It is with great sadness that we at Kluwer received the news of Pieter Sanders’ death. As the founder and  inaugural editor of the ICCA Publications, Piet has been crucial for Kluwer’s arbitration  content. We will remember him as an inspiring person with many passions in life.

To honor him, the general and managing editors of the ICCA publications will post their personal memories of Piet over the coming days. First my contribution, which is based on the letter that I wrote for Piet’s 100th   Birthday and published in  a volume of letters edited by Judy Freedberg and Rosabel Goodman.

“When I started as publisher of the Kluwer arbitration list, 17 years ago, you had already handed over the official tasks as editor of the ICCA publications to Albert Jan van den Berg. But, you were still very present. Albert Jan was very busy and you frequently came to his assistance when you thought  things needed to be done. The following  thoughts come to mind.

100 years of Piet and 36 years of ICCA publications

It is quite special that at the age of 64, when most people are retiring, you began an important initiative. The ICCA publications (the Yearbook, Handbook and the Congress Series) are still one of the most important pillars of  Kluwer Law International’s arbitration list. Without them, our arbitration list would not have become the market leader it is today. And how nice it is that a Dutch publisher, thanks to you, has achieved this position.

Piet and passion

 Naturally, you must be a very motivated individual to achieve what you have achieved in your life. People like you, who work evenings and weekends on our publications are crucial to a publisher. Occasionally, I recall, you took it to extremes. I remember  you phoned me at home, about a manuscript, one week after I had given birth. You told me you had  decided to “wait a bit” because I had just had a baby. I wasn’t too pleased at the time. On the other hand, I know that you relentlessly urged and motivated the Handbook authors which, in turn, yielded lots of supplements and subsequently, profits and recognition for Kluwer.

Piet and art

It was a privilege for me as a publisher to work with someone who was not only an expert in his chosen legal field, but who also has a “life”, in your case, art. You gave me a tour of your home, filled with wonderful sculptures and paintings that you would normally only see in a museum. The rooster made out of shoes was my favorite. And who else would have an Appel hanging in  their kitchen? I  heard the story that you met Appel because he had stolen paints and you defended him as his lawyer. You then began to sponsor him and in return, from time-to-time, he gave you a painting.  I don’t remember who told me this story and if it is even true. But it is a great story!

You can look back on a very rich life, during which you have meant a great deal to me as publisher of  Kluwer’s arbitration list.”

Gwen de Vries, publishing director Kluwer Law International


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