Peers and clients say:
"Duarte is highly experienced in commercial arbitration"
"He has a leading practice and excels at a wide range of claims"
Duarte Henriques is a lawyer and arbitrator. Since 1990, he has acted as both counsel and arbitrator in a number of litigation and arbitration cases related to banking and finance; investment disputes; corporate; commercial; distribution; and construction disputes. He has strong experience advising and securing third-party funding for clients. Duarte Henriques advises major companies in the banking and finance, insurance and technology sectors in litigation and arbitration. Duarte Henriques is listed as arbitrator in a number of institutions, and has written numerous articles on Portuguese and international arbitration.
What inspired you to pursue a career in international arbitration?
The ability to connect with an immensely diversified community and the opportunity to work throughout the world. Arbitration is a field where the lawyer can practise from almost any place in the world.
How does Victoria Associates stand out from competitors in the market?
Victoria represents a new way of doing business, first and foremost because it is designed for the client. Each team is constituted to meet the needs of the client and the case. We share the risks with the client and put only the people on the case that are necessary, without ever compromising the quality of the services that are rendered. We combine an array of experts located in a number of jurisdictions and speaking a variety of languages. We have a global reach and may assist clients in a number of fora, whether in litigation or arbitration.
How does your work in litigation and arbitration enhance your approach when acting in the other?
It should be a simple and indisputable fact that a good arbitrator must have a good grip on how a counsel thinks, and vice versa. At the same time, my notion of a good arbitration counsel is someone with a strong knowledge of how things may go in a state court, because often one has to make decisions that may produce an impact (or be dependent) on what happens in litigation. And after all, arbitration is a procedure which in many countries (if not every country) has received a strong influence from litigation procedures. A good lawyer should never be crystallised in one facet or another, but rather hold as broad an approach to law as possible.
What is the greatest challenge currently facing international arbitration lawyers, and how do you ensure you are well equipped to face it?
The lightning speed at which the modern law practice evolves, which forces lawyers to provide instant legal solutions and inevitably curtails time for legal thinking.
Your practice spans a range of sectors, from banking to construction. How important is sector-specific knowledge on the arbitrator’s part when handling commercial disputes?
If one considers the cases of real life (and my experience tells me so), the conclusion is that many of these areas are always intertwined. Many construction cases involve banking and financial matters, and real estate. M&A transactions that go wrong happen in a variety of industries (for instance, entertainment, IP/copyright, real estate). An investment dispute often involves real estate, financial transactions, and corporate and commercial issues. The enforcement of an investment award against a host state almost always requires collection over property that is used for commercial purposes. Sector-specific knowledge will always be part of the resolution of the dispute at hand.
How do you see the role of TPF developing over the next few years?
I believe that TPF will strongly develop geographically, but the number and “quality” of cases that will be funded will not have a proportional growth. The threshold requirements of third-party funders will increase – such funders will require better chances of recovery for the investments they make. But at the same time, funders will start offering financing solutions to litigants who usually do not resort to this tool, such as host states in investment disputes. On the other hand, law firms will soon use TPF experts as members of their teams, so that they can stay up to date and offer advice and assistance to clients. Law firms will also work more closely with funders.
What would you say are the main benefits and challenges of TPF?
The main benefit is of course securing the right of access to justice. The biggest challenge is regulating the industry globally.
What is the best piece of career advice you have received?
Invest in yourself, do what you like and like what you do. This is the philosophy of Victoria Associates.