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Matthew Parish is an international lawyer specialising in cross-border arbitration, litigation and enforcement, international trade, foreign investment, resource extraction and export, emerging markets and public international law. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and accepts appointments to sit as an arbitrator across Europe.
He has broad experience before a variety of international courts and tribunals, including arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), United Nations Commission On International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) tribunals, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), the Grain and Free Trade Association (GAFTA), the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA), the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association (LMAA), the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the European Union (EU) courts in Luxembourg. Dr Parish is an experienced advocate and holds a solicitors’ higher rights of audience (all courts) qualification in England and Wales. He frequently advises on contentious issues of English law before English courts and tribunals.
Dr Parish has represented clients across a wide variety of industries, including shipping, international trade, energy and infrastructure sectors, banking, insurance and financial services, governments and international organizations. He has a particular focus on issues of international law affecting emerging markets, with experience most recently covering Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and has dealt with expropriation claims arising out of alleged government confiscations. He also has extensive experience of arbitrating shipping and international trade disputes under trade associations’ arbitral rules and of claims under international investment treaties.
Dr Parish has authored publications on a variety of topics, including investment treaty law, English insurance law, European Commission competition law, international project finance, EU litigation, regulation of international trade, rule of law in transition economies and the legal role of international organizations in post-conflict countries. His doctoral thesis, on public international law arbitration, was supervised by the Honorable Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, IL.
Dr Parish formerly served as a legal intern (stagiaire) to Advocate-General Francis Jacobs at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. He has a particular experience in the European law of state aids, having given evidence on reform of state aid law to the European Parliament. Dr Parish has also provided numerous media commentaries and interviews on topics relating to international organizations as well as to the law and politics of the Western Balkans.
In addition to his work at international law firms, Dr Parish has worked as the head of a legal department in the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a UN specialist agency, where he was the chief legal adviser to an international civil servant. He managed proceedings before an international public law arbitration tribunal and oversaw several legal reform programmes.
Formerly, he worked in the legal department of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Washington, D.C., on a project finance portfolio focusing upon the Middle East and taught a course to World Bank staff on project finance dispute resolution. He has also practiced with leading international law firms in London, England, and Cairo, Egypt. In Cairo, he worked on a range of banking, aviation, project finance and international law matters before the Egyptian courts and other tribunals in the Middle East.
Dr Parish is a member of the Association Suisse de L’Arbitrage and the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was formerly a visiting fellow of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He teaches two postgraduate degree courses on commodities trading at the University of Geneva, where he lectures on international litigation, arbitration and enforcement of judgments, and he is a frequent guest lecturer on international relations at a number of universities across Europe. He also speaks on the subject of commodities trading and international investment at a range of conferences. He is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Comparative Law in Belgrade.
Dr Parish is the Co-Chair of an International Law Association policy committee based in New York. He was formerly a committee member with the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Oxford and Cambridge Society in Geneva, and provides pro bono legal advice to two Geneva nongovernmental organisations. He is recognised by the Journal of Export Controls as one of the world’s leading experts on international sanctions. His status as a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum and participation at its annual conference in Davos gives him unparalleled access to some of the world’s most senior political and business leaders.
Global Arbitration Review says this: “Matthew Parish is very well organised, dedicated to his job, responsible, honest, good at creative thinking with a solution to all problems, and client-orientated … Matthew and his team are excellent professionals and committed hard workers, who effectively and promptly respond to clients on all requests … and who are practically available on a 24-hour basis.”
Law Society of England and Wales (higher rights of audience – all courts)
Bar Council of England and Wales (non-practising)
Attorney and counsellor-at-law, New York
Registered at the Bar in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland
Registered at the courts of the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)
J.S.D. University of Chicago Law School, 2007
LL.M. University of Chicago Law School, summa cum laude, 2004
L.P.C. College of Law, London, Commendation, 1998
C.P.E. College of Law, London, Commendation, 1997
M.A. / B.A. University of Cambridge, Triple First Class honours, 1996
Young Global Leader (2013) World Economic Forum
One of the 300 most influential people in Switzerland, Bilan magazine, 17 April 2013
Jean-Pierre Warner and Lord Eastham Scholarships, Lincoln’s Inn, 2000
Clifford Chance Prize for Corporate Finance, 1998
Gentium Law Group is an arbitration boutique that prides itself on intellectual excellence and uncompromising combat on behalf of its clients. It helps them fight their way out of the most difficult and perplexing of confrontations. The firm accepts both commercial and political disputes, and problems in which the two fields are mixed.
Gentium also undertakes a substantial quantity of English commercial litigation, and contentious and non-contentious Swiss legal work in both French and German. The firm was founded in the autumn of 2014 by Dr Matthew Parish, formerly a partner at Holman Fenwick Willan in Geneva. His team followed him from that firm, and it has since developed to include attorneys with educations from the world’s very best universities and with training in some of the globe’s very best law firms.
Dr Parish also has significant international political and scholarly interests, having authored three books and over 100 articles. In 2013 he was named by Bilan Magazine as one of the 300 most influential people in Switzerland, and was elected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Areas of practice
Gentium specialises in financial disputes, commodities trading, shipping, construction, energy, infrastructure and foreign investment. Less than a year after its establishment, Gentium was nominated as one of the top 100 arbitration law firms worldwide by Global Arbitration Review.
International business transactions require a means of speedy and impartial resolution of disputes. National courts are not always suitable, for various reasons. Instead, international arbitration has evolved as the method of choice often because of the industry sector involved, or because arbitration awards are more widely enforceable internationally than court judgments. The firm regularly deals with arbitrations under different procedural rules and across a number of jurisdictions. Its international arbitration practice encompasses references under the rules of ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA and ARIAS, and under the industry-specific rules of FIDIC, LMAA, GAFTA, FOSFA, LME and RSA.
Investor-state, investment or BIT arbitration concerns state-owned enterprises in international arbitrations involving claims brought against them by foreign investors under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, investment contracts and national investment laws. The firm represents multinational companies as claimants, and governments as respondents, in disputes arising under international trade agreements and investment treaties. The team regularly provides representation and advice to clients in investor-state proceedings under the auspices of major international arbitral institutions, including ICSID and the ICC. In addition, the firm has extensive experience handling ad hoc investor-state arbitration proceedings under the UNCITRAL rules.
Gentium’s work involves the representation of clients in high-stakes investment treaty disputes before a wide array of international tribunals. It also helps its clients leverage international law to deal successfully with the legal and diplomatic challenges of cross-border disputes.
The team has a proven track record of handling disputes that involve a wide spectrum of facts and legal issues. It integrates substantive legal expertise and comprehensive industry knowledge to address client needs across industries, including: energy and infrastructure, trading and shipping, telecommunications, finance, mining and minerals, construction and infrastructure, and insurance and reinsurance.