Charles C. Adams Jr. serves as the head of the international arbitration practice and as partner-in-charge of the Geneva office. He practices primarily in international litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on complex, high-value disputes involving major infrastructure construction projects, consortium and joint venture agreements, intellectual property matters, insurance coverage and issues arising in the energy, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation industries.

Practice & Background

Mr. Adams has almost 40 years of experience in international law, practicing in Washington, D.C., and Paris before establishing residence in Geneva in 1986. He represents multinational corporations, sovereign governments, para-statal entities and NGOs as claimants or respondents in international arbitration proceedings worldwide, before tribunals variously constituted under the rules of the ICC, the LCIA, the Swiss Chambers, ICSID and other such bodies; he serves, from time to time, as chairman or co-arbitrator on arbitral tribunals. In addition to his international arbitration practice, Mr. Adams has also dealt extensively with the negotiation of turnkey contracts for industrial infrastructure development projects in Africa and the Middle East, as well as with concession agreements worldwide in the petroleum, mining and fishing industries.

Mr. Adams is a member of the board of trustees of the Dubai Centre for International Arbitration; a consultant to the former United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations; and a frequent lecturer at the International Development Law Institute, the University of Geneva Faculty of Law and other institutions of legal education. A U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa from 1968 to 1970, he remains active in various humanitarian and philanthropic organizations in Europe and Africa, and has served on the board of the International League for Human Rights and as president of the International Center for Humanitarian Reporting. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Democratic National Committee and was the founding chairman of the Democratic Expatriate Leadership Council.

Awards & Accolades

  • The Global Arbitration Review (GAR) ranking for 2014 advises that “one very famous arbitrator […], confided to GAR that he regarded Charles Adams – who has some 250 arbitrations under his belt an 38 years in Paris, Geneva and Washington, DC – as one of the most persuasive advocates he knows.”
  • The Legal 500 2013: Europe, Middle East & Africa recommends the international arbitration team as “’undoubtedly the leading name for international arbitration’, under the leadership of group head Charles Adams.”
  • Chambers Global 2013 describes Charles Adams as “a ‘tenacious counsel with a great deal of solid experience.’"
  • The Legal 500 2012: Europe, Middle East & Africa recommends Mr. Adams for his “‘extraordinary advocacy and strategic skills’ and ‘daring and creative’ tactical talents.”
  • The Legal 500 2012 describes the Geneva offices’ international arbitration and WTO practices as “world-class” and the dispute resolution practice as “superb” and “extremely business-orientated.”
  • Chambers 2012 ranks the dispute resolution practice in the top band for both the Global and Europe guides.
  • In Chambers Global 2009, Mr. Adams is described as “‘one of Europe’s significant names in international arbitration,’ thanks to his international background and decades of experience in the field.”