FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Robert B. von Mehren

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Retired partner
New York, NY, USA


Robert von Mehren retired as a partner of Debevoise in 1995. He is now active as an arbitrator in major international arbitrations. His arbitration practice includes service as chairman or as co-arbitrator and sole arbitrator in AAA, CPR, ICC, LOA and ad hoc arbitrations. Before his retirement, he was the chairman of his firm's litigation section and served as lead counsel in many important domestic and international litigations and arbitrations, including the landmark arbitration case Texaco Overseas Petroleum Company and California Asiatic Oil Company vs. The Government of Libya.

Mr. von Mehren was vice chairman of the International Law Association and former chairman of the Arbitration Law Committee of the AAA. He is a member of the CPR Commission on the Future of Arbitration and has participated in the drafting of the arbitration rules of the AAA and the CPR. He has served as the chairman of the board and president of the Practising Law Institute and has lectured widely on arbitration and international litigation in the United States, Europe and the Far East. He was resident partner at the Paris Office of Debevoise from 1966 to 1970. He served as legal counsel to the Preparatory Commission for the International Atomic Energy Agency (1956-57) and as a senior lecturer at the Wharton School (1986-87).

Mr. von Mehren is listed in Who's Who in the United States, Who's Who Legal (Law Business Research), An International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitrators (Law  Business Research), Experts in Commercial Arbitration (Euromoney Publication) and Directory of Former Law Clerks in United States Courts (Frisch Dudek, Ltd.)

Mr. von Mehren is a frequent contributor to legal publications.  He is the author of "The Eco-Swiss Case and International Arbitration, Volume 19 Number 4 Arbitrational International 2003"; "An International Arbitrator's Point of View: Chapter III", published in International Business Litigation & Arbitration Practicing Law Institute (March 2003); "An International Arbitrator's Point of View: Chapter II", published in International Business Litigation & Arbitration Practicing Law Institute (Feb. 2001); "An International Arbitrator's Point of View", published in International Business Litigation & Arbitration 2000, Practicing Law Institute (Feb. 2000); "An International Arbitrator's Point of View", published in International Business Litigation & Arbitration 2000, Practicing Law Institute (Feb. 2000); "The Enforcement of International Arbitral Awards," 13.4 Diritto del Commercio, Internazionale 811 (Oct.-Dec. 1999); "Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the United States" (PLI 1998); Book Review, Dealing in Virtue: International Commercial Arbitration and the Construction of a Transactional Legal Order" - 8 American Review of International Arbitration 117 - (1997 - published August 1998); "Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the United States", Vol. 1, Issue 6, 18 International Arbitration Law Review 198 (Oct. 1998); "International Control of Civil Procedure:  Who Benefits?", 57 Law and Contemporary Problems 13 (1994); "Burden of Proof in International Arbitration", 7 ICCA Congress Series, 125 (1994); "Arbitration in Central and Eastern Europe:  A Practitioner's View", 47 Arbitration Journal 38 (1992); "Rules of Arbitral Bodies Considered from a Practical Point of View", 9 Journal of International Arbitration 105 (1992); a paper on "Extra-Territorial Application of Laws and Responses Thereto", presented in London at two-day conference sponsored by the International Law Association, May 11-12, 1983 and published in Extra-Territorial Application of Law and Responses Thereto (ESC Publishing Ltd.) 1984; "Points of Disagreement", Harvard Law School Bulletin, winter 1984; "Discovery Abroad:  The Perspective of the U.S. Private Practitioner", 16 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 985 (1984); "Transnational Litigation in American Courts:  An Overview of Problems and Issues", 3 Dickinson Journal of International Law 43 (1984); "Discovery of Documentary and Other Evidence in a Foreign Country:  Perspective of the US Private Practitioner", published in Extra-Territorial Application of Laws and Responses Thereto (ESC Publishing Ltd., Oxford 1984); "The Iran-U.S.A. Arbitral Tribunal", published in XXXI American Journal of Comparative Law 713 (1983); "Discovery of Documentary and Other Evidence in a Foreign Country", published in 77 American Journal of International Law 896 (1983); "The Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Under Conventions and United States Law", 9 Yale Journal of World Public Order 343 (April 1983); and "From Vynior's Case to Mitsubishi:  The Future of Arbitration and Public Law", Vo. XII, No. 2 (1986), Brooklyn Journal of International Law 583.  He is the co-author, with David W. Rivkin, of "Contracts for the International Sale of Minerals", Vo. 2, No. 3, Journal of International Arbitration 49 (September 1985) and co-author with P. Nicholas Kourides of "International Arbitrations between States and Foreign Private Parties:  The Libyan Nationalization Cases", published in 75 American Journal of International Law 478 (1981); "The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976", published in 17 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law (1978); "Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in the United States", published in 17 Virginia Journal of International Law 401 (1977); "The International Atomic Energy Agency in World Politics", published in Volume XIII (January 1959) of the Journal of International Affairs; "Comments on the Comparative Study of Defender Systems", published in Volume 14 (December 1959) of The Record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; "The Development and Use of Nuclear Power - Some Reflections on Legal Problems", published in Volume 13 (June 1958) of The Record of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; "The International Atomic Energy Agency -- Challenge and Opportunity", published in Volume 13 (February 1958) of The Record of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; "The Antitrust Laws and Regulated Industries:  The Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction", published in Volume 67, Issue No. 6 (April 1954 Issue) of the Harvard Law Review.  His most recent publication is the Practicing Law Institute's American Arbitration: Principles and Practice (2009).  It is part of the Institute's "Litigation Library" and was edited by Mr. von Mehren, Stephen J. Burton and George W. Coombe, Jr.
In addition, Mr. von Mehren was the editor, with Emmanuel Gaillard, of "International Commercial Arbitration, Recent Developments" (PLI 1988); co-author with Martin E. Gold of "Multinational Corporations:  Conflicts and Controls", XI Stanford Journal of International Studies 1 (1976); co-author with Michael E. Patterson of "Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign-Country Judgments in the United States", published in 6 Law and Policy in International Business, Issue No. 1 (1974); co-author with John C. McCarroll of "The Proxy Rules: A Case Study in Administrative Process", which appeared in the summer 1964 issue of Law and Contemporary Problems; and co-author with Oscar M. Ruebhausen of "The Atomic Energy Act and the Private Production of Atomic Power", published in Volume 66, Issue No. 8 (June 1953 Issue) of the Harvard Law Review.

Mr. von Mehren graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.  He was president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Learned Hand and Justice Stanley F. Reed.

Robert B. von Mehren is associated with the following items:
Treatise  Treatise American Arbitration: Principles and Practice
Treatise Chapters  Treatise Chapters New York Convention - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Conducting the Arbitration - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
The Legal Environment - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
CPR Domestic Rules - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.) - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Historical Background of Arbitration in the United States - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Intellectual Property Arbitration - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Appendices - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
AAA Commercial Rules - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Table of Contents - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
When to Arbitrate; When to Litigate - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Labor and Employment Arbitration - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
The Institutional Environment - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
ICC Rules - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Foreword - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Drafting the Arbitration Agreement - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Index - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Introduction - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
CPR International Rules - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
International Arbitration - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Securities ADR - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Construction Arbitration - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
AAA International Rules - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
Enforcing the Award - American Arbitration: Principles and Practice, Friday, October 24, 2008
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