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The world of arbitration is fuelled not only by theoretical knowledge but by the ability to turn that knowledge into outstanding practice in the field. CEPANI strives to strengthen the skills and qualities of arbitration counsel, and of arbitrators and experts in general. As the main centre for arbitration in Belgium, CEPANI understands the need for high training standards.


Through tailored courses enhanced by case studies, multimedia materials and interactive discussions, the CEPANI Arbitration Academy offers you the knowledge and practical skills necessary for pursuing a career as arbitration counsel and/or as arbitrator.


The curriculum of the CEPANI Arbitration Academy has been conceived in 2015 by renowned counsel, arbitration practitioners and academics. The Academy aims  – and  we dare say succeeds – at covering the major aspects and issues encountered in national and international arbitration.


The CEPANI Arbitration Academy is an opportunity for both new and experienced practitioners (counsel, in-house counsel as well as arbitrators) to improve their knowledge and to enhance their practical skills.


The arbitration classes consist of three interactive sessions, each of them introduced by Honorary President of CEPANI Mr. Dirk De Meulemeester and co-animated by Prof. Benoît Allemeersch and Ms. Dorothée Vermeiren (November 7), Prof. Jean-François Tossens and Ms. Nadia Darwazeh (November 30) and Prof. Olivier Caprasse and Ms. Vanessa Foncke (December 14).


The CEPANI Arbitration Academy consists of 4 modules: 1. Introduction to International Arbitration, 2. Expert level, 3. International level and 4. ADR Academy. The second and third modules will be held respectively in Spring 2024 and Autumn 2024.  The expected timing for level 4 will be announced in due course.




7 November 2023, 1pm to 7pm chaired by Prof. Benoît Allemeersch and Ms. Dorothée Vermeiren, the class will be introduced by Honorary President Mr. Dirk De Meulemeester.
From the arbitral clause to the constitution of the Tribunal


The first class of the Arbitration Academy looks at the arbitral clause and the introduction of an arbitration. What constitutes a good arbitration clause, what are frequent mistakes in drafting an arbitration clause, and what different options do parties have? Next, when a party has decided to initiate arbitration, how does this go about? We will discuss how to draft a proper request for arbitration as well as the answer to the request. Finally, we will look into how an arbitral tribunal is constituted, focusing on practical issues such as: how do you choose an arbitrator, what are the most common hurdles in an appointment and/or confirmation process, what disclosures should an arbitrator make, etc.


30 November 2023, 1pm to 7pm chaired by Prof. Jean-François Tossens and Ms. Nadia Darwazeh, the class will be introduced by Honorary President Mr. Dirk De Meulemeester.


From the Terms of Reference to the Hearing


The second class will focus on the conduct of the proceedings from the constitution of the arbitral tribunal all the way to the hearing. How to draft good Terms of Reference and a Procedural Order No. 1? What questions should be raised with the parties at the initial case management conference? How proactive can the arbitral tribunal be in the management of the procedure? How to organize the procedural calendar? Should issues be bifurcated? How to deal with document production requests, testimonies, e-technologies, …? How to control time and costs? What are the most common procedural incidents and how should the arbitral tribunal deal with them?


14 December 2023, 1pm to 7pm chaired by Prof. Olivier Caprasse and Ms. Vanessa Foncke, the class will be introduced by Honorary President Mr. Dirk De Meulemeester.


From the Hearing to the Arbitral Award


Would you like to know more about how to prepare for an arbitration hearing, what to say and not to say during this hearing, who can be present, why and how to call witnesses, whether or not it is useful to have post-hearing briefs, what efficient statements of costs are or how arbitrators usually organize their work to come to an award? Class three is for you. Through interactive discussions and reviewing concrete documents coming from real arbitration proceedings, you will get answers to all of these and so many more questions.

Benoît Allemeersch practices law in Brussels since 1999 and heads the Litigation & Arbitration practice at Quinz. He is an active arbitration practitioner, both as counsel and as arbitrator. His focus is on commercial arbitration, both national and international, ad hoc and institutional. He combines law practice with an academic appointment as tenured professor of Belgian and European civil procedure and evidence law at KU Leuven. As a legal scholar, he has advised the Belgian government on matters relevant to arbitration law, including co-authoring several amendments to the Belgian Arbitration Act of 2013 and serving as an expert member of the Belgian delegation at the UNCITRAL Working Group II on arbitration and mediation at the United Nations. Since 2013, he is a member of the board of directors of Belgium’s leading arbitration institute, CEPANI. He was one of the founders of its Arbitration Academy in 2014, was one of the authors of the 2020 CEPANI Rules, and co-authored the Guide to the CEPANI Arbitration Rules (Kluwer, 2021).


Olivier Caprasse, Caprasse Arbitration. For over twenty years, Olivier Caprasse (born 1972, Belgium) has been actively involved in arbitration as arbitrator, counsel and academic. He has seated as party-appointed arbitrator, chairman or sole arbitrator, in various part of the world under various set of rules.

Olivier Caprasse is a member of the ICC Court since 2016, the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR and has been one of the experts for Belgium in the UNCITRAL working group II on arbitration and conciliation. He served as expert to the Minister of Justice before the Belgian Parliament in the 2013 reform of Belgian arbitration law. He was also a member of the working group to establish the 2020 CEPANI arbitration rules.

A member of the Brussels bar, he is also Professor at the Universities of Liège (ULiege) and Brussels (ULB), where he teaches arbitration, ADR and corporate law.


Nadia Darwazeh is a Partner and Head of Arbitration of Clyde & Co’s Paris office. Nadia has extensive experience acting as counsel in commercial and investor-state arbitrations. She also regularly and sits as arbitrator. Before joining Clyde & Co, Nadia practiced for two decades in the International Arbitration Groups of leading international law firms in Paris, Shanghai, Frankfurt and London and as Counsel at the ICC, where she headed up the Europe, Middle East and Africa team.

Nadia is dual-qualified in England & Wales (Solicitor-Advocate) and Germany (Rechtsanwältin). She earned her LLM in International Public Law from the University of Cambridge and her LLB from the University of Warwick. She conducts arbitrations in French, German and English and speaks Dutch and Mandarin Chinese.


Vanessa Foncke is a partner in the Global Disputes practice of Jones Day.  She practices in all aspects of dispute resolution and contract negotiations and has extensive experience in domestic and international commercial arbitration both as counsel and arbitrator.  Vanessa’s experience spans a wide variety of disputes and industries, notably including construction, corporate (post M&A), complex contractual, regulatory, distribution, and telecommunications.  For the past years she has been consistently ranked by Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration, and The Legal 500 EMEA.

Vanessa is a member of the board of administration of CEPANI and participates in that capacity to the bi-annual meetings of UNCITRAL Working Group II.  She is also a member of the ADR Committee at the Flemish Bars Association and is admitted to the list of third-party deciders of the Dutch-speaking Brussels Bar.


Jean-François Tossens, Tossens Goldman Gonne, has a longstanding experience of national and international arbitration, as counsel and arbitrator, in various sectors such as post-acquisition disputes, commercial contracts, construction cases, distribution law or aeronautics. He has also been involved in numerous arbitration related court proceedings (enforcement and annulment proceedings).

A member of the Brussels bar, Jean-François Tossens teaches arbitration and ADR law at the University of Louvain. He is a member of the board of directors of ICC Belgium and has been a member of the board of CEPANI until this year. He was co-editor in chief of the Belgian Review for Arbitration b-Arbitra from 2013 to 2020 and he has been chairing the arbitration association Francarbi since 2022.


Dorothée Vermeiren is a partner at Clifford Chance and head of the Brussels Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. Dorothée has a strong track record in banking litigation, restructurings and insolvencies. She also specialises in compliance with anti-corruption and sanctions legislation. Dorothée assists clients with a range of litigation and arbitration matters, and also acts as an arbitrator.

In 2021 Dorothee was recognised as a European Female Rising Star by Law.com and on the list of Continental Europe’s best 25 women in law aged under 40.  In 2022, Dorothée was appointed a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR and was recognised in the very first edition of the Legal 500 Private Practice Arbitration Powerlist – Benelux Region, as well as in the 2023 Who’s Who Legal Arbitration Guide and Commercial Litigation Guide.


  • Participants receive access to unique materials from (fully anonymised) proceedings, provided by several arbitration practitioners
  • A selection of highly qualified “special guests” will come in person to share their experience on the subject
  • Learn from 6 different teachers in this edition alone, each and every one of them among the very best in the Belgian arbitration community
  • Interactive classes based on an exchange of real-life experiences and know-how
  • Challenging discussions with experts and co-participants alike
  • Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for each class
  • Participants to all three Classes receive a certificate confirming their participation

How do we work?

The CEPANI Arbitration Classes will be held at the CEPANI offices on November 7, 2023, November 30, 2023 and December 14 2023 from 13:00 to 19:00.

The presentations will be in English, but participants can express themselves in English, French or Dutch as they so choose.

Information and contact:
You can reach the CEPANI Secretariat at +32 2 515 08 35 or by e-mail at info@cepani.be.

Register now and enjoy the Early Bird rate!

Early Bird (for everyone) until Friday September 29, 2023:
€ 400,00 per class – € 1.000,00 all classes

CEPANI Member, IBJ/IJE Member:
€475,00 per class – €1.250,00 all classes

Non member:
€550,00 per class – € 1.450,00 all classes

All prices are VAT exclusive.

To register, visit our website and fill out the online registration form. You will receive confirmation of your registration by e-mail.

Given that places are limited, only registrations confirmed by CEPANI are valid.

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