Maria Fogdestam Agius

Leaders in Law endorses Maria Fogdestam Agius as our exclusively recommended expert in Sweden. If you wish to get in touch with Maria, please use the contact information provided above.

Maria Fogdestam Agius practice as part of the firm’s Dispute Resolution Group focuses on international dispute settlement. In particular, she advises and represent States and private entities in matters pertaining to public international law, treaty-based dispute settlement and international human rights.

Maria has expertise on a wide range of public international law topics, including inter alia the law of treaties, the law on State responsibility, the law on State and diplomatic immunity, international investment law, the law of the sea and Business & Human Rights. Maria Fogdestam Agius has experience of protecting foreign investments through international arbitration, advising individuals and companies on claims against governments and on the enforcement of awards against sovereign entities. She has equally assisted States defending against claims before international courts and tribunals and safeguarding sovereign and diplomatic immunities before national courts. Maria has represented corporate as well as sovereign clients in international arbitration and litigation and have appeared as an advocate before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the Swedish Supreme Court. She also practices in human rights, advising in particular on Business and Human Rights regulatory and guidance frameworks, corporate ESG responsibilities and human rights due diligence.

Maria holds a Master of Laws in Public International Law and Procedural Law and a Doctor of Laws in Public International Law, both from Uppsala University.

Prior to joining Westerberg & Partners in 2020, she practiced for six years at the public international law firm Volterra Fietta in London, where she primarily worked on State-to-State disputes and high-profile investor-State arbitration cases. Notable representations in the public domain include acting for the United Arab Emirates in Qatar v. United Arab Emirates (International Court of Justice), acting for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Nigeria v. Interocean (ICSID), acting for the Arab Republic of Egypt in Al Jazeera v. Egypt (ICSID) and acting for Owens-Illinois EG on annulment in OIEG v. Venezuela (ICSID). Maria also provided advice to a number of governments on public international law matters, including inter alia the legality of military intervention and the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights, reservations to treaties and State and diplomatic immunities. She furthermore advised private parties on investor claims and Business and Human Rights issues.

Before entering into practice, Maria taught public international law at Uppsala University, acted as a clerk and junior judge at a Swedish district court and conducted an internship with the International Criminal Court.

Maria regularly speaks and publishes on public international law issues in various venues.

Areas of Expertise

  • International Arbitration Law
  • International Litigation Law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Public International Law
  • International Human Rights
  • International Investment Law
  • Procedural Law
  • Business Law

Firm Description:

Westerberg & Partners is a Swedish boutique law firm. We focus on what we do best. We assist our clients in identifying, analyzing, strengthening and protecting their rights – whether based on intellectual property (IP), contracts, treaties or regulatory frameworks. Our specialization and considerable experience in our focus areas also make us particularly well-suited to advise on transactions within these areas. Over the years, we have worked with everything from small start-ups to major multi-national companies and states, in virtually all industries.

We want to be a partner to our clients and the client’s business goals are always at the forefront of what we do. We offer our clients advisers who are truly interested in and knowledgeable of our clients’ industries.

Whenever appropriate, we seek to resolve conflicts without taking legal action, but we also take pride in our ability to manage legal proceedings, be it litigation or arbitration, efficiently and robustly. Our client base is largely international, and we work with many of the most discerning clients and law firms in the world.

For us, the client and its goals and needs are always at the forefront of our minds. Open mindedness, focus and flexibility, are three of our core values. This makes us well-suited to provide the best possible service for clients.

What brings us together at Westerberg are a few simple facts. We are top-ranked in intellectual property, and dispute resolution. We enjoy the work, and we like each other and our clients. We are friends sharing the same vision, and together, we aim to be the best at what we do.

To make this true today and in the long run, we believe that everyone at Westerberg must be given the opportunity to excel in an open and supportive environment. We believe that engaged and dedicated professionals that form a true team will always out perform a group of individuals.

We work with long-term plans to ensure that our co-workers and the firm develop in the right direction. By mixing senior and junior co-workers in our teams, we gain new insights and learn from each other.

Consequently, Westerberg is a true partnership. This ensures that clients always receive advice from the most qualified person. Our goal is to continue advising our clients on the most challenging legal issues, and always excelling at what we do. If we cannot validly claim to be one of the best choices for any given matter, we will not work on that matter, although we are always happy to recommend a better-suited colleague.


Giovanni Carlo Pisacane

Leaders in Law endorses Giovanni Pisacane as our exclusively recommended International Arbitration Law expert in China. If you wish to get in touch with Giovanni, please use the contact information provided above.


Giovanni Pisacane is a business lawyer specializing in international practice. He has been practicing as a business lawyer since 1996 and has extensive experience in China’s civil and commercial law in arbitration and mediation. He completed a Masters in Private International Law at The Hague Academy in the Netherlands.

In 2004 he founded GWA, an international legal and tax consulting firm, in Shanghai. He was appointed as a Special Advisor for Italy-China business relations by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. Giovanni Pisacane has gained an extensive experience in assisting foreign investors with the set-up of Foreign-Invested Enterprises of which he has often been appointed as Supervisor or as member of the board of Supervisors.

Additionally, Giovanni Pisacane is a member of the panel of arbitrators of SHIAC (Shanghai International Arbitration Center) and VIAC (Vienna International Arbitral Centre), and is also a member of the ECLS (European China Law Studies Association), the IBA Arbitration Committee (International Bar Association) and the ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration).

Firm Description:

We are an international consulting firm. We are a consulting firm that has been established in China in 2004, with headquarters located in downtown Shanghai, near People’s Square. We provide comprehensive legal and tax solutions to both multinational and Chinese companies in a wide range of cross-border and domestic transactions.

We are focused on our clients’ wishes and requirements and we support them using a step-by-step approach, providing high level consulting services, which focus on efficiently and effectively reaching solutions. Our International Team is committed to excellence and our Lawyers and Certified Public Accountants have strong professional backgrounds with specific expertise in law, tax and accounting. This specialization in practice areas guarantees the high quality of the service we provide.

We operate in China Mainland and Hong Kong, in the Middle East in cooperation with Izadi Law Firm, in Switzerland in cooperation with FLD Law Firm, in India in cooperation with Neeraj Bhagat & Co. and also in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and some further emerging countries in cooperation with DFDL

What We Do

Greatway Advisory (GWA) provides a wide range of professional services and support in the following areas:


With our multicultural team of Chinese, Italian and European lawyers we are committed to provide legal advices, professional opinions and prompt solutions to our clients in order to help them to achieve their goals. We provide our tailored services to assist our clients to face the complexities of the Chinese, European and Italian legal systems in order to allow them to better focus on their business operations.

The significant experience of our Partners with more than 15 years in China and of our staff, along with a deep knowledge of the laws, allows us to handle all aspects of complex domestic and cross-border corporate operations.


We support companies helping them in tax and compliance requirements in the Chinese landscape. Our team is composed by local and foreign professional with a deep understanding of China’s complex tax environments, as well as in-depth industry knowledge and experience. Our experienced team of accountants, tax advisors and CPA (Certified Public Accountants), can help on a wide spectrum of tax service areas across all major industries.

We assist clients in structuring a wide range of transactions, from international taxation to income taxes, transfer pricing, VAT, M&A as well as identify the best tax strategy and deal with the tax authorities.


We support companies in the Chinese landscape and we help them in meeting accounting and reporting requirements. Our team is composed by local and foreign professional with a deep understanding of China’s Accounting principles.


Francis Xavier

Leaders in Law endorses Francis Xavier as our exclusively recommended International Arbitration Law expert in Singapore. If you wish to get in touch with Francis please use the contact information provided above.

Francis is Regional Head, Disputes Practices of Rajah & Tann and was appointed Senior Counsel in January 2009. He practises in the areas of international and treaty arbitration and cross-border commercial litigation.

He specialises in corporate and commercial disputes especially in the areas of corporate, banking, property and financial and investment related claims. He also specialises in aviation law and advised in the class-action suit resulting from the crash of the SilkAir flight in Indonesia in 1997 and the Taiwan SIA crash.

He is currently sitting as party-nominated arbitrator of a Mauritius entity in a bilateral investment treaty (ICSID) dispute with the Government of India. He has also been appointed as counsel for an Asean government in an ICSID arbitration involving a European state investor.

Francis has recently been appointed as Chairman of the Listings Appeals Committee, an independent committee set up by the Singapore Exchange, to which parties can appeal against disciplinary actions taken.

He is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK. He is the current Chairman, Singapore Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, Singapore Academy of Law and the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators. He is on the Panel of Arbitrators at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre; Singapore Institute of Arbitrators; Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration; Kigali International Arbitration Centre, Rwanda; Japan Commercial Arbitration Association; and the Indian Council of Arbitrators.

Firm Description:

Rajah & Tann Singapore is a leading full-service law firm in Singapore and one of the largest in South East Asia, having worked on many of the biggest and highest profile cases in the region.

Rajah & Tann Singapore is a member firm of Rajah & Tann Asia, one of the largest regional networks that brings together leading law firms and over 700 fee earners in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam; with each offering the highest standards of service to locally based clients while collectively having the capability to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region.  Our firm’s geographical reach includes Singapore-based regional desks focusing on Japan and South Asia.  Further, as the Singapore member firm of the Lex Mundi Network, we offer our clients access to excellent legal support in more than 100 countries globally.


Michelle Bannister

MICHELLE BANNISTER focuses her work on international commercial arbitration, particularly cross-border disputes before major arbitral institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

Michelle has been involved in all phases of international arbitrations, from filing of the claim to hearing and award, and is particularly experienced in complex cross-border disputes involving large multi national companies.

Firm Overview:

Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is a general practice law firm based in the United States, with a focus on expertise in transactional and litigation matters.

Piotr Nowaczyk

Citizenship: Polish



Master of laws, Poznań (1976), postgraduate study in business law,

Bar Research Center at the Polish Bar Council, Warsaw (1988),

Ecole de Formation du Barreau, Paris (1992)






admitted as advocate, Poznań (1984); avocat, Paris (1993), advocate, Warsaw (1994), ex-partner 大成 Dentons, former Salans (1998-2014), ICC Court member (2003-2015), Delegate to the United Nations at the Working Group Arbitration & Conciliation (UNCITRAL),  President of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce (2006-2009), Chartered Arbitrator (2010), DAB/DRB member/chairman. FIDIC Accredited Adjudicator (2015)


Areas of
Agency, aviation, banking, commercial contracts, competition, consortia, construction, corporate, defense, distributorships, energy, engineering, environment, fashion, FIDIC, franchising, investments, infrastructure, insurance, IP, IT, joint ventures, licenses, media, mergers & acquisition, oil & gas, personal injuries, privatization, sales & purchases, sport, technology, telecoms, transportation.

English, French, German, Polish, Russian, some Italian.





Chartered Arbitrator, fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb); life time member of Indian Arbitration Council, member of: VIAC International Advisory Board; Danish Arbitration Institute, Law Society of England & Wales; IBA Arbitration Committee (Sub-Committee on Conflicts of Interest 2008-2010); member: ASA, CEA, CEPANI, DIS, ICA, ICCA, ITA, ÖVS, PSSP, SAA, UIA, expert WIPO, FIDIC independent consultant, dispute board adjudicator;

Dispute Board Federation (DBF) and International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)


Chairman, sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator or counsel in over 300 arbitrations, handled in English, French, German, Czech, Polish and Russian.


Arbitration Seats: Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and U.S.A.




Parties from: Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Chanel Islands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong-Kong, India, Iran, Ireland, Ile of Man, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, U.K., U.S.A.


Laws Applied: Austria, Belarus, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Florida, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Lithuania, Minnesota, Moldova, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK, USA (American Federal Law).


Co-arbitrators from: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, U.K., U.S.A.


Panels of



VIAC, AAA-ICDR, WIPO, INTA, ACICA, Tribunal Arbitral du Sport, ICAC Kyiv, ICAC Moscow, IHK, KLRCA Malaysia, CEPANI, HKIAC, KCAB, SIAC, The Cairo Regional Centre, Dubai International Arbitration Center, CIETAC, Teheran Regional Arbitration Centre, Polish Bank Association, Polish Chamber of Information Technology; major courts of arbitration in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republik, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia.






















“United Nations for a Better World” – Medaille, 1985


Particularly recommended in the field of intellectual property law and recognized as an expert in court dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration by Legalease (European Legal Experts catalogue, since 2001), nominated as one of the leading practitioners by Who’s Who Legal – Commercial Arbitration, since 2007, named as leading individual in Practical Law Company Yearbook 2008 and 2009, highly recommended for dispute resolution by Global Chambers Report.

Rated “as the best arbitrator and counsel” in Poland by Who’s Who Legal – Commercial Arbitration, 2008 (p. 4, 2nd column).

PLC Which Lawyer? has listed the name as Leading Individual in Dispute Resolution since 13th edition (2008).

Selected to be included since the 2010 edition of Best Lawyers in Poland in the specialty of Arbitration and Mediation.

Gold Cross of Merit granted by the President of the Republic of Poland for services rendered to arbitration and to the promotion of Poland as an arbitration venue.

Exclusive winner of the Arbitration category for Poland of the ILO (International Law Office) Client Choice Award 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Chambers Global 2013 and Chambers Europe 2014 decided on the individual nomination to the list of The World’s Leading Lawyers in the field of Dispute Resolution (Poland), arbitration international (Europe-wide) and Most in Demand Arbitrators (Europe-wide) and listed the name in the Chambers Legal Directories.



Founder Editor in Chief of Biuletyn Arbitrażowy, co-author of UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules Commentary, more than 100 articles on arbitration and mediation.