Benvenuto and welcome, reader, to our coverage of this year’s GAR Awards, held at the elegant Palazzo Parigi Hotel in Milan on 29 March – the day the UK triggered article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin Brexit.
On a warm Milanese night, over 200 members of the international arbitration community donned black tie and walked up a sweeping marble stairway to the awards ceremony, hosted by GAR’s publisher, David Samuels, editor Alison Ross and journalist Tom Jones.
On the day that marked the official start of Brexit, it was great to be in Europe celebrating the achievements of international law and lawyers all over the world, the hosts said. “As much of the world begins to look inwards, the arbitration community continues to be unbound by borders.”
As always, the event included a lavish champagne reception and dinner. The awards kicked off with a parody of the Oscar ceremony’s envelope mix-up a few weeks before and the perhaps inevitable Donald Trump jokes.
“Heard failing fake news outlet Global Arbitration Review is holding a lame awards ceremony. My rally’s much classier,” declared a “tweet” from the US president displayed on screens around the room. Hosts also drew attention to Trump’s recent announcement that he himself is “an arbitrator” with respect to Obamacare.
There followed a presentation of some of GAR’s biggest scoops in the past year, as well as its most creative and comic headlines and photo illustrations.
As dinner got under way, it was time for the big reveal – the unveiling of this year’s GAR 30, which saw last year’s deadlock between Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case broken.
You can read how the rest of the ceremony unfolded in these pages.