June 2014 in CDR - Commercial Dispute Resolution

PLMJ is Ziegler's next port of call

Arbitration specialist moves to PLMJ, having previously worked for some of the world’s leading law firms.

Pacôme Ziegler has joined PLMJ’s arbitration team. Ziegler, a French lawyer and international arbitration specialist, fluent in English and Spanish, has moved to PLMJ from Dechert. He joins a team of around 20 lawyers, both arbitrators and arbitration lawyers in Portugal and worldwide.

Ziegler brings a wealth of arbitration experience from firms such as Clifford Chance, M & M Bomchil, Baker & McKenzie, Dewey Le Boeuf and Hogan Lovells.

Welcoming Ziegler to PLMJ, founding partner José Miguel Júdice, who also leads the team, said in a statement that “Pacôme Ziegler’s diverse international experience will be a great advantage for PLMJ Arbitration” particularly as he joins the team at a time when the group is witnessing more arbitrations in French, English and Spanish.

The firm announced a series of other appointments to the disputes team in January 2014. It has a formidable arbitration pedigree thanks to Júdice, whose role will be strengthened by Ziegler's arrival.

Júdice was the first Portuguese lawyer to deal with a case before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal; Júdice himself was also appointed to the ICSID panel in 2011 as an arbitrator and conciliator, whilst the firm was the first Portuguese law firm to advise a party at that tribunal.

Júdice has also acted as a president of arbitral tribunals based in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, both in Brazil, Luanda, in Angola, Oporto and Lisbon, as well as major arbitral centres such as Madrid, Zurich, London, and Paris, in cases in which the language was French, English, Spanish or Portuguese

It has been involved in an ICSID arbitration involving Guinea, regarding the alleged expropriation of a port concession by a former Guinean leader. Africa will be a key source of opportunities going forward, given the firm’s connections with Angola and Mozambique.

Arbitration in Portugal is governed by the 1986 Arbitration Act, as amended by decree in 2003 and again in 2011, based on the UNICTRAL model rules. The country’s best known arbitral institution is that associated with the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Portugal is also a party to the New York Convention and recognises and enforces awards from other New York Convention states.

The Portuguese Civil Procedure Code also provides additional rules for the recognition and enforcement of judgments, or awards of foreign courts and arbitration tribunals.

In recent years, the Portuguese courts have struggled to keep pace with demands following the country’s EU bailout and subsequent economic malaise. Arbitration, however, has seen growth locally and also from Lusaphone jurisdictions.
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