Nappert Prize in International Arbitration

Made possible by the generosity and vision of Sophie Nappert, BCL’86, LLB’86, a noted arbitrator in independent practice who is based in London, this essay contest invites participants to submit unpublished papers on commercial arbitration or investment arbitration. The next competition will take place in 2022.

2020 edition

We are happy to present the winners of the fourth edition of the competition, as selected by the jury:


  • First prize (4,000$): Diana Itzel Santana Galindo (lawyer, Mexico; LLM’19 QMUL), “The Role of the Seat in Smart Contract Disputes"
  • Second prize (2,000$): Cara North (Consultant, Lipman Karas; LLM’19 MIDS), “The Erosion of Commercial Law as a Consequence of Arbitration
  • Third prize (1,000$): Juan Felipe Coy Gómez (lawyer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; LLM'19 KCL), “El Medioambiente y el Arbitraje Internacional de Inversión: Estado Actual y Propuestas Para la Reforma del Sistema Arbitral en la Gestión de Disputas Medioambientales

Diana Itzel Santana Galindo, Cara North and Juan Felipe Coy Gómez.
Left to right: Diana Itzel Santana Galindo (First prize); Cara North (Second prize); and Juan Felipe Coy Gómez (Third prize).

The winners presented their papers at an online symposium hosted by McGill University on October 20, 2020. At the symposium, the three winners competed for a $1,000 award for best oralist, which was won by Cara North.

Honourable mentions

  • Harisankar Mahapatra, (LLM’20, Miami), “The Future of Investment Dispute Settlement in the Post-Achmea Era
  • Mikhail Batsura, (LLM’19, NYU), “Limits to Party Autonomy in Appointing Counsel in International Commercial Arbitration
  • Léa Deroche, (LLM’20, McGill), “War Clauses In International Investment Law: A Need For Clarity
  • Eleanor Dennis, (BCL/JD candidate, McGill), “Judicial Consideration of Substantive Invalidity: Understanding the Courts’ Protective Role under the New York Convention and the Model Law

Our distinguished jury

We are grateful to our jury for their careful and thorough consideration of the essays.

  • Professor Lawrence Boo, Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore & Bond University
  • Mr Alexander Fessas, Secretary-General & Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris
  • Professor Fabien Gélinas, McGill University, Montreal
  • Professor Katia Fach Gómez, University of Zaragoza, Spain
  • Mr Diego B. Gosis, Partner, GST LLP, Miami
  • Dr Ridhi Kabra, Associate, Three Crowns LLP, London (winner of the 2014 edition)
  • Ms Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, DC
  • Ms Caline Mouawad, Partner, King & Spalding LLP, New York
  • Professor Marie-Claude Rigaud, University of Montreal

We are also grateful to Sophie Nappert, BCL’86, LLB’86, whose generosity and vision have made this prize possible. The next Nappert Prize competition will be held in 2022. 

Kindly direct any questions to Mr. Lucas Clover Alcolea (nappertprize [at] See the 2020 call for papers.

2018 edition

Here are the winners of this third edition of this competition, as selected by the jury:


  • First Prize ($4,000): Dina Prokic (BCL/LLB’17, McGill; Attorney & Counselor at Law, New York), “SIAC Proposal on Cross-Institution Consolidation Protocol: Can It Be Transplanted into Investment Arbitration?"
  • Second Prize ($2,000): Alastair Simon Chetty (LLB’18, National University of Singapore), “Embracing Practical Solutions in Dealing with the Distinct Shades of Abuse of Process in Investment Arbitration”
  • Third Prize ($1,000): Ella Wisniewski (LLM’17, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Solicitor, Herbert Smith Freehills), “A Changing Climate: The Future of Legitimate Expectations in Energy Investment Disputes”

The winners came to present their papers at a symposium hosted by McGill University on November 1, 2018, where Ms Wisniewski also captured the $1,000 award for best oralist.

Alastair Simon Chetty, Dina Prokic, and Ella Wisniewski
The winners of the 2018 Nappert Essay Prize: Alastair Simon Chetty, Dina Prokic, and Ella Wisniewski.

Our distinguished jury

We are grateful to the jury for its careful and thorough consideration of the essays:

  • Julie Bédard, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York & São Paulo
  • Professor Lawrence Boo, Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore & Bond University
  • Professor Olivier Caprasse, Universities of Liège and Brussels, Member of the Brussels Bar
  • Professor Kun Fan, McGill University, Montreal
  • José Feris, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, Paris
  • Alexander Fessas, Secretary-General & Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services, International Chamber of Commerce Court, Paris
  • Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, DC
  • Eduardo Zuleta Jaramillo, Partner, Zuleta Abogados Asociados, Bogota

Honourable mentions

  • David Chriki (LLM'2017, Hebrew University), "SLAPPing Police Powers with Investment Arbitration"
  • Philip Keul (Law Student,Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), "Security for costs in International Commercial Arbitration"
  • Luigi Pedreschi (PhD Researcher in Law, European University Institute), "Investor-state arbitration under CETA: "FIT" for practice?"
  • Alexey Vyalkov (Associate, Clifford Chance), "The role of equity in the assessment of damages under custom: where are Diallo and The Arctic Sunrise taking the law and are they dangerous for investment treaty arbitration?"

Contest facts

For this edition, we received over 80 submissions from scholars and junior practitioners from (almost) every continent. This was the first year that the Prize accepted papers written in Spanish which, with the existing inclusion of French and English, makes this a trilingual competition! This is a fitting reflection of the diversity and multiculturalism inherent to international arbitration.

See the 2018 call for papers.

2016 edition

The jury has selected the following papers as the winners of this second edition of this competition:


  • First Prize: Nathan D. Yaffe (JD student, NYU), “Transnational Arbitral Res Judicata”
  • Second Prize: Julia Godolphin  (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “Resolution of Tax Disputes in International Arbitration”
  • Third Prize (tie): Jonathan Brosseau-Rioux (LLM student, Cambridge), “The Legal basis for the Application of Domestic law in Investment Arbitration”;
    Bernardo Rohden Pires (LLM student, George Washington School of Law), “Can the MFN Clause in the GATS Serve as a Jurisdictional Gateway?”

The winners will present their papers at the Nappert Symposium on October 19, 2016, at McGill University's Faculty of Law. Registration to the symposium is free but mandatory.

The Nappert Prize winners will also have the opportunity to compete for a 1,000$ award to be given to the best oralist by a panel comprised of Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund (McGill), the Hon. Pierre Dalphond (Stikeman Elliott), and Professor Céline Lévesque (University of Ottawa).

Our distinguished jury

We are grateful to the jury for its careful and thorough consideration of the essays:

  • Sébastien Besson, Partner, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
  • Chester Brown, Professor of International Law and International Arbitration, The University of Sydney Faculty of Law
  • José Feris, Deputy Secretary-General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris
  • Henry Gao, Associate Professor, Singapore Management University
  • Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, DC
  • Cesar Pereira, Partner, Justen, Pereira, Oliveira, and Talamini, São Paolo
  • Abby Cohen Smutny, Partner, White & Case LLP, Washington, DC

Honourable mentions

  • David Isidore Tan (LLM student, NYU), “Enforcing National Court Judgments as Arbitration Awards under the New York Convention”
  • Fortunat Nadima Nadima (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “The Path Towards Transparency Via Domestic freedom of Information Laws”
  • Maria Bhatti, (PhD student, Monash University), “Interest on Arbitral Awards and Sharia”
  • Mevelyn Ong (LLM student, Columbia), “The Interplay of Sovereignty, Personality and Consent in The Execution of Arbitral Awards”
  • Relja Radović (PhD student, University of Luxembourg), “When I Grow Up I’ll Be A Court”
  • Velimic Zivkovic (PhD Student, London School of Economics), “A Holistic Approach to Applicable Law In Investment Arbitration: Reasons, Elements, Goals”

Contest facts

For this edition, we received over 70 submissions from scholars and junior practitioners affiliated with more than 60 institutions, and hailing from places such as Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, the UK, and the USA.

Most of the applicants were affiliated with institutions in either Europe or North America, and almost a quarter of the submissions were from Asia, more specifically from India and China. Approximately 40% of the authors were women, and the other 60% were men, and most were between 20 and 29 years old.

See the 2016 call for papers.

2014 edition

See the 2014 call for papers and the 2014 winners announcement.


  • First Prize: Ridhi Kabra (LLM student, Cambridge), “Has Abaclat v. Argentina left the ICSID with a ‘Mass’ive Problem?”
  • Second Prize: Mitchell Moranis  (JD student, Harvard), “Between Power and Procedure:  The Changing Balance of Investment Treaty Protections”
  • Third Prize (tie): Antoine Champagne (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “Moral Damages Left in Limbo”;
    Robert Kovacs
    (Associate, Linklaters; PhD Student, U. of Geneva), “International Arbitration and Insolvency:  A Question of Applicable Law”.

Andrea Bjorklund; Robert Kovacs; Mitchell Moranis; Ridhi Kabra; Antoine Champagne; Sophie Nappert.
Left to right: Prof. Andrea Bjorklund, Robert Kovacs (tied for third); Mitchell Moranis (second place); Ridhi Kabra (first place); Antoine Champagne (tied for third); and Me Sophie Nappert.

Our distinguished jury

  • George A. Bermann, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, Columbia Law School, New York
  • Teresa Cheng, Senior Counsel and Chartered Arbitrator, Des Voeux Chambers, Hong
  • Giuditta Cordero-Moss, Professor, University of Oslo
  • José Ricardo Feris, Deputy Secretary General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris
  • Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, ICSID, Washington DC
  • Philippe Pinsolle, Partner, Quinn Emmanuel, Paris

Honorable mentions

  • Horia Ciurtin (Babes Bolyai University, Romania), “A Hermeneutical Perspective upon the 'Mitigation of Damages' Principle: The Metamorphosis of a Concept in International Law.”
  • Joel Dahlquist (Uppsala University, Sweden), “Beside the Point: On Obiter Dicta in Investment Treaty Arbitration.”
  • Elsa Paparemborde (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “Preventive Requests for the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: Toward an Effective Filtering Mechanism under the New York Convention.”
  • Adam Plenkiewicz (BCL/LLB’14, McGill), “Comparing Proximate Causation in International Law.”
  • Fabio Santacroce (Freshfields, Rome), “The emergency arbitrator: a full-fledged arbitrator rendering an enforceable decision?”

Nappert Prize Competition Collection

The ICC, in cooperation with McGill University, has released a collection of the best articles written by participants of the 2014 Nappert Prize competition.

Edited by Professor Andrea Bjorklund, holder of the Fortier Chair, the collection is composed of nine articles chosen by experienced practitioners and arbitration experts from the inaugural Nappert Prize Competition in International Arbitration organized by McGill University's Faculty of Law in 2014.

Topics covered include:

• Procedural questions raised by the interface of arbitration with bankruptcy proceedings or mass claims
• Genesis of substantive law as developed by arbitral tribunals
• Links between municipal and international law
• Principle of proximate causation and its transition to international investment arbitration

To find out more, visit

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