It was with deep sadness and a profound sense of loss that we learned of the death of one of the world’s leading arbitrators, Van Vechten Veeder QC – more widely known as V.V. or Johnny Veeder – on 8 March 2020.

For nearly three decades, Johnny Veeder lent his unique voice to ICCA’s publications, authoring the ICCA Handbook National Report for England and Wales between 1997-2015, contributing to the ICCA Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, addressing multiple ICCA Congresses between 1990 and 2014, and chairing the Programme Committee for the 2012 Singapore Congress.

Elected to the ICCA Council (later the ICCA Governing Board) in 2006, Johnny Veeder played a key role in shaping ICCA’s post-2012 renewal and governance: through the ICCA Nominations and Membership Committee, Inclusiveness Committee and Initiatives Committee; through his contributions to ICCA’s New York Convention Roadshow Programme; and by acting as mentor in five cycles of the Young ICCA Mentoring Programme (2011-2020).

ICCA has sought to pay tribute to Johnny Veeder’s immense contribution to the work of ICCA, though the publication of a ‘V.V. Veeder QC Memorial Volume, ICCA Congress Series’, launched today.

The ‘V.V. Veeder QC Memorial Volume’ gathers together eleven papers that he presented at ICCA Congresses between 1990 and 2014, covering topics as diverse as the UNCITRAL Model Law; cross-border enforcement of interim measures; a comparison between commercial and treaty-based arbitration; strategic management in commencing arbitrations; the future of State courts and arbitration; an interrogation of who the arbitrators are; and a historical overview of ICCA and its history. All these papers are written with Johnny’s characteristic wit and style, and give some insight into the breadth of his interest and vision.

Current ICCA President Lucy Reed and immediate past ICCA President Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler together note that ‘As the ICCA Presidents join to say in the Foreword to this important volume, in honour of our beloved friend and colleague:  “Johnny’s modesty was legendary. And nothing we could say would be better than allowing his words to speak for themselves”.’

Kluwer joins with ICCA to honour Johnny Veeder, with Gwen de Vries noting that ‘Johnny was a pillar of the international arbitration community, a kind person and a gifted legal expert; the community has lost one of its brightest stars’.

We trust that you will enjoy the eleven papers in this collection, and together with us remember and celebrate Johnny’s remarkable life and work.


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