Sylvana Sinha, International Arbitration Attorney Network
New York Arbitration Lawyer
Admitted to the New York Bar
Ms. Sinha, a New York arbitration lawyer who studied at Harvard and Columbia, has over 10 years of experience working at the highest levels of international arbitration and international organizations, having previously practiced law at Clifford Chance and Weil Gotshal, as well as working at the World Bank.
Prior to being a New York arbitration lawyer, she advised governments in Afghanistan, Asia, and the Middle East on governance and legal reform. Her New York-based legal practice has included Investor-State and international commercial arbitrations and U.S. federal court proceedings relating to international disputes. She has particular expertise in business and human rights, including representation of a Canadian oil company in human rights (Alien Tort Statute) litigation involving allegations of international law violations in Sudan and research for the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on business and human rights issues.
She also served as a foreign policy advisor to the 2008 Presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama and speaks English, French, Bangla, Hindi and Urdu.
Council on Foreign Relations, Term Member, 2011 – Present
Weil Gotshal and Manges, Attorney, June 2012 – July 2013, New York City
Wide-ranging experience in public and private international law issues as a New York arbitration lawyer. Practice included Investor-State and commercial arbitrations and related federal court proceedings. Weil, Gotshal & Manges is an international law firm consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious in the world. It employs 1,200 lawyers and has a gross annual revenue in excess of $1.1 billion.
The World Bank, Fragile States Consultant, February 2010 – November 2010; December 2011 – June 2012
Drafted inputs for the 2011 World Development Report on the topic of violent conflict and fragile states experiencing or transitioning out of violent conflict. Compiled relevant reform examples and lessons relevant to different components of input papers and notes for the upcoming 2011 World Development Report. Drafted reports and developed talking points on the topic of gender equality and economic rights granted to women under Islam and shari’a.
United States Institute of Peace, Rule of Law Advisor, November 2010 – December 2011, Afghanistan
Based in Kabul, worked closely with Afghan partners to implement the Institute’s projects on traditional dispute resolution, constitutional interpretation, and transitional justice and reconciliation. In particular was an advocate for women’s rights in the context of traditional dispute resolution. In addition, influenced and informed senior US government and ISAF/NATO officials on rule of law, human rights, and transition strategy.
The Boston Consulting Group, Social Policy Expert, April 2010 – July 2010, Doha, Qatar
Based in the Middle East, advised a Gulf state on the social protection and social policy components of its 5-year and long-term strategy.
International Labour Office (ILO), Social Protection Specialist, October 2009 – January 2010, Bangkok, Thailand
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent work throughout the world. Surveyed and analyzed labor market issues in Asia, including the issues of coordinated macroeconomic, employment, and social protection policies and the design of tax and benefit systems that promote investment and employment, particularly in light of the recent financial crisis. Drafted inputs for publications for an upcoming regional conference.
The World Bank, Justice Sector & Governance Reform Specialist, December 2008 – November 2009, Kabul, Afghanistan
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Supervised implementation of the largest multi-donor justice sector reform project in Afghanistan, financed by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). Worked closely with a team of Afghans on reforms at the Supreme Court, Attorney General’s Office, and the Ministry of Justice. Coordinated with donors regarding implementation of Phase I of the project and planning for Phase II of the project. Collaborated with government counterparts to revise various elements of major civil service reform project.
Lovells, International Litigation & Arbitration Practice, Attorney, October 2004 – November 2008, New York City
Represented Canadian oil company in human rights litigation relating to investment in Sudan. In connection with this case, developed expertise on various international law standards for corporate complicity. Worked closely with our damages expert to assign monetary values to losses of plaintiffs who were displaced from agrarian lifestyles in southern Sudan during the North/South civil war.
Represented various foreign corporate clients in commercial litigation and arbitrations as a New York arbitration lawyer. In particular, was part of the trial team that won compensatory and punitive damages for a foreign multinational insurance company against AIG. Pro bono projects included various projects relating to America’s extraordinary rendition program and its treatment of prisoners in connection with the war on terror, including an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court; research for John Ruggie, Special Representative to the UN Secretary General, on the topic of business and human rights; and several asylum proceedings. Lovells LLP was one of the largest international law firms in the world, with a particular reputation for excellence in dispute resolution, prior to its merger in 2009 with the U.S. firm Hogan & Hartson.
Clifford Chance, Summer Law Clerk, May 2003 – August 2003, New York City
Center for International Development, Harvard University, Research Associate, March 2002 – December 2002, Greater Boston Area
AZB & Partners, Summer Law Clerk, June 2002 – August 2002, Mumbai Area, India
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, May 2001 – August 2001, New York City
Council on Foreign Relations, Intern, January 2001 – June 2001, New York City
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Strategy Consultant, July 1999 – July 2000, Greater Chicago Area
Office of the General Counsel, Intern, The White House, Office of the US Trade Representative, 1998 – 1998, Washington D.C.
National Security Council, Intern, The White House, 1997 – 1997, Washington D.C. Metro Area
Grameen Bank, International Intern, 1996 – 1996, Bangladesh
Harvard University, MPAID, International Development Economics, Conflict, 2001 – 2004
Columbia University School of Law, JD, Human Rights, Conflict, International Law, 2000 – 2004
Certificate, Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. Research Assistant, Professor Oscar Schachter.
Wellesley College, BA, Economics, Philosophy, 1995 – 1999
University of Oxford, Visiting Scholar, Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics (PPE), 1997 – 1998
• French (proficient)
• Bangla (Bengali) (proficient)
• Hindi (basic)
• Urdu (basic)