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Melissa Magliana



New York, 2005


American, Italian, Swiss


English , German , French , Italian , Spanish


Stampfenbachplatz 4
P.O. Box 212
8042 Zurich


+41 58 105 2100

Melissa Magliana is a partner at LALIVE specializing in international commercial arbitration.

With experience in both common and civil law jurisdictions and holding legal degrees in US and Swiss law, she advises and represents clients in ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings under all major rules of arbitration. She also acts as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator and as chair of arbitral tribunals and advises on other forms of dispute resolution and related proceedings, such as mediation and international legal assistance. Her expertise spans different sectors, including the construction, transportation, pharma and mining industries, with a particular focus on works contracts as well as shareholder, partnership and joint venture disputes arising in a post-M&A and construction projects context.

Melissa Magliana is a member of the Executive Committee of the Arbitration Court of the Swiss Arbitration Centre, where she acts as Secretary to the Court, and a member of the board of the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), for which she acts as co-chair of the ASA Practice Seminar. She represents Switzerland in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) working group dedicated to dispute settlement (Working Group II), and is a co-chair of a CPR Task Force on the Arbitration of Life Sciences Disputes. Melissa Magliana previously served as a co-chair of ASA below 40 and as a Steering Committee member of Young ArbitralWomen Practitioners. She is a frequent speaker and publishes regularly on matters relating to international dispute resolution.

Melissa Magliana was the 2016 recipient of the ASA Prize for Advocacy in International Commercial Arbitration, awarded every two years to international arbitration counsel to recognize exceptional advocacy in international arbitration. She has also been recommended by several directories, including as a global leader in Arbitration by Chambers, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal.

Before joining LALIVE, Melissa Magliana clerked for The Hon. Carol Bagley Amon at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and was Counsel in arbitration and litigation at a leading Swiss law firm. She graduated from Princeton University in 1999 (magna cum laude) and received her Juris Doctor from the Columbia University School of Law in 2004, where she was a James Kent Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Law Review. In 2014, she obtained a Swiss law degree (MLaw, magna cum laude) from University of Lucerne School of Law.

"She is an eloquent speaker and presenter who presents persuasive arguments."

Chambers Global, Arbitration Counsel – Switzerland, 2023

Melissa Magliana is "very strong on tactics and strategy."

Legal 500, Switzerland - Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, 2022

Melissa Magliana is “an outstanding advocate” recognised as “a first-choice when it comes to arbitration practitioners in Zurich”.

Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration, 2022

The “very smart and pragmatic” Melissa Magliana is a “brilliant lawyer with an ability to develop an outstanding teamwork environment to best assist clients’ goals in complex international disputes”.

Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2021

“Melissa is exceptionally reactive and available. She quickly grasps the controversial point of the case and has an extraordinarily practical approach. Firm but also flexible to accommodate client’s needs”

Legal 500, 2021

Interviewees praise her commercial approach, with one saying “She is very business-oriented, understands how a business thinks and what it needs, and can explain complicated things in a non-legal manner”

Chambers Global, 2021

“Outstanding practitioner” Melissa Magliana is highlighted as an “exceptionally good lawyer with a lot of international experience”. Sources highlight her “excellent legal mind” and add: “There is a lot more to come for Melissa!”

Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2020

Melissa Magliana is “superb in advocacy and cross-examination of witnesses”, and “one of the few who manages to be extremely persuasive without being overly aggressive”.

Who’s Who Legal, Switzerland: Arbitration 2020

Melissa Magliana is “an excellent practitioner” who has “mastered the arbitration process very well”. She has significant experience as both counsel and arbitrator across the construction, pharmaceutical and transport sectors.

Who’s Who Legal, Switzerland, 2019

Melissa Magliana is considered "the very best young arbitration practitioner in Switzerland" and impresses peers with "her incredible ability to find the ideal middle ground between utmost legal precision and a sensible practical approach".

Who's Who Legal, Arbitration: Future Leaders, 2018

Melissa Magliana is “one of the leaders of her generation” according to respondents, who consider her “excellent as both counsel and arbitrator” and effuse, “She masters the proceedings very well.”

Who's Who Legal, Arbitration, Switzerland, 2018

Melissa Magliana was described as “amazing”. She is known as “actively involved in the international arbitrational community” and comes highly praised by sources.

Who's Who Legal, Arbitration: Future Leaders, 2017

Rising Star in Commercial Arbitration

LMG, 2015-2018

Dispensing with written consent – or consent altogether – in third party extensions under the New York Convention: A critical examination of the recent Swiss and U.S. Supreme Court decisions in B. Suisse and GE Energy

Melissa Magliana, Philippe Hovaguimian, 2021

In: b-Arbitra, Belgian Review of Arbitration, 2/2021

Commentary of Articles 188-189 PILA

Melissa Magliana, Markus Wirth, 2021

In: Basler Kommentar (Honsell et al. Eds.), 2021

Arbitration in Switzerland

Melissa Magliana, Roman Richers, 2020

In: International Commercial Arbitration: Practitioner's Guide (Balthasar, 2d Ed.), [forthcoming 2020]

Commentary of Article 28 ICC Rules

Melissa Magliana, 2018

In: Arbitration in Switzerland — The Practitioner's Guide (Manuel Arroyo, 2d Ed.) [forthcoming 2018]

Commentary of Article 26 Swiss Rules

Melissa Magliana, 2018

In: Arbitration in Switzerland — The Practitioner's Guide (Manuel Arroyo, 2d Ed.) [forthcoming 2018]

Switzerland: Law and Practice

Melissa Magliana, Roman Richers, 2016

In: Chambers Country Practice Guides, International Arbitration 2016 (Friedland, Ed.)

Evidence Gone Astray

Melissa Magliana, Markus Wirth, 2014

In: Stories from the Hearing Room: Experience from Arbitral Practice: Essays in Honour of Michael E. Schneider (Bernd Ehle & Domitille Baizeau, Eds.), 2014

Review of the Recent Case Law of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court

Melissa Magliana, 2012

In: New Developments in International Commercial Arbitration (Christoph Muller & Antonio Rigozzi, Eds. 2012)

Swiss Arbitration: a multi-purpose dispute resolution tool for users in the Gulf States

02/06/2022 Online Melissa Magliana Speaker

For more information, see the programme

Fordham International Arbitration Conference

Contract Interpretation in International Arbitration: Is there a common law – civil law divide that matters?

22/11/2019 New York Melissa Magliana Speaker

International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) Event

Arbitration in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Sectors

17/09/2019 Zurich Melissa Magliana Moderator

4. Tagung zur Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit: Hot Topics

Das Kreuzverhör als Mittel zur Wahrheitsfindung?

29/08/2019 Zurich Melissa Magliana Speaker

11th Annual AIJA Arbitration Conference

Efficiency – the counsel’s perspective

28/06/2019 Zurich Melissa Magliana Speaker

3rd ICC European Conference on International Arbitration

Oxford style debate: The safeguard of international, European and domestic mandatory rules by arbitral tribunals – practical implications

01/04/2019 Paris Melissa Magliana Speaker

Camera Arbitrale di Milano

Costituzione e competenza del tribunale arbitrale

23/03/2019 Milan Melissa Magliana Speaker

The GAR Live Symposium

2nd annual GAR Live Zurich

07/03/2019 Zurich Melissa Magliana Speaker

CPR Annual Meeting 2019

Faster, better, stronger: Expedited Procedures in Arbitration

01/03/2019 Washington D.C. Melissa Magliana Speaker

ISTAC M&A Disputes Conference

How to manage M&A disputes

18/01/2019 Istanbul Melissa Magliana Speaker


Panel Discussion: The Art of Advocacy: Tips, Tricks & War Stories

20/09/2018 London Melissa Magliana Speaker

GAR Live

"Different approaches to cross examination and advocacy"

21/06/2018 Istanbul Melissa Magliana Speaker

Who's Who Legal Future Leaders Arbitration Conference

"What are the top future trends in international arbitration"

09/05/2018 London Melissa Magliana Speaker

ASA Gala Dinner & Advocacy Prize Giving Ceremony

"Laudatio in Honor of Professor Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab"

01/02/2018 Zurich Melissa Magliana

CIArb YMG Conference

"Navigating through common law and civil law waters in international arbitration: Document Production"

12/12/2017 Paris Melissa Magliana Speaker

Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop

"Should you cross-examine a witness? What do you need to prepare for a cross-examination?"

10/11/2017 Stockholm Melissa Magliana Speaker

Vis Moot School, University of Zurich

Keynote speech

05/10/2017 Zurich Melissa Magliana Speaker

ICC YAF Conference on Cost Allocation

Keynote speech

30/06/2017 Zurich Melissa Magliana Speaker

ASA/ZAV Espace Mittelland

"The New Expedited and Super-Expedited Procedures under the ICC and Swiss Rules: Is faster always better?"

08/05/2017 Bern Melissa Magliana Speaker

ASA Conference

"Typology of Cases and Typical Difficulties when Dealing with Recovery of Actual Expenses"

03/02/2017 Geneva Melissa Magliana Speaker

AIA | Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop

"Practical aspects of interim measures and emergency arbitrator proceedings"

28/10/2016 Rome Melissa Magliana Speaker

Roschier Arbitration Forum 2016

"The Winning Strategy"

31/05/2016 Stockholm Melissa Magliana Speaker

2nd Global Conference of the Co-Chairs' Circle

"Settlement facilitation and preliminary views by arbitrators – an option for every arbitration?"

27/05/2016 Helsinki Melissa Magliana Moderator

2nd ICDR Y&I Swiss Chalet Debate

"Early Case Assessment – Blessing or Curse? | Loser Pays – What About the Success Fees?"

24/05/2016 Geneva Melissa Magliana Moderator

ICCA 2016 Congress

"International Arbitration and Its Conformity with the Rule of Law"

11/05/2016 Mauritius Melissa Magliana Reporter

Young ArbitralWomen Practitioners Launch Conference

"Moving from counsel to arbitrator: How to get your foot in the door – and keep it there"

08/04/2016 Zurich Melissa Magliana Speaker

CIArb & ArbitralWomen Second International Women's Conference

"This House Believes…"

16/03/2016 Paris Melissa Magliana Speaker