Dispute Resolution Lawyer Melanie Willems Joins Chadbourne & Parke With IDR Team


To Focus on Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation and Technology in Arbitration

NEW YORK – March 8, 2010 – The international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP today announced that Melanie Willems will be joining the International Dispute Resolution (IDR) practice as a partner in the London office. A team of three lawyers will be joining the firm with her.

Ms. Willems has extensive experience in complex arbitrations before major tribunals, advising in matters before the ICC, the LCIA, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), as well as in ad hoc proceedings. She also undertakes litigation in English courts and all forms of alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Willems, 42, comes to Chadbourne from Howrey LLP, where she was head of the international arbitration group in London.

“Melanie adds depth and hands-on experience to our IDR practice,” said Chadbourne Managing Partner Charles K. O’Neill. “Her international ADR and litigation skills will help us to expand and capitalize on significant opportunities coming to us from Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.”

The hiring of Ms. Willems continues the expansion of the firm’s core IDR practice to its London office. The firm bolstered its IDR practice when it reopened an office in Dubai in 2007 and welcomed back partner Jack Greenwald. The growth continued in 2008 when the firm hired lateral partners Oliver Armas in New York and Luis Enrique Graham in Mexico City. In 2009, IDR partner C. Ignacio Suarez Anzorena joined Chadbourne in Washington D.C.

“Melanie has particular experience in dealing with disputes arising from projects in the Middle East, Asia and Africa,” said Claude S. Serfilippi, Managing Partner of Chadbourne’s London office. “Her client service abilities, combined with her bicultural background and fluency in French, will help to support and reinforce our existing relationships and to grow the practice.”

Ms. Willems has clients in a wide range of industry sectors including engineering, energy, construction, transport and other infrastructure, property development, technology and insurance, and has advised on projects ranging from the dredging of the Suez Canal to petrochemical plants, and more recently, renewable energy work.

“Melanie has strong experience in construction law disputes, including the resolution of issues arising from large-scale commercial developments,” said Mr. Armas, one of Chadbourne’s IDR practice leaders. “She is incredibly talented, energetic and resourceful. We feel extremely fortunate to have her joining our team as we gear up to add more new talent to further support expansion across our 12 office international network.”

The three-lawyer team joining with Ms. Willems includes UK qualified Markus Esly and Robert Blackett, as well as junior lawyer Richard Oliver.

“It’s an excellent move for me both culturally and professionally. The platform offered by Chadbourne & Parke is outstanding and our team’s clients will be very comfortable,” said Ms. Willems. “We are enthusiastic about the great synergies with Chadbourne’s impressive client base and are delighted at joining forces with practitioners of the quality and experience that Chadbourne has assembled.”

Ms. Willems is a qualified mediator and a Solicitor-Advocate. She has appeared as lead advocate in the Technology and Construction Court and acts as advocate in international arbitrations.

Ms. Willems earned her master’s degree in law from Universite de Paris I (the Sorbonne) (1989). She received an LLB from Kings College in London in 1989 and an MSc in Construction Law and Arbitration also from Kings College in 1993. She has been recognized by both Chambers and Legal 500 for her work in arbitration law.

About Chadbourne & Parke LLP

Chadbourne & Parke LLP, an international law firm headquartered in New York City, provides a full range of legal services, including mergers and acquisitions, securities, project finance, private funds, corporate finance, energy/renewable energy, communications and technology, commercial and products liability litigation, arbitration/IDR, securities litigation and regulatory enforcement, special investigations and litigation, intellectual property, antitrust, domestic and international tax, insurance and reinsurance, environmental, real estate, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, employment law and ERISA, trusts and estates and government contract matters. Major geographical areas of concentration include Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. The Firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Mexico City, London (an affiliated partnership), Moscow, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, Kyiv, Almaty, Dubai and Beijing. For additional information, visit www.chadbourne.com.

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