Tanya Landon is a partner in the firm’s Global Arbitration and Commercial Litigation and Disputes groups with almost 18 years of experience in international dispute resolution. She focuses her practice on international commercial and investment treaty arbitration, state-to-state disputes, and complex cross-border litigation, acting as counsel and arbitrator before the major arbitral institutions.
“Teaching and interacting with the next generation of arbitration practitioners is a real privilege.”
What attracted you to the practice of law and what aspect of your practice do you enjoy the most?
Initially, I was most attracted to a career in law because of the versatility and diversity of work within the profession. As an international arbitration lawyer, I have been well served. Each case I have worked on has been different, involving clients from different countries, sectors, and industries, speaking different languages, and under different governing laws. Over time, the aspects of my job that I have come to enjoy the most are working through complex problems, determining the best strategy for a given issue or problem, and working together as a team to achieve results for our clients.
Tell us about a professional goal you are proud of achieving, and what (or who) inspired you to go for it.
I recently delivered a keynote speech at an arbitration conference organized by the MIDS Alumni Association in Geneva. The topic of the speech was “Investment Arbitration and Climate Change Disputes: A certain friend in uncertain times.” I had never delivered a keynote speech before, and I was particularly excited about the prospect since I have been teaching a legal writing workshop at the MIDS (a specialized Masters’ program for international dispute settlement) for the past 10 years. It was wonderful to address a room full of former students who have now gone on to become experienced international arbitration practitioners in their own right. Teaching and interacting with the next generation of arbitration practitioners is a real privilege.
What is one of your most memorable professional experiences and what made it so memorable?
One of my most memorable professional experiences is the first time I cross-examined a fact witness during an international arbitration hearing. The witness was a member of Parliament of a Central Asian country and a formidable looking figure. The hearing room was full of dozens of lawyers and up until that point in the hearing, all of the advocacy had been conducted solely by senior male lawyers. When it was my turn to start the cross examination, the President of the Arbitral Tribunal – a very well-known international arbitrator who is incredibly supportive of younger and diverse lawyers – gave me a huge smile and warmly welcomed my presence “at the head of the table.” His kind words, as well as the fantastic support and training I had received from my more senior colleagues and mentors, gave me the confidence I needed to perform the cross, keep my cool, and get some great admissions from the witness.
On a personal note, what has been your go-to self-care activity?
Twice-weekly aquabike sessions, meditation (especially before bed if my mind is racing after a busy day), and hikes in the mountains to reconnect with nature.
Can you share with us a saying or quote that gives you inspiration or helps you stay centered?
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein