Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP


Catherine Amirfar is the co-chair of Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution Group and the Public International Law Group. Her practice focuses on public international law, international commercial and treaty arbitration, complex international commercial litigation, and pro bono work. With over twenty years of experience, Ms. Amirfar has argued before federal and state courts throughout the United States, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and arbitration tribunals sitting around the world. She has deep expertise representing states, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations and multinational companies. Prior to rejoining Debevoise in 2016, Ms. Amirfar spent two years as the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, and received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award in recognition of her contributions. She is consistently recognized at the very top of her field by the major legal directories, ranking in Public International Law (Global) (Band 1) and International Arbitration (USA) (Band 1) in Chambers. In Chambers Global (2022), clients declare that she “must be the best lawyer in the world for arbitration.” Ms. Amirfar is Immediate Past President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), Deputy Co-Chair of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, and a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law, the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), and the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Posts by Catherine Amirfar

Ninth Circuit Creates Split on Serving Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award

How does one serve process to confirm an arbitral award on parties outside the United States? The answer turns out to be quite complicated. In Voltage Pictures LLC v. Gussi S.A. de C.V., the Ninth Circuit charted a careful path through the maze of interactions between the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the Federal Rules…

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U.S. Immunity of International Organizations Since Jam v. IFC: New Challenges and Opportunities

In 2019, the Supreme Court reset the U.S. law of immunities for international organizations with its landmark judgment in Jam v. International Finance Corporation. That case overturned the long-held understanding that the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. §§ 288 et seq., entitled international organizations designated under it to virtually absolute immunity from U.S….

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