FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Catherine Amirfar

Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

New York, NY, USA


Catherine Amirfar is a litigation partner based in New York in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s International Dispute Resolution Group. Her practice focuses on international commercial and treaty arbitration, and international and complex commercial litigation. She routinely acts as counsel in arbitration cases arising under the rules of the major arbitral institutions, and in a wide variety of subjects, including investment treaties, gas and energy and financial industry sectors. Her recent representations include disputes involving Brazil and disputes arising under bilateral investment treaties in Europe and East Asia. Ms. Amirfar also has acted as counsel in transnational commercial litigation in U.S. courts, with a focus on international disputes and intellectual property.

Based on surveys of other practitioners, Ms. Amirfar is ranked among the leading international arbitration practitioners by Chambers Global (2012), which describes her as a “highly regarded young international lawyer,” and by Chambers USA (2010), which said that she is “viewed as ‘an emerging star in international arbitration’,” and “plays a key role” in the firm’s public international law practice. She is described in the Legal 500 US (2011) as “highly regarded by clients and peers alike,” in Chambers Latin America (2013) as “one of the leading figures of the next generation” and in Legal 500 Latin America as being “very hands on,” and “always pay[ing] great attention to the client.” Chambers Latin America noted that she “impresses” with her “natural, educated and sophisticated arguments.” She was also selected as a “Future Star” in Benchmark Litigation (2012, 2013).

In 2011, Ms. Amirfar was recognized by the Global Arbitration Review in its “45 under 45,” a selection of the 45 leading figures of the international arbitration bar under the age of 45.

Ms. Amirfar joined the firm in 2002 and became a partner in 2008. From 2000 to 2002, she clerked for the Hon. D.A. Batts, Federal Judge, Southern District of New York. Ms. Amirfar received a J.D. cum laude from New York University Law School in 2000, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow scholar. She served as an Editor for the NYU Law Review and was awarded top honors in the NYU Orison S. Marden Moot Court Competition. She received a B.A, with honors, from Stanford University in 1995.

Ms. Amirfar is the author or co-author of several publications, including: “The Current Status of NAFTA Chapter 11 Arbitration” in New York International Law Review (Winter 2007), “How Summary Adjudication Can Promote Fairness and Efficiency in International Arbitration,” in International Bar Association Arbitration Newsletter, September 2010, “Obtaining Evidence for Use in International Arbitrations Through United States Courts,” in Global Arbitration Review (2011), and “Current Challenges to Consumer Arbitration in the United States: Much Ado About Nothing for International Arbitration?” in The Arbitration Review of the Americas 2012. She is currently authoring, with Donald Donovan, a book to be published by Cambridge University Press entitled From the World Court to the United States Supreme Court: The Vienna Convention Litigation and Its Impact on International Law. She is a frequent lecturer on international law and has guest lectured at Yale Law School, NYU Law, Washington University in St. Louis Law School, and Seton Hall Law School. Ms. Amirfar has served on the Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) (2009 – 2012) and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She currently serves on the Executive Council of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ILA), as a director and Chair of the Program Committee for the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC), and the Steering Committee of the Young Arbitrators Forum. She was recently elected as a Vice President of the ILA American Branch.
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