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This document is part of the ICC Dispute Resolution Library.
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Publisher: Image of Publisher which is The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC DRL)
Type: Books
Publication Date: 24 October 2022
Language: English
Table of content

    Virtue and knowledge

    183.

    Fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

    —Dante, Divine Comedy, Inf. XXVI, vv. 118-120

    I met Alexis in 2001. Since then, our paths have often crossed and I was lucky enough to, sometimes, be a fellow traveller on his journey.

    My first contact with Alexis was as an intern at Castaldi Mourre & Partners, the firm he founded with Enrico Castaldi in 1996. Castaldi Mourre & Partners was already the point of reference for the Italian companies doing business in Paris and Alexis' arbitration practice was rising. As an Italian studying in Paris, I was thrilled.

    One day, he asked me to deliver the original of an award to the ICC, which was at the time still in Cours Albert 1er. Never would I have imagined that I would work there only a few years later. From that moment on, we had occasional chats during which I discovered that, in addition to being the brilliant and slightly intimidating lawyer that we all know, Alexis is also an exceptionally cultivated man with a broad range of interests, from politics to literature and arts.

    Before becoming a key figure in the world of arbitration, Alexis started his career as a ‘Swiss army knife' kind of lawyer practising in different areas of law. He thus came into arbitration learning as he went, an autodidact working insatiably. Alexis is famous for his intellectual rigour, but he also has a very down-to-earth and open-minded approach that finds its roots in this background.

    Several years after my internship, I joined the firm as an associate. That is when I discovered Alexis' style of collaboration. His method is, primarily, dialectical: he expects his interlocutor to challenge his opinions, to test the solidity of his arguments and to offer alternatives. In his position, it takes courage, open-mindedness, and a nimble intellect to go through this process in the purest Socratic tradition. It also empowers his interlocutors as fully

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