It is with profound sorrow that we write about the demise of Prof. J. Martin Hunter and the void his absence has created in the legal fraternity. His name needs no introduction in the arbitration world, for he was a doyen of his field. An acclaimed arbitrator, academician and author, for most people his name was synonymous to International Arbitration.
In a career spanning over five decades, Prof. Hunter started out as a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he spearheaded his firm’s International Arbitration practice. Freshfields’s arbitration practice is one of the most renowned practices in the world today. After around 30 years at Freshfields, he joined Essex Court Chambers as a Barrister. Other than being a Solicitor and Barrister, Prof. Hunter also worked as a mediator and was a member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration. He chaired the Board of Trustees of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and was deputy-chair of the UK Government’s Committee on arbitration law reform, which steered the English Arbitration Act 1996 through Parliament.
Most students, including us at CADR-RGNUL, recognize him as the co-author of “Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration”, which is till date the leading text on the Subject. His name was the first that many of us encountered in the sphere of international arbitration. “The English Arbitration Act 1996: Text and Notes” (with Toby Landau), and the arbitration title of “Halsbury’s Laws” (with Ben Pilling) are few of the several masterpieces Prof. Hunter curated in his lifetime.
Every aspiring lawyer aims and will continue to aim at being everything that Prof. Hunter was. His students, mentees and research assistants, with his able guidance, have now become leading Arbitration practitioners themselves. We had the privilege of interacting with one such mentee, Mr. Anubhab Sarkar, during his credit course in collaboration with CADR-RGNUL in 2019, where through the anecdotes narrated by Mr. Sarkar, we got to know the absolute gem of a person that Prof. Martin was.
CADR- RGNUL will always strive to cherish and continue his legacy by encouraging and promoting intellectual discussion and discourse on the topic of Arbitration. Prof. Martin’s contributions to the field of Arbitration have immortalized him. We, at CADR, celebrate the life of this pioneering stalwart of International Arbitration, who shall forever live in the hearts of the numerous souls he touched and inspired.