Handing over to the next generation: John Beechey CBE steps down as Chair of ICC’s Arbitration programme and hands over leadership to Ania Farren, Managing Director at Vannin Capital.

June 24, 2019

John Beechey, one of the biggest names in international arbitration and former President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, is retiring from his position as Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC's) Arbitration programme in the UK, passing the torch on to his successor, Ania Farren, Managing Director of Vannin Capital. Ania will take up the reins, supported by Iain Quirk from Essex Court Chambers and Guy Pendell from CMS, whom we welcome as a new Vice Chair in the UK leadership team.

John has been pivotal in the transformation of ICC’s UK arbitration programme since 2015, appointing a raft of global arbitration experts to the UK committee, setting up a new Selections Subcommittee to improve UK nominations to the ICC International Court of Arbitration and appointing Iain Quirk as UK Arbitration Consultant. John has long been a driver for positive change and a champion of arbitration in the UK, helping to bring on a new generation of leaders into the field, promoting the role of women and ensuring that the UK remains the number one contributor of arbitrators to the ICC International Court of Arbitration.  He steps down as chair of the Arbitration programme, but will remain a member of the UK Board of ICC. 

ICC’s UK programme provides a unique forum to build national consensus on international rules for arbitration, nominate representatives to ICC’s international fora, promote ICC products and services and manage the nominations of arbitrators to the Court.

Ania Farren – previously Vice Chair – has been appointed as John’s successor. A highly regarded lawyer internationally, Ania was appointed to the Arbitration & ADR Committee in 2015 and has been Vice Chair of the Committee since 2017. ICC looks forward to Ania carrying on John’s good work and bringing her own fresh approach and experience to the role. Guy Pendell (CMS) has taken up the position of new Vice Chair and will serve alongside Iain Quirk (Essex Court Chambers) as the second Vice Chair. Together, the UK will be led by next generation arbitrators under the leadership of the first female UK chair.  

Also joining the Committee are Charlie Caher (WilmerHale), Kim Franklin QC (Crown Office Chambers), Milo Molfa (Cleary Gottlieb), Richard Smith (Allen & Overy), Ricky Diwan QC (Essex Court Chambers), Sara Masters QC (20 Essex Street) and Simon Rainey QC (Quadrant Chambers).

The Committee is busy building on the success of London International Disputes Week in May and working on the next ICC Arbitration & ADR Commission meeting in Paris in the autumn, to be followed by the annual ICC Arbitration Conference in London in November 2019.


News also covered in the New Law Journal.

Editor’s note:

ICC is the world’s largest business organisation representing 45 million companies and 1 billion employees from all sectors and company sizes in over 100 countries. We are the only business organisation with UN Observer Status. ICC United Kingdom is the representative office of ICC in the UK and works with British business groups worldwide to represent the voice of British business at inter-governmental level - the United Nations, G20 and World Trade Organization. For further information, please visit www.iccwbo.uk   


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