New York Arbitration Week

November 13-17, 2023

THE CLASH: Contract Terms v Applicable Law

Program Host: New York City Bar Association
When: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 12:45-2:00 P.M. ET


New York law is frequently the governing law of international transactions covering a wide variety of industries. Contracts related to M&A, agency, project finance, securities law and other transactions involving US parties and parties in Latin America, Europe and Asia often contain New York law as the applicable law.
However, it is not infrequent to find contracts drafted following the language and terms of a New York law contract but governed by the laws of a completely different legal system. These contracts pose a challenge to arbitrators and counsel. The panelists will address issues such as:

  • If there are “mandatory” provisions in the governing law, can such laws prevail over the terms of the contract? If so when?
  • How should the arbitrators interpret terms that have a given meaning under New York law and either do not have a meaning or have a different meaning under the applicable law?
  • If it is truly international arbitration, may the arbitrators resort to international principles such as UNIDROIT principles?

A group of experienced counsel and arbitrators from various jurisdictions will discuss these topics in a lively discussion.


Julie Bedard: Partner Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Past Chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee

Bryan King: Independent Arbitrator

Alfredo Bullard: Partner, Bullard Falla Ezcurra

Galina Zukova: Independent Arbitrator. Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration.


Laura Sinisterra: Associate Debevoise & Plimpton LLP