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Arnold & Porter Celebrates Maria Chedid's Landmark Role as First Woman President of a Middle East Arbitral Court

January 31, 2024

Arnold & Porter is proud to recognize the extraordinary achievement of Maria Chedid, the global chair of the firm’s International Arbitration Practice Group, on her appointment as the President of the inaugural Court of Arbitration at the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre (arbitrateAD) — the first time a woman will serve as the president of an arbitral court in the Middle East.

This significant appointment is a milestone for advancing women in law and promoting gender diversity within the international legal community while enhancing arbitrateAD’s vision of establishing Abu Dhabi as a premier hub for efficient and expeditious dispute resolution.

The new Court of Arbitration, under Chedid's leadership, is composed of fifteen leading international arbitration practitioners — nearly half of whom are women — representing a broad geographic reach from eleven jurisdictions across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

"I am honored to lead such a distinguished group. Each of our members brings a rich array of diverse experiences and backgrounds in a wide range of roles and industries, which will allow us to maximize the Court of Arbitration’s potential,” said Chedid. “Together, we are committed to establishing the Court as a leading dispute resolution provider in the region and beyond, dedicated to upholding values of excellence, fairness, and efficiency."

Chedid has over thirty years of experience in international arbitration involving foreign investment, technology, energy, infrastructure, intellectual property, life sciences, cryptocurrency, government contracts, environmental disputes, political risk issues, and more.

Her other roles include serving as one of two U.S. members on the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC (second term), co-chairing the AAA/ICDR Global Task Force on Technology and Life Sciences Arbitration, serving as a Vice-President of the LCIA North American Users’ Council, and membership in the SIAC Users Council.

The Abu Dhabi Centre’s inaugural Court of Arbitration convened for its first meeting in Abu Dhabi this week, immediately preceding the official launch of the Centre to take place on February 1, 2024, signifying the beginning of a new era in international arbitration in the Middle East.