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Greetings! I’m Ed Lenci, Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s International Section.  I welcome you to the International Section’s web-pages and invite you to join us.  As a Section member, you’ll join a large network of lawyers world-wide and over 70 chapters on every continent except Antarctica. Additionally, you’ll have opportunities to organize and/or speak at webinars and conferences. You can also join in the dialogue about all things international, a dialogue made all the more necessary – indeed, mandatory – in the world we must face boldly now and after this tempus horribilis.

The International Section is the face of NYSBA internationally. Before the pandemic, the Section had for decades held two conferences a year outside the U.S. and we hope to continue that tradition, starting with a European regional conference in Madrid in late April 2022 and a global conference in London the following November. Moreover, the Section has entered into memoranda of understanding with a number of bar associations and groups the world over, most recently, with the Milan Bar Association, the Osaka Bar Association, and the Philippine Bar Association. The Section has more than 40 substantive law committees, in areas of interest such as cybersecurity and data privacy, human rights, trade, financial services, immigration, corporate counsel, international arbitration and litigation, and tax. There is truly something for everyone everywhere in the International Section.

During the pandemic, the Section continued to thrive.  It hosted virtual conferences and webinars on a variety of cutting-edge topics relevant to public and private international law and practice, including ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate) compliance, the rule of law, commercial and investor-state arbitration, international trusts and estates planning, the impact of Brexit, microfinance, investment in Latin America, the South China Sea dispute between China and the Republic of the Philippines, the status of Hong Kong, cross-border litigation in Asia, and much more.  You can watch these programs, most at no charge, by clicking on the Program Archives tab on the left or visiting the On-Demand CLE catalog.

The Section has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI.  In fact, the Section’s last global conference before the pandemic, held in Tokyo in November 2019, was titled “A World of Many Voices, United in Our Diversity.” The conference featured a unique Human Rights Plenary that addressed DEI, marriage equality, and human trafficking. Another panel discussed the need to appoint more diverse persons as arbitrators. As an outgrowth of that conference, the Section amended its by-laws in 2020 to expressly prioritize the achievement of DEI.  In the revised by-laws, the Section established numerical targets and added two Diversity Officers to its already diverse leadership. The Diversity Officers are responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Section’s diversity goals.

The Section has two publications. The New York International Law Review is staffed by students at St. John’s University School of Law, under the guidance of Professor of Law Margaret E. McGuinness. It publishes articles related to the substance and practice of international law.  The International Law Practicum features peer-written, substantive articles relating to the practical needs of attorneys in an international setting, emphasizing clinical matters and exploring the application of international law for the generalist.

I hope you accept this invitation to join our vibrant and exciting group.  Please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] if you are interested.


Ed Lenci
Section Chair



Contact the International Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Carra Forgea
[email protected]
(518) 487-5521

Please do not contact the Section liaison with a request for legal advice or an attorney referral. You can instead visit our ‘Public Resources’ or ‘Lawyer Referral Service’ page for this type of request.

Ed Lenci

Edward K. Lenci, Esq.

The International Section’s chair, Ed Lenci, is a partner in the New York office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

He litigates and arbitrates business disputes, defends businesses sued in class action lawsuits, and is chair of the Reinsurance Section of his firm’s global Insurance Services Practice Group. He has considerable appellate experience as well; and a number of his appellate victories involve arbitration, including a class action defense victory in the U.S. Supreme Court, which enforced the class action waiver in a student loan’s arbitral provisions. Ed is an arbitrator, too, and brings to that new role over three decades’ experience as an advocate in many arbitrations and the judicial proceedings that often follow. Drawing on his extensive experience with international and domestic arbitration, he drafts arbitral provisions tailored to the unique needs of each client, and he co-authored the ARIAS-U.S. International Arbitration Form for use in international insurance and reinsurance contracts.

Given his extensive knowledge and background, Ed is often sought by national media outlets for comment and insights. Forbes, American Banker, Law360, and the New York Law Journal are among the publications that have quoted Ed on a range of topics, including international arbitration, class actions and class action waivers, reinsurance disputes, sovereign immunity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and diversity, equity, and inclusion in ADR. He has spoken around the world and written on the same topics. Additionally, he served three terms (2017-2019) on the Editorial Advisory Board of Law360 International Arbitration and was a charter member of the Editorial Board of Reinsurance & Arbitration (HarrisMartin Publ.).  While in Dublin in 2017 for the Section’s regional conference, which he co-chaired, Ed was interviewed in 2017 on RTÉ, Ireland’s national radio and television broadcaster, about legal opportunities in Ireland after Brexit.

Prior to joining Hinshaw, Ed had his own firm, Wilker & Lenci, LLP, a highly-regarded New York City boutique firm that focused on reinsurance disputes and international arbitration. Before that, he was a partner in the New York office of a large, international law firm. Ed began his legal career at “Big Four” Mori, Hamada & Matsumoto (then Hamada & Matsumoto) in Tokyo after his first year at Columbia University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1990 with honors.  Between college and law school, Ed attended ICU (International Christian University) in Japan.

He is co-chair of ARIAS-U.S.’s International Committee, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a founding member of the New York Branch of Arbitration Ireland.  He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, and the courts of New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)

Ed has been married for over thirty years to Monica Lenci, an artist. They live in Greenwich, CT.

Online Community


The New York International Law Review features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of international law on such topics as NAFTA, terrorist financing restrictions, the collection of money judgments outside the U.S., foreign direct investments, and trade agreements. Together with St. John’s University School of Law, the International Section publishes The New York International Law Review twice per year and distributes issues to Section Members free of charge.

The New York International Law Review is published as a benefit for members of the International Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

Cover_2020 Intl Practicum Vol 1

International Law Practicum

The International Law Practicum features peer-written, substantive articles relating to the practical needs of attorneys in an international setting, emphasizing clinical matters as opposed to academic, exploring the application of international law for the generalist rather than theoretical discussions for the expert. Edited by Torsten Kracht, Esq. (Editor-in-Chief), and assisted by Andria Adigwe, the International Law Practicum is published twice per year by the International Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.

The International Law Practicum is published as a benefit for members of the International Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

New York International Chapter News

The New York International Chapter News merged with the International Law Practicum, effective with the Autumn 2014 issue. You can find reports on current issues and updates on international law, country news, member news, firm news and Section activities in the International Law Practicum. Archived issues from 2000-2014 will be available soon.

Author Guidelines

NYSBA has created comprehensive author guidelines, with information regarding our reprint policy, style guidelines, and obtaining MCLE Author Credits.

Section Reports

Nuclear Weapons and International Law 2020: Virtual Conference

A Diversity Committee Cultural Reflection on Black History Month in the United States and Brazil

Black History Month in the United States came officially to a close yesterday, but what it represents transcends 28, or 29, days on a calendar. During the last week of Black History Month, Robson Oliveira, of Demarest Advogados in São Paulo, Brazil, and D.L. Morriss, of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and one of the International Section’s two Diversity Officers, joined in a dialogue that highlighted the significance of the celebration of Black history, and the history of all persons of color, the world over. Given the need to translate from Portuguese to English and vice versa, the final product took a little longer to finalize. We are pleased to share that dialogue with you now.

International Section Committee


Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition Award

To foster legal scholarship among law students in the field of international law. The competition is intended to encourage students of law to write on areas of public or private international law. The Section believes that by providing a forum for students to disseminate their ideas and articles, the professional and academic communities are enriched. Furthermore, the competition presents an opportunity for students to submit law review quality articles to the Section for possible publication in one of its publications.

Distinction in International Law and Affairs

To honor outstanding efforts in the area of international law and affairs.

Presented by: International Section

 Carra Forgea

Nomination Deadline: November 6, 2020

Date Presented: January Annual Meeting 2021

Award Criteria: A major contribution during the year (or during an entire career) to the global development of international law or the rule of law; and a willingness to speak or send a suitable alternate to accept the award at the Annual Meeting.

Prize Awarded:

2022 Award Winner

Dennis W.H. Kwok
Dennis W.H. Kwok

The International Section is pleased to announce that Dennis W.H. Kwok will receive the Section’s annual Award for Distinction in International Law and Affairs. The Award recognizes the recipient’s contribution to the rule of law and the global development of international law. Details about the timing of the presentation of the award at the upcoming Annual Meeting will follow.

Mr. Kwok was elected to represent the legal profession in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council from 2012-2020. At considerable risk to himself, he was a leading, tireless advocate for the rule of law, greater democracy, and respect for human rights in Hong Kong, as promised under the Sino British Joint Declaration, an international treaty registered with the UN. He also actively pressed the international community for support.

Mr. Kwok was also a leader in the campaign to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. He and others successfully lobbied the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for better ESG disclosure requirements concerning forced labor practices in supply chains.

More information about Mr. Kwok can be found at:

2020 Award Winner

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
United Nations ODA was established in January 1998 as the Department for Disarmament Affairs which was part of the SG’s programme for reform in accordance with his report to the General Assembly (A/51/950). It was originally established in 1982 upon the recommendation of the General Assembly’s second special session on disarmament (SSOD II). In 1992, its name was changed to Centre for Disarmament Affairs, under the Department of Political Affairs. At the end of 1997, it was renamed Department for Disarmament Affairs and in 2007, it became the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

The Office for Disarmament Affairs supports multilateral efforts aimed at achieving the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. The mandate for the programme is derived from the priorities established in relevant General Assembly resolutions and decisions in the field of disarmament, including the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly, the first special session devoted to disarmament (resolution S-10/2). Weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, continue to be of primary concern owing to their destructive power and the threat that they pose to humanity. The Office also works to address the humanitarian impact of major conventional weapons and emerging weapon technologies, such as autonomous weapons, as these issues have received increased attention from the international community.

UNODA provides substantive and organizational support for norm-setting in the area of disarmament through the work of the General Assembly and its First Committee, the Disarmament Commission, the Conference on Disarmament and other bodies. It fosters disarmament measures through dialogue, transparency and confidence-building on military matters, and encourages regional disarmament efforts; these include the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and regional forums.

It also provides objective, impartial and up-to-date information on multilateral disarmament issues and activities to Member States, States parties to multilateral agreements, intergovernmental organizations and institutions, departments and agencies of the United Nations system, research and educational institutions, civil society, especially non-governmental organizations, the media and the general public.

UNODA supports the development and implementation of practical disarmament measures after a conflict, such as disarming and demobilizing former combatants and helping them to reintegrate in civil society.



We are pleased to announce the eighth annual SMU/NYSBA International Legal Internship Program (the “Program”) for the summer of 2018, in furtherance of our Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Management University, School of Law (“SMU”) originally executed in 2009, renewed in 2014, and renewed again last year.

The Program is a highly-successful law student internship placement initiative that was established back in 2011. Since the Program’s inception, the International Section has used its partnership with SMU to place a limited number of highly-accomplished top tier students from Singapore with New York City law firms and legal departments.


a. Participating Firm/Legal Department’s Responsibilities
Host law firms agree to provide a 4-8 week internship, which includes assignments appropriate to the student’s experience and language ability and the opportunity to participate in client meetings, document preparation and/or review and research. The host firms/departments agree to designate at least one lawyer to serve as mentor to the law student and to ensure the student receives a range of experience and an appropriate work load.

b. Cost to Participating Firm/Legal Department
There is no cost associated with participation in the Program, except to the extent that your law firm or legal department voluntarily chooses to pay a nominal stipend to cover some of the student’s travel costs and living expenses.

c. Intern Responsibilities
As previously mentioned, selected students are highly-accomplished top tier scholars that have been vetted through a highly-competitive selection process. Academic achievement and class standing are weighed most heavily.  In addition, significant weight is given to students who have a demonstrated interest in international, transnational and comparative law, as evidenced by their choices in course work, extracurricular activities and pre-law school experiences. All participating students are expected to be proficient in English.


With regard to pedagogy, SMU provides a seminar-style learning process that produces graduates who are confident, articulate and analytically agile – highly desirable attributes for lawyers, whether as litigators, transactional attorneys or judges. SMU’s mission is to train holistic lawyers who will lead and serve the community with distinction

a. SMU’s LL.B. Program
The LL.B. program is a 4-year direct honors program that offers admission to students after completing their junior college education (equivalent of high school in the U.S.). During this program, the students take 36 course units in various subject-areas. The subject-areas include required core legal classes, non-legal courses, and elective legal courses. For more information on the requirements of this program, please visit

b. SMU’s J.D. Program
J.D. students are required to take 25 course units. This program is comprised of 18.5 units in required legal courses and 6.5 units in legal elective courses. As these students have already completed their undergraduate studies in other disciplines, they are not required to take non-legal courses. The J.D. students are expected to complete the program within 3 years of full-time study and can be accelerated in some cases for completion within 2 to 2.5 years. For more information on the requirements of this program, please visit

c. Double Degree Program
Outstanding students may be admitted to the five-year Double Degree Program where they can read law as well as complete one of five degree programs in Business, Accountancy, Economics, Social Science, or Information Systems Management. About 30% of LL.B. students are registered in the Double Degree Program. For these students, their law degree is regarded as their primary degree.

d. SMU Internship Requirement
To qualify for graduation, LL.B. and J.D. students are required to complete certain internship placements (10 weeks for LL.B. students and 6 weeks for J.D. students) with law firms, legal departments of government, government-linked corporations, companies, multi-national corporations, etc.

The objective of the internship requirement is to acquaint students with the practical workings of the legal system and the realities of law practice in the private and public sectors. To ensure that the students have sufficient legal maturity to undertake an internship placement, LL.B. students must have completed at least two years of their law degree, and J.D. students must have completed the first year of their program. For more information on SMU’s internship requirements, please visit

Any firm or legal department interested in participating in this program should contact us as soon as possible, but not later than January 5, 2018.

Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Program Co-Chairs Ross J. Kartez ([email protected]) or William H. Schrag ([email protected]).


Program Archive

ESG: US and Brazilian Perspectives, Policies, and Politics (November 9, 2021)

ESG: US and Brazilian Perspectives, Policies, and Politics

The Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act: Should NY Enact It? (November 4, 2021)

Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act

How to Navigate Your Client Through the Danish Market (November 3, 2021)

How to Navigate Your Client through the Danish Market

Human Trafficking in Asia: Modern-Day Form of Slavery (October 6, 2021)

Human Trafficking

Raising the Bar Part II: Is Your Law Practice in the Spotlight? (October 5, 2021)

Raising the Bar Part I: Everyone Can Be A Rainmaker

Responding to Ransomware Attacks (September 30, 2021)

Responding to Ransomware Attacks

Raising the Bar Part I: Everyone Can Be A Rainmaker (September 28, 2021)

Raising the Bar Part I: Everyone Can Be a Rainmaker

International Parental Child Abduction Resources for the Practicing Lawyer (September 24, 2021)

International Parental Child Abduction Resources for the Practicing Lawyer

MOU Signing between the New York State Bar Association and the Georgian Bar Association (September 16, 2021)

MOU Georgian Bar

Investment Opportunities In The Innovation And Technology Sectors For US And LATAM Companies (August 18, 2021)

MOU Signing between the New York State Bar Association and the Philippine Bar Association (June 18, 2021)

MOU Philippine Bar

How Women from Five Countries View Post-Pandemic Office Returns (June 17, 2021)

How Women From Five Countries

Achmea – Three Years On and Around the World (June 16, 2021)


MOU Signing with the Osaka Bar Association followed by a Symposium (June 4, 2021)

Osaka Bar Association Webinar

MOU Signing with the Milan Bar Association followed by a Webinar — How to Enter the US Market: New Framework, Old Tips (April 28, 2021)

How to Enter US Market

Financial Services in Ireland Post-Brexit Part 1: EU Financial Regulation and Enforcement

Financial Services in Ireland Post-Brexit Part 1: EU Financial Regulation and Enforcement

Aviation Sector

Aviation Sector

Ireland and International Arbitration (Ireland for Law)

Ireland and International Arbitration (Ireland for Law)

Forget What You’ve Heard About GDPR

Forget What You've Heard About GDPR

Post-Brexit & Compliance: What’s the Score From the UK Perspective?

Post Brexit and Compliance

Microfinance: Will Institutions Survive the Pandemic?

Microfinance Program

Ireland for Law: Corporate Restructuring, Intellectual Property/Data Protection, and Derivatives

Ireland for Law

Enforcing International Arbitration Awards under the New York Convention (International Arbitration Webinar Series 2020)

Enforcing International Arbitration Awards under the New York Convention

Arbitrating Against States and State-Owned Entities (International Arbitration Webinar Series)

International Arbitration

Global Legal Market and the Benefits of Dual Qualification

Barbri Global Legal Markets

Advocacy in International Arbitration (International Arbitration Webinar Series 2020)

International Arbitration Dec 3

Planning for Arbitration: The Arbitration Agreement (International Arbitration Webinar Series 2020)

International Arbitration Dec 1

Mind The Gap: Divergence and Convergence in Sports Law and Business Across the Atlantic

Mind the Gap International

Nuclear Weapons And International Law 2020

International Nuclear Weapons

Looking at the North: Investment Opportunities for Latin American Companies

Looking at the North

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DUBLIN 2017 237

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