Arbitration Idol is back for season 2! Following the tremendous success of our debut season in 2020, the summer of 2021 is once again dedicated to Arbitration Idol and to helping those in need.

What is Arbitration Idol? It was a few weeks into the pandemic when, in June 2020, Svenja Wachtel (Digital Coffee Break in Arbitration), Chris Campbell (Tales of the Tribunal) and Amanda Lee (Careers in Arbitration) decided to do something. Meeting people at an in-person conference, having lunch or sharing a cup of coffee with new connections were no longer an option. The Arbitration Idol initiative was born, providing a means to connect experienced leaders in the field of international arbitration with lucky individuals from around the world for a digital coffee break, while collecting money for UNICEF.

Being aware that the use of the word “Idol” carries certain connotations, Svenja, Mandy and Chris want to emphasize that “Idol” is a play on words, a tongue-in-cheek parody of the US singing competition show “American Idol”. Our Idols come from diverse backgrounds. It is not solely the outstanding work of each individual chosen that makes them an “Idol”, but also their willingness to kindly donate their time and goodwill in order to speak to the lucky winners, offering support and helping others during what has been a difficult time for so many.

The distinguished leaders who became the Arbitration Idols in 2020, for Season One, were:

Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Funke Adekoya SAN, Gary Born, Eleonora Coelho, Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Darius Khambata, Joongi Kim, Toby Landau QC, Dana MacGrath, Michael McIlwrath, Lucy Reed, and Catherine Rogers.

Last year 92 people donated EUR 1,936 for UNICEF! With your help, we can surpass that total in 2021. The procedure in 2021 is as simple as last year: anyone, anywhere in the world, can donate whatever they can afford (minimum donation EUR 1). Every donation buys the donor the chance to win a one-on-one digital coffee break with a leader from the field of international arbitration.

Our 2021 Arbitration Idols are once again distinguished leaders from around the globe who have generously donated their time to Arbitration Idol 2.0 and by doing so are helping others in need.

Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to become a successful international arbitrator, academic or counsel? What does it take to make a (R.E.A.L.) difference to gender, racial and age diversity in international arbitration? What lessons can be learned from working at an arbitral institution or running an arbitration centre? Perhaps you are simply looking for tips on how to deliver a fantastic speech or start a new webinar series. Our 2021 Arbitration Idols can answer these questions and many more.

Thank you to:

Cecilia Azar, Chiann Bao, Nayla Comair-Obeid, Benjamin G. Davis, Kabir Duggal, Babatunde Fagbohunlu, Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS, Sara Koleilat-Aranjo, Arthur Ma, Emilia Onyema, Rekha Rangachari, Maxi Scherer, Claus von Wobeser, and Roland Ziade.

To participate and be in with a chance of winning a digital coffee break with one of our Arbitration Idols, please follow the steps outlined below:

1. Make a donation (minimum donation EUR 1) from now until July 27, 2021 at or use the QR-Code. All proceeds are going 100% to UNICEF.

2. If you would like to participate in the prize draw, please forward your e-mail from Justgiving confirming your donation to (feel free to redact the amount donated). By doing so, you will automatically be entered into the draw and will have the chance to join one of our Idols for a digital coffee (or tea) break.

3. Keep your fingers crossed – the winners will be announced on July 30, 2021.

A big thank you goes out to the supporting organizations: ArbitralWomen, myArbitration, the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations, Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit e.V. (DIS) 40, the Young Thailand Arbitration Center (YTHAC), the Vienna International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (VIAC), the Global VYAP Network, Jus Mundi, Africa in the Moot, R.E.A.L. – Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers, the Rising Arbitrators Initiative, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC).

Thank you in advance to everyone who kindly donates to UNICEF – we wish the entire arbitration community the best of luck!


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