Clayton Utz partner Doug Jones has made history after being elected as the first Australian to head up the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Jones, the head of the Clayton Utz international arbitration group, said he saw his election as a means to "advance Australia's position as a major player in the lucrative cross border dispute resolution market".
Having previously served as the vice president and deputy president, Jones told Lawyers Weekly that he was "very proud" to have now been elected president of the 12,000 strong body.
"My election will help to showcase the benefits that Australia can provide as a destination for international arbitration, and claim its rightful place, particularly in Asia, as a leading mediation and arbitration centre."
Jones will combine this role with his work at Clayton Utz and membership of a number of Australian dispute resolution bodies. He is also the president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), director of the Australian International Disputes Centre and the only Australian member of the London Court of International Arbitration.
The Australian legal community has praised the historic appointment of Jones to lead the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Retired Chief Justice of the High Court, Murray Gleeson, the patron of the Australian Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, said that the appointment shows the "esteem to which he [Jones] is held overseas".
Former High Court judge Michael Kirby called Jones "a special treasure", and commented that "no one has worked harder or more successfully over many years to put Australia on the map of international commercial arbitration".
The position of president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators rotates on an annual basis.