Young ICCA Co-chair elections underway
Name: Rubin Mukkam-Owuor
Current City: Nairobi, Kenya
Current Employer: JMiles & Co.
Education: University of Warwick, UK
How did you get involved in international arbitration?
My first arbitration was a SIAC arbitration in which our client had clearly defaulted on its contractual obligations, but wanted to buy some time whilst they sold the company. Although it seemed like we would surely lose on the merits of the case, we managed to run an argument which centred on the fact that the debt which our client owed, had been factored, and the Claimant was not the proper party to the arbitration. The challenge of running this argument, and seeing how the tribunal struck a balance between the technical legal argument and the fairness of the case, intrigued me, because a Court may not have been able to achieve that balance so finely. The rest, as they say, is history.
What is your favourite virtue? Integrity
What are your favourite qualities in another person? A sense of humour and a willingness to let me try their food.
What is your chief characteristic? I am sincere and a straight-talker.
What is your main fault? I can be impatient.
What is your favourite occupation? Queen
What is your idea of happiness? Strong, sweet, milky Indian tea, good shortbread, floor to ceiling windows, and rain. Preferably together in real life, but a Pinterest board will do.
What is your idea of misery? Standing in a long queue; we don’t have those in Singapore, except when a good Prawn Mee is involved.
If not yourself, who would you be? A matatu (Kenyan public bus) driver. My inherent road rage is a prerequisite for the job.
Where would you like to live? Sydney, Australia
Who is your favourite prose author? Harper Lee
Who is your favourite hero/heroine in fiction? Captain Jack Sparrow
Who is your hero in real life? This one is a tie. Nelson Mandela, tied with Jonathon Doerty, inventor of the word “cliché”.
What historical person do you most dislike? Colonel Sanders - thanks to him, I never achieve my New Year’s Resolutions.
What is your favourite name? Kiran - my son’s name.
What do you hate the most? Intolerance
What is your natural talent? I have an uncanny ability to spontaneously summon an Indian accent.
What is your favourite arbitration-related decision? The recent April 2016 decision of the Hague District Court in the Yukos arbitration. They were basically like: “I know you guys have just been through a 9-year long arbitration in multiple jurisdictions, and were finally given the most high profile award in the history of international arbitration, but… we’re not sure it’s enforceable.” *drops the mic*
Who is your favourite arbitrator? Funke Adekoya SAN - she is one of the top arbitrators on the continent, but does not make a big deal of the fact that achieving that status as an African and a woman must have been a tough feat.
Who is your mentor? I have yet to find one, so this position is currently vacant. Please apply within.
What is your motto? In the immortal words of Dory, “Just keep swimming.”