Sophie Nappert is an arbitrator in independent practice, based in London. She is dual-qualified as an Avocat of the Bar of Quebec, Canada and as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Before becoming a full-time arbitrator, she pursued a career as an advocate and was Head of International Arbitration at a global law firm. She is commended as "most highly regarded" and a “leading light” in her field by Who’s Who Legal.
Sophie is highly sought-after in complex energy, investment and natural resources disputes. She is a pioneering practitioner at the intersection of arbitration and Legal Tech. In 2019, she completed the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Programme on Blockchain Strategy. In 2021, she co-founded ArbTech, a worldwide, online community forum fostering cross-disciplinary dialogue on technology, dispute resolution and the future of justice, nominated for the GAR Award “Best New Development” in 2022.
Sophie is trained and has practised in both civil law and common law jurisdictions. She holds degrees in both common law and civil law from McGill University and a Masters’ Degree in Law from King’s College London. For over a decade she served as the peer-nominated Moderator of OGEMID, the online discussion forum on current issues of international investment law, economic law and arbitration.
Sophie is an award-winning lecturer and the first female recipient of the Global Arbitration Review Award for Best Speech in 2016 for her Inaugural EFILA Annual Lecture on International Investment Arbitration: Escaping from Freedom? The Dilemma of an Improved ISDS. She delivered the 2018 Proskauer Lecture on International Arbitration, Disruption Is The New Black, which was also shortlisted for Best Speech at the 2019 GAR Awards.
Sophie is the author of a Commentary on the 2010 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. She is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on issues of international arbitration, international investment law and dispute resolution. She is a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School and McGill University Faculty of Law. She created the Nappert Prize in International Arbitration, open to young scholars and practitioners worldwide, administered under the auspices of McGill University.
- Native French
- Fluent English
- Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
- University of London: LL.M. (Master’s Degree in Law) with Merit, King’s College London.
- McGill University (Canada): Bachelor of Laws (Common Law), (LL.B.), Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.).
- USD Institute of International and Comparative Law (held at Magdalen College, Oxford): Diploma in Public International Law.
- 2007 – Present: Arbitrator in independent practice at 3 Verulam Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London.
- 2000 – 2007: Head of International Arbitration, Denton Wilde Sapte LLP, London.
- 1997 – 2000: Solicitor, Masons LLP, London.
- 1992 – 1996: Solicitor, Norton Rose LLP, London and Paris.
- Chair: A US$157 million dispute regarding the construction of an LNG regasification terminal in Eastern Europe.
- Chair: A US$50 million dispute regarding alleged design defects in windfarm equipment, governed by Quebec law.
- Chair: A US$250 million dispute between Latin American entities regarding the construction of highly technical marine works for an LNG project.
- Chair: A €100 million dispute between an investor and a State entity in an African State concerning the financial structuring of a telecommunications agreement.
- Chair: A €30 million dispute between an investor and a State entity in Cameroon concerning the financial structuring of an agreement for the acquisition of telephonic systems, under the OHADA principles.
- Chair: A dispute between the parties to a telecoms agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, involving an investor and a State entity. The dispute involved recalcitrant Respondents, Emergency Arbitrator proceedings, and parallel court proceedings in the courts of the DRC and South Africa.
- Chair: A dispute between the parties to a JOA concerning the drilling of offshore wells in an African country, and issues of unlawful cash calls, under the ICC Rules, pursuant to English law. Sum in dispute: USD 25 million.
- Chair: A dispute between a Singaporean party and a Hong Kong-based party regarding the supply of coal under the SCoTA Terms, including a jurisdictional challenge, striking out application and application for bifurcation of the proceedings.
- Chair: A dispute between the parties to a Shareholders’ Agreement in relation to the development of an energy project in Africa, under the ICC Rules. Injunctive relief is claimed.
- Chair: A dispute between a telecom company and an African State-owned entity under the ICC Rules.
- Fast-track dispute: Party-appointed arbitrator in a fast-track dispute under the ICDR Rules in relation to the operation of a luxury resort in the Caribbean. The arbitration agreement provides for 45 days between the composition of the arbitral tribunal and the final award.
- Fast–track dispute: Sole Arbitrator in an expedited dispute under the LCIA Rules between the American supplier of a component of aluminium smelter and its purchaser in Bosnia.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: A contentious and sensitive dispute about brand licensing involving a major oil& gas company and its licensee in Northern Europe.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: A dispute regarding the alleged expropriation of an investment under the Poland-Cyprus BIT under the SCC Rules.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: A gas price revision dispute between a Turkish company and a Greek company under the ICC Rules.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: A joint venture dispute between two US public companies in the pharmaceutical industry, under the UNCITRAL Rules, pursuant to French law. Sum in dispute: USD 33 million.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: A dispute (including a request for interim injunctive measures) between an oil company and a State under a Concession Agreement, under the SCC Rules – Gazprom v Lietuvos Respublika , CJEU Judgment at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:62013CJ0536.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: A joint venture hotel project in Turkey between an international hospitality company and a local company, including complex issues of multi-party arbitration, consolidation and inter-linked agreements. ICC arbitration Rules, pursuant to Swiss law. Sum in dispute: USD 25 million.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: An LCIA arbitration concerning an advisory agreement on the restructuring of a CIS country’s external debt.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: An ad hoc arbitration concerning a BOT agreement between a Chinese company and an English company. Sum in dispute: GBP 15 million.
- Party-appointed arbitrator: An LCIA arbitration concerning the supply of pipelines, between a German company and a French company.
- Sole Arbitrator: An LCIA dispute concerning a suite of agreements between Russian businessmen, involving the deportation to and emprisonment of witnesses in Russia.
- Sole Arbitrator: An ICC dispute regarding a sulphuric acid plant tail gas unit treatment between an Italian company and the Canadian subsidiary of a major oil and gas corporation.
- Sole Arbitrator: An LCIA Arbitration between a global law firm and one of its partners concerning allegations of professional misconduct.
- Sole arbitrator: An LCIA arbitration concerning allegations of misconduct against the director of a Russian company.
- Sole arbitrator: An LCIA arbitration concerning allegations of bad faith and wilful default between a Ukrainian investor and a Russian broker.
- Sole arbitrator: An ICC arbitration in relation to an aircraft supply agreement.
- Sole arbitrator: An LCIA arbitration concerning the supply of military equipment in Pakistan. Sole arbitrator: An ad hoc arbitration concerning a shipbuilding contract between a Lithuanian shipping company and a Russian company, pursuant to Russian law.
- Sole arbitrator: A number of related LCIA arbitrations between Russian parties to a military supply agreement, and the guarantors thereto, pursuant to English law.
- Sole arbitrator: An LCIA arbitration between the Mexican distributor and supplier of children’s books, pursuant to English law. Emergency injunctive relief is claimed in relation to ongoing criminal proceedings against the Claimant in Mexico. Parallel ADR in relation to a commercial settlement for the return on unused books.
- ADR: Sophie also acts as mediator.