Rachael D. Kent


  • Vice Chair, International Arbitration Practice Group

Rachael Kent is a partner and vice chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group at WilmerHale, based in Washington, DC. She joined the firm in 1998.

Ms. Kent has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of commercial and investment disputes in arbitration proceedings seated in common law and civil law jurisdictions worldwide. Her experience includes ad hoc and institutional arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, ICDR, WIPO, ICSID, UNCITRAL and others. She has recently represented parties in disputes in the energy, mining, aerospace, defense, pharmaceutical, construction, insurance, telecommunications, technology and retail sectors, among others.

Ms. Kent has taught International Commercial Arbitration at the Georgetown University Law Center and the Duke University School of Law. She also frequently speaks and writes on topics related to international arbitration.


  • Ms. Kent has recently represented a government in an arbitration seated in London involving disputes under a contract to provide gas processing facilities; a leading pharmaceutical company in an investment arbitration against a Latin American state; a leading technology company in an arbitration seated in New York involving disputes under a patent license agreement related to the semiconductor industry; a leading aerospace and defense technology company in a dispute under a contract to develop and supply military aircraft; a leading pharmaceutical company in an arbitration seated in Switzerland involving an intellectual property license; a leading global retail company in an arbitration seated in Hong Kong arising out of the acquisition of a subsidiary in China; a leading defense company in an arbitration seated in Brussels involving disputes under a software development agreement related to a military aircraft program; a leading mining company in an ICSID arbitration against an Asian state; a major global manufacturing company in an arbitration seated in Hong Kong involving disputes arising out of the acquisition of a computer business in Taiwan; a leading financial services company in arbitrations seated in Bermuda under excess coverage policies; and a large European telecommunications company in arbitrations seated in Vienna involving the ownership of an Eastern European joint venture company.


  • Award Text

    Recognized as a Leading Lawyer for International Arbitration

    Chambers Global


  • Award Text

    Among the Best Lawyers in America for International Arbitration

    Best Lawyers in America®


  • Award Text

    Recognized as a Thought Leader

    Who's Who Legal: Arbitration


  • Recognized in Benchmark Litigation as a "Litigation Star" (2023 and 2024).
  • Ranked in the 2013–2024 editions of Chambers Global for her international arbitration practice. She is noted as "super-smart" and "knows the arbitration process backwards and forwards and makes really good strategic calls." She is also praised for "her ability to translate complex legal principles for her clients."
  • Consistently recognized as a national leader in the international arbitration field in Chambers USA Guide, with sources calling her "superb" and "sharp, prepared and polished." 
  • Selected for recognition as a leading arbitration practitioner in the 2017–2024 editions of Who's Who Legal: Arbitration, including in the inaugural edition of Who's Who Legal: Arbitration - Future Leaders 2017—a guide profiling the foremost practitioners in the arbitration community.
  • Named to the Americas Women in Business Law Awards 20122017 "Best in Commercial Arbitration" shortlist by Euromoney Legal Media Group.
  • Named a leading practitioner in commercial arbitration in Expert Guides' Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law.
  • Recommended in the Euromoney Guide to the World's Leading Experts in International Arbitration and Global Arbitration Review's Who's Who in International Arbitration.
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States for her international arbitration practice.
  • Recognized by her peers as one of the world's leading experts in commercial arbitration in Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best USA.
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2012–2024 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of international arbitration.
  • Named a Washington DC Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America for her international arbitration practice (2023).
  • Named to the Lawdragon 500 Global Leading Litigators list, which recognizes lawyers who specialize in international arbitration, public international litigation and global controversies.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Duke University, 1998

      magna cum laude Order of the Coif
    • BA, Georgetown University, 1995

  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • England and Wales, Registered Foreign Lawyer

    • Maryland



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