Jan K Schaefer


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Jan Schaefer

T: +49 69 257 811 200
F: +49 69 257 811 100

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Jan K. Schaefer is a partner in the Frankfurt office of King & Spalding. His practice focuses on complex cross-border disputes, including post-M&A, joint-venture, distribution, sales and license arbitration and litigation matters as well as foreign investment, construction and energy-related disputes for German and foreign clients.

He has substantial trial experience and has been appearing as counsel and advocate for 15 years before German courts at first and second instance levels as well as before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. The complex and high-value arbitration proceedings were conducted under the auspices of the ICC, DIS (German Institution of Arbitration), SCC, Swiss and ICSID rules in multiple venues. He also has experience in as ad hoc proceedings under both German and Swiss arbitration law, including the UNCITRAL rules.

Mr. Schaefer also advises clients on compliance and corruption issues. In a number of high-profile post-M&A matters, he has closely cooperated with criminal defense counsel to align the defense strategies. He has experience with the taking of evidence in Germany for foreign proceedings under The Hague and European Convention, respectively, and depositions in Germany.

He regularly sits as chairman, party-appointed and sole arbitrator in ICC, DIS, SCC, DIAC, NAL, SIAC and ad hoc arbitration proceedings (more than 40 matters), and advocates before the German courts on behalf of clients in commercial litigation and arbitration-related matters, including interim relief and enforcement proceedings. Clients also rely upon Mr. Schaefer to provide strategic advise for effective and efficient resolution at early stages of a dispute, including the use of ADR-techniques, and the protection of foreign investments under public international law, including the Energy Charter Treaty.

Mr. Schaefer frequently speaks at conference on international arbitration, co-authored a practitioners’ handbook on German arbitration law and practice - Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit - Kompendium für die Praxis (Betriebs-Berater Handbuch 2006), and has published widely on international arbitration. Mr. Schaefer was Global Advisory Board Member of ICDR Young & International, was co-chair of the German under-40 arbitration group (DIS 40), currently co-chairs the German Discussion Forum on Investment Law and Arbitration with an annual conference, now in its 12th year, and is a member of the Civil Litigation (ZPO/GVG) and European -Committees of the German Federal Bar (BRAK), a board member of the Dutch Arbitration Association and the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR.

Chambers Global referred to him as  “calm, convincing and firm” and Chambers Europe reported that “clients appreciate [him] for his efficiency and pragmatic approach”. The German directory JUVE counts him among the leading German arbitration lawyers and recognizes that “he built early-on a track record.” Who’s Who Legal Germany hailed him as “extremely well versed in all facets of arbitration” and as “very strong at cross-border disputes". Global Arbitration Review included him in its 2011 list of the “45 under 45” global arbitration counsel.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Schaefer was research student at the National University of Singapore where he did research on comparative Southeast Asian arbitration laws in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand. Mr. Schaefer published widely on Asian arbitration law. He served as a research fellow at the T.M.C. Asser Institute in The Hague. He studied law in Passau, London, Freiburg and Utrecht and holds an LL.M. degree from the National University of Singapore. He speaks German, English, Dutch and French.

Selected Publications

  • "Das Mandat als Prozessvertreter in deutschen Schiedsverfahren [Acting as Counsel in German Arbitration Proceedings]", NJW 2015, pp. 3398-3404

  • "Court Assistance in Arbitration – Some Observations on the Critical Stand-by Function of the Courts", Pepperdinge Law Review, Vol. 43, 2016, pp. 521-540

  • "Enforcement of Interim Measures", in Centro de Arbitragem Comercial (ed.), VIII Congresso do Centro de Arbitragem Comercial, Almedina 2015, pp. 77-83 

  • "Alternatives to Investment Arbitration", book chapter in M. Bungenberg et al. (eds.), International Investment Law, Beck 2015, pp. 1186-1211

  • Commentary on Sec. 1041 of the German Code of Civil Procedure in Böckstiegel/Kröll/Nacimiento (eds.), Arbitration in Germany – the Model Law in Practice, 2nd ed., Kluwer Law International 2015

  • "TTIP: Investorenschutz ist umstritten [TTIP: Investor protection is disputed], IHK Wirtschaftsforum, 10.14, pp. 48-49

  • "Investitionsschutz im TTIP-Vertrag? [Investment Protection in the TTIP?], Pro-Position, Zeitschrift für Rechtspolitik, 5/2014, S. 154

  • "Focusing a Dispute on the Dispositive Legal and Factual Issues, or How German Arbitrators Think – An Introduction to a Traditional German Method", B-arbitra, 2/2013, pp. 107-118

  • "Arbitration", Chapter 6 of the loose-leaf treatise "Business Transaction in Germany", Matthew Bender, Albany, update in release 47/2013 (co-authored with Cornelius Fischer-Zernin)

  • "Intra-EU BITs: Toothless Tigers or Do They Still Bite? The OLG Frankfurt Considers the Impact of EU Law on the Investor-State Dispute Resolution Mechanism", Zeitschrift für Schiedsverfahren (SchiedsVZ), 2/2013, pp. 68-78 (co-authored with John Gaffney)

  • "The arbitrator as a private judge", in Guy Keutgen et al. (eds.), Walking a thin line: What an arbitrator can do, must do and must not do, Bruylant, Brussels 2010

  • "Der lange Arm der indischen Justiz – Aufhebung von ausländischen Schiedssprüchen bei indischem Nexus [The Long Arm of Indian Justice – Vacature of Foreign Arbitral Awards by Indian Courts]", Zeitschrift für Schiedsverfahren (SchiedsVZ), 6/2008, pp. 299-300

  • "Arbitration", Chapter 6 of the loose-leaf treatise "Business Transaction in Germany", Matthew Bender, Albany, 2008 (co-authored with Cornelius Fischer-Zernin)

  • Commentary on Section 1033 and 1042 of the German Code of Civil Procedure in Böckstiegel/Kröll/Nacimiento (eds.), Arbitration in Germany – the Model Law in Practice, Kluwer Law International, Alphen 2007 (co-authored with Richard H. Kreindler)

  • "Streitschlichtung in M&A-Verträgen: Klare Regeln verhindern böses Erwachen" [Dispute resolution in M&A-Contracts: Managing Traps], Venture Capital Magazin, 11/2007, pp. 38 – 39

  • Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit – Kompendium für die Praxis [Arbitration – A Practical Guide], Betriebs-Berater Handbook, Verlag Recht und Wirtschaft, Frankfurt am Main 2006, 457 + XLI pages (co-authored with Richard H. Kreindler and Reinmar Wolff)

  • "Ende eines Sonderweges: Gerichtlicher Eilrechtsschutz im Staat New York in internationalen Schiedsverfahren [Back on Track: Judicial Interim Relief in the State of New York in International Arbitration Proceedings]", Zeitschrift für Schiedsverfahren (SchiedsVZ), 4/2006, pp. 191-194

  • "Dornröschenschlaf - Schiedsverfahren nach deutschen Investitionsförderungsabkommen [Sleeping Beauty: German BIT-Arbitration]", BetriebsBerater (BB), 2004, pp. 1069–1070

  • "Einführung in die internationale Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit: Welche Verfahrensregeln gelten vor einem internationalen Schiedsgericht? [Introduction to International Commercial Arbitration: Which Procedural Rules Apply in International Arbitration Proceedings?]", Juristische Ausbildung (JURA), 2004, Issue 3, pp. 153–159

  • "Chronique de jurisprudence étrangère – Allemagne – Les cinq premières années d’application de la nouvelle législation [Summary of Foreign Case Law - Germany - the First Five Years of Practice under the New German Arbitration Law]", Revue de l’arbitrage, 2003, No. 2, pp. 495–527 (co-authored with Richard H. Kreindler)

  • "Neue Rahmenbedingungen für die Internationale Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit in Indonesien [Indonesia’s New Framework for International Arbitration]", Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax), 2002, Issue 4, pp. 312–315

  • "Pre-Arbitration Procedures" in International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (ed.), PCA Peace Palace Papers, Vol. 3, "Arbitration in Air, Space and Telecommunications Law", (Kluwer, The Hague, 2002), pp. 211–33

  • "La nouvelle loi indonésienne sur l’arbitrage [Indonesia’s New Arbitration Law]", Revue de l’arbitrage, 2001, No. 3, pp. 625–31

  • "Leaving the Colonial Arbitration Laws Behind: Southeast Asia’s Move Into the International Arbitration Arena", Arbitration International, Vol. 16 (3), 2000, pp. 297–332 (The 2000 Gillis Wetter Prizewinner)

  • "Borrowing and Cross-Fertilising Arbitration Laws: A Comparative Overview of the Development of Hong Kong and Singapore Legislation for International Commercial Arbitration", Journal of International Arbitration, Vol. 16 (4), 1999, pp. 41–96

  • "New Solutions for Interim Measures of Protection in International Commercial Arbitration: English, German and Hong Kong Law Compared", Electronic Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 2.2 (August 1998), < http://www.ejcl.org/22/art22-2.html >


  • American Society of International Law

  • Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage (ASA)

  • Dutch Arbitration Association (board member since 2016)

  • German-American Lawyers’ Association

  • German Branch of the International Law Association

  • German Federal Bar Association (member committee on ADR, 2008-2015, member committees on civil litigation and Europe, respectively, since 2016)

  • German Institution for Arbitration (DIS) (co-chair DIS 40, 2006-2010)

  • German-Singapore Jurists’ Association (member of the board, since 2009)

  • ICDR Young & International (member Global Advisory Board, 2007-2013)

  • International Arbitration Institute (IAI)

  • LCIA, European Users' Council

  • Swedish Arbitration Association