Peers and clients say:
"Ms Grill is dynamic and excellent as both arbitrator and counsel"
"Anne-Karin is experienced and knowledgeable in the space"
"She is very good to work with"
Anne-Karin Grill is the founder and principal of AKG ADVISORY. She stands out as international arbitration counsel and expert in hybrid ADR process design in both commercial and ISDS dispute resolution settings and has built a solid track-record advising in litigation proceedings before the Austrian state courts, in particular in proceedings for the domestic enforcement or setting-aside of international arbitral awards. As an IMI certified mediation advocate, she accompanies clients in negotiation and solution-generating processes, managing party dynamics and assisting in the crafting of legally sustainable solutions. As a CEDR accredited mediator, she acts as neutral in multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes and is also active in investor-state mediation. Her arbitrator work focuses on cross border commercial disputes.
Anne-Karin is a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Mediation Advisory Board of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC), and incoming president of the Austrian Arbitration Association (Arb|Aut). She also serves on the Panel of Conciliators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In 2022, the European Commission selected her for its new pool of arbitrators for appointment in bilateral disputes under EU trade agreements with third countries.
Anne-Karin is admitted to practice in Austria and speaks German, English, French and Swedish. Prior to pursuing her career as an attorney, she worked at the legal advisory department of the Austrian Mission to the United Nations in New York.
AKG ADVISORY is a boutique law firm based in Vienna, Austria. The core areas of the firm's legal advisory business are arbitration, mediation and litigation.
What do you enjoy most about your role as arbitrator and counsel?
As counsel, after ploughing through the case materials, definitely that one moment when all the pieces finally fit and everything adds up.
As arbitrator, when all sides – winners and losers – walk away from the process with a feeling that the exercise was conducted at eye-level and with even hands.
Why did you decide to establish your own arbitration firm?
The question for me was rather "why not?" Establishing my own firm has allowed me to lift my practice to new heights. A joy and a privilege!
If you could introduce one reform to international arbitration proceedings, what would it be and why?
With my Austrian hat on, the top item on my wish list would be to finally see the court fees due in arbitral setting aside proceedings decoupled from those due in last instance state court proceedings. That would make for a true game changer when it comes to arbitrations seated in Austria.
In what ways does AKG ADVISORY distinguish itself from competitors in the market?
At AKG ADVISORY, we apply innovative dispute resolution designs across the full range of established methods: mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Our size and approach provide the flexibility needed to successfully manage complex dispute resolution processes. On top, we really enjoy what we do.
You also have expertise as a commercial mediator. In recent years, mediation has become increasingly popular for resolving commercial disputes. Do you think it could challenge arbitration as the preferred dispute resolution mechanism in the commercial space?
I don't believe in zero-sum approaches. Generally, dispute resolution is a field that requires creativity, sophistication and, not least, focus and energy. Mediation in particular offers the perfect framework for unconventional but effective approaches towards settlement. I am thrilled to see the professional community now also seriously embrace this powerful tool!
You were recently chosen as one of the EU's approved arbitrators for appointment in bilateral disputes under EU trade agreements. What are the greatest challenges caused by these disputes and how do you think they will evolve in the near future with the EU?
The EU uses various approaches to enforce the commitments of global partners. Its bilateral trade and investment agreements provide for state-to-state dispute settlement and the most recent example of its use is a dispute under the EU-Algeria Association Agreement. I see much benefit in arbitration as an objective dispute resolution tool, especially in today's geopolitical landscape, and hope that civilized approaches will prevail with the EU also in the near future.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
Those I look up to and who inspire me the most have dedicated their knowledge and skill to serving the common good in one way or the other. I'd be pleased if my work in international dispute resolution, as much as the work of so many brilliant colleagues, were perceived as a contribution to a turn for the better, both at the interpersonal and international levels.
What advice would you give to women hoping to one day be in your position in the arbitration space?
In the words of Elvis Presley: "A little less conversation, a little more action […] a little more bite and a little less bark, a little less fight and a little more spark!"