Fernando Cantuarias Salaverry wins accolades as “one of the best arbitrators in Latin America”, who “handles his cases in an excellent manner”.
Yale LL.M. ´90. Member of the ICC Arbitration Court and active arbitrator before the mechanism. Member of several Annulment Committees at CIADI. Member of the list of arbitrators in several arbitration centers.
Former Dean of the Law Schools of Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (2000-2009) and Universidad del Pacifico (2010-2019). Professor of property and commercial and investment arbitration courses.
In 1995, Mr. Cantuarias was the author of the Peruvian Arbitration Law of 1996. He is also co-author of the current Peruvian Arbitration Law of 2008.
Mr. Cantuarias is a member of the Latin American Arbitration Group of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the American Association of Private International Law (ASADIP), the Latin American Arbitration Association and an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law.
He is the author of the book "Commercial and Investment Arbitration" (UPC, 2008) and of more than 100 articles on this specialty.
To date, he has participated in more than 500 arbitrations, ad hoc and institutional, national and international.
Why did you decide to pursue a legal career?
The truth is that I did not have many options. I am the eldest son of a father who is passionate about law and who, from a very young age, instilled this passion in me. We are therefore a family with a passion for law.
How would you describe your philosophy as an arbitrator when it comes to delivering awards on complex, high-value disputes?
I am a person who, essentially, concentrates on the facts. This obliges me to follow the evidence and arguments carefully and permanently from the beginning, to identify what is relevant from what is not. I consider that, in complex cases, this way of approaching the controversy helps me a lot to focus the analysis.
What do you enjoy the most about arbitration practice?
No two arbitrations are the same, or even similar. Each arbitration is unique. Every case is a new challenge.
You are professor at the Universidad del Pacífico. How is your academic activity enhancing your practice as an arbitrator?
I have been teaching the Commercial and Investment Arbitration course for many years. Each year I find that students become more and more interested in arbitration, which forces me to keep up-to-date with the best arbitration practices.
How has arbitration practice changed since you started practising?
I remember my beginnings in arbitration: we were literally a small group of colleagues passionate about arbitration, although with very little practice. Today we are thousands and thousands of arbitrators, lawyers, experts, etc. In the last 20 years, Arbitration has positioned itself as an excellent tool for the resolution of different types of disputes. I believe this is because arbitration is a flexible tool that suits to each case and to the fact that the parties can appoint their arbitrators.
You are a member of many associations for arbitrators and speaker at many conferences. How are arbitration institutions incorporating recent advances in technology and how does it impact your practice?
The impact of the use of technology, especially due to the pandemic, has allowed, for example, arbitrators of different nationalities to participate in many arbitrations. This has greatly enriched the practice of arbitration and, in addition, in the face of "global" competition, arbitrators, regardless of where we are physically located, must be constantly learning about the best international arbitration practices.
If you could introduce one reform into arbitration proceedings as an arbitrator, what would it be and why?
One of the great virtues of arbitration is that there is freedom in determining the procedural rules applicable to each case. This allows the best arbitration practices implemented by arbitration centers and leading arbitrators can be duplicated by other arbitration practitioners. The challenge is to be permanently informed of these best practices and to incorporate them into one's own practice.
You have enjoyed a distinguished career as one of the most reputed arbitrators in Peru. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
Each appointment as arbitrator implies a new commitment to the parties to do a careful and professional job. Each new arbitration is a new "beginning".