Fred Bennett has broad experience in many types of business litigation, with particular emphasis on international and commercial arbitration, complex technical disputes, satellite and aerospace disputes, intellectual property claims involving technical matters, complex construction disputes and legal malpractice defense. He has either tried or arbitrated as lead counsel over 25 major disputes to verdict or award.
Mr. Bennett has over 30 years experience as an advocate and arbitrator in international and domestic arbitration. For 14 years, he served as Global Chair of the firm's arbitration practice, and currently serves as the Global Vice Chair of the International Practice and U.S. Chair of the firm's arbitration practice. Mr. Bennett was the head of the worldwide ADR practice group at his former firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
As an advocate, Mr. Bennett has arbitrated, internationally and domestically, complex technical and business disputes in almost every area of business endeavor. Mr. Bennett's experience in complex contractual disputes includes disputes arising from architectural engineering and construction; contracts relating to the oil and gas industry; contracts involving commercial and residential real estate projects; manufacturing contracts; patent and IP licensing contracts; complex insurance coverage disputes; and distributorship contracts and partnership agreements.
As an arbitrator, Mr. Bennett is a member of the AAA's national Board of Directors, the Executive Committee of the Board, and the Board's Nominating and Governance Committee. He has presided over numerous arbitration proceedings for the International Chamber of Commerce and the American Arbitration Association. He sits on the AAA's Large Complex Case Panels for commercial and construction disputes, and the ICDR panel for international disputes. He orchestrated and for many years was the Chairman of the AAA's continuing education program for LCCP arbitrators in Southern California. He also serves as a member of the U.S. National Committee responsible for administrating ICC arbitration work within the United States, and is currently Chairman of its Southwest Subcommittee. He is a U.S. representative on the ICC Commission.
Mr. Bennett is a frequent guest lecturer on major domestic and international arbitration conferences and is the author of numerous publications on arbitration. He is principal co-editor of Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration (5th Ed.), one of the world's leading arbitration treatises. In 2010, he received the International Law Office Client Choice Award as the outstanding U.S. practitioner in the field of arbitration. The award is based on nominations and input from over 2000 in-house corporate counsel. Mr. Bennett was chosen for inclusion in the Guide to World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration, Legal Media Group, London, UK, for 2008-2011 and again in 2013, and for inclusion in Who's Who Legal in California 2009, for arbitration. Mr. Bennett has been recognized as one of the “Outstanding Trial lawyers of America” by Chambers USA. He has also been named one of the country's outstanding arbitrators by several publications. Mr. Bennett was chosen for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for 2009-2010, and from 2003 to the present has been selected as a “Super Lawyer of Southern California” (regular and corporate counsel editions). Mr. Bennett is also a member of the BNA Advisory Board for Commercial Arbitration. In 2013, and again in 2014, he received an award for the outstanding arbitration practitioner in California from Lexology, an international in-house counsel organization.
Mr. Bennett also chaired, for the American Arbitration Association, a task force responsible for amending the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules for the first time in over a decade. The new rules were adopted and took effect on October 1, 2014.
Mr. Bennett is also the creator and head of the firm's satellite / aerospace / defense contractor practice. He has experience in litigating disputes in design, manufacturing, testing, purchase, sale, launch operations and performance issues and on ground and in-orbit defects, and in representing defense contractors in False Claims Act and qui tam actions. He is also experienced in regulations relevant to such disputes, including the International Traffic and Arms Regulations ("ITAR").
Mr. Bennett also heads the firm's construction litigation practice. He has over 30 years of experience in representing owners, engineers and contractors in arbitration and litigation involving a variety of projects in the U.S. and around the world, and has served as an arbitrator in international and domestic construction/engineering and architectural disputes. Illustrative project disputes which Mr. Bennett has litigated or arbitrated include disputes over large commercial, residential and mixed use projects; airports; alternative energy plants; infrastructure projects in the U.S. and abroad (Ecuador); copper mining facility; oil refinery projects; the Alaskan pipeline; a state of the art newspaper printing facility; wastewater treatment facilities in Kuwait; multiple site housing projects in the Middle East; the San Diego Ballpark; and significant architectural structures, including the Disney Concert Hall and the Garden Grove Community Church. He has been selected by Chambers, the well known British publication, as one of the outstanding construction lawyers in the United States.