James H. Carter

Retired Senior Counsel

James Carter was a senior counsel in the New York office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Mr. Carter had more than 40 years of experience as arbitrator or counsel in more than 150 international commercial and investment arbitration cases.

Mr. Carter represented European, US, Asian and other companies in arbitrations under leading institutional rules and in ad hoc arbitrations in all leading international seats. He had particular experience in joint venture, investor-state disputes, mergers and acquisitions, investment banking and other financial services, project finance, licensing, insurance and energy, as well as international sports law disputes. In addition, Mr. Carter had extensive experience as counsel in US litigation involving commercial, corporate, antitrust, securities and intellectual property matters.

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Mr. Carter was co-chair of the international arbitration and cross-border dispute resolution group at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. He was also co-chair of international arbitration, a position he held for more than 20 years, at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. 

Mr. Carter was a frequent guest speaker and the author of more than 50 articles and book chapters dealing with international disputes. He was the co-founder of the International Arbitration Club of New York and was a co-editor of International Commercial Arbitration in New York (2nd ed. 2016) and the editor of The International Arbitration Review (7th ed. 2016). 

Professional Activities

Mr. Carter is a former chair of the Board of Directors of the New York International Arbitration Center. He is a former chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association, a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland and a former member of the London Court of International Arbitration, for which he also served as vice president of its North American Council. He was an advisor to the American Law Institute's reporters drafting the Restatement of the US Law of International Commercial Arbitration and is a former president of the American Society of International Law.

In addition, Mr. Carter chaired the American Bar Association's Section of International Law, as well as its Committee on International Commercial Arbitration, and served as the ABA's representative to the United Nations. He is a former chairman of the New York State Bar Association Committee on International Dispute Resolution and the International Affairs Council of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Mr. Carter also chaired the International Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association.


  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2013–2022 editions of the Best Lawyers in America. In the 2014, 2017 and 2020 editions, he was named New York City's Arbitration "Lawyer of the Year."
  • Recognized as a leading lawyer in international arbitration by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business every year since the first edition in 2003. In editions 2021–2022 he was listed as an international arbitration "Most in Demand Arbitrators." Sources commented that Mr. Carter "is even-keeled, very smart and fair-minded," "is an experienced arbitrator and has good judgment," "is a superb arbitrator and brilliant guy," and that "he is at the top of the field, no question of that. He handles all different kinds of international arbitration and has a wide range of experience. He is intelligent and analytical, and he listens to the testimony of both sides very carefully and analyzes the legal issues."
  • Listed in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leader in international arbitration every year since 2000. The 2018 edition named him one of the "most in-demand arbitrators" in international arbitration, the 2017 and 2016 editions noted Mr. Carter's "highly respected" and "legendary reputation as an arbitrator and counsel," and in the 2015 edition, he was lauded as "an icon of the international arbitration Bar" and characterized as "intelligent, well prepared, forceful and convincing." In 2014, a source said Mr. Carter is "'exceptionally talented and deserves his reputation' as one of the top arbitrators internationally." A source claimed in 2013 that he was "a leading international arbitrator who would always be at the top of my list."
  • Selected by peers as being among the world's leading commercial arbitrators in the 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions of Who's Who Legal: Arbitration.
  • Inducted into Lawdragon's Hall of Fame as part of its 10th anniversary celebration. Mr. Carter is one of only six included on the 2015 "Innovators" list.
  • Named as one of the top 30 commercial arbitrators in the United States by Best of the Best 2015 USA: Expert Guide.
  • Nominated in 2013 by Global Arbitration Review (GAR) in the category of "Best Prepared/Most Responsive Arbitrator."
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States in the field of international arbitration.
  • Recognized in the 2006–2021 editions of New York Metro Super Lawyers.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • LLB, Yale Law School, 1969

    • Fulbright Scholar, University of Cambridge, 1966

    • BA, Yale University, 1965

  • Admissions

    • New York

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Robert P. Anderson, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1969 - 1970



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