Top London International Arbitration Team To Join Andrews Kurth

Melanie Willems, Markus Esly 'perfect complement' to international dispute resolution, energy and infrastructure practices

Sep 16, 2013, 11:15 ET from Andrews Kurth LLP

LONDON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Andrews Kurth is pleased to announce that Melanie Willems will join the firm as its head of international arbitration, based in the firm's expanding London office. Markus Esly will also join the firm as a partner, along with associate Robert Blackett, pending regulatory approval.

Ms. Willems has more than 20 years' experience in resolving complex commercial disputes, with an emphasis on contentious energy, construction and engineering matters. She advises on a wide range of international projects and ventures, including the design and construction of oil refineries, drilling rigs, offshore production platforms, joint operating agreements, pipelines and foreign investments protected under bilateral treaties (BITs). She has particular experience in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. 

Ms. Willems acts in arbitrations under all major international rules (ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, ICSID and standard form contract rules), as well as ad hoc proceedings, appears as lead advocate before tribunals and sits as arbitrator. As a qualified Solicitor-advocate, she also undertakes UK-based litigation and is experienced in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, expert determination and adjudication.

In 2013, she was identified by Super Lawyers as one of the top 100 lawyers and top 50 female lawyers in London.

Mr. Esly practices in international arbitration. Over the past 12 years, he has primarily assisted clients in the energy and construction sector with complex disputes. He acts as an advocate in arbitration matters and appears before the English Courts. He graduated with First Class honors in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge (Norah Dias Prize for Law, Bundy Scholarship).

Mr. Blackett, a barrister, handles international arbitration and has significant experience of the major institutional rules and contract forms.

"I am delighted to join a first-rate London energy practice," Ms. Willems says. "Working with highly regarded practitioners such as Peter Roberts and Jubilee Easo is a natural fit for our disputes team. Andrews Kurth is a leading law firm in the industries we focus on, and our commercial contracts experience also fits in perfectly with the firm's aim of providing top-calibre legal service in the competitive London market."

"This group of lawyers is an outstanding addition to our growing London practice," says Bob Jewell, Managing Partner of Andrews Kurth. "As our work on international projects continues to grow, their experience in resolving related disputes will be a perfect complement to the work we're already doing."

"With their experience on major projects in every corner of the world, Melanie and Markus bring the kind of skills our clients increasingly need," says Peter Roberts, who leads Andrews Kurth's London office. "We are building a specialist energy team in London, with all of the necessary skills under one roof. Their addition illustrates our commitment to serving the full spectrum of our clients' needs."

About Andrews Kurth LLP

For more than a century, Andrews Kurth has built its practice on the belief that "straight talk is good business." Real answers, clear vision and mutual respect define the firm's relationships with clients, colleagues, communities and employees. With more than 400 lawyers and offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Houston, London, New York, Research Triangle Park, The Woodlands and Washington, DC, Andrews Kurth represents a wide array of clients in multiple industries. For more information about Andrews Kurth, please visit


Ashley Ronald Nelly, Andrews Kurth

713.220.4410 (office) | 713.204.0255 (mobile)

SOURCE Andrews Kurth LLP