Lawyer Monthly - May 2022

being revealed and without the need to seek enforcement before national courts, which is a major advantage in terms of the cost and duration of the process. Development of the metaverse, or “Web 3.0”, will most likely give rise to various kinds of disputes, such as IP disputes concerning trademark infringement in the virtual world, or disputes deriving from the issue of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) related to goods sold by various trademark owners or related to artworks. Notably, there might be disputes deriving from the type of rights NFTs are able to transfer to their buyers, i.e. ownership rights or merely license rights. Disputes might also arise from IP rights based on contracts concluded before the metaverse era. I can also imagine that there will be an increased number of domain name disputes as cybersquatting will most likely grow with the development of the metaverse. In terms of procedure, I think that arbitration institutions must continuously improve or at least maintain the quality of their nominated arbitrators and of their works (arbitral awards), as there is a trend of visible improvement in judicial state proceedings – the organisation of the hearings, the qualification of the judges, the grounding and length of the court decisions. These two pillars of the justice system, public on the one hand and private on the other hand, are becoming more and more like rivals in the eyes of a client or a practitioner. WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | MAY 2022 MY LEGAL LIFE - MIHAELA MARAVELA 22 Please tell us a little about your journey into law. I started practising law in a specialised IP law firm in Romania, where I have focused on trademark rights and domain name disputes. Together with my passion for IP during law school, this has shaped the evolution of my career. I also worked in the banking and finance team of a Big Four firm before moving to the arbitration practice of an arbitration-focused firm, also in Romania. I found that the transactional experience gained during the first part of my career in finance and banking, real estate and M&A was extremely helpful in large international arbitration disputes, as it gave me the necessary edge when preparing the strategy of arbitration and court cases that involve large volumes of data and that require attention to every detail and, at the same time, a strategic view of the case. I have further developed my experience by acting as arbitrator in commercial disputes with the Romanian Arbitration Court and as a WIPO domain name panelist in over 140 UDRP cases. I also enjoy writing on the legal topics that interest me, and in addition to contributing to various book chapters on arbitration-related issues, I have recently started my own blog ( with my insights on arbitration, domain name disputes and intellectual property issues. I think that my experience at the intersection of international arbitration, intellectual property, cybersecurity and internet laws will assist my practice in the challenging legal system that the rise of the metaverse will shape. Do you have a particular career achievement that you are especially proud of? One of the highlights of my career was obtaining a favourable decision for the Romanian state in a high-stakes investment arbitration case where I coordinated, together with my partner at the time, the work on the Romanian law issues applicable in the case. The claims against the state were rejected in full. I am also particularly proud of having presided on a three-member panel in a UDRP case concerning one of the hot topics decided in 2021, which addressed free speech issues in a “.sucks” domain name case. What motivates you to achieve the best possible success for your clients? I always strive to find the best solution for the client for the legal issues that I analyse either in consultancy or transactional work or in disputes that I handle. I find the entire process of putting the factual pieces and the results of the legal research together to prepare the strategy of the case fascinating. In my capacity as decision-maker I always strive to find the truth and to take the correct and just decision for the parties in dispute. More About Mihaela Maravela Development of the metaverse, or “Web 3.0”, will most likely give rise to various kinds of disputes.

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