Secretary General / Director General Camilla Perera – de Wit to step down from her post at the Netherlands Arbitration Institute

The Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) announces that after 5 years in service, Camilla has informed the NAI Board that she will step down from her post in 2024. Camilla joined the NAI from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2019. Over the past 5 years, Camilla has led the institution with distinction. She is praised for her work ethic and drive for quality, her skilled diplomacy and collaboration initiatives.

Covid-19 and sanctions

Camilla’s tenure has not been without challenges which she handled with discipline and which led to the advancement of the institute. A few months into her role she was confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic which led her to steer the institution into a transition of electronic case management, virtual hearings and a new ICT infrastructure. Additionally, the rise of geo-political tensions worldwide leading to sanctions against parties in international commercial arbitration led Camilla to deal with legal as well as administrative consequences of the sanctions regime on the conduct of arbitral proceedings under the NAI rules.


At the same time, she was active and visible as a speaker on external platforms such as PAW and LIDW and was able to give a face to the NAI in the international arbitration scene by seeking collaboration with peer institutions, by taking a seat at the IFCAI table as Vice President and by sitting as an observer in the UNCITRAL Working Group II sessions.

Professionalisation, innovation and diversity

Throughout her tenure at the NAI, Camilla steered a number of important strategic initiatives. She focused heavily on the quality and diversification of the NAI as an institute. She implemented a new arbitrator education program and, under her direction, female appointments rose to 54% direct female appointments in 2023. Together with the NAI Board, she completed a revision of the 2015 NAI Arbitration Rules, which came into effect 1 March 2024. Camilla was also involved in drafting a set of specialised rules for aviation sector focussed arbitrations for the Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation. In 2023, the NAI was nominated for a GAR award for the first time in the history of the NAI.

Camilla has strongly contributed to the professionalisation and internationalisation of the NAI. Under her guidance, the caseload has seen a surge in high value cases, including high value international cases. The team itself has expanded and indeed has become more divers, including a multi-cultural and multi-lingual staff. She worked on bringing down the delays in the case administration and solid statics on the NAI case load are now transparent and published on the NAI website on a yearly basis.

“The NAI has benefitted immensely from Camilla’s contribution to the institute over the past 5 years ”, says President of the NAI, Professor Gerard Meijer. “She expanded the reach of the NAI by engaging into multiple collaboration efforts and she was instrumental in the development of the new 2024 arbitration rules. Camilla has led the institution with distinction and success and she will be missed very much in her present role. There will be a further occasion to thank Camilla more appropriately, but I can say now that I hope we will be able to count on her continued involvement in the future.”

Peers and NAI-users on Camilla’s tenure

Jan Schäfer, DIS Board member (Germany): “Camilla took building bridges to the neighbours of the Netherlands seriously, be it during a lively Benelux seminar in Luxembourg,  during NAI events that integrated foreign perspectives, or in the context of creating the ”The German and Dutch Arbitration Friends”, an initiative of the DAA, DIS and NAI. This was all much appreciated and, most importantly, it was always a pleasure to work with Camilla!”

Emma Van Campenhoudt, Director Secretary General CEPANI (Belgium):”I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the successful cooperation CEPANI has enjoyed with the NAI which has thrived under Camilla’s leadership. Camilla’s contributions have been instrumental in our collective success. As she decides to step down, I am confident and hopeful she will continue to have a vital presence in the arbitration community and I look forward to our continued collaboration and friendship in her new capacities.”

Stefano Azzali, General Director, Milan Chamber of Arbitration (Italy): “Camilla has been an extraordinary colleague, knowledgeable, always helpful, collaborative. She will be greatly missed by the arbitration institutions that had the privilege and good fortune to work with her!”

Niamh Leinwather, Secretary General VIAC (Austria): “I admire the impressive work Camilla has done in progressing the NAI and more generally institutional arbitration. She has been a wonderful peer and I have very much enjoyed the thought exchange and collaboration over the years, in our role as Secretary General but also in our respective roles at IFCAI. I wish her every success as she continues her path and hope we can continue to work together in a similar setting.”

Annet van Hooft, independent arbitrator (France): “I wish Camilla lots of success in her next endeavours.  It is certain that she will be very much missed.  Working with her and the staff members of the NAI Secretariat has been an immense pleasure. During Camilla’s tenure she implemented many changes to the manner in which cases were being administrated – all for the better.  The staff members are professional, service oriented and very efficient.  Thank you very much, Camilla, for your tremendous contribution and your achievements in this regard!”

As Camilla steps down, she looks forward to returning to counsel work as well as arbitrator/mediator and academic work. Camilla will be succeeded by her Director Business Operations, Tomas Vaal. Tomas has worked in close collaboration with Camilla over the past years. Tomas is seen as a highly successful candidate to take over from Camilla; a formal announcement on his appointment can be found here.

Camilla Perera-de Wit