Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts

Dr. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts


Dr. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts primarily acts as arbitrator and counsel in arbitrations.

Nils has acted under various institutional and ad hoc rules (ICC, LCIA, SCC, VIAC, DIA, FAI, SCAI and DIS) as well as under various laws (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Serbia, Switzerland, Swedish, Turkey and Qatar).

Moreover, Nils represents clients in proceedings before German courts with a particular focus on cartel damages and enforcement of foreign awards and judgments.

In addition, he also often represents clients in DAB, mediation and other ADR proceedings with a particular focus on construction and offshore windfarm disputes.

Nils’ industry focus lies in the areas automotive, construction, energy, international trade (CISG), infrastructure and transport as well as joint ventures and post-M&A.

Nils holds a Doctor of Laws in international sales law (CISG) and is a visiting professor for international arbitration at the Universities of Berlin and Freiburg. He also regularly speaks at international conferences and issues academic publications.

Nils speaks German, English and French.

As Arbitrator

Chairman, Sole Arbitrator and Party-Appointed Arbitrator in more than 35 domestic and international arbitration proceedings (ICC, Swiss Rules, VIAC, DIS, DIA, FAI and ad hoc) with amounts in dispute up to EUR 125 million.


As Counsel in arbitral proceedings

Representation of domestic and foreign companies in ICC, DIS, SCC and LCIA as well as in ad hoc arbitration proceedings with amounts in dispute up to EUR 350 million. 


As Counsel in state court proceedings

Representation of domestic and foreign companies before German courts (i.a. enforcement of arbitral awards and follow-on-damage claims) with amounts in dispute up to EUR 50 million.  


Co-Counsel and expert

Co-counsel and expert arrangements with domestic and foreign law firms


  • International trade, construction, energy (in particular, on and offshore wind energy), infrastructure and transport as well as post-M&A
  • International contract law, commercial and corporate law, sales law (i.a. CISG), construction law and transport and distribution law, energy law, antitrust law
  • International private law, law of international civil procedure and comparative law



  • German
  • English
  • French
  • Recommended by Who's Who Legal as a Thought Leader for Germany

  • Recommended by JUVE as one of Germany’s 30 most renowned arbitrators

  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is "highly visible and on almost every shortlist of arbitrators”
    Who’s Who Legal

  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is "an exceptional lawyer who is very business-oriented and very strategic
    Who’s Who Legal

  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is "an outstandingperformer with the sharpest legal mind and impressive clients
    Who’s Who Legal

  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is an"excellent arbitrator,legally exact and to the point 
    Who’s Who Legal 

  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is "a class act who is very business-oriented and very strategic and a very smart and well-prepared arbitrator”
    Who’s Who Legal
  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is "a big star in the German market, commended by international peers for his top-tier work as arbitrator.”
    Who’s Who Legal

  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is an "extremely good lawyer”
    The Legal 500
  • Since 2011
    HANEFELD, Hamburg
  • 2009 - 2011
    CMS Hasche Sigle, Munich (Member of the International Litigation and Arbitration Department headed by Dr. Klaus Sachs)
  • 2007 - 2009
    Legal traineeship including work experience with the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France, Hengeler Mueller in Berlin and the German Embassy in Cambodia
  • 2005 - 2007
    Doctor of Laws (Dr. iur.) and Research and Teaching Assistant at the Institute for Foreign and International Private Law, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1999 - 2005
    University of Freiburg and University of Grenoble
  • Lecturer for International Arbitration and CISG at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg
  • Co-founder of the International Dispute Resolution Master and lecturer for international arbitration at the Humboldt-University of Berlin
2020SCAI Innovation ConferenceFast and FuriousZurichSwitzerland
2019DIS40 eventReform of the German Arbitration ActBerlinGermany
2017University of KonstanzThe right place of arbitration in case of BREXITKonstanzGermany
2017ICC YAF eventEnergy DisputesDüsseldorfGermany
2017ICC YAF eventThe impact of the energy revolution in Germany on electricity supply contractsDüsseldorfGermany
2016Unconscious Bias & NegotiationMinimizing unconscious bias - a checklist for arbitratorsViennaAustria
2016ICC YAF eventRoundtable moderator at the Co-Chairs’ CircleHelsinkiFinland
2016ICC YAF eventArbitrating East-West Disputes in the Time of SanctionsHelsinkiFinland
2016"YIAG meets Vis" event during the Vis MootDocument productionViennaAustria
2016Hanover PreMoot ConferenceDamages under the CISGHanoverGermany
2015Kiev Arbitration DaysArbitral activism v impartialityKievUkraine
2015LCIA/YIAG - Tylney HallN.N.LondonUnited Kingdom
2015ICC YAF eventIndependence and impartiality – the new IBA GuidelinesCopenhagenDenmark
2015ICC YAF eventEmergency arbitrators – success stories and challengesCologneGermany
2015ICC YAF eventChallenges for a new generation of arbitratorsFrankfurt am MainGermany
2014YAAP roundtableInternational ArbitrationViennaAustria
2014ICC YAF conferenceThe future of investment arbitrationHamburgGermany
2014YIAG conferenceCounsel ethics in international arbitrationIstanbulTurkey
2014ICC YAF Regional conferenceParticipation in the Europe Hall DebateRomeItaly
2013European Business SchoolInternational Sales LawWiesbadenGermany
2013Baltic Arbitration Days 2013Arbitration and Project FinanceRigaLatvia
2013ASA Below 40 conferenceManaging the process: notice of the proceedings, appointing the tribunal, non-­payment of advances, fixing the procedure, managing the hearingGenevaSwitzerland
2013ICC Austria SeminarGerman law in international contractsViennaAustria
2013ICC YAF conferenceThe CISG in ArbitrationParisFrance
2013"Evidence in Arbitration" conferenceGroups of Experts: A New Approach to Expert EvidenceWarsawPoland
2012International conferences in Wellington and AucklandBridging the divide between party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expertsAucklandNew Zealand
2012International conference organized by the ICC YAFN.N.BerlinGermany
2012DIS40 eventSports ArbitrationBerlinGermany
2012N.N.Integration of Technologies in Legal MattersDüsseldorfGermany
2012In-house seminarThe CISG - a good choice for buyersCologneGermany
2012ICC Austria seminarWorkshop on "German law as an alternative in international contracts"ViennaAustria
2012International conference on sports arbitrationSports Arbitration in Germany - The Rules and Practice of the DIS Court of Arbitration for SportsWarsawPoland
2020Dispute resolution by Dispute Adjudication Boards - practical advice on the structuring and conduct of proceedings (in German)BauR 2020, pp. 1385 et seq
2020Commentary of Articles 25-27 and 71-73 CISG (in German)Beck Online Commentary on the CISG (the leading German online commentary)
2020The BGH’s fine adjustments as to the consequences of the violation of disclosure obligations for setting aside and enforcement procedures (in German)SchiedsVZ 2020, pp. 35 et seq.
2019Commentary of Articles 74-77 CISGBrunner/Gottlieb (ed.), Commentary on the UN Sales Law (CISG)
2019Country Report: GermanyWeigand/Baumann (ed.), Practitioners Handbook on International Commercial Arbitration, 3rd ed.
2019The Consequences of the Non-Disclosure of Conflict of Interest on the Enforceability of Awards: The German StanceKluwer Arbitration Blog
2018The "Right" Place of Arbitration: How Germany Might Profit from BrexitSchiedsVZ 2018, pp. 281 et seq.
2015Enforcement of international arbitral awards in GermanyPractice Note for LexisPSL
2014Commentary of Art. 74-77 CISG (in German)Brunner (ed.), Commentary on the UN Sales Law (CISG), 2nd ed.
2013Commentary of Art. 7-10 and 21 ICC Arbitration Rules (in German)Nedden/Herzberg (ed.), Practice Commentary on ICC Arbitration Rules / DIS Arbitration Rules
2013Commentary of Sec. 13 and 23 DIS Arbitration Rules (in German)Nedden/Herzberg (ed.), Practice Commentary on ICC Arbitration Rules / DIS Arbitration Rules
2012Expert Teaming - Bridging the Divide Between Party-Appointed and Tribunal-Appointed ExpertsWellington Law Review 2012, pp. 653 et seq.
2011Applicable law in arbitration proceedings seated in Germany (jointly with Dr. Philipp Höttler; in German)SchiedsVZ 2011, pp. 267 et seq.
2010Expert evidence under the 2010 IBA Rules (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)International Arbitration Law Review 2010, pp. 216 et seq.
2010Settlement Efforts in Arbitration (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)Revista de Arbitragem e Mediação 2010, pp. 161 et seq.
2010Diverging concepts of the Principle of Competence-Competence (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)New Developments in International Commercial Arbitration 2010, pp. 1 et seq.
2010Protocol on Expert Training: A New Approach to Expert Evidence (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)ICCA Congress Series 2010, pp. 135 et seq.
2010Introduction to the law of arbitration (in German)JURA 2010, pp. 520 et seq.
2007Specific Performance, Damages and Avoidance under the CISG (dissertation, in German)Mohr Siebeck
2006Recoverability of frustrated expenses under the CISG (in German)IHR 2006, pp. 67 et seq.
  • Appointed member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR
  • Appointed member of the ICC Commission's Task Force on "Maximizing the Probative Value of Witness Evidence"
  • German Arbitration Institute (DIS)
  • Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA)
  • Hamburg Arbitration Circle
  • Former Regional Coordinator Europe & Russia ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF)
  • Former Regional Coordinator Europe LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)