Ian L. Meakin has extensive experience in dispute resolution, international business law, including fraud, and trusts and estates. Ian acts as an advocate in international commercial arbitration as well as before the English courts. He also sits as an arbitrator. Ian has been involved in some of the largest and most high profile arbitrations around (e.g. IPOC).

He is also known as an expert in sports law, advising and appearing in sports arbitrations, including the International Court of the Appeal of the FIA (Formula One) as well as FIFA, CAS and other arbitral tribunals where he has acted for teams, athletes and drivers, sponsors and sporting federations.

Ian is based in Geneva where he has practiced for the last twenty four years. He is available for English and off-shore court and advisory work. He accepts instructions both in English and in French.

Meakin, Ian The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Areas of experience

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  • Arbitration

    Recommended in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, Ian has experience in both institutional (ICC, LCIA, CCIG, Zurich IAR, GAFTA, NAI, Refined Sugar Association, LMAA, etc.) and ad hoc (including UNCITRAL) international arbitrations (in Geneva, Zurich, London and Paris) subject to various procedural and substantive laws as chairman, sole arbitrator, party and court appointed co-arbitrator, and as counsel. Ian is an active member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), the ICC, the LCIA and the Swiss Arbitration Association.

    His areas of specialisation within this area of practice include commodities, construction law, oil and gas, international joint ventures, commercial contracts, pharmaceutical research and development contracts, international sale of goods, shipping and maritime law, sports law.

    Some examples of his recent arbitrations include:

    • Federation International d’automobile arbitration between McLaren, BMW and Ferrari (2007).
    • FIFA arbitration in relation to allegations of breach of contract and match fixing (2008)
    • One of the largest arbitrations ever (over US$ 1 billion) in Zurich concerning the exercise of an option agreement in a telecommunications company and thus the controlling stake in the corporation.
    • Arbitration in Geneva under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration. The dispute concerned a Formula 1 sponsorship agreement.
    • Arbitration in Zurich in a US$ 100m dispute involving a port in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    • Arbitrations in London under GAFTA for several million dollars in a dispute regarding the delivery of wheat.
  • Commercial Litigation

    Ian is an experienced advocate whose areas of specialisation within the litigation arena include commodities, construction law, oil and gas, international joint ventures, commercial contracts, pharmaceutical research and development contracts, international sale of goods, shipping and maritime law, sports law.

    Ian also has experience in the strategic co-ordination of large international litigation matters involving debt collection following commercial fraud, including assistance in the obtaining and the execution of search and seizure orders, disclosure orders against banks and third parties, as well as asset location and freezing.

    Ian is currently involved in a large commercial fraud case before the High Court of Tanzania.

  • Sport and Media

    Ian is recognised as an expert in sports law by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

    He has acted for Formula One teams, drivers, athletes, agents, advertisers, sponsors and sporting federations before international arbitral tribunals, the International Court of Appeal of the Féderation Internationale de l’Automobiles, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, FIFA, as well as in the English High Court.

    Ian himself has a sports background. He was a competitive swimmer for more than 20 years as a sprint freestyle and butterfly specialist. He represented Swiss Cottage (London), the University of London (captain), European Select, Middlesex County and Genève Natation (Swiss champion in 1994). At school he was a national finalist many times. Ian currently swims with the masters’ team of Plan les Ouates in Geneva.

    Ian’s high profile cases include the Formula One “double-diffusers” case and the “fuel in the tank” dispute. In the latter case he successfully defended BMW Sauber, preventing Lewis Hamilton winning the Drivers Championship in 2008.

  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Ian is a registered Trust and Estates Practitioner (STEP) and drafts and advises on international estate planning, trusts, wills and domicile.

    Ian acts and advises in contentious trust cases in England and internationally, including civil fraud, tracing and asset recovery in trust and estate matters. He is currently acting in several complex estate cases recovering assets for trust and will beneficiaries.