Shelby Grubbs Returning to Miller & Martin to Lead Atlanta Office

January 16, 2018

Shelby Grubbs has returned to Miller & Martin as managing member in the firm’s Atlanta office, having completed a stint as executive director of the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation (ACIAM) at the Georgia State College of Law.

In a recent statement, the GSU College of Law credited Grubbs with taking the center and its hearing facility from concept to implementation. He has overseen all aspects of the center’s activity since 2014, including organizing more than 50 events and training sessions at the college. While he is stepping aside as ACAIM executive director, Grubbs remains an adjunct professor teaching international commercial arbitration and advocacy and continues to serve on the college’s Board of Visitors. He will also continue to coach the college’s “Vis Moot” team and will chair the ACIAM Arbitrators Council.

“Through his dogged and indefatigable determination and boundless energy, Shelby has taken the center from a germ of an idea to an internationally recognized institution in just a few short years,” said Doug Yarn, GSU law professor and director of the Consortium for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution.

The center’s managing director, Magaly Cobian, will assume Grubbs’ responsibilities as they relate to overseeing the operations of the arbitration center. “I came to do a job, not have a job,” Grubbs said, regarding his role in launching the arbitration center, which is part of a larger effort to make Atlanta a hub for international arbitration. “Magaly is the best person to take the center forward from here and will ensure that it continues to provide superb service.”

During his tenure at GSU, Grubbs maintained an “of counsel” relationship at Miller & Martin. He was reinstated as a member of the firm on January 1 and took over as head of the Atlanta office, a position previously occupied by Chris Parker. Firm chairman Jim Haley said Parker will remain a member of the firm’s policy committee, but “the transition will allow Chris to spend more time on client matters.”

Grubbs’ connection with Miller & Martin began in Chattanooga in 1994. In 1998, he helped start the firm’s office in Atlanta.

As Grubbs returns to the Atlanta office, he said he expects international arbitration and dispute resolution to continue to be a principal focus. His practice in this area began after he earned a reputation in Tennessee for expertise in so-called alternative dispute resolution area, including arbitration and mediation. He chaired two commissions established by the Tennessee Supreme Court charged with, among other things, institutionalizing mediation proceedings in Tennessee courts. Mediation is often credited with leading to faster settlements and relieving docket congestion, Grubbs noted.

Moving to Atlanta gave Grubbs the chance to work on disputes that involved foreign companies. He gained still more opportunities in the international arbitration space when he became chair of the Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution section of World Law Group, a worldwide network of corporate law firms. In a recent interview with Law 360, Grubbs said, “International arbitration is the only realistic choice for resolving transnational business-to-business disputes in cases in which you have radically different legal regimes … I see it as a permanent feature in the landscape.” Regarding continued developments in the field, he said, “I think that the institutions that administer international arbitrations and mediations are demonstrating sensitivity to criticism and concerns related to transparency, expense and expedition, and I think that those criticisms and the efforts of the institutions to react to them are very healthy and very laudable.”

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