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This is a transcript of the luncheon keynote address by Lord Peter Goldsmith at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society (AtlAS) on October 23, 2017.

Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, PC, is London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of European and Asian Litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. He joined the firm after serving as the UK’s Attorney General from 2001-2007, prior to which he was in private practice as one of the leading barristers in London.

Lord Goldsmith has a long practice in arbitration and in the interface between arbitration and litigation. He appears as counsel for leading cases in a number of jurisdictions and different arbitral institutions, including LCIA, ICC and SIAC and in ad hoc arbitrations. He is closely connected with the LCIA, ICC (for whom he co-chaired the task force on Arbitration for States and State entities), the HKIAC (of which he is Vice chairman), and SIAC. He also has been appointed or confirmed as arbitrator by LCIA, SIAC and the ICC, and is included in the international arbitration database of the Arbitration Center at the Institute of Modern Arbitration, Moscow.

Lord Goldsmith also co-chaired a Task Force on ICC arbitration involving States and State entities, which recommended changes to the ICC rules of arbitration to take account of special issues faced by States in ICC arbitrations. Lord Goldsmith has appeared in numerous cases in the House of Lords, the Privy Council and the Court of Appeal, as well as international and European courts and in the courts of a number of other jurisdictions.

Consistently acknowledged for his prominence, The American Lawyer states that “[he has] the advocacy skills of one of the finest barristers of his generation.” He is recommended as a leading lawyer in Chambers UK and Chambers Global for International Arbitration, Public International Law and Corporate Crime and Investigations. The guides have described him as “exceptionally accomplished,” “breathtakingly persuasive” and “one of the great doyens of the English bar.”

Lord Goldsmith has a strong history and life-long support for pro bono assistance to bring legal expertise to the disadvantaged. As a young lawyer, he started a legal advice center in the East End of London and, later in his career, founded the Bar of England and Wales’ Pro Bono Unit, a nationwide charity providing the free legal services of thousands of barristers (of which he remains President), the Attorney General’s pro bono coordinating committees (which coordinates pro bono activity in England and Wales), and became first chair of the Access to Justice Foundation, a cross-profession initiative which raises money to support pro bono organisations across the country and is by statute the sole recipient of pro bono costs award (a role in which he continues).

Lord Goldsmith was a graduate in law from Cambridge University with double first class honours and a Master’s from University College London. He was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1972, Paris in 1997, Belize in 2010, St. Kitts and Nevis in 2010, New South Wales in 2010 and the British Virgin Islands in 2011. He is also a Registered Foreign Lawyer at the Singapore International Commercial Court.