Student Spotlight

Vladi Hennessee

UHLC 3L Hennessee to present paper on international treaty ‘shopping’ at Cornell conference 

Vladi HennesseeApril 11, 2016 – Vladi Hennessee, a third-year student at the University of Houston Law Center, has been chosen to present her paper on International Law later this month at the 12th Annual Inter-University Graduate Conference at Cornell Law School.

Her article, “Investment Treaty Shopping as Sword and Shield: Limits and Legitimacy,” was written last semester as part of coursework for visiting Professor Julian Cardenas Garcia’s Transnational Law class. Cardenas presented a paper at the conference while an LL.M. student at the Law Center in 2011.

In the article, Hennessee calls for a new approach by arbitrators toward the practice of transnational investors “shopping” for third-party countries that have favorable treaties with the intended “host state.” Incorporating in the third-party state allows the foreign investors to bring arbitration claims against the “host state” under more favorable terms in the event of a dispute with that state.

Hennessee maintains abuse of treaty shopping, which upsets the “power dynamic” between investors and “host states,” could be better revealed and prevented by arbitral tribunals using a multi-factor test based on arbitral jurisprudence and transnational principles such as abuse of right, good faith, and fairness.
Hennessee will present her paper and serve on a panel at the conference which is open to all graduate disciplines. The topic of the April 14-15 conference is "Transnational Interests & the Globalization of (In)equality.”

A native of Bulgaria, Hennessee earned her law degree with a master in International Comparative Law from the University of Toulouse, France, and the University of Mannheim, Germany.

She clerked with the international law firm of Clifford Chance Paris LLP, and the legal department of aircraft manufacturer Airbus France, as well as the Houston offices of Arnold & Porter LLP and Baker & McKenzie LLP.  After graduating from the Law Center in May, she will start as an associate at Baker & McKenzie in Houston.