FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Paul H. Cohen

Perkins Coie LLP

New York, NY, USA

A prominent presence in international arbitration forums, Paul H. Cohen represents global clients in arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, LCIA, ICDR, ICSID and other arbitral institutions, as well as in ad hoc proceedings. His clients have included sovereign governments, international manufacturers, major pharmaceutical makers, financial institutions, airlines, international insurance companies and professional services firms located in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Paul is a partner in the Commercial Litigation practice and admitted to the bar in New York, England and Wales (Middle Temple).

Arbitrations involving oil and gas disputes, both commercial and investor-state conflicts, are a practice emphasis for Paul. He guides clients through the resolution of a range of disputes, including contract breaches, failed mergers and investment disputes. Paul co-founded, along with Arthur Marriott QC, 12 Gray's Inn Square Chambers in London, which is devoted to international arbitration and global dispute resolution. In addition, Paul is the author of "International Energy Arbitration," a book covering the world of international energy arbitrations.

Paul also maintains an active practice counseling clients in the areas of international corruption and high-stakes litigation. His experience includes managing inquiries from such authorities as the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.K. Financial Services Authority, and France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers. He regularly manages matters involving allegations related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.K. Bribery Act implementation and U.S. trade sanctions.

Highlights of Paul’s commercial and criminal litigation achievements include his defense of major financial institutions in securities litigation related to the collapse of WorldCom; representing a California regulatory agency in landmark bankruptcy litigation involving Pacific Gas & Electric; and advising a major tobacco company in a historic multistate settlement  agreement.

Paul is a director of the New York International Arbitration Center and the author of International Corruption, a book presenting a multijurisdictional look at bribery and antibribery compliance. In addition to earning his J.D. from Columbia Law School, Paul received a Ph.D. from Oxford University and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University in the area of political science. His previous employment experience includes working in The Hague in the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.



  • New York City Bar, International Commercial Disputes Committee, Member New York
  • International Arbitration Center, Former Director
  • International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), Member
  • International Arbitration Club of New York, Member
  • International Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, International Law Section, Member
  • Council on Foreign Relations, Former Term Member
  • Journal of Technology in International Arbitration, Editor-in-Chief


  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Office of the Prosecutor, The Hague, Netherlands, 1996
  • Clinton/Gore Presidential Campaign, Little Rock, AR, Speechwriter and Communications Consultant, 1992



  • Represented an alternative energy company in connection with a gas-to-liquids manufacturing plant dispute in the Caribbean.
  • Represented a Brazilian private equity fund in a dispute involving the sale of a major telecommunications company.
  • Represented the Polish national oil company in an arbitration over the explosion of a refinery in the Baltic.


  • Successfully represented Ghana in an ICSID arbitration by a German manufacturer alleging expropriation of its investment.
  • Successfully represented the Republic of Indonesia in an arbitration by a would-be investor under the Organization of Islamic States Conference Treaty.
  • Represented an investor in an ICSID annulment proceeding concerning the expropriation of an oil concession.



Perkins Coie Launches Efficient and Economical Arbitration Protocol

Press Releases

Perkins Coie is pleased to announce the launch of Arbitration 2.0, a protocol designed to restore arbitration’s promise as the quickest and fairest mode for resolving cross-border disputes.



Perkins Coie Adds Leading International Arbitration Partner to Commercial Litigation Practice

Press Releases

Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that Paul H. Cohen has joined the firm’s New York office as a partner in the Commercial Litigation practice. Cohen, who represents global clients in international arbitration matters, was most recently a partner with Thompson & Knight in New York.



"As You Like It: The Case for Learning to Love the Flexibility of Arbitration"

ACC – GNY Fall Newsletter

New York lawyers tend to hold a reflexive preference for New York courts. And why not? The Commercial Part of New York Supreme Court is peopled with sophisticated judges schooled in complex disputes; the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are home to some of the finest trial courts in the world.



"When Worlds Collide: How International Arbitration Deals With Corruption"

FCPA Professor

Regular readers of FCPA Professor can be forgiven for wondering what role anti-corruption laws could possibly play in international arbitration. The two fields seem, at first blush, to have as much in common as toxic torts law has with trusts and estates.



"Global Order Beyond Law - How Information and Communication Technologies Facilitate Relational Contracting in International Trade" by Thomas Dietz

Transnational Dispute Management

Thomas Dietz is Assistant Professor of Law and Politics at the University of Muenster (the town where the Treaty of Westphalia arguably ushered in the age of the Nation-State and international law as we know it).



"Rue Britannia: Why English Law is a Poor Choice for International Arbitration"

Global Arbitration Review

English law is frequently chosen to govern cross-border contracts but is singularly ill-suited to international arbitration, argue Paul Cohen of Perkins Coie and Gabrielle Farina of Thompson & Knight in New York.



"New World Order? How Americanised Has International Arbitration Actually Become?"

International Bar Association Arbitration Newsletter



"Public Harms, Moral Qualms and Greasy Palms"

Global Arbitration Review

07.2012 / 08.2012

"When In Rome (Or Cairo, Or Shanghai, Or Caracas ... )"

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel


"Choice-of-Law Considerations When Drafting Arbitration Provisions for International Oil and Gas Agreements"

AIPN Advisor


"Reclaiming Arbitration: Designing and Implementing a Practical and Cost-Effective Process Webinar"


"Don't Believe the Hype"

Global Arbitration Review


"The Long Arm of the Law - American Bribery and Trade Sanctions Prosecutions in a Global Environment"


  • International Arbitration
  • White Collar & Investigations
  • Commercial Litigation
  • India Practice
  • Litigation
  • U.S. Arbitration
  • Arbitration
  •  International


  • England and Wales New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • University of Paris, Private International Law, 1998
  • Harvard University, 1995
  • University of Oxford, Ph.D., 1994
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., summa cum laude , 1988



Perkins Coie’s International Arbitration group presents Arbitration 2.0, its manifesto for restoring arbitration’s promise as the quickest and fairest mode for resolving cross-border disputes.


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