) panel of arbitrators. 

Prior to developing an arbitration practice, Lifely worked at City firm Herbert Smith Freehills and later joined Osborne Clarke as a partner, where he became global chair of the firm’s international arbitration group and head of commercial disputes in London. Ayman also has a law firm background, having interned at Shearman & Sterling and Eversheds Sutherland before joining ICSID as legal counsel. 

Ngowi, meanwhile, has more than two decades of experience in Tanzania’s arbitration space. He is a founding partner of East African Law Chambers, which was incorporated into Dentons’ international network in September 2020, and heads the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution department. 

Lawrence said the new arrivals confirm the “breadth and depth” of Arbitra’s “increasingly global and diverse membership”, while also reflecting the interest garnered by the group from the wider arbitration community in the short amount of time since its launch earlier this year. 

“We have seen an increased volume of inquiries from in-house lawyers and law firms, who are keen to explore options for tribunal selection, an issue which continues to be closely watched by the market,” he said. 

Lawrence launched the venture with the aim to provide member arbitrators with practice management, consultancy and administrative services across offices adjacent to the World Bank in Washington DC and its newly refurbished premises in London’s flagship International Dispute Resolution Centre, located in Juxon House. 

"We understand our members' experience, skills, style and legal expertise, helping clients select the individual best able to resolve their disputes, and so find the most suitable tribunal for them,” Lawrence added. 

“We will enable them to do what they do best – resolving disputes – while we do the rest, in administering and servicing their work across a wider range of arbitral destinations, with added depth, drive and determination."

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