Christopher  Gibson

Professor of Law and Director Business and Financial Services Concentration

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Professor Christopher Gibson is a Professor of Law and Director of the Business Law and Financial Services Concentration at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He is an expert in international law, international arbitration and intellectual property and technology issues. He has numerous articles, books, chapters and reviews published on topics involving international dispute resolution, intellectual property, technology and international investment law.

Practice: Professor Gibson currently serves as an arbitrator and expert witness in complex commercial disputes, while also advising on transactions involving technology and intellectual property. Before joining Suffolk Law School, Professor Gibson was a partner in the London office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he specialized in the areas of international arbitration and litigation, as well as intellectual property and technology transactions and disputes. During his years in practice, he acted as counsel or arbitrator in a variety of international disputes, involving the governing laws of different jurisdictions and under various institutional rules, including arbitrator in both institutional and ad hoc proceedings and in more than 100 domain name disputes under the UDRP and Nominet DRS rules. He acted as lead counsel in arbitrations with sums in dispute ranging from $5 million to more than $350 million. Subject matters include technology, intellectual property, telecommunications, investments and insurance, joint venture agreements, financial and loan agreements, and disputes involving domain names.

Professor Gibson is a is a co-founder and co-director of Foreign Direct Investment International Moot (FDI Moot) Competition. He has been Vice-Chair of the Academic Council of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA) and was co-chair for the ITA’s 2010 Annual Conference on International Arbitration. He was a member of the ICC Task Force on Amiable Composition in Arbitration. He is chair of the Boston Bar Association’s International Law Section and former chair of the Intellectual Property Interest Group Section of the American Society of International Law. He is a member of the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association Section on international law and intellectual property.

Background: Professor Gibson has had a successful career of service in the public international and private sectors. Following law school, Professor Gibson was clerked for a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, then served as a Legal Assistant at the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands and was later engaged in private practice in San Francisco for the law firms of Howard Rice and Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro. Professor Gibson served for three years as section chief at the UN Compensation Commission (Head of the "C" Claims Division), a special division of the UN Security Council, followed by a four year period as Senior Legal Officer of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center and later as Head of WIPO’s Electronic Commerce Law Section. At WIPO he was a principal officer responsible for developing recommendations for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which lead to implementation of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) now in effect.

Academic: Professor Gibson has served as an Associate Dean of the Law School from 2010 to 2014 and also a former Co-Director of the International Law Concentration. He was the 2008 recipient of the Law School's highest teaching honor, the Cornelius J. Moynihan Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2011 he was recipient of the Law Schools’ other high honor, the Thomas J. McMahon Award for Dedication to Students. Professor Gibson has taught in Suffolk’s LL.M. Program in U.S. and Global Business Law at the Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary. He taught as a visiting professor at Boston University Law School during the 2010 and 2011 spring terms.

Writing and research: Professor Gibson teaches and writes in the areas of international dispute resolution, international intellectual property, international business transactions, international trade, transactional skills and contract drafting, and Internet law. Some of his recent work includes:

  • WAR REPARATIONS AND THE UN COMPENSATION COMMISSION: DESIGNING COMPENSATION AFTER CONFLICT, with Timothy Feighery and Trevor Rajah as co-editors (Oxford Univ. Press, forthcoming December 2014).
  • Mandatory Arbitration for International Patent Disputes, law review article forthcoming 2015.
  • Breaking Down Barriers to Technology Transfer: Reforming WTO Standard-Setting Rules and Establishing an Advisory Facility in Standard-Setting for Developing & Least Developed Countries, in H. H. Lidgard, J. Atik and T.T. Nguyen eds., SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER (Wolters Kluwer 2012).
  • Latent Grounds for Investor-State Arbitration: Do International Investment Agreements Provide a Powerful New Means to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights?, in K. P. Sauvant ed., YEARBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW & POLICY 2009-2010 (Columbia Univ. Vale Center & Oxford Univ. Press 2010).
  • A Look at the Compulsory License in Investment Arbitration: the Case of Indirect Expropriation, 25 AMER. U. INT’L L. REV. 1 (2010).

Professional Activities

  • Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Competition (FDI Moot)
  • Vice-Chair, Academic Council, Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) (2009-2012); Member of Academic Council (2005-2013)
  • Chair, International Law Section, Boston Bar Association (2006-2010) 
  • Organizer and Co-Chair, Symposium on Investor-State Arbitration: Perspectives on Legitimacy and Practice, Suffolk Law School (2008)
  • Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Interest Group, American Society of International Law (ASIL) (2003-2008)
  • Co-Chair, ASIL-ITA Conference on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal at 25 Years (April 2006)
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association, Section of International Law and Practice
  • Member, International Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Amiable Composition in Arbitration (2006)
  • Special Consultant to UNCTAD on E-commerce and IP Issues (2001)

Bar Admittance

  • CA
  • DC
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • Registered Foreign Lawyer, England and Wales



WAR REPARATIONS AND THE UN COMPENSATION COMMISSION (Oxford University Press, 2015) (with Timothy Feighery and Trevor Rajah, eds.)



WIPO Primer on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property, (WIPO/OLOA/EC/PRIMER, 2000) (Editor and Principal Author)

Book Chapters

Latent Grounds in Investor-State Arbitration: Do International Investment Agreements provide New Means to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights?, in YEARBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW & POLICY 2009-2010 (Oxford University Press, Karl P. Sauvant ed., 2010)

Technology Standards - New Technical Barriers to Trade?, in THE STANDARDS EDGE: GOLDEN MEAN (Sherrie Bolin ed., 2007)

Chapter: The Domain Name System and Issues for Developing Countries, in E-COMMERCE AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2002, UNCTAD/SDTE/ECB/2 (2002)

Mass Claims Processing: Techniques for Processing Over 400,000 Claims for Individual Loss at the United Nations Compensation Commission, in THE UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISION, Thirteenth Sokol Colloquium on International Law (University of Virginia Law School, 1994)


Yukos v The Russian Federation: A Classic Case of Indirect Expropriation, 30:2 ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal (Oxford University Press, 2015)

A Look at the Compulsory License in Investment Arbitration: The Case of Indirect Expropriation, 25 AM. U. INT'L L. REV. 357 (2010)

The Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Competition, 32 SUFFOLK TRANSNAT'L L. REV. 247 (2009)

Redressing Injustices through Mass Claims Processes: Innovative Responses to Unique Challenges (2006), 103 AM.. J. INT'L L. 193 (2009) (book review)

International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives (2007), 103 AM.. J. INT'L L. 193 (2009) (book review)

Arbitration, Civilization and Public Policy: Seeking Counterpoise between Arbitral Autonomy and the Public Policy Defense in View of Foreign Mandatory Public Law, 113 PENN. ST. L. REV. 1227 (2009)

Globalization and the Technology Standards Game: Balancing Concerns of Protectionism and Intellectual Property in International Standards, 22 BERKELEY TECH. L.J. 1403 (2007)

Iran-United States Claims Tribunal Precedent in Investor-State Arbitration, 23 J. INT'L ARB. 521 (2006) (with Christopher Drahozal)

Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age by J. Nuechterlein and P. Weiser, in BI-MONTHLY REVIEW OF LAW BOOKS (2005) (book review)

Legal Issues in the Global Information Society by Stephen C. Hicks and Michael L. Rustad eds., in BI-MONTHLY REVIEW OF LAW BOOKS (2005)

WIPO Copyright Treaties Coming into Force, 2002:1 COMP. L. REV. INT'L (2002)

Digital Dispute Resolution, Internet Domain Names and WIPO's Role, 2001:1 COMP. L. REV. INT'L (2001)

Intellectual Property Issues and Standards, 11:5 MULTILINGUAL COMP. & TECH. (2000)

Awards and Other Decisions, 9 AM. REV. INT'L L. REV. (1998)

Arbitration in International Intellectual Property Disputes, 8:1 CAL. INT'L PRACT. (1997)

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, International Litigation, Summer 1997 THE INT'L BUS. LAW. (1997)

Other Publications

Creative Oil Stockpiling: Evaluating a Three Country Agreement and Designing a Negotiating Strategy, (1984) published by Energy and Environmental Policy Center (Harvard), and also available at H-84-03 (U.S. Dep. of State)


  • BA, University of Chicago
  • MPP, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • JD, University of California, Berkeley

Law Professor Christopher Gibson

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Courses Taught

  • Domestic and International Arbitration
  • International Business Transactions
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Trade
  • Internet Law