ICC reappoints Claudia Salomon as president for second term

Salomon became the first women president of the court back in 2021

Claudia Salomon

Claudia Salomon has been reappointed as the President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration for a second three-year term, having been reappointed by the ICC’s World Council.

Salomon was initially appointed in 2021, becoming the first woman president in the court’s 100-year history.

During her first term, Salomon’s initiatives had a global impact. She strongly emphasised international outreach, having visited 50 cities in 35 countries across six continents, including Africa.

Salomon has also been steadfastly committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion in arbitration. This includes strengthening the court’s LGBTQ network, increasing the geographic, gender and generational diversity of the court’s membership, and launching a Task Force on Disability Inclusion in International Arbitration

Although these initiatives underscore the court’s unwavering commitment to equality, the ICC’s annual case statistics showed women arbitrators are still underrepresented in tribunals.

A Herbert Smith Freehills report showed that in 2023, 41% of the arbitrators the ICC appointed were female. Overall, female appointments continue to increase, albeit slowly: “close to 30%” in 2023, 28.6% in 2022 and 24.3% in 2021.

She also committed the ICC to procedural reforms, including expedited arbitrations for small businesses, a new digital case management platform and a stronger relationship with corporate clients, alongside a year-long programme of events celebrating the ICC’s centenary in 2023.

The court’s filings highlighted a significant uptick, with 890 new cases registered and 1,766 cases pending, with Europe and America acting as the mainstays of ICC-seated arbitrations for 70% of all cases, while Latin American-centred arbitrations made up 11% of the whole.

In her new term, Salomon will launch a new hearing centre at the court’s Paris headquarters, keeping the French connection that has defined the ICC since its foundation but evolving that balance by strengthening its engagement in Africa and exploring further opportunities for expansion in Asia, mainland China and India.

To help effect that, the ICC elected seven new vice presidents and a total of 121 new members of the ICC Court, representing 84 countries, including those from previously unrepresented jurisdictions.

Some 35 members and vice presidents were from Africa, 26 from Latin America, 61 from Asia-Pacific, 22 from the Middle East, 62 from Europe and eight from Anglo-America. Women now represent approximately 51% of the court, with 97 female and 94 male members, while 16 were lawyers from the ICC’s younger members forum.

The seven new vice-presidents are Anglo-Nigerian lawyer Isaiah Bozimo, a partner at Broderick Bozimo and Company, Abuja; Julie Bédard, the head of Skadden Arps’s disputes group for the Americas; and Professor Stavros Brekoulakis, an arbitrator at 3 Verulam Buildings in London.

Joining them are Valeria Galíndez of Galíndez Arb in São Paulo, Carmen Martinez Lopez of Three Crowns in Madrid and former HSF managing partner May Tai, who sits as an independent arbitrator in Hong Kong, alongside Dutch lawyer Marieke van Hooijdonk, a partner at A&O Shearman.

Salomon’s focus on promoting arbitration’s benefits to businesses was referenced in Global Legal Post’s Law Over Borders title on Litigation and International Arbitration, for which she wrote the preface.

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