Matthew Parish

Dr Matthew Parish is a lawyer and scholar of international relations, ethnic conflict and civil war, and a former UN peacekeeper. He is known for his writings about the politics of the western Balkans and his critiques of the international community's role in securing peace in the region, as well as his commentaries on frozen conflicts in Eastern Europe and ethno-religious disputes in the Middle East. He has written and spoken on civil wars, post-conflict development, and international security policy issues across the globe. He has published two books and over 150 articles, and his writings have been the subject of widespread commentary in the international media. He is also a well-known lawyer within Switzerland, his adoptive country, and the law firm he founded, the Gentium Law Group, has been named by the principal leading peer-reviewed journal in the field as one of the top one hundred law firms worldwide. One of his colleagues called Matthew “a ferocious advocate and probably the worst enemy in a lawsuit that one could ever have”. Matthew was a key supporter of and Chief International Political Advisor to Vuk Jeremić in his campaign to be the next UN Secretary General 2016 United Nations Secretary-General selection. After intense debate and negotiation Jeremić rose to be the second-ranked candidate overall in the process, coming just behind Antonio Guterres in the UN Security Council's deliberations. Subsequently Matthew extended his congratulations and personal and professional support to Guterres. Parish gives frequent interviews and commentaries about UN effectiveness, accountability and reform. Matthew is an international lawyer and the Managing Partner of Gentium Law Group, an international arbitration practice that works across the world. He was formerly Chief Legal Adviser to the International Supervisor of Brčko District, a region of northern Bosnia and Herzegovina run as a protectorate by the US Government since 1997. His first book, A Free City in the Balkans, describes his experiences in that role and offers reflections upon the work of the international community in post-war Bosnia and beyond. Matthew previously worked in the legal department of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Washington, DC. He is an English-qualified lawyer, a member of the Swiss bar and a New York attorney, and teaches or has taught or presented at dozens of universities across the globe. He is an Honorary Professor-elect at the University of Leicester, in comparative civil law and common law systems of litigation. Matthew was elected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2013 and has been named as one of the 300 most influential people in Switzerland by Bilan magazine. Matthew has been described as "the quintessential political lawyer", and he is one of the most widely cited lawyers in the international media and academic journals. In Geneva Matthew is known for having taken on a series of high profile cases relating to UN and public corruption and misconduct, and is an outspoken advocate of UN accountability and reform. He is also renowned for accepting and fighting for some of the most difficult and politically contentious cases in the international arena, and for choosing both his staff and his mandates with great care. He has been called "the most colourful lawyer in Swiss legal practice".

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