My practice is focused on commercial and investment arbitration. I act as counsel before arbitral tribunals and in Swedish courts. I also represent clients in the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign judgements. Receiving an appointment as arbitrator is always an honour. I have been appointed by SCC, FAI and ICC as well as by co-arbitrators in ad hoc proceedings and have served as sole, chair and party-appointed arbitrator.
Prior to founding Westerberg, I was a partner at another major Swedish law firm. Before joining the dispute resolution practice, I worked with mergers and acquisitions advising on corporate and contract law. In terms of industry knowledge, I particularly enjoy working on disputes in the telecom and IT areas. My interest in this field is a legacy of the seven years I spent as sales representative and project manager at Ericsson, the Swedish telecom giant.
The majority of the cases, in which I have acted as counsel or served as arbitrator, are related to Russia, Ukraine, CIS or Baltic countries. That is because, besides Swedish and English, I am fully proficient in Russian, while my native language is Latvian.
I currently serve as board member of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) as well as of the Swedish Women in Arbitration Network (SWAN) and the Swedish Arbitration Association (SAA). I am member of the Swedish Bar Association, the London Court of International Arbitration as well as the Policy Commission for Digital Economy at ICC Sweden.
Rankings and testimonials
Ranked in Chambers & Partners since 2021 “following impressive market recognition” with clients saying: “She is a very brave advocate and a good strategist” and “Ahrel is an effective manager and lawyer who has the tools to make good decisions in a variety of situations.”
Recognized as Future Leader in Arbitration by Global Arbitration Review and Who’s Who Legal annually since 2017 and recommended as National Leader in Arbitration since 2020 with sources saying that Ginta Ahrel is “skilled and effective”, “a real tactician”, and an “experienced counsel and arbitrator in cases involving parties from Russia, and CIS and Baltic countries”. She is also singled out as “the go-to person for Russian-related disputes”.
“Ginta Ahrel is a very pragmatic and serious professional, with extraordinary technical capabilities, along with exceptional communication skills that provide confidence and relief to her clients.” – Client testimonial for Legal 500, 2020.
“Ginta Ahrel speaks English, Swedish and Russian and that makes our communication easier in a multicultural environment. She is also very expedient in understanding the essence of post-Soviet laws.” – Client testimonial for Legal 500, 2021.
Notable representations include acting for:
- an investor against a Central European state in proceedings before the Svea Court of Appeal regarding annulment of investment arbitration award rendered under the UNCITRAL rules;
- a group of investors in set-aside proceedings and enforcement proceedings of the arbitral award worth USD 500+ million against the Republic of Kazakhstan;
- a major natural resources company against the Republic of Lithuania in annulment proceedings defending an arbitral award rendered under SCC rules before the Svea Court of Appeal;
- a Spanish corporation in its successful claims against two Russian companies acting in the oil sector in arbitration seated in Stockholm under SCC rules;
- a leading Russian mining company against a Czech company in arbitration related to a purchase of equipment and services agreement under the SCC rules in Stockholm (in Russian);
- A governmental authority and the government of an East European state against a Moldovan company in arbitration under the ICC rules in Stockholm as well as in related annulment proceedings before the Svea Court of Appeal;
- a Chinese company in its successful defence against a major European communications company in arbitration under the ICC rules seated in Stockholm as well as before the Swedish courts in proceedings related to document production.
Latest speaking engagements and publications
- “Cloud Disputes”, speaker in the panel titled “New Frontiers: The Subject Matters of the Disputes of Tomorrow“ at the XXVth Congress of the International Counsel for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), Edinburgh, September 2022 (with in-depth article published in the Congress papers);
- “Challenge grounds for arbitral award”, lecturer at the Diploma Course for International Arbitrators organized by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and by the Swedish Arbitration Association, June 2022;
- “Swedish Supreme Court Weighs in on Immunity of Sovereign Wealth Fund Assets Under Central Bank Management”, article co-authored with Dr. Maria Fogdestam Agius, published on Kluwer Arbitration Blog, March 2022;
- “Non-signatories in arbitration”, lecturer at the Arbitrator Training Program organized by Swedish Arbitration Association, February 2022;
- “Statute of limitations”, speaker at the Swedish Law Day in Russia organized by Swedish Arbitration Association, December 2021;
- “Correction, Interpretation and Additional Awards”, panelist in the webinar organized by Italian Forum for Arbitration and ADR (ARBIT), November 2021;
- Young Arbitrators Sweden webinar on SCC Rules: “Efficiency vs Legal Certainty”, speaker, November 2021;
- SCC East-West Forum: “Focus on Arbitration in Poland and the Baltic States”, panelist in the on-line seminar, September 2021;
- “Conflicts of interest and obligation to disclose in the light of Halliburton v Chubb case”, organized by Swedish Women in Arbitration Network and Stockholm Centre for Commercial Law, Arbitration department, moderator, Stockholm, September 2021;
- “Arbitration in the region from practitioner’s perspective with practitioners from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia”, moderator of an on-line seminar during the 2021 Inaugural SCC East-West Forum, Stockholm, April 2021;
- “The secretary in the arbitral proceedings”, moderator of an on-line seminar co-organised by Swedish Women in Arbitration Network and Young Arbitrators Sweden, Stockholm, September 2020;
- “Swedish Court Raises the Bar for Set Aside Cases”, article (in English and Russian) published by International Commercial Arbitration Review (Вестник Международного Коммерческого Арбитража), No. 1(18)2019, p. 306;
- “Procedure before the Arbitral Tribunal”, guest lecturer at ELSA Winter School on International Arbitration at the University of Uppsala, January 2020;
- “SCC investment arbitration practice and procedure”, Training on Investment Dispute Resolution at the Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels, November 2019;
- “What are the qualities of a good litigator?”, panelist at Young Arbitrators Sweden annual conference, Stockholm, October 2019;
- “Third party financing of disputes in Sweden”, moderator of the seminar co-organised by Swedish Women in Arbitration Network and Swedish Arbitration Association, Stockholm, October 2019;
- “The Court of Appeal rises the bar for set-aside cases”, article (in Swedish) published by Karnov Nyheter on 26 September 2019;
- “Arbitration in Stockholm: an Update on the Swedish Arbitration Reform”, joint seminar organized by SCC, Ukrainian Arbitration Association and Swedish Embassy, Kiev, May 2019;
- “Are hearings too short?”, panel at Global Arbitration Review: Live in Stockholm, May 2019;
- “Swedish Approach to Challenge and Enforcement of Awards”, guest lecturer at Stockholm University International Commercial Dispute Resolution course, May 2019;
- “Annulment and enforcement of arbitral awards against States: recent developments and new trends” organized by Winston & Strawn LLP during Paris Arbitration Week, Paris, April 2019;
- “Emergency proceedings in investment arbitration”, BCDR-AAA/SCC Joint Conference on Salient Issues in Investment Arbitration, Manama, November 2018 (speaker);
- “SCC investment arbitration practice and procedure”, Training on Investment Dispute Resolution at the Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels, November 2018 (speaker);
- “International Commercial Arbitration: Textbook” (in Russian), 2nd edition, 2018, authoring the chapter on arbitration in Sweden.