Debevoise Partner David W. Rivkin Named President of the International Bar Association

12 January 2015
The International Bar Association (IBA) today announced Debevoise partner and co-chair of the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group, David W. Rivkin, as its new President. Consistently ranked as one of the top international dispute resolution practitioners in the world, he is a litigation partner in the firm’s New York and London offices.

Mr Rivkin’s tenure as IBA President is for two calendar years concluding on 31 December 2016. He succeeds Michael J Reynolds of Allen & Overy who held the position from 2013 to 2014.

With broad experience in the areas of international litigation and arbitration, Mr Rivkin has handled international arbitrations throughout the world, before virtually every major arbitration institution. The focus of these disputes have been vast, including long-term energy concessions, investment treaties, joint venture agreements, insurance coverage, construction contracts, distribution agreements and intellectual property, and have been held under legal systems including common law, civil law and Islamic law. Mr Rivkin also represents companies in transnational litigation in the United States, including the enforcement of arbitral awards and arbitration agreements. He is identified as one of the preeminent international arbitration practitioners worldwide in multiple legal publications. In one such publication, an interviewed General Counsel stated, ‘The thing that impresses me about lawyers is when they come up with better answers to problems than I do. Every once in a while, you encounter a lawyer who has really created the better answers. David W. Rivkin is that lawyer.’

Mr Rivkin is the first U.S. lawyer to hold the position of President of the IBA for a quarter of a century; the late William Reece Smith, Jr, of Tampa, Florida held the position from 1989 – 1990. As a member of the IBA for nearly three decades, Mr Rivkin has held numerous senior IBA posts in addition to Vice-President (2013 – 2014) and Secretary General (2011 – 2012), including: Chair, IBA Foundation (2009 – 2010), Chair, Legal Practice Division (LPD) (2007 – 2008), Secretary-Treasurer, Legal Practice Division (2003 – 2004), Council Member, LPD (2000 – 2003) and Chair, Arbitration Committee (1998 – 2001). He has served on the IBA’s Management Board since 2003.

David Rivkin comments: “It is an honour to be President of the IBA. After many years of devotion to the Association, I have seen how much it can accomplish by bringing together the experience and expertise of the global legal profession. In so many areas of business law and public service, the IBA is a part of the daily dialogue of those active in the field.

“I feel fortunate that my term as President coincides with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The principles declared in that document remain the essence of the rule of law, and throughout 2015 the IBA will use the anniversary to focus on important rule of law issues with conferences in London, CapeTown, Delhi and Buenos Aires.

“I intend to expand the IBA’s already outstanding work in promoting the rule of law and human rights and in serving the needs of the legal profession as a whole. I have begun a new IBA Judicial Integrity Initiative, which will work to combat judicial corruption where it exists. Together with the IBA’s committees and working groups I plan to continue the work of my predecessor to achieve the implementation of recommendations in the recently issued report of the President’s Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights. I will also continue the work of the President’s Task Force on Human Trafficking, and I will create a new task force to focus on the many current and unwise challenges to the independence of the legal profession. These combined projects will bring me into contact with members of the legal profession across all continents. I am very much looking forward to the next 24 months!”

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. The firm’s commercially savvy lawyers regularly lead strategic transactions and complex disputes for world-class clients.