Richard Smellie

Richard Smellie is our exclusively recommended International Arbitration expert in England on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Richard directly using the contact details listed above.

Richard is widely experienced in the resolution of disputes in the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors, both internationally and in the United Kingdom, having successfully led the resolution of numerous substantial disputes. Richard comes recommended as “A key figure” in dispute resolution in The Legal 500 guide, and Chambers and Partners UK describes Richard as “everything you would need in a solicitor” and a “very effective operator”, whilst his clients praise him as being “dogged in achieving our aims”; “excellent legal counsel in terms of presenting his analysis and conclusions and the options available to the clients” and “very quick to pick up on the key issues in a dispute”. According to The Who’s Who Legal Construction Guide Richard is “first class”.

Richard has considerable experience of a range of standard and bespoke project documentation, including both standard and bespoke forms used regularly in construction, energy and infrastructure projects. Richard’s experience ranges from projects procured using complex turnkey/design and build project documentation with layered EPC arrangements and contracts for the operation and maintenance of facilities, to complex PFI arrangements, innovative alliance agreements (and subsidiary documentation), and standard form contracts including the FIDIC, NEC, ICE and JCT forms.

Richard Smellie is also experienced in oil and gas operations agreements, “take or pay” hydrocarbon sale and purchase agreements, and government/developer project agreements (including intergovernmental agreements, “host government” agreements and related project documentation).

Firm Overview:

Fenwick Elliott is the UK’s largest law firm specialising in construction and energy law.

We advise on every aspect of the construction process from inception through building to completion and operation. We understand construction and energy projects: how they are managed; where problems occur; and the underlying commercial imperatives. We use this insight to add value to transactions and resolve disputes for clients in the UK and around the world.

Our expertise covers procurement strategies, contract documentation, project advice, dispute avoidance and dispute resolution. We provide strategic guidance to forestall potential problems throughout a project. With lawyers who are specialists in their field, we deliver prompt, reliable and pragmatic legal advice, including guidance on:

  • Project support
  • Procurement strategies
  • Contract documents
  • Commercial issues
  • Dispute avoidance
  • Dispute resolution and litigation

Advisory Excellence welcomes Richard Smellie and Fenwick Elliott LLP (

Meredith Craven

Meredith Craven is our exclusively recommended International Arbitration expert in Texas on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Meredith directly using the contact details listed above.

Meredith is an associate in the International Arbitration Practice Group in Houston. She represents international corporations, state entities and foreign sovereigns in commercial and investor-state arbitration proceedings in a wide range of industries, including energy, oil and gas, and other commodities. She has represented clients in international arbitrations brought under the UNCITRAL, ICSID, ICC, AAA/ICDR, and HKIAC rules. Meredith has also represented private and state-owned companies in enforcement and set-aside actions in New York courts.

Meredith is active in pro bono matters and is involved in the Firm’s representation of impoverished debtors suing the City of Ferguson, Missouri.

Meredith Craven currently serves as a Regional Representative for the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum.

Firm Overview:

Supporting our clients around the globe

White & Case is a truly global law firm, uniquely positioned to help our clients achieve their ambitions in today’s G20 world.

As a pioneering international law firm, our cross-border experience and diverse team of local, US and English-qualified lawyers consistently deliver results for our clients.

In both established and emerging markets, our lawyers are integral, long-standing members of the community, giving our clients insights into the local business environment alongside our experience in multiple jurisdictions.

We work with some of the world’s most respected and well-established banks and businesses, as well as start-up visionaries, governments and state-owned entities.

Ali R. Gursel

Ali R. Gursel is a partner in the International Arbitration and Finance groups. Mr. Gursel represents sovereigns in investment related international arbitrations. He also represents clients in corporate matters, with a focus on representing foreign sovereigns or their agencies in oil and gas industry projects and as borrowers in financing transactions.

Mr. Gursel has represented states and state agencies in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, North and Central America and the Caribbean in a variety of oil and gas industry projects, financing transactions and construction and other disputes. He has experience in multibillion-dollar project financings in various jurisdictions around the world. Mr. Gursel’s work in the oil and gas industry includes financing work for oil and gas companies, refinery upgrades and modernizations, upstream projects and transportation projects. His work in the finance area includes representing borrowers in syndicated loan transactions, project finance and structured finance transactions and capital markets offerings.

Firm Overview:

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in 1830, is one of the first U.S. law firms to develop a truly international practice. Dedicated to counseling clients involved with some of the most challenging transnational transactions and complex multijurisdictional disputes, Curtis represents multinational companies, international financial institutions, governments and state-owned entities, family and other privately held businesses, entrepreneurs, and high-net-worth individuals. With 17 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia, we are located in the key business centers in which our clients need us most.

Curtis lawyers come from diverse backgrounds, are multilingual and have been educated at some of the finest schools worldwide. Our lawyers bring a global perspective, incorporating a deep understanding of political and cultural sensitivities in addressing our clients’ legal needs, and exemplifying what it means to be international business lawyers.

Curtis prides itself in providing more than just high-quality legal counsel. Our lawyers work tirelessly to forge strong business relationships with our clients. In addition, our knowledge of the commercial and strategic aspects of our clients’ industry sectors provides us with a clear understanding of each matter’s particular economic drivers, risks and opportunities.

Clients value our ability to offer creative, sophisticated, yet pragmatic solutions to their many challenges. Our client teams, led by a relationship partner, are made up of lawyers who collectively have the requisite skill set and experience to meet the client’s needs. Matters are staffed efficiently and cost-effectively with teams comprised of both senior and junior lawyers who leverage the firm’s collective capabilities and international platform, while deploying the most current and secure communications technology. Clients receive updates on legal developments in a variety of ways, including in-house seminars, client alerts and blogs.

Our culture emphasizes respectful and constructive collaboration and communication not only with our clients, but also with counterparties and their advisors. Curtis lawyers strive to ensure the success of complex, fast-moving transactions and high-stakes disputes that typify today’s global business environment. For over 180 years, our dedication and commitment has earned us the confidence and trust of our clients, many of which have been turning to the firm for advice for decades.

Julie Bédard

Julie Bédard is head of Skadden’s International Arbitration Group for the Americas. She concentrates her practice on complex international litigation and arbitration and also advises companies and boards in internal investigations and regulatory matters.

Ms. Bédard represents clients in federal and state courts in the United States and has served as counsel in international arbitration proceedings held under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). She regularly advises clients on protecting their global investments under international treaties and provides strategic advice on drafting dispute resolution clauses in international commercial contracts. Trained in both civil and common law, she is experienced in conflict of laws and represents clients in connection with litigation and arbitration proceedings throughout the world, raising disputes on governing law, jurisdiction, the enforcement of arbitration agreements, extraterritorial discovery and international judgment enforcement.

Ms. Bédard regularly advises and assists management and supervisory boards in corporate governance, internal investigations and U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters. Under the auspices of the corporate investigations practice, she has assisted with internal investigations and related corporate governance advice, including remedial measures and the implementation of corporate compliance programs.

Ms. Bédard repeatedly has been listed in Chambers Global (“she has the capacity to understand non-legal details that most lawyers would overlook,” 2013 edition), Chambers USA (recognized as “a real force,” 2015 edition), Global Arbitration Review’s International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration (“an extremely bright all-rounder,” 2013 edition), Chambers Latin America and The Best Lawyers in America. She also has been recognized in Euromoney’s Expert Guides: Best of the Best USA 2017 and 2013 – Commercial Arbitration (Top 30 Practitioners), Global Arbitration Review’s Who’s Who Legal Future Leaders: Arbitration 45 under 45 (a “great example to all aspiring practitioners,” 2017 edition, and 2011 edition) and Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Commercial Arbitration Experts (2011). In 2017 and 2018, Ms. Bédard was named one of Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers for Arbitration and Litigation by Latinvex magazine. Additionally, Ms. Bédard has repeatedly been named one of Latin America’s Top Female Lawyers by Latinvex (2015-17). She was cited in Legal 500 Latin America 2014. Ms. Bédard also received the “Best in Commercial Arbitration” Euromoney Women in Business Law Award in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. In addition, Ms. Bédard was selected by Harvard Law School as an honoree for its second annual International Women’s Day Exhibition in 2015. She was named by the World Economic Forum to the 2013 Young Global Leaders and was selected among the Inspiring Women in Law by Latin Lawyer (November 2013). She is a member of the firm’s International Litigation and Arbitration Group, which was named one of Law360’s Practice Groups of the Year in 2016 and 2017, and was part of the Skadden team that was named the 2013 Law Firm of the Year: Dispute Resolution by Chambers Global.

Past and current representative clients include AEI; Argos USA; Banco Bradesco BBI S.A.; Banco BTG; Banco do Brasil Securities LLC; Banco Itau; Banco Votorantim S.A.; BB Securities Ltd.; CEMEX, SAB de CV; CF Industries, Inc.; The Clorox Company; Empresas Polar S.A.; Exxon Mobil Corporation; First Solar, Inc.; HSBC Securities (USA), Inc.; Inversiones Cordillera S.A.; Itaú BBA USA Securities, Inc.; Liberty Mutual Insurance Corporation; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Philip Morris International Inc.; SA Air France-KLM; The Travelers Companies, Inc.; Ultrapar Participaçoes S.A.; Votorantim Participações S.A.; and The WhiteWave Foods Company.

Ms. Bédard also regularly acts as arbitrator. Among other cases, she has acted as sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning a distribution agreement involving a U.S. company and a Peruvian company, and she was appointed in another ICC arbitration involving a manufacturing contract dispute between a U.S. company and a Chinese company. She also was appointed in LCIA arbitrations and as a sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL arbitration involving development agreements between a U.S. company and a Spanish company. She chaired an ICC arbitration governed by Romanian law and venued in Bucharest.

Prior to joining Skadden, she practiced as a litigator in Québec, Canada (1996-1998), served as law clerk on the Supreme Court of Canada (1998-1999) and taught LL.M. students at Columbia University (1999-2001). In 2001, she worked at the Court of Justice of the European Communities and at the Secretariat of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Bédard is a frequent lecturer and author on international litigation and arbitration issues.


– J.S.D., Columbia University School of Law, 2006
– LL.M., Columbia University School of Law, 2001
– LL.B., McGill University Faculty of Law (common law), 1996
– B.C.L., McGill University Faculty of Law, 1996


– New York, 2002
– Quebec, 1997
– U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 2004


– World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2013)
– International Bar Association, Arbitration Committee (Vice-Chair), Task Force on Counsel Conduct in International Arbitration (Former Chair), Sub-Committee on Conflicts of Interest (Former Member), UNCITRAL Working Group (Former Member)
– Center for Arbitration and Mediation of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada, Arbitrator
– The Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Advisory Board
– International Bar Association, Litigation Committee
– Chamber of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration CIESP/FIESP (Arbitrator)
– LCIA, North American Users Council (Former U.S. Member)
– Canadian Chamber of Commerce, ICC Arbitration Committee
– ICC Task Force on Reducing Time and Costs in Arbitration (Former Member)
– ICC Task Force on Criminal Law and Arbitration (Former Member)
– American Society of International Law
– International Law Association, American Branch
– CPR International Committee on Arbitration
– CPR Awards Judge (2009-2011)
– Canadian Arbitration Congress
– New York City Bar Association, Committee on Arbitration (2003-2005)
– Comitê Brasileiro de Arbitragem (Member)
– Arbitral Women
– Young Arbitrators Forum, Steering Committee
– Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners, Board of Directors

Firm History:

Founded by Marshall Skadden, Les Arps and John Slate on April Fools’ Day in 1948, Skadden began as a scrappy upstart among a sea of established “white shoe” law firms in New York. Joe Flom was hired as the firm’s first associate later that year, and litigator Bill Meagher, the fifth partner to lend his name to the firm’s letterhead as it appears today, joined in 1959.

Our first two decades were marked by slow and steady growth of our client base as we set out to establish ourselves as the go-to firm for our clients’ most complex legal problems. Our willingness to handle proxy fights in the 1950s and early 1960s — matters deemed “ungentlemanly” by white shoe firms — positioned us to ultimately become the firm of choice for the hostile takeovers that dominated the M&A landscape beginning in the 1970s.

Recognizing the value of providing full-service advice to clients, from day one we sought to develop a range of complementary practices, like litigation, tax and antitrust. Client needs led us to open offices in other cities beginning in 1973, and the volume of work we were handling fueled exponential growth in the number of attorneys at the firm in the 1980s. That growth included a significant expansion of the practices we offered to clients, including restructuring, finance, real estate, mass torts and securities litigation, as well as the opening of offices in Europe and Asia.

In the nearly three decades since, we’ve built on that platform to provide advice to clients around the world on their most important matters. Our core values reflect the ideals of our history, and we remain committed to providing excellent lawyering and unrivaled client service in all our work.

Lorraine M. Brennan, Esq.

Lorraine M. Brennan, Esq. is an accomplished national and international dispute resolution professional. She is recognized and respected for her broad range of professional experience involving complex commercial litigation, domestic and international arbitration and mediation, and her service as a distinguished global member of law school faculties from the United States to China. Ms. Brennan was selected to the 2017 Experts Guide for Commercial Arbitration.

Lorraine is a highly sought-after speaker and frequent lecturer on complex commercial dispute resolution. She maintains leadership roles in multiple organizations, including ArbitralWomen, the International and Dispute Resolution Sections of the American Bar Association and the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (Advisory Board Member). Ms. Brennan is one of only eight members appointed by the U.S. State Department to serve on the NAFTA 2022 Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes. She is proficient in French and has a working knowledge in Spanish.

Ms. Brennan serves as an adjunct Professor teaching International Commercial Arbitration at the Georgetown University Law Center, and taught International Business Transactions at Cornell Law School and Shantou Law School, Guangdong, China.

ADR Experience & Qualifications:

Ms. Brennan has served as Sole Arbitrator, Co-Arbitrator, Chair of the Tribunal, Secretary to the Tribunal, and counsel in a number of cases under different institutional rules, including JAMS, UNCITRAL, ICC, AAA, and Ad Hoc proceedings. Recent Cases include:

– Chair of the Tribunal in UNCITRAL Case (international) involving breach of contract between bio-tech companies
– Chair of the Tribunal in breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract matter between various LLCs and partners in multi-million dollar commercial property transaction
– Co-arbitrator in patent litigation dispute between technology companies
– Emergency Arbitrator in matter between Fortune 50 pharmaceutical company and top executive regarding breach of separation agreement
– Sole Arbitrator in multiple breach of business commercial contact disputes
– Sole Arbitrator in shareholder dispute involving valuation of a stock put, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty
– Co-arbitrator in Broker/Dealer dispute
– Sole Arbitrator in multiple financial services dispute
– Sole Arbitrator on multiple breach of services agreement matters
– Mediated and settled two multi-million dollar wrongful termination suits brought against multi-national financial institution
– Successfully mediated FLSA and racial discrimination case involving 16 plaintiffs and multi-national clothing manufacturer
– Mediated numerous disputes under Asbestos Trust Agreement
– Neutral reviewer on numerous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims related to SuperStorm Sandy
– As Partner and Director of the International Arbitration Practice Group for Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP she advised clients on all phases of arbitration, both domestic and international, and worked on international and domestic arbitration matters
– As Managing Director of JAMS International she was responsible for the opening of the JAMS International office in London and the strategic growth and development of JAMS International and the International panel including the development of partner relationships with foreign licensees
– As Director of Arbitration and ADR, North America, for the ICC International Court of Arbitration, she advised North American companies, law firms and parties on all phases of ICC arbitration, including negotiating and drafting arbitration clauses, substantive and procedural rules for filing requests for arbitration before the ICC Court, and enforcement of arbitration awards
– As Senior Vice President of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, she worked with the corporate Board of Directors on international development projects including the creation of an Asia/Pacific Advisory Committee to develop CPR’s work in Asia/Pacific and develop a mediation platform in Brazil. She managed a grant from General Electric to execute international projects in Asia and Eastern Europe; coordinated European Advisory Committee and European projects to develop mediation and arbitration in Europe, drafted a survey on the use of mediation in the Asia/Pacific region and met with leading Asian institutions including CIETAC, BAC, HKIAC, VIAC and AMCHAM Beijing and Shanghai to promote CPR’s work in Asia/Pacific
– As an Associate for the firm of Killarney, Brody and Fabiani, Choate, Hall & Stewart, and the firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy she litigated complex commercial cases in both State and Federal Courts including bankruptcy litigation, shareholder derivative cases, insurance and reinsurance matters, breach of contract, lender liability, trusts and estates, and conducted numerous due diligence reviews. She served as counsel on numerous arbitrations, both domestic and international, as well as counsel on mediations
– One of eight members appointed by US State Department to the NAFTA 2022 Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes

Honors, Memberships & Professional Activities:

– Listed in the 2017 Experts Guide (Commercial Arbitration)
– Member, City Bar of New York
– JAMS Liaison to the ABA Section of International Law
– Vice-Chair, ABA International Section Committee on Mediation
– Vice-Chair, ABA International Section Committee on Arbitration
– Co-Chair, ABA Dispute Resolution Section International Committee
– Member of the Steering Group for the International Litigation Committee
– Sits on Public Panel at FINRA
– Member, NAFTA 2022 Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes (1999-present)
– President, Arbitral Women (2008-2010); Board Member and Founding Member; Current Advisory Member to the Board
– Former Chair, Women’s Interest Network, Section of International Law, American Bar Association
– Former Co-Chair, Commercial Dispute Resolution Committee, American Bar Association Section of International Law
– Former Co-Chair, International Litigation Committee, American Bar Association Section of Litigation, 2000-2002
– Member, Advisory Board, Institute for Transnational Arbitration
– Adjunct Professor of Law, International Commercial Arbitration, Georgetown University Law Centre, 2006-present
– Visiting Professor of Law, International Business Transactions, Shantou University Law School (Guangdong, China), 2006-2010


– “International Arbitration and E-Discovery: Rising to the Challenge”, The New York Law Journal, October 6, 2014
– “When Mediation Makes Sense: A Win for Employers and Employees,”, May 6, 2014
– “The PEMEX Case: The Ghost of Chromalloy Past?”, March 4, 2014
– “High Court Declines to Address Arbitrator Bias Standard,” The New York Law Journal, October 1, 2007
– Co- Author, “Negotiating The Maze of IP Protection,” The National Law Journal, April 9, 2007
– Served as a Consultant for the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) and contributed to “Privacy Online: OECD Guidance on Policy and Practice,” 2003
– “The Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions about ICC Arbitration,” The International Litigation Quarterly, Vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 30-31, Fall 2002, The Litigation Section of the American Bar Association
– Co-Author, “The Practice of Law in the EEC by New York Litigators after 1992,” International Law Practicum, Vol. 4, no. 2, p. 38, Autumn 1991, The International Law Section of the New York State Bar Association


– Managing Director, JAMS International, 2011-2013
– Senior Vice President, Programs and International, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, 2008-2011
– Partner, Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, 2006-2008
– Director of Arbitration and ADR, North America, ICC International Court of Arbitration, 2000-2006
– Director, Arbitration and Intellectual Property and Legal Counsel, USCIB (ICC National Committee), 1997-2000
– Associate, Choate, Hall & Stewart, 1992-1994
– Associate, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, 1989-1992
– Senior Law Clerk, The Honorable Irving Ben Cooper, U.S. District Court SDNY, 1987-1989
– Associate, Killarney, Fabiani & Brody, 1985-1987


– Masters of Art in Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Co-Administered by Harvard and Tufts Universities, 1997
– Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures en Droit: Mention: European Studies, Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etudes Internationales, Geneva, Switzerland, 1997
– J.D., Suffolk University Law School (Dean’s List), 1984
– B.A., French Literature, Cornell University (Dean’s List), 1981


Proficient in French, working knowledge of Spanish.

Counsel Comments:

“Ms. Brennan is tenacious, fair, dedicated and extremely knowledgeable in the ADR field, both domestic and international. She is always prepared and works diligently to achieve a good result for the parties.”