Ed Lenci litigates and arbitrates business disputes and defends businesses sued in class action lawsuits. He is now an arbitrator, too, and brings to that new role over three decades’ experience as an advocate in many arbitrations and the judicial proceedings that often follow. Drawing on his deep experience with domestic and international arbitration, Ed drafts arbitral provisions tailored to the unique needs of each client and co-authored the ARIAS-U.S. International Arbitration Form. Ed serves as the Chair of Reinsurance Section of Hinshaw’s global Insurance Services Practice Group of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and is Co-Chair of ARIAS-U.S.’s International Committee.
Ed’s notable cases involving arbitration include:
• Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. v. Fensterstock, 564 U.S. 1001 (U.S. 2011) (the class action waiver in a student loan’s arbitral provisions was enforceable) (this decision was a front-page story in the New York Law Journal on June 14, 2011);
• Intertec Contracting, A/S, et al. v. Turner Steiner East Asia Ltd., et al., 6 Fed. Appx. 61, 2001 WL 266997, 2001 U.S. App. Lexis 4156 (2d Cir. 2001) (an arbitration clause in a construction contract that required arbitration in Sri Lanka was not incorporated by reference into a subcontract);
• Gerling Global Reinsurance Corporation – U.S. Branch v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Co., 42 Fed. Appx. 522, 2002 WL 1770725, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 15571 (2d Cir. 2002) (a reinsurer was not required to arbitrate its rescission claim because the arbitral provisions of the reinsurance contract did not encompass a rescission claim);
• Mutual Marine Offices, Inc., et al. v. Banco de Seguros del Estado, 344 F.3d 255 (2d Cir. 2003) (arbitrators can require a respondent to post pre-arbitration security, and a reinsurer owned by the government of Uruguay had waived sovereign immunity from posting pre-arbitration security under the broad agreement to arbitrate);
• Skandia America Reinsurance Corp. v. Caja Nacional de Ahorro y Seguro, 1997 WL 278054, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7221 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (in a proceeding to confirm an arbitral award, a reinsurer owned by the government of Argentina was not immune from posting pre-answer security because Article VI of the New York Convention, which permits it, trumped the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which does not);
• Fensterstock v. Educ. Fin. Partners, 2012 WL 3930647, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124571 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2012) (the servicer of a student loan, which was not a party to the loan, was nonetheless entitled to invoke the loan’ arbitral provisions under the doctrine of estoppel); and
• Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company, et al. v. GLOBAL Reinsurance Corporation of America, 927 N.E.2d 740 (Ill. App. 2010) (a panel of arbitrators exceeded their authority and committed a “gross error of law” by awarding attorneys’ fees) (this decision was the lead story in the Chicago Daily Law Journal on March 16, 2010).
Prior to joining Hinshaw, Ed had his own firm, Wilker & Lenci, LLP, a highly-regarded New York City boutique firm that focused on reinsurance disputes and international arbitration. Before that, he was a partner in the New York office of a large, international law firm. He began his legal career at “Big Four” Mori, Hamada & Matsumoto (then Hamada & Matsumoto) in Tokyo after his first year at Columbia University School of Law, from which he graduated with honors in 1990.
Given his extensive experience and knowledge, Ed is often sought by national media outlets for comment and insights. Forbes, American Banker, Law360, and the New York Law Journal are among the publications that have quoted Ed on a range of topics, including international arbitration, class action waivers, reinsurance disputes, sovereign immunity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and diversity, equity, and inclusion in ADR. He has spoken around the world and written on the same topics. He was interviewed in 2017 on RTÉ, Ireland’s national radio and television broadcaster, about legal opportunities in Ireland after Brexit.
Ed is the incoming Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s International Section; his term begins June 1, 2021. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a Founding Member of the New York Branch of Arbitration Ireland. He served three terms (2017-19) on the Editorial Advisory Board of Law360 International Arbitration and was a charter member of the Editorial Board of Reinsurance & Arbitration.
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