Robert Briner was a Swiss arbitrator who was a prominent figure in the field of international arbitration. Briner received his Doctorate in Law from the University of Zurich before being admitted to the bars of Zurich, Geneva and Fribourg. In the 1970s he increasingly became active in the area of arbitration and in 1985 he was appointed to chair Chamber Two of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague.In 1989 he became President of the Tribunal, a role he held until 1991.
In 1997 Briner was appointed to the Chairmanship of the International Chamber of Commerce, International Court of Arbitration. A year after his appointment, the 1998 ICC Rules of Arbitration were launched. Briner took advantage of the impetus generated by this revision to extend an increased knowledge of ICC arbitration and the representation of the ICC Court throughout the world.
Briner was credited with bringing a practical perspective to the work of the Court, acquired from his long and rich experiences as an arbitrator and counsel. His strong leadership skills, his innate sense of fairness, together with open-mindedness and a truly international view of the world, enabled him to preside with great skill over the Court sessions where difficult, sensitive decisions often had to be taken.
Briner also held the position as Chair of the Section on Business Law of the International Bar Association and served as a Panel Chairman of the United Nations Compensation Commission. In addition to his international positions Briner was a Partner and Of Counsel in the Swiss law firm Lenz & Staehelin.
Briner was a member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) and a member of the Executive Board of the Committee of the Swiss Arbitration Association.
Klaus Böhlhoff and William Rowley QC, ‘In memoriam – Robert “Robin” Briner (1930-2009) available at http://www.ibanet.org/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleUid=48CEEA6C-FE90-4969-AC07-47AD6FC1EED4 last accessed on 14 May 2014.
Lawrence W. Newman and Richard D. Hill (eds), The Leading Arbitrators’ Guide to International Arbitration (Second Edition, Juris Publishing, 2008).