Practice Summary

Paul Cohen co-heads the international arbitration group at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers.  He is among the world’s foremost international arbitration practitioners.  A dual-qualified barrister and New York lawyer, Paul practiced for many years with the late Arthur Marriott QC.  He is particularly well known for his work in the energy, financial, and technology sectors.  Paul has appeared in commercial disputes involving all the major arbitral institutions, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations.  He has represented both investors and host states in investment treaty disputes.

Paul is often called upon to represent clients in highly complex cases in which clients feel concerned that their case might be lost in the minutiae.  Paul’s prior experience as an American-qualified trial lawyer has made him one of the counsel of choice for distilling difficult fact patterns to their essence.  Clients have called him “riveting” and “quite simply unrivaled” in his presentation to arbitral tribunals.

Paul is frequently consulted in arbitrations where there is an allegation or suspicion of corruption.  He is one of the world’s authorities on the topic of bribery in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.  He is the co-author of International Corruption (Sweet & Maxwell), the first — and still one of only very few — books to address bribery and corruption from a multinational perspective.

Paul accepts appointments as arbitrator.  He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  Paul accepts direct instruction from clients in cases as counsel.

Areas of Experience (Select to add to the CV download)

Representative Matters (International Arbitration)

Investment treaty claim against Asian government in connection with petroleum resources

Multi-billion dollar ad hoc arbitration contract claim involving lessees of commercial interests

Defense of sovereign East Asian government in investment treaty arbitration against British and Saudi bankers

Offshore entity in arbitration enforcement proceedings in New York

Silicon chip manufacturers in international disputes involving Singapore,Vietnam and China

Aircraft manufacturer in dispute against European military purchaser

International publishing company on anti-corruption compliance in international matters

Defense of claim by parastatal entity against alternative energy concern

Prosecution of claim by gas-to-liquids entity in Caribbean

African offshore unitization claim

Parallel commercial and investment treaty mining claim

Fraud-related telecommunications claim by Brazilian entity against Italian entity

Defence of claim by investor against African government

Defence of claim by European pharmaceutical company against owner of rival entity

Annulment proceeding for State against oilfield developer

Defence of plastics manufacturer against acquirer of a plant in Brazil

Claim by European oil company against seller of refinery

International publishing company on anti-corruption compliance in international matters

Defense of claim by parastatal entity against alternative energy concern

Fraud-related telecommunications claim by Brazilian entity against Italian entity

Defence of claim by investor against African government

Defence of claim by European pharmaceutical company against owner of rival entity

Annulment proceeding for State against oilfield developer

Representative Matters (Commercial Litigation and Investigations)

Represented witnesses in largest US criminal tax fraud trial to date

Internal investigation of major European insurance company in trade sanctions inquiry;

Numerous clients in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations (all resulting in non-prosecution or deferred prosecution)

International financial institution in connection with a multi-agency money-laundering investigation

Major cruise line in a criminal investigation involving alleged violations of US and international environmental law

Leading financial institution in securities litigation stemming from the collapse of WorldCom

Internal investigations of mutual fund companies in connection with regulatory inquiries into market timing and late trading

Worldwide insurance and financial services company in criminal and regulatory investigations arising out of industry-wide bid-rigging revelations

Prior Experience 

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Office of the Prosecutor
Bill Clinton Presidential Campaign, Speechwriter and policy advisor for Governor Bill Clinton and Senator Al Gore.

Memberships

Co-Chair, International Task Force, Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Technology in International Arbitration
Editorial Board Member, Global Arbitration Review
New York City Bar, International Commercial Disputes Committee, Member
New York International Arbitration Center, Former Director
International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), Member
International Arbitration Club of New York, Member
International Bar Association, Member

 Publications 

Lead author, International Corruption (Sweet & Maxwell, 2010; 2nd Ed
Lead author, International Investigations in the United States, in Corporate Internal Investigations: an International Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2008, 2014)
The March of the Robots (Global Arbitration Review, February 2017) [also appearing as "Technology in Arbitration Disputes -- the Practitioner's Perspective" in Arbitration in the Digital Age, Cambridge University Press, December 2017]
BIT by Byte (Global Arbitration Review, November 2016)
Let’s not get left behind (Global Arbitration Review, August 2016)
Bytes and Prejudice: Technology as a means to address unconscious bias in arbitrators (Journal of Technology in International Arbitration, June 2015)
Rue Britannia (Global Arbitration Review, April 2014)
Public Harms, Moral Qualms, and Greasy Palms (Global Arbitration Review, May 2013)
Uk Bribery Act: don’t believe the hype (Global Arbitration Review, June 20

Court Admissions

New York State
Southern District of New York
Eastern District of New York
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Senior Courts of England and Wales

Education

Columbia Law School
Juris Doctor. Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Senior Editor, Human Rights Law Review.

University of Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Advanced studies in Private International Law.

Harvard University
Post-doctoral research fellow.

Oxford University
Doctorate in Political Science. Full scholarship from the UK Economic and Social Research Council.

University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts. Summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Dean’s List all years.

Miscellaneous

Citizen of the United States, United Kingdom and France
Fluent in French; conversant in Spanish and Russian

 What the clients say:

“A riveting speaker; tribunals pay attention”

“Incredibly creative in his thinking and presentation.  Quite simply unrivaled as a big stage advocate for major arbitrations”

“A brilliant analytical mind wrapped up in an unassuming, user-friendly package”

“The man you want in your corner for the impossible case or the seemingly lost cause; he’ll find an argument and make it count”

“A terrific writer and an even better oral advocate”

“Goes to the heart of the matter; finds the winning points and hammers them home”

“Utterly original”

“Watching him work actually put a smile on my face”

 
 
 

“Continues to impress clients...commercial and precise in its advice”

Chambers & Partners