Aceris Law is a boutique international arbitration law firm created nearly one decade ago by William Kirtley, an arbitration practitioner with two decades of experience in the field at the highest level, which is laser-focused on resolving international disputes through arbitration and mediation, while overseeing the enforcement of arbitration awards in various jurisdictions. Its team members also serve as arbitrators.
It was created from the ground up to focus solely on resolving international commercial, investment and construction arbitrations. Aceris Law provides the highest quality legal representation for international arbitrations, ensuring that each client receives exceptional value for its legal expenditures, while leaving no stone unturned to resolve each dispute in its client’s favor.
Aceris Law’s offer to clients is unique. Its goal is to offer unparalleled arbitration legal representation at transparent and competitive rates, in order to address the primary complaint of users of international arbitration, which is its high cost. In order to achieve the highest quality legal representation, the firm does not count the number of hours of work required to win a given case, providing an unlimited number of hours of work while capping its fees for each international dispute. It almost always bills on a capped, stage-by-stage basis, so that legal fees are entirely foreseeable and fully transparent from the outset, simply writing off all work that exceeds the cap for each phase of an arbitration.
Unusually, Aceris Law also guarantees the quality of its legal representation. If a client is not fully satisfied with its legal services and decides to change counsel, Aceris Law agrees in its standard letter of engagement to reimburse all legal fees that were paid.
Aceris Law is also unique as its headquarters are based in Geneva, but it maintains permanent access to offices to meet and work with clients in 120 countries, moving members of its team to the city of its client whenever useful. Despite COVID-19, its team managed to continue working with clients physically in various jurisdictions (Brazil, Djibouti, Austria, Slovakia, the United States, Hungary, Dubai, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Serbia and Greece in 2021 only, for instance), while meeting remotely whenever useful. As all of its resources are fully digitalized, its work is location agnostic.
Aceris Law also has an excellent team, with the highest standards. It has won or amicably settled nearly all of the disputes where it has served as counsel, securing successful outcomes for clients while typically facing far larger firms. It has secured a number of arbitration awards in favor of its clients in 2020 and 2021 (including a USD 34 million award in 2021 for an American client in an ICDR arbitration, a USD 28.7 million award in 2021 for a UAE client in an LCIA arbitration, and a USD 8.2 million SIAC arbitration award for an Omani client), while also defeating a number of claims against its clients. More information on Aceris Law’s recent successes is available here.
Aceris Law has introduced a number of innovations to assist its clients in the field of international arbitration.
First, Aceris Law is more technologically savvy than most law firms. Its lawyers were already permanently accessible to clients via videoconference prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. All resources are fully digitalized and searchable, giving Aceris Law an edge as compared to certain lawyers.
Second, it hires only the best and brightest lawyers, and is open to lawyers of any gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, education, or national origin, if they can perform highly competent legal work. In order to provide incentives to team members, all associates and staff are also entitled to profit-sharing, which is unusual for non-partners.
Third, its team physically goes to its clients, regardless of their jurisdiction, whenever useful. Not everything need be accomplished remotely. It also hires trainees with linguistic or language abilities that are relevant to its cases, while permanently hiring all trainees who display unusual intelligence and competence.
Fourth, Aceris Law’s billing practices are unusual. In order to achieve the highest quality legal representation, the firm bills on a capped, stage-by-stage basis, so that legal fees are entirely foreseeable and fully transparent from the outset, simply writing off all work that exceeds the cap for each phase of an arbitration. Aceris Law has faced opposing counsel who have charged up to ten times the amount of its legal fees, while securing numerous victories for its clients.
Fifth, Aceris Law provides a three-month trial period to all new clients. If they are not fully satisfied with its work, for any reason – which has never occurred – it includes a standard provision in its letter of engagement to reimburse all legal fees that have been paid.
In short, everything is done that is possible to benefit Aceris Law’s clients. Aceris Law’s website is available here.