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After graduating from law school in Germany, Andreas went to the U.S. to pursue a Master of Laws with a Fulbright Scholarship. Having completed his Master with distinction, he wanted to further challenge himself by taking the US Bar Exam. Since his scholarship ran only until May, he decided to limit expenses and simply stay in Louisiana.
To his surprise, the Louisiana State Bar Association (“LSBA”) took the view that a U.S. passport would be required to be allowed to take the bar. A view that Andreas was ready to challenge. Following legal proceedings, the LA. Supreme Court rejected the LSBA’s view and ordered the LSBA to let Andreas take the bar exam.Out of 4 foreign candidates, he was the only one who passed.
However, another surprise was awaiting Andreas: the LSBA refused to allow him to be sworn in, advising that the first LA. Supreme Court judgment had only permitted Andreas to take the bar, but not to be sworn in. Hence Andreas was forced to enlist the help of the courts again. He sued the LSBA again, won a second time in the LA. Supreme Court and he’s been a U.S. attorney ever since 1983.
Since his start in law school, Andreas viewed his career path as an international one and decided to become qualified in both a Civil Law and a Common Law system.Unfortunately, law schools don’t teach both at the same time.
If Andreas was to achieve his goal, he had no choice but to complete his legal education in both jurisdictions and take bar exams in both jurisdictions. This is what Andreas did and this is the reason why he is now one of the few arbitrators who are fully conversant in both “common” and in “civil law” legal systems.
An international career was not the only goal what Andreas has been aiming for. Since his Ph.D. time, Andreas’ passion lied on dispute resolution and it was only a natural choice for him when he started to practice to work himself into the area of international arbitration.
After more than 20 years in international arbitration in Asia and beyond, Andreas has conducted proceedings under ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, Swiss Rules, TAI Rules etc. As editor and co-author of the ASIA ARBITRATION GUIDE (currently the standard reference book with the widest geographical Asian coverage on International Arbitration in Asia) he has in-depth knowledge of all major arbitration systems in Asia.
“Looking over the fence” is not part of any legal curriculum. Yet arbitrators are regularly tasked to decide multi-facetted complex legal and factual issues.
Andreas knew that the best preparation to fulfil this challenging task was a well-rounded multi-facetted professional experience, preferably not just limited to law firm experience. That’s why his professional career included many challenging stages not only as In-House counsel/Director Legal, but also as Managing Director for large MNC’s in Asia with full profit and loss responsibility and also as External Counsel.
Following the motto “be all you can be” and to qualify himself even better, Andreas decided to take the arduous professional path to become a Chartered Arbitrator. He took several exams and practical trainings to achieve the status of a “Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators”, a highly recognized additional professional qualification.
Technical qualifications are certainly essential, but there is another skill that Andreas knew he had to master in order to become the arbitrator of choice for major complex international arbitrations in Asia and beyond: being multi-lingual.
Language is the key to understanding parties and their legal and commercial motivations in international arbitrations. Because not only speaking the language allows arbitrators to liaise with parties, and witnesses and to study documents in their original from, but it also provides them with the unique opportunity to understand possible cultural and practice differences.
Andreas currently masters English, German, French while he also speaks and understands Chinese and Spanish fluently.
Existing publications about international arbitration in Asia usually covered only a few Asian countries. Seeing this wide gap in the market, Andreas started to liaise with renowned arbitration practitioners with the goal to provide interested parties with a concise summary of the most important arbitration issues in the most important Asian jurisdictions. The result was the ASIA ARBITRATION GUIDE the leading and most comprehensive guide about arbitration in Asia, covering now more than 20 Asian jurisdictions.
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