The International Arbitration practice of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP was this week awarded Pro Bono Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2010 in London.
The award was for the firm's work on behalf of The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The firm’s International Arbitration Group led by Partner Gary Born, together with the Public International Law & Policy Group, represented the SPLM/A in an arbitration against the Government of Sudan over the definition and delimitation of the Abyei Area, a territory roughly the size of Belgium in south-central Sudan.
The Abyei arbitration was unique and historic. Unprecedented in the history of international arbitration, the entire hearings were broadcast live via webcasts on the Permanent Court of Arbitration website. The Abyei Arbitration was voted “Arbitration of Year” by the Oil-Gas-Energy-Mining-Infrastructure Dispute Management (OGEMID) list serve, consisting of more than 1,000 international arbitration practitioners around the world.
On behalf of the SPLM/A, the firm obtained a favourable award in the arbitration in 2009. The Honourable Dr. Luka Biong Deng, minister of presidential affairs, Government of Southern Sudan and co-agent for the SPLM/A, described the firm's performance as “an historic milestone” and “truly extraordinary in every way.”
The Lawyer Awards are the result of a long process of research by the publication’s editorial team, during which hundreds of private practice lawyers and in-house counsel are interviewed. This is followed by the scrutiny of an independent panel of judges comprising the most well-known names in London. The Lawyer Awards are considered the most comprehensive and incisive recognition of legal achievement in England.
Gary Born, Chair of the firm's International Arbitration practice commented "We are delighted to have been recognised by the Pro Bono Team of the Year. Our representation of the SPLM/A in the Abyei Arbitration reflects the firm's reputation as one of the world's premier practices for challenging, complex and sensitive public international law matters."
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP has handled a number of important and groundbreaking public international law matters in recent years. For further information on the firm's Public International Law practice, please click here or contact Gary Born.