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Speakers and Co-directors

The course is taught by leading practitioners and arbitrators from around the world, with the goal of providing students a diverse perspective of international arbitration from various legal cultures and national backgrounds.

The four course co-directors (below) include current arbitrators, practitioners and academics with a combined 100 years of experience in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration with leading global law firms.

Further speakers will be announced on the Durham Law School social media platforms, and added to this page in due course.

Purple Line Separator Slim

John Fellas

John Fellas sitting in front of a window. He is wearing glasses, a grey suit and you can see a microphone and a water bottle in the foreground

Over 30 years dispute resolution experience at a major law firm in New York City.

Recognised by Best Lawyers as the Lawyer of Year for Commercial International in New York in 2019 and Lawyer of Year for Governmental International Arbitration in New York in 2022.

Dunelm, B.A. Law (Hons.) 1983 International arbitrator and arbitration counsel.


Wendy Miles KC


Wendy Miles KC smiling, she is wearing a white blouse and a grey suit jacket. She has blonde hair and fair skin.

Over 25 years’ arbitration experience, both commercial and investment.

Member of the ICC Court of Arbitration for over a decade.  Appointed by the United Kingdom to the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators and ICSID Panel of Conciliators Canterbury, B.A. LL.B, NZ (1994), LLM (First), NZ, 1998.


Christian Leathley

Christian Leathley speaking at a podium. Wearing a grey suit and a shite shirt and grey tie. He has fair skin and short cut grey hair.

Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP (New York).

Former Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

25 years’ experience in international arbitration; practiced in New York, London, Madrid and Amsterdam. Chambers/Legal 500 ranked for the U.S. and Latin America. Dunelm, B.A. Law (Hons.) 1995.


Charles T. Kotuby Jr

Charles T. Kotuby Jr sitting is a chair talking and gesturing with his hands. He is wearing a grey suit, white shirt and a navy tie. He has grey hair down to his shoulders and a short beard.

Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the University of Durham Law School. Former partner at Jones Day in Washington DC

15 years of international arbitration and public international law experience.

Ranked Band 1 for International Arbitration in Chambers USA Dunelm LLM (Hons.) 2001



SpeakersPurple Line Separator Slim

Lei Chen

Lei Chen

Professor Lei CHEN (PhD) is Chair in International Arbitration and Chinese Law at Durham Law School, Durham University. He is Director of Durham International Dispute Resolution Institute and Co-Director of Centre for Chinese Law and Policy. Professor Chen's research areas are comparative private law and international commercial arbitration. Chen is on the panel of arbitrators and mediators in many leading arbitration institutions such as HKIAC, SCIA, KCAB, CIETAC, B.A.C., SHIAC, AIAC, C.A.A. and THAC etc. He is also a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators. Apart from participating in international academic networks, he advises various international organizations and governments and frequently provides expert opinions across multiple arbitration institutions and courts in Hong Kong, P.C.A. (Hague), Washington DC, Geneva, Singapore and England. Professor Chen is an expert member on ODR collaborating with UNCITRAL. He has led consultancy work commissioned by Microsoft Inc. and the Great Britain China Centre, UK.




Can Eken

Can Eken

Dr Can Eken is an assistant professor in commercial law at Durham University. He teaches and researches international commercial arbitration and investment arbitration. His research interests also cover third-party funding, online dispute resolution and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Dr Eken is admitted as an attorney in California and Turkey, and as a solicitor in England and Wales. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) and a committee member of the CIARB Thames Valley Branch. Dr Eken has acted in complex arbitration cases as counsel and legal advisor. Dr Eken accepts appointments as an arbitrator, and he is on the panel of arbitrators at the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre and Thailand Arbitration Centre. 



Mahnaz Malik

Mahnaz Malik in front of a bright window, wearing a while button up shirt

Mahnaz Malik is a Barrister and Arbitrator at Twenty Essex who specialises in representing Governments and corporations in investment and commercial disputes. She is a Fellow and Trustee of Hughes Hall College of the University of Cambridge. 




Karyl Nairn KC

Karyl Nairn KC

Ms Karyl Nairn KC is an independent arbitrator based in London, United Kingdom. Ms Nairn KC also serves as a Deputy High Court Judge in England & Wales. Prior to joining Arbitration Chambers, Ms Nairn KC was the Global Co-Head of Skadden’s International  Litigation and Arbitration Group where she focused on complex international commercial arbitration and litigation, as well as investment treaty arbitration, acting for governments and corporations across a range of industry sectors, including finance and banking, energy, mining, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. Ms Nairn KC’s practice as Counsel had a particular focus on joint venture/shareholder issues and disputes arising out of complex M&A transactions. Ms Nairn KC served as a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration from 1999 to 2015, including as a Vice President. She currently serves as a Vice President of the LCIA Court and is Chairman of the Development Board of JUSTICE, a leading UK charity focussing on access to justice and the preservation of the Rule of Law. She also serves on the Appointments Committee of ICC Australia.





Sir Bernard Rix 

Sir Bernard Rix

Sir Bernard retired in 2013 as a Lord Justice of Appeal with 20 years’ experience in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal. Since 2013 he has accepted appointments as an arbitrator and mediator in a wide variety of settings, including oil and gas, shipping, insurance, sale of goods, and share purchase transactions. He has acted as an expert witness, mock arbitrator and special master in the US federal courts.
He has experience of arbitrations under the rules of, amongst others, the LCIA, ICC, SIAC, HKIAC, JCAA and LMAA as well as ad-hoc. Sir Bernard has conducted virtual arbitration hearings including taking witness and expert evidence remotely.
He is an International Judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court and a member of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. He is also Professor of International Commercial Law at The Centre of Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London.





Dr Min Shi, CFA

Min Shi

Min is an expert in the fields of financial valuation and damages quantification. She has submitted more than 70 expert reports, and testified more than a dozen times regarding the valuation of assets and quantum of damages in commercial litigation and international arbitration cases. She has testified in the High Court of Justice in London, the Royal Court in Jersey, and the Intermediate People’s Court of Nanjing Municipality in China. She has also testified before ICC-, LCIA-, SCAI- and UNCITRAL-administered arbitrations in London, Paris and Zurich. Min is a member of Oxera’s Governing Board.

Before joining Oxera in 2010, Min worked in the finance practice of Charles River Associates, a global economics consultancy firm based in the USA, where she mainly performed valuation work in the context of securities class action lawsuits and bankruptcy cases.

Min is an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, where she gives guest lectures on valuation-related topics to MBA and EMBA students. She was previously a Lecturer in Economics at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford (2010–11), and Assistant Professor of Finance at the Business School of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2001–05).






Tim Smyth

Tim Smyth

Timothy Smyth advises sovereign States, multinational corporations, and high-net worth individuals in relation to international arbitration and public international law disputes. His experience includes representing clients in arbitrations under a wide range of arbitral rules, including ICSID, UNCITRAL, the LCIA, ICC, DIFC-LCIA and before the Iran-US Claims Tribunal. He also has experience of cases before the International Court of Justice, General Court of the EU and the High Court of Justice in London. He has advised clients from all over the world in a variety of different sectors, including energy, mining, banking, hospitality, telecoms, aviation and pharmaceuticals. Timothy has conducted oral advocacy in investment treaty arbitrations, commercial arbitrations and before the High Court of Justice in London. The Legal 500 UK (2021-23) has recognised Mr. Smyth as a "Rising Star" in the field of Public International Law and he is recognised by BestLawyers as a “One to Watch” for International Arbitration and Energy & Natural Resources Law (2024).  




Sylvia Tonova

Sylvia Tonova

Sylvia Tonova is Co-Head of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Public International Law Practice at Pinsent Masons LLP and has extensive experience in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. She helps clients manage high-value, complex and politically sensitive disputes, focusing on the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors.  Sylvia acts as counsel and arbitrator and serves on the IBA Arbitration Committee as Conference Quality Officer.  She is recognised by Chambers and Legal 500 as “an absolutely brilliant lawyer” who “stands out as showing excellent leadership and strategic insight” and “ensures the client’s priorities remain at the top of the pile”. 




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Limited places available - A non-refundable deposit of GBP 100 is required to confirm registration. The deposit will be applied towards the tuition. Written cancellation received 14 business days prior to the course will be fully refunded.

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Tel: +44 (0) 191 33 42800