Senior Fellow – Greece

Spyridon (Spyros) Antonelos is a Senior Specialist Ombudsman for the International Finance Corporation (IFC – part of the World Bank Group), based in Washington, DC.

About Spyridon (Spyros) Antonelos

Spyridon (Spyros) Antonelos is a Senior Specialist Ombudsman for the International Finance Corporation (IFC – part of the World Bank Group), based in Washington, DC. As part of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman’s Office (CAO), Spyros mediates complex, multi-party disputes in development projects, facilitates dialogue between stakeholders, and coordinates the work of a network of CAO mediators situated around the world.

Prior to joining the IFC, Mr. Antonelos, a Greek national, was the WBG Mediation Services’ (MEF) Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Mediation Officer. He was the first full-time Mediation Services staff member located permanently in the country office.

Prior to joining the WBG, Spyros enjoyed a multifaceted international career; a lawyer by training since 2000, he has studied and worked in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Turkey and Greece. After receiving his mediator’s accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (U.K.) in 2008, he became a mediation pioneer in his country.

In 2013, he completed the Weinstein JAMS Fellowship and received advanced training at Pepperdine University in the United States, as well as participated in civil and commercial mediation at JAMS.

In 2014, along with Greek mediators, Eleni K. Plessa and Irini Matsouka, he created “RESOLVE Mediators and ADR Experts,” a leading Greek ADR firm that he co-managed until 2019. From 2016-2019, Mr. Antonelos also created and directed the Athen SMEs Chamber Mediation Centre and taught Mediation and Negotiations at MEF University in Istanbul, Turkey. He has mediated various important Greek and international commercial banking and personal injury disputes.

Since 2011, he has promoted mediation to thousands of legal professionals around Europe and has trained hundreds of mediators and lawyers in mediation, collaborating with various Greek and foreign Bar Associations.

Mr. Antonelos advised the Greek Ministry of Justice (2012-2018) and is the co-author of two mediation reference books in Greek, along with Greek mediator and trainer Eleni K. Plessa and French mediator and trainer, Beatrice Brennuer.

He is currently employed exclusively by the WBG, mediating multi-party multicultural disputes, training WBG staff and consultants in dispute prevention and resolution, facilitating group dialogue, delivering team-building sessions, and promoting mediation in 27 countries.

Litigation Practice

Before joining the WBG, Mr. Antonelos was a member of the Athens Bar Association for 20 years, appointed at the Greek Supreme Court. As a lawyer, he represented Greek and foreign parties before Greek Courts. 

As the Managing Partner of Antonelos Law Office, along with a dynamic team of lawyers, he had a wide-ranging legal practice, covering the following fields:

  • Civil and commercial law
  • Company law
  • Administrative law
  • Banking law
  • Employment law
  • Intellectual property, trademark, and patent law
  • Personal injury
  • Medical malpractice
  • Debt collection and enforcement law
  • Land law

As the Greek members of the Proteus International Law Firms Network, Mr. Antonelos and his associates often represented foreign companies and individual clients before Greek courts and in ADR proceedings in the above areas of expertise.

Mediation and Facilitation Practice

Mr. Antonelos has been an accredited mediator since 2008 and has mediated cases involving claims varying from thousands to millions of euros, both in Greece and abroad, at a high rate of settlement.

He had a diverse practice, including the following areas:

  • Banking disputes
  • Personal injury disputes
  • Medical malpractice cases
  • Commercial contracts, including vendor disputes and commercial lease agreements
  • Patent and trademark infringement cases, intellectual property disputes
  • Disputes between company partners, with considerable experience in disputes between family members in family-owned businesses
  • Employment disputes
  • Debt recovery disputes

Since joining the WBG, Mr. Antonelos regularly conducts face-to-face and virtual mediations with a strong multi-cultural component.

ADR Achievements and Training

ADR Achievements

  • Mr. Antonelos is regularly invited to speak at WBG events, international ADR conferences, and Universities around the world with a strong ADR focus. Prior to joining the WBG, he was a regular speaker at domestic Greek conference by Chambers and Bar Associations and at international conferences, such as judiciary and mediator conferences or Greek and Turkish Ministry of Justice mediation events.
  • He was unanimously elected Member of the Board of the European Association of Judges for Mediation (GEMME), where he served as the Deputy Secretary General (2017-2018)
  • Mr. Antonelos was the first Athens SMEs Chamber Mediation Centre Director (2016-present)
  • He successfully introduced a proposal to the Athens SMEs Chamber Board to create a Mediation Centre for the development of mediation awareness to its member-companies and the easy access of companies and lawyers to quality mediation services and state-of-art facilities for the effective implementation of mediations (2016)
  • First Mediation and ADR Adjunct Professor of MEF University (Istanbul, Turkey) Law and International Relations Faculties (2016)
  • Has served as a mediator and judge at the ICC International Mediation Competition, since 2013. Served as a judge of the Competition Final (2018)
  • Awarded a Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship (2013)
  • Member of the first two Hellenic Ministry of Justice Mediators Accreditation Committees, supervising mediation implementation in Greece and introducing mediation development proposals to the Minister of Justice (2012-2018)
  • First Mediation Training Coordinator of the Athens Bar Mediation Training Centre Prometheus (2011-2018)
  • Conducted over two hundred “Introduction to Mediation” seminars for lawyers, judges, and executives in Athens and in eighteen Greek cities attended by more than 8,800 legal professionals (2011-2018)
  • Successfully introduced a proposal to create a mediators training center to the Athens Bar Association Council in 2011 and worked to establish the center (2011-2013)

ADR Training

  • Trained in mediation in accordance at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law (2013)
  • Trained in Mediation and received his European Mediator’s Accreditation from CIArb, among the first group of Greek Mediators (2008)
  • Studied advanced mediation training in the Netherlands, France, and at the International Summer School on Business Mediation, Admont, Austria
  • Specialized in Workplace Mediation and Peer Mediation. Successfully completed a semester course on “Bullying types, causes and remedies” at the Greek Open University
  • Attended various WBG internal trainings (on Mediation, Dialogue Facilitation, Diversity and Inclusion, the WBG Code of Ethics and Implicit Biases)
  • Mr. Antonelos has been a trained Ombudsman and an International Ombuds Association (IOA) member since 2018

ADR Teaching and Mentoring

As a Trainer in Mediation:

  • Has served as a mediation accredited trainer and conducted numerous mediation trainings and workshops at the Athens Bar Mediation Training Centre, Prometheus, in Athens
  • Delivered skills-development workshops for judges in Greece, at the National Magistrates School, in Cyprus and in France
  • With Greek trainers Eleni Plessa and Irini Matsouka, Mr. Antonelos created a 20-hour mediation advocacy course to increase lawyers’ mediation awareness and trained more than 900 Greek lawyers on mediation advocacy in Athens and other Greek cities in collaboration with Greek Bar Associations

As the Director of the Athens SMEs Chamber Mediation Centre, he conducted:

  • Seminars for company executives and legal advisors on mediation
  • Trainings on workplace dispute resolution for corporate executives
  • Trainings on effective communication and dispute prevention skills for company executives
  • Peer mediation training for school teachers

Since joining the WBG, Spyros regularly conducts both face-to-face and virtual trainings for Bank staff and consultants on a variety of topics:

  • Negotiation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Addressing Toxic behaviors
  • Workplace Relationships Do Matter 
  • Conflict Competencies 

Publications and Education


Mediation for All (Greek adaption of a French book of the same name) (ISBN: 978-960-568-441-9) (2014) Sakkoulas Law Editions (with Béatrice Brenneur).

Co-author, with Eleni Plessa, Mediation in Civil and Commercial Disputes: International Experience and Greek Implementation (ISBN: 978-960-568-096-1) Sakkoulas Law Editions (2014) (with Eleni Plessa) (comparative study of the Italian, U.K., Californian and Greek mediation models).

Mr. Antonelos regularly writes articles on dialogue facilitation, workplace mediation, and online and multi-cultural mediation for WBG newsletters and revues. He has also written articles on mediation, mediation advocacy for lawyers and judges, and other ADR-related topics for Greek legal and news websites.

Educational Qualifications

  • Bachelors Degree in French Private Law (Hons.) from University Paris II Panthéon-Assas (1995)
  • LL.M. in European Law (Hons.) from University Paris II Panthéon-Assas (1994)
  • Diploma in Common Law from Edinburgh University (U.K.), which he received upon successful completion of the European Young Lawyers Scheme Program, which he attended in Scotland on a scholarship from the British Council (2003)
  • DISC Certified Facilitator (2019)

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