Acclaimed international disputes lawyer Deborah Ruff has joined Pillsbury as a partner in the firm’s London office. Recognized as a leading practitioner by both Legal 500 and Chambers, Ruff has vast experience advising on high-value and complex international arbitration, particularly in the energy, infrastructure and construction, telecommunications, financial and corporate sectors. She joins Pillsbury from Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and will serve as global head of international arbitration and as the London litigation practice leader. 

“Deborah is an international arbitration lawyer of the highest distinction,” said Firm Chair David Dekker. “Her broad experience in cross-border disputes significantly enhances our litigation practice offering, and our clients will benefit greatly from her insights into the energy and construction industries – both of which are major areas of strength at Pillsbury.”

Ruff regularly handles arbitration cases under various institutional rules and on an ad hoc basis. She frequently appears before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the United Nations Commission of International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) tribunals and she counsels clients on arbitrations under the Swiss, Stockholm and Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) rules as well. Ruff has conducted arbitrations proceedings in a multitude of jurisdictions, including London, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Stockholm, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, New York, Lima, Algiers, San Francisco and Tashkent among others. She also handles various commercial litigation matters, under English law and the laws of other countries including the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kazakhstan, Finland, Peru and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The largest portion of her practice relates to multi-jurisdictional energy disputes. These include disputes over the granting of exploration permits, production sharing agreements, other oil and gas joint venture agreements, the construction and performance of refineries, power plants and offshore rigs, oil trading, oil and gas transport and coal fired and nuclear power plants. Ruff has also dealt with high-value disputes over long term energy pricing and other contract re-negotiations, both between private entities and between states and investors.

“International arbitration is an area of Pillsbury’s litigation practice that we have been keen to grow, and Deborah is well-qualified to serve as a cornerstone of those efforts,” noted Litigation Practice Section Leader Deborah Baum. “Her reputation, depth of industry knowledge and impressive case history are all beyond reproach, and I am incredibly excited to welcome her to the firm.”

Pillsbury’s International arbitration practice has extensive experience representing governments, investors and others in matters before arbitral tribunals in proceedings throughout the world.  Notable representations include roles advising to the Government of Mexico in 15 international investment disputes brought under NAFTA and bilateral investment treaties; prevailing for a major Japanese manufacturer and several of its U.S. subsidiaries in an ICC Arbitration stemming from the failure of certain critical components manufactured and supplied to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, with claims in excess of $7 billion; and the successful defense of a heavy equipment designer and manufacturer in an ICC arbitration regarding $400 million in breach of contract and intellectual property infringement claims.

“I am very much looking forward to beginning this new chapter of my career at Pillsbury,” added Ruff. “I’ve been consistently impressed with the talented lawyers I’ve met and their collaborative mindset. What’s more, the firm’s industry focuses align so well with my own. It is really a perfect match, and I cannot wait to get started.”