Pieter H.F. Bekker
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
340 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10173-1922
Job ExperiencePieter H.F. Bekker is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution (IDR) Practice Group at McDermott Will & Emery LLP in New York City. He concentrates in public international law advice and international dispute resolution, especially arbitration.
In international arbitration matters, Dr. Bekker draws upon a particularly rich background: he was educated and has practiced in Civil Law, Common Law and Public International Law, the legal systems that form the foundations of international arbitral law and procedure. A member of the Roster of Neutrals (International Arbitrators) administered by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the international division of the American Arbitration Association, he is regularly invited to sit as an arbitrator.
Dr. Bekker has been involved in a variety of international arbitral procedures, including those of the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and its Additional Facility, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the American Arbitration Association (AAA), as well as arbitrations based on the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). He has represented major U.S. and European engineering companies both as claimant and respondent in disputes before the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA). He has also negotiated multi-million-dollar settlements with the United Nations and private parties in the arbitration context. He regularly counsels clients in the drafting of arbitration clauses for international contracts.
Dr. Bekker advises private and public sector clients on a wide range of issues relating to private and public international law, including issues of jurisdiction, immunity, enforcement, environmental law, law of the sea, treaty law, and State responsibility. He has particular experience in matters involving sovereign parties, including States, state-owned entities and international organizations. For example, he represented the state-owned oil company of a Middle Eastern country in its claims against Iraq before the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. He has advised the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on international treaty law matters. He assisted Ukraine in drafting and negotiating treaties with Israel and Russia settling legal issues arising from the accidental shooting down of a Russian airliner over the Black Sea in October 2001.
A native of The Netherlands, Dr. Bekker was in private practice with a major law firm in Amsterdam before serving for nearly three years as a staff lawyer in the Registry of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations located in The Hague. During his ICJ tenure, he was involved in some 15 cases between sovereign States, including four border disputes. Subsequently, he was involved in two contentious cases involving border and maritime jurisdiction disputes and in two advisory proceedings. He has also advised clients in pro bono matters arising under international law (such as genocide and other human rights issues), including as special legal adviser to HRH Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan in his capacity as President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court.
Dr. Bekker has also represented a variety of corporate clients in cross-border commercial transactions (especially in the maritime and oil & gas industries) in Brazil, the Caribbean, China, Indonesia, Japan, Venezuela and various European countries. He has represented Intergen, one of the world's largest independent power project developers, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in relation to projects in Asia and South America.
Dr. Bekker has lectured on international law and practice on invitation at numerous conferences and universities worldwide, including Yale Law School (Forum on the Practice of International Law), Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School, University of Virginia School of Law, Villanova University School of Law, Seton Hall Law School, Brooklyn Law School, Leiden University Law School, and the XXVth Course on International Law hosted by the Inter-American Juridical Committee of the Organization of American States in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Dr. Bekker has worked with many of the world's leading international lawyers, including the late Keith Highet, Ignaz Seidl-Hohenveldern and Roberto Ago, former ICJ Presidents Manfred Lachs, Sir Robert Jennings and Stephen Schwebel, Professors Abram Chayes and Detlev Vagts of Harvard Law School (including as Research Assistant), Sir Arthur Watts, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, and Judge Charles Brower of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.
Dr. Bekker has been referred to by the Wall Street Journal as an "international legal specialist" and has commented on international law topics on radio and television in the U.S. (for FOX News Live) and Europe. He is a 2005 recipient of a Burton Award for Legal Achievement (Excellence in Legal Writing). Dr. Bekker was the only private legal practitioner to serve on the Working Group on Legal Responses to Terrorism, headed by former UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell, which assisted in drafting the "Madrid Agenda" adopted at the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security in Madrid in March 2005. That participation resulted in The Times of London selecting him for its "Lawyer of the Week" section on March 22, 2005, and in a feature article entitled "The Young Globalists" in the New York Law Journal on March 18, 2005. Dr. Bekker was selected by his peers as a New York "Super Lawyer" in the International and Alternative Dispute Resolution categories in 2006.
EducationUniversité des Langues et Lettres de Grenoble, France (Course Certificate), Summer 1987
Meester in de Rechten (Dutch Civil law degree), International & European Law specialization, Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1991 (Fellow, Mordenate College)
Master of Laws (LL.M.), Harvard Law School (Fulbright & Houthoff scholarships), 1991
Ph.D. (Doctorate in International Law), Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1994