INTERVIEW WITH JUDGE JUDITH KAYE

CD: You served in the New York State Judiciary for more than 25 years (1983-2008), first as an Associate Judge – and the Court’s first woman – and then as Chief Judge of the State of New York. Where have you been focusing your energies since leaving the Court of Appeals?

Kaye: I joined the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as Of Counsel in 2009, where I focus largely on litigation and arbitration. I am privileged to wear many hats since coming off the Court, one of which is arbitrator – a role that attracts many judicial colleagues in their ‘after-life’. This role is especially exciting because it has allowed me to discover New York law in a new context – its importance to the global community. While I was on the Court I did not fully appreciate the opportunity that contracting parties around the world have to designate the law that will govern arbitration of any future dispute. And now as an arbitrator, it has been a source of pleasure and pride for me to encounter the choice of New   York law in far-flung transactions, a recognition of, and respect for, our work.

As I became more involved in the world of international arbitration it became apparent that, despite the ongoing practice of designating New York as the governing law for international arbitrations, New York did not have a bricks-and-mortar international arbitration centre. That glaring absence was noticed by many, including a New York State Bar Task Force on New York Law in International Matters. And so I am particularly delighted to tell you that along with 36 leading law firms, we recently announced the imminent arrival of the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC), right in the heart of Manhattan, which is scheduled to open in late Spring.

Apr-Jun 2013 issue

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP