On March 6, 2018, on the eve of International Women’s Day, an innovative networking and discussion event was held for female arbitration practitioners in Moscow.
This was the only event of its kind held in Russia, to focus just on women in arbitration and with an all-female attendance.
The ‘Women in Arbitration’ event discussed the position of women in the legal profession and in arbitration, and examined balancing work-life commitments. It is being held at a private Moscow art gallery, L’Appartement 83.
Speakers at the event included:
· Prof. Tamara E. Abova (Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of Department of Civil law, Civil and Arbitrazh procedure) who shared her experience on how she was first elected as an arbitrator on a case and gave advice to young arbitration practitioners on how to advance the career in arbitration in order to be elected as an arbitrator. The gist of that advice was to work hard and to make yourself known and respected in the local arbitration and dispute resolution community so that your name is available to the parties and professional arbitration instructions when a dispute arises. Prof. Abova also elaborated on the professional qualities a good arbitrator should have such as the ability to listen carefully to the positions of the parties, impartiality and the ability and desire to have detailed knowledge and understanding of the facts and law.
· Oxana Peters (Tilling Peters, Managing Partner) who discussed her experience of establishing her own litigation/arbitration boutique. Oxana’s view was that it is worth thinking of establishing your own business only when you have your own well established client base and the ability to bring new clients who will keep the business afloat. In Oxana’s view, it is more difficult and challenging to run you own law business rather than working as an employee in a law firm or in-house. This is because you bear responsibility now only for yourself but for the employees of the firm and for its reputation more generally.
· Ekaterina Lobacheva (X5 Retail Group, General Counsel) who talked about developing the career in-house, the difference between the role of a lawyer in-house and in consulting and gave her advice to young practitioners who would like to pursue their career in-house. Ekaterina’s view was that the role of in-house lawyers is different from the one in consulting because the in-house counsel should evaluate each case and give legal advice taking into account the business of the company as a whole as well as all internal and external factors, which are not always available to external consultants. Ekaterina shared that she has degrees in law, economy and math and they all help her significantly in her day-to-day work as General Counsel.
RAA40 has also invited Alexei Dudko (Partner and Head of Russian/CIS Arbitration/Litigation Group, Hogan Lovells), as a special guest, who shared his views on the topic of women’s career in arbitration and provided his advice to young women arbitration practitioners on how to advance career in arbitration/litigation in a major international law firm. Alexei emphasized the importance of motivation, focus and the need to excel, which he thought could be the universal advice for all practitioners notwithstanding gender. The transformation methodology to become a well-esteemed professional in the arbitration community would necessarily involve having a built-in desire for constant improvement of knowledge and skills as well as willingness to go beyond the ordinary boundaries.
The event was organized by RAA40 (Marina Akchurina, Izabella Sarkisyan and Olga Tsvetkova) and Olesya Petrol (Petrol Chilikov). Cleary Gottlieb and Tilling Peters sponsored the event. Cleary Gottlieb associate, Marina Akchurina, moderated the discussion.