Catherine Amirfar

Board Member

Catherine serves as Co-Chair of Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution Group and the Public International Law Group, and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Her practice focuses on public international law, international commercial and treaty arbitration, and complex international commercial litigation.

With over twenty years of experience, Ms. Amirfar has argued before federal and state courts throughout the United States, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and arbitration tribunals sitting around the world. She has deep expertise representing states, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations and multinational companies.

Ms. Amirfar maintains a highly active pro bono practice, advising NGOs and individuals in a wide variety of human rights matters. Most recently, she has led work in conjunction with the Clooney Foundation for Justice on a number of high-profile cases seeking the release of unlawfully imprisoned journalists around the world. She is also representing plaintiffs in Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act cases in U.S. courts with co-counsel the Center for Justice and Accountability. These include civil suits against the alleged commander of the Lutheran Church massacre of approximately 600 unarmed civilians in Liberia, and the former Secretary of Defense of Sri Lanka for his alleged involvement in the attack, torture, and murder of a journalist. In 2014, Ms. Amirfar was selected by Chambers USA as the Pro Bono Private Practice Lawyer of the Year.

She received a J.D. cum laude from New York University Law School in 2000, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar. She served as an editor for the NYU Law Review and was awarded top honors in the NYU Orison S. Marden Moot Court Competition. She received a B.A., with honors, in International Relations from Stanford University in 1995.