The ROAP EMEA Finals brought to a close our advanced remote oral advocacy and cross-examination courses, by featuring the most persuasive and skilled participants on each course. The outcome of the finals was determined by a panel of world-class arbitrators consisting of Dr. Yas Banifatemi (President), to whom the ROAP EMEA 2022 edition was dedicated, Prof. Kamalia Mehtiyeva and Prof. Patricia Shaughnessy.

The winners were: Sacha Willaume and expert Chris McDonald for the cross-examination course, and Anna Chuwen Dai and Patricia Snell for the oral submissions course. The other finalists were: Olof Traung and expert Björn Brand for the cross-examination course, and Chizaram Mbah and Iris Raynaud for the oral submissions course.
You will find short bios of our finalists and tribunal members below.



Dr. Yas Banifatemi is a founding partner of Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes and is widely recognized as one of the most prominent international arbitration and public international law specialists worldwide.  Prior to founding Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes, she served as Shearman & Sterling’s Global International Arbitration Practice Group Leader, Public International Law Team Leader and Lead Industry Coordinator for Energy.

She advises and represents States, State-owned entities and companies on both public international law and international arbitration issues. Dr. Banifatemi has secured many landmark victories for her clients, including a USD 50 billion award for the majority shareholders of the former Yukos Oil Company, the largest investment award in history.  She acts as both counsel and arbitrator in arbitrations conducted pursuant to the ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, HKIAC, CRCICA, DIS and the Swiss Arbitration Rules, with particular focus on investment protection, oil & gas and general commercial matters.

Dr. Banifatemi is a member of the SIAC Court of Arbitration and the GIAC Arbitration Council. She is a former Vice-President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration as well as former member of LCIA Court. She is listed on a number of arbitrator panels, including the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators, appointed by the Chairman of ICSID’s Administrative Council. She is the President of the International Arbitration Institute (IAI), succeeding the late Emmanuel Gaillard in that capacity.

Yas Banifatemi is ranked in Band 1 of the Global Market Leaders by Chambers & Partners.  She has been repeatedly praised in all leading professional directories and earns “acclaim for her excellent track record in arbitration”. Directories have described her as being “truly outstanding”, a “star performer”, a “brilliant lawyer with a sharp intellect”, and “one of the best technicians in the international investment arbitration field”, also having “a considerable presence in public international law”. Chambers Global notes that “Yas Banifatemi is emphatically described by clients as ‘an outstanding lawyer in every possible respect’”. Clients have commented on the “clarity of her opinions”, her “ability to give valuable strategic advice” and “to anticipate how cases will develop”, her “real grasp of detail”, describing her as “extremely effective”, “incredibly impressive all round” and a “reliable and robust advocate” having a “thorough understanding of the law she practices”. Clients also highlight her “strong cross-examination skills”.

She has been included in the December 2021 issue of Vanity Fair as one of the 50 most influential French people in the world. Prior to that, she featured in “The Best and the Brightest” 45 female lawyers under 45 worldwide by The American Lawyer (2011). She is also an honoree of Harvard Law School’s “Women Inspiring Change” (2014 inaugural year).

Dr. Banifatemi teaches at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School and Panthéon-Sorbonne University. In the Summer 2019, she gave a course at The Hague Academy of International Law on the powers of the arbitrator. She researches in the areas of public international law and international arbitration, and has authored numerous publications in, and regularly speaks about, both these fields.

Professor Kamalia Mehtiyeva is Professor of Private Law at the University of Paris-Est Créteil University in France. Her teaching and research fields focus on international arbitration law, civil procedure, mutual legal assistance both in civil and criminal matters as well as international enforcement.

Kamalia is author of doctoral thesis entitled “The Notion of Judicial Cooperation” (La notion de coopération judiciaire, LGDJ, t. 597,2020). Her thesis was awarded the prize of the the French Branch of the International Law Association. She is also author of annual digest on international mutual legal assistance (“La chronique de cooperation judiciaire internationale”) for the Journal du Droit international (Clunet). She also publishes regularly in French, English and Russian on various issues of international arbitration and procedural law.

Kamalia is admitted to the Paris bar. Prior to becoming Professor, Kamalia has practiced in the Public International Law and Arbitration Department of Shearman & Sterling in Paris (2007-2014). Kamalia has now co-founded her law firm, Barbier Mehtiyeva Law, which focuses on international arbitration and international litigation. She has also acted as Sole arbitrator in arbitration proceedings conducted under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce in disputes involving countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Turkey.

Professor Patricia Shaughnessy is an Associate Professor at Stockholm University, who specializes in international disputes and commercial law. She acts as an arbitrator, expert, and consultant in legal development projects in many countries. She is a member of the ICC Court of Arbitration and the international boards of the Georgian International Arbitration Centre and the Tehran Regional Arbitration Centre. Until 2019, she was the Vice-Chair of the Board of the SCC Arbitration Institute, having been a Board member since 2006. She was a government-appointed expert on the 2019 revisions to the Swedish Arbitration Act. She practiced law for ten years in the US and has served as a US Supreme Court judicial fellow.


Björn Brand, Dr: he is a Director with Alvarez & Marsal in Munich. He specializes in Disputes & Investigations and has about eight years of consulting experience. His primary areas of concentration are (damage) valuation services, M&A, transaction services and restructuring/reorganization with a strong focus on expert opinions on damages in international and commercial arbitration (including ICSID, ICC, HKIAC, DIS) and litigation. In addition, Björn provides advice to clients in out-of-court settlements. For example, he has been involved in several projects assessing lost profits resulting from contract breaches, construction delays, or expropriations: post-M&A disputes, JV disputes, IP disputes, investment arbitrations, warranty breaches, and duty of loyalty breaches. He has worked for customers from various industries and has particular project experience in the area of energy, automotive & industrials, private equity, infrastructure & capital projects, financial services and real estate. Before joining Alvarez & Marsal, Björn was Senior Manager in Strategy & Transactions at a Big Four company. In addition, he has significant experience in the area of transfer pricing. Björn holds a PhD in economics with a focus on Industrial Organization from the University of Graz. In addition, he holds a diploma in Economics and Statistics as well as a diploma in Business Administration, both from the University of Innsbruck. Björn has completed the CFA program and is a CFA charter holder.

Anna Chuwen Dai: she practices international law and international arbitration. She has represented and advised private entities, governments, state-owned entities and inter-governmental organizations in international arbitration and arbitration-related court proceedings. She has also worked on matters involving public international law, human rights and international humanitarian law. Anna has acquired her legal experience at White & Case LLP as well as other leading international law firms, the United Nations, the United States Senate and the Supreme Court of Israel.

Anya Marinkovich: she is a senior associate with Bär & Karrer’s arbitration team in Geneva. She has acted as counsel, arbitrator and arbitral secretary in a number of international commercial arbitrations concerning construction, oil & gas, sales, and corporate and post-M&A disputes. She is admitted to the California Bar and has training and practical experience in both common and civil law systems, as well as in the field of public international law. She is currently a member of the Global Advisory Board of ICDR Young & International.

Chris McDonald: He is an Associate Director in Mazars’ Litigation and Arbitration practice and is based in London. He is a Chartered Accountant with 8 years of professional experience of forensic accountancy work. Chris has experience of a wide range of forensic projects, including bilateral investment treaty disputes, loss of profit disputes, post transaction warranty disputes, breach of contract disputes and regulatory investigations. Chris also has experience working across a wide range of sectors, including mining, aviation, retail and hospitality.

Iris Raynaud: she assists Prof. Bernard Hanotiau in the management of complex international arbitration cases where he acts as Chairman, member of the Tribunal or Sole Arbitrator, in ad hoc or institutional proceedings (ICC, LCIA, SIAC, DIA, SCAI, CEPANI, KCAB). Iris has been involved in more than twenty high-stake arbitration proceedings as counsel (collective experience) or as secretary/assistant to the Tribunal. Her main area of work relates to commercial contract disputes, under civil or common law regimes, involving private and public entities. Iris is also experienced in investor-state disputes, acting as assistant to the Tribunal in UNCITRAL-PCA proceedings and in cases under the ICSID Convention. Iris is qualified in England & Wales and in France (Paris) and is registered with the Brussels Bar (E List). She works in English and French.

Patricia Snell: she is an arbitration associate and solicitor-advocate in the London office of Covington & Burling LLP, admitted in England and Wales, New York, and Ontario.  She completed a B.A. (Hon.) in Law at the University of Cambridge and an LL.M at the University of Toronto.  Her practice covers a broad range of contentious matters, including international commercial arbitration and investor-state disputes under various institutional rules, including ICC, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC, ICSID, and ad hoc proceedings under the UNCITRAL Rules. She previously worked in international arbitration in the Paris and Dubai offices of another international law firm.

Olof Traung: He is a senior associate with Roschier Advokatbyrå AB’s dispute resolution team in Stockholm. His experience includes acting as a counsel in international and domestic commercial arbitrations, as well as Swedish litigation. Olof has also worked with the firm’s private M&A practice and advised on various transactions, representing both private equity sponsors and corporate investors. Olof holds an LL.M degree from Lund University.

Sacha Willaume: He is admitted to the Paris Bar in 2011 (Paris Bar School 2011 class valedictorian), and specialises in international arbitration and dispute resolution. He regularly acts as counsel and secretary to the arbitral tribunal in international ad hoc or institutional arbitration proceedings (ICC, ICSID, SIAC, CCIG) in the sectors of energy, joint ventures, distribution, intellectual property and construction, applying the laws of several jurisdictions. His experience also includes French court proceedings related to arbitration (challenge or enforcement of international arbitral awards, claims for breach of contract against arbitral institutions). Sacha holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne in international economic law (in partnership with Columbia Law School) and business law, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from King’s College London (with First Class honours). A member of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum, CFA-40 as ASA below 40, and a co-winner of the Best Award prize in the 2016 Young Arbitrators Match, Sacha is also recommended by Legal 500 EMEA. He has taught French contract law as a teaching assistant at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense and published several articles about French arbitration law.


Find out more about the ROAP programme here.

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