on board

Professor Leon Trakman Joins the Herbert Smith Freehills CIBEL Centre as a Member

On 26 April 2020, the Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre welcomes Professor Leon Trakman as its 10th member. Professor Trakman specialises in comparative and international contract, trade and investment law and he is a recipient of CIBEL Seed Grant in 2018.

Professor Trakman is Former Dean of Law at UNSW during 2002-2007 and currently a UNSW Professor of Law. He holds both Masters’ and Doctorate degrees earned at the Harvard Law School. His academic appointments include, among others, Distinguished, Visiting and Tenured Professor at the University of California, Wisconsin, Tulane, McGill, Dalhousie and Cape Town. 

He has been awarded various national research professorships, such as a Killam Professorship and the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights in Canada (one awarded nationally each year in a multidisciplinary contest). He has received numerous research grants, such as from the Canada Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Professor Trakman is author of over 150 publications, including 11 books, on comparative and international contract, trade and investment law. He has also specialised in comparative Chinese law. 

Professor Trakman received a CIBEL Seed Grant in 2018 and two 2021 ARC Discovery Grant applications were derived from the CIBEL-funded project. The first one “Redressing Contractual Risks in Australia-China Trade and Investment” led by him aims to significantly safeguard the Australian economy in trade and investment with Australia's largest trade partner, China. The second one “Understanding the Law/Culture Perplex: A Socio-Legal Study of Arbitration” led by CIBEL member Associate Professor Kun Fan is the first large-scale mixed methods socio-legal study to compare the arbitration practices between jurisdictions with cultural similarity but legal diversity.

Besides academic excellence, Professor Trakman also actively takes part in professional practice. As an international commercial arbitrator and mediator, he has served as presiding arbitrator or arbitrator in more than 120 international commercial disputes and as mediated in over 30 disputes. He has been appointment extensively to resolve trade disputes under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in which the US, Canadian and Mexican Governments were respondents.

He has also served as a constitutional consultant for the Canadian and South African Governments and has provided constitutional advice widely elsewhere, including to the British Commonwealth Secretariat. Professor Trakman is a licensed barrister in Australia, Canada and South Africa. 

In collaboration with other CIBEL members, Professor Trakman will continue working on the above two projects; and engage in further China-related research in the CIBEL field.

Professor Trakman’s full profile is available at UNSW Law website.