Dr. iur., Attorney at Law
Diana Akikol represents clients in complex commercial arbitrations and regularly sits as an arbitrator, often as president. She has acted as counsel or arbitrator in more than 60 arbitrations seated in a number of jurisdictions and involving claims governed by various national laws (including, inter alia, French, English, Italian and US laws). Her expertise extends to both proceedings conducted under the rules of major arbitral institutions (e.g. ICC, Swiss Rules, LCIA and DIS Rules) and ad hoc arbitrations (including UNCITRAL).
She has been active in a wide range of contractual and commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on sales of goods, commodities and energy trading, M&A, shareholder agreements, joint ventures, agency, licence and distribution agreements (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry), as well as services and consultancy agreements, in particular in the industrial, military and telecommunications sectors. Moreover, she has many years of experience in construction arbitration. In recent years, her emphasis has been on post M&A disputes and warranty claims relating to large infrastructure projects. She is frequently involved in disputes involving parties from the Middle East.
Ranked as a leader in her field, both in Europe and globally, Diana Akikol “impresses peers with her mastery of complex technical facts and very profound legal knowledge” (Who's Who Legal Arbitration 2019) and is described as “very quick in understanding and very dedicated” (Chambers Global 2020). She is recommended as “a very strong practitioner” (Who's Who Legal 2020 Switzerland Arbitration) and “a highly intelligent and accurate arbitrator” (Who's Who Legal Arbitration Future Leaders Partners 2018). In 2018, Who’s Who Legal’s Future Leaders edition ranked her among the most highly regarded arbitration partners in Europe.
Diana Akikol holds positions with major arbitral institutions and professional bodies. She serves on the ICC Swiss National Committee and is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR in Paris, including the Commission’s Task Force “Addressing Issues of Corruption in International Arbitration”. In 2020, she joined the board of the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), the Arbitration Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI) and the International Advisory Body of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC).
She regularly speaks and publishes in her field. Several of her contributions deal with proceedings for the setting aside of arbitral awards before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. She has published a doctoral thesis on the warranty regime under Swiss law and the UN Sales Convention (CISG) and co-authored a commentary on the CISG. She teaches international arbitration in a master programme under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation in Turin.
Diana Akikol holds a law degree from the University of Fribourg and a doctorate degree from the University of Lucerne, both summa cum laude. She was admitted to the bar in 2002, ranked first of her class, and initially served as a law clerk in the White-Collar Crime Division of the High Court of Berne. From 2007 to 2014, she specialised in international arbitration with the Geneva office of a leading Swiss law firm. As of 2014, she successfully continued her arbitration practice as a co-founder of a Geneva-based business law boutique, before joining Walder Wyss as a partner in 2020.
Diana Akikol is a native German speaker and fluent in English and French. She has basic knowledge of Turkish.