Why I grew to become an global disputes lawyer

Enika Vania

Milena Szuniewicz-Wenzel, a spouse in Clyde & Co’s intercontinental arbitration group, discusses her diversified caseload and methods to construct shopper rapport

Milena Szuniewicz-Wenzel, lover in Clyde & Co’s international arbitration group

The previous 24 months have found Milena Szuniewicz-Wenzel, a husband or wife in Clyde & Co’s global arbitration group, function on a sequence of intricate cross-jurisdictional disputes on conditions ranging from telecoms to oil and gasoline. The common thread to these disputes, she tells me, is the diverse mother nature of the matters which require a extensive comprehension of the troubles at hand.

When we chat Szuniewicz-Wenzel tells me about a the latest telecoms circumstance which not only needed a specialized knowing of cell telecoms in building countries but also a potent grasp of the pertinent legal challenges at stake. “For case in point, we experienced complex problems in relation to sanctions and irrespective of whether tribunals can problem awards wherever sanctions are used,” she describes.

In just the previous 5 yrs there is also been a noteworthy increase in oil and gasoline disputes ensuing from the economical crisis, and the oil value crash of 2014. These instances are usually multifaceted, not only involving contractual challenges but also issues relating to work, tax and customs, and environmental issues. The duration of Szuniewicz-Wenzel’s situations can span up to 6 several years, with quite a few averaging about a few to 4 years in length, “but it depends on the problems and complexity of the case”, she adds.

A essential obstacle that Szuniewicz-Wenzel relishes is the cross-jurisdictional aspect of the disputes not only do the situations on their own require unique legal programs, but Szuniewicz-Wenzel often finds herself doing the job with colleagues in Clyde & Co’s workplaces all over the world, specifically Paris, New York and Singapore, based on the dispute.

In addition, her purchasers are from a assortment of backgrounds and so cultural distinctions are obvious. Thus, a strong comprehension of the shopper is critical. To achieve this Szuniewicz-Wenzel highlights the significance of great communication and getting the correct signifies to correctly connect with customers, irrespective of whether that is via online video-conferencing, the telephone, or in some scenarios, WhatsApp.

Fluent in English, German and Polish, Szuniewicz-Wenzel says her multicultural qualifications will help in her get the job done. Apparently, she rarely utilizes German and Polish in relation to disputes, but it is her knowledge and practical experience of diverse cultures that aids her comprehending of her consumers and their needs.

Szuniewicz-Wenzel’s time spent in the Center East has also proved precious in creating a sound being familiar with of her purchasers. She invested 6 months in Dubai throughout her schooling deal and a further more yr in Yemen doing the job on numerous instances. “The experience was a genuine eye-opener for me,” she demonstrates. “It gave me a excellent option to fully grasp my consumers in the Center East and I have been equipped to use the encounter likely ahead and use it to arbitrations.”

Given that the pandemic strike, the way in which Szuniewicz-Wenzel functions with her consumers and her group has inevitably modified. But she tells me that communication has basically enhanced now that Zoom and Microsoft Teams are more widely applied.

Szuniewicz-Wenzel originally experienced a hearing scheduled to get put the week lockdown came into impact in March, having said that this was postponed and is now likely ahead virtually. “I’ve bought excellent hopes for it,” she tells me.

The software deadline for Clyde & Co’s Summer months Trip Schemes is Sunday 3 January 2021

When reflecting on earlier scenarios, Szuniewicz-Wenzel recalls not many witnesses becoming taken by the strategy of possessing to give evidence via movie connection. She predicts that virtual hearings will become much more commonplace in the long term. “I believe that persons will be additional open to them which is a significant adjust from the way the planet and international arbitration functioned in advance of coronavirus hit”, she forecasts.

Szuniewicz-Wenzel thinks that this is a positive shift which will allow disputes lawyers to be far more environmentally helpful by decreasing travel. She provides that the maximize in virtual hearings will also be valuable for trainees and associates who may perhaps not have previously experienced the opportunity to journey to different jurisdictions for hearings.

Having said that, the obstacle, according to Szuniewicz-Wenzel, will be guaranteeing effective advocacy in the course of a virtual hearing which may well demonstrate to be extra hard. Szuniewicz-Wenzel also reflects on the “human element” which may possibly be missing: “When you go to a hearing in-human being and see the other side, it motivates you and gives you purpose. We are still to see how this performs out at a virtual listening to.”

Getting designed associate this year, Szuniewicz-Wenzel began her legal occupation as a trainee at Clyde & Co 18 yrs back the place she qualified into the maritime and international trade office. This observed her spend significantly of her time working on transport and trading situations and it was below that she obtained useful knowledge, for instance in relation to oil and gasoline, which she has carried with her in the course of her career.

Szuniewicz-Wenzel grew up in Poland ahead of transferring to England with her loved ones at the age of 13, and understood from a youthful age that she required to go after a job in regulation. “My mothers and fathers had a mate who was a renowned advocate and he encouraged me to turn into a law firm,” she shares. Szuniewicz-Wenzel went on to study law at Queen Mary, University of London, and as aspect of her degree put in a year overseas in Germany. She completed a masters at University College or university London.

Her desire in advocacy stemmed from possessing an inquisitive mindset. She explains:

“I was interested in the reasons guiding a dispute, comprehending the men and women involved, and functioning with them to solve the dispute.”

For aspiring litigators Szuniewicz-Wenzel shares that “the important is to be adaptable — really do not be fixated on a person sector or a person region. In global arbitration numerous diverse difficulties crop up so you want to be open up to checking out distinct areas”. Moreover, owing to the complexity of cases, Szuniewicz-Wenzel claims that the capability to perform successfully in just a crew is crucial to accomplishing the best result for a consumer.

Milena Szuniewicz-Wenzel will be talking alongside other Clyde & Co attorneys at ‘How regulation corporations go global’, a virtual university student occasion using put on Friday 6 November. You can implement to go to the party, which is free of charge, now.

The software deadline for Clyde & Co’s Summer season Vacation Techniques is Sunday 3 January 2021

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