Finance Monthly Legal Awards 2022

An Interviewwith Jimmy Kodo, FCIArb Can you please tell us about some of the work that you are undertaking at the moment? While my office is based out in the Paris region in France where I specialise in litigation and arbitration, I currently have a strong presence on the African continent. Recently, as a consultant for the Investment Climate Reform (ICR) Facility, I drafted the revised version of the Arbitration Rules of a country in the Central Africa region and trained more than 80 arbitrators of the centre. I am currently working on an English version of the Arbitration Rules of a Centre in the Region. One of my passion lies in helping others succeed. I contribute to the success of my peers by working on several arbitration-related books and preparing training material for arbitrators. What led you to pursue a career in finance and ADR (alternative dispute resolution)? I need to confess that initially, I was not particularly attracted to finance. As a child, I wanted to become a judge. However, I realised with time that I would not want to be led by the circumstances of a case to sentence an innocent person to jail. Thus, I decided to become a lawyer instead. When I was at the Bar school in Paris, an attorney specialised in alternative dispute resolution came to speak to us. What I learned from his several decades of experience in arbitration impacted me and I was “contaminated” by his passion for ADR – especially arbitration. He taught me I could still act “as a judge” without the framework of the court system if I served on a panel as an arbitrator. What significant challenges did you overcome to get to where you are today? As a young lawyer from a visible minority, who had to start from scratch in a very competitive and highly selective environment, without having graduated from a top-tier law school and lacking experience from a “big law firm”... I have had to overcome these and many more challenges. What development have you observed in your jurisdiction during your time working in the arbitration and ADR sector? France, with the ICC Arbitration Court in Paris and its arbitration legislation and court system, is highly regarded as a great place for ADR. I have been struck by the way some recent arbitration-related court rulings of the Paris Court of Appeal and sometimes the French “Cour de cassation” (France’s highest court handling arbitration-related disputes) on the limitation of the Competence-Competence principle by the public policy, in cases such as Indrago and Belokon, seem to confuse some seasoned arbitration specialists. This is notable, as such limits were set from the very beginning by one of the first landmark cases on the limitation of the Competence-Competence principle by public policy in arbitration, dating back to 1963 (see Cass. 1° civ.7-5-1963: Bull. civ. I n°246). What pitfalls should parties preparing to arbitrate watch out for? There are many such pitfalls. At an early stage, even beforedisputes arise – suchaswhile contracts arebeing drafted – it is important to avoid “pathological clauses”, i.e. dispute resolution clauses so poorly drafted that they can lead to a dispute on their own or make the resolution of a dispute they are designed to help solve more complicated, if not impossible. Parties (counsel in most cases) should also avoid choosing a centre they do not know well, and take basic precautions such as ensuring that every party to a contract is clearly In many cases, the jurisdiction in which an award is being enforced (usually where the losing party has assets) is much more important than the seat of the tribunal. “ “ Finance Monthly Legal Awards 2022 France 18 www.finance-monthly.com

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