Q&A: Alexandra Dosman
Earlier this year, former Shearman & Sterling senior associate Alexandra Dosman was tapped as executive director of the New York International Arbitration Center, a new venue for international arbitration in east midtown (NYLJ, May 2).
The Canada native, educated at McGill University and University of Toronto Faculty of Law, practiced in Shearman & Sterling's international arbitration group from 2006 until she was hired by NYIAC in May.
When Dosman was hired, NYIAC chair Judith Kaye, the former New York state chief judge who is of counsel to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, told the Law Journal that Dosman had "the personality, the enthusiasm, the background, both scholarly and experiential, that were just the right fit for building something new and exciting."
NYIAC's mission is multifold. The center offers brand-new facilities for conducting international arbitrations, including hearing rooms, breakout rooms and access to communication technologies, though it does not administer arbitrations itself. At the same time, it strives to spread information about international arbitration and to promote New York as a forum for international arbitration.
NYIAC was created about two years after the New York State Bar Association issued a report calling for the creation of a permanent international arbitration center (NYLJ, July 6, 2011). The bar said in the report that such a center was needed for New York to keep up with other cities as international arbitration became a more popular way to resolve disputes.
NYIAC is supported by 36 founding law firms in New York. It is located on the 17th floor of the Socony-Mobil building at 150 E. 42nd St.
Q: How did you become interested in international arbitration?
A: Coming from a jurisdiction with both common law and civil law traditions, I was drawn to the hybrid nature of international arbitration. And as a young lawyer, I was attracted to the possibility of travel and using my language skills. Then, as I got more engaged in the practice, it became clear to me that international arbitration was my field—I was able to work with top advocates in several of Shearman & Sterling's global offices, for clients around the globe, on cases that involved key issues of private and public international law. It is hard to argue with that mix as a way to start one's legal career.
Q: How has your experience in arbitration prepared you for your new role as head of the NYIAC?
A: NYIAC has two broad functions. Most obviously, we are a first-rate hearing center for international arbitrations. Having participated in major hearings in international arbitration cases, I know the needs and expectations of counsel, clients, and arbitrators in the stressful hearings context. What we do at NYIAC is anticipate and to the extent possible eliminate that stress: we offer a pleasant, functional, problem-free zone for parties and their counsel. More importantly, however, NYIAC is an educational and advocacy organization, devoted to enhancing and promoting New York as a place for international arbitrations. On that side, I draw on the experience of managing cases and teams during my time practicing law. One of my favorite parts of this job is having the opportunity to set a creative vision and then—with the fabulous energy and tireless work of NYAIC's supporters—work to realize it on a daily basis.