Reflections on the WagArb Internship Experience


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Reflections on the WagArb Internship Experience

18 July 2017

We at WAGNER Arbitration have had the pleasure of working together with three visiting lawyers from various jurisdictions in the past months – Ella Wisniewski, Doguhan Uygun and Perttu Kaikkonen – who are all participants of Humboldt-University’s LL.M. program on International Dispute Resolution, as well as a law student of Humboldt University of Berlin – Boyan Arshinkov.

The four of them have taken the time to put together an article reflecting on their experience at the firm, which we are happy to share with you below.

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It is not every day that four lawyers can agree on something, and rarer still when the lawyers hail from disparate corners of the globe.

But sitting down to pen some thoughts on our internship experience at Wagner Arbitration, we (a Finn, a Turk, a Bulgarian and an Australian) found we had plenty of reflections in common.

Firstly, we all noted that from day one of our respective internships, we felt instantly welcome. The phrase ‘corporate culture’ is thrown around a lot these days, but WagArb truly is an environment that is as warm as it is professional. We were encouraged to share our ideas, input, and constructive criticism at weekly ‘jour fixe’ meetings. At the Friday lunch, we enjoyed a meal prepared by a different member of the WagArb team each week, which often took on a particular theme from the chef’s country of origin. The lunches also provided an opportunity to exchange international perspectives on current events, and the sharing of ideas  – whether cultural, political or social – became a common theme.

The connection between legal practitioners and the academic community feels particularly close in Berlin, with many law firms situated a stone’s throw away from the Humboldt University campus.

While the two fields can often feel worlds apart, we noticed that WagArb places considerable value on making regular contributions to the academic sphere. Philipp Wagner has a long-standing engagement as a lecturer at Humboldt University, while Joseph Schwartz is actively involved in the Willem C. Vis Moot Competition, which attracts many applicants each year. WagArb further contributes by writing articles on topical subjects, and sharing them either in full on the Wagner Arbitration Journal, or as easily digestible posts on LinkedIn. We each made our own contribution in this way, by investigating the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in our country of origin, and compiling our findings into a Q&A style article.

During our time at WagArb, we had the opportunity to receive practical insight into two key areas of our study: the role of party counsel in arbitral proceedings, and the role of the arbitrator.

In cooperation with one of the WagArb lawyers, we were able to observe the integral activities of each role, and obtain valuable experience therefrom. Finally, we were able to hone our oral advocacy skills by partaking in a rhetorics training session with John Faulk, WagArb’s embedded oral advocacy coach. We had a lot of fun, and left our training sessions with a renewed awareness of the importance of getting one’s message across with clarity and conviction.

Since our internships concluded, we have gone our separate ways, with some staying in Germany and some travelling back to our respective home countries. However, we all agree that our time at WagArb not only bolstered our professional growth, but also introduced us to some of the most warm-hearted and capable lawyers in Germany. We look forward to seeing them again at the next WagArb alumni event!






Über die Autoren

Boyan Arshinkov

Boyan is originally Bulgarian and currently wrapping up his law studies at Berlin Humboldt University. Furthermore, he is coaching the 2017 Vis Moot team of Humboldt University, after having participated himself in 2016. He is also engaged as a consultant with the Law & Legal student consultancy and a founding and active member of the German – Bulgarian student association Hashovee.V. His working languages are English, German and Bulgarian.

Ella Wisniewski

Ella Wisniewski is admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia as a lawyer and, before embarking on her academic stay in Berlin, worked for the Environmental Defender’s Office of Western Australia as well as boutique firm Haynes Robinson Lawyers. She has previously been a participant of the Vis Moot Competition for the University of Notre Dame team, which is where she completed her Bachelor’s degrees in law and history. She speaks French and English.

Perttu Kaikkonen

Perttu is a Finnish lawyer and an associate at Nordia Attorneys in Helsinki. Perttu has studied law at the University of Helsinki and has also spent a semester abroad studying at Freie Universität Berlin. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Helsinki. His working languages are English, Swedish and Finnish.

Doguhan Uygun

Doguhan is a Turkish lawyer and currently an LL.M. candidate in International Dispute Resolution at Humboldt University. He has previously worked for Paksoy as mid-level associate, where he was able to gain experience in their dispute resolution practice and in mergers & acquisitions. Doguhan studied law in Ankara and Istanbul, his working languages include English and Turkish, and he is currently polishing up on his German while in Berlin.


About Wagner Arbitration

The law firm WAGNER Arbitration has its offices in Berlin and specializes in dispute resolution with a focus on arbitration. In addition, the firm offers comprehensive counseling services related to domestic and international business disputes and transactions.