Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Latin America: International firms

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • José Ignacio García Cueto - Clifford Chance
    • José Manuel García Represa - Dechert LLP
    • Caroline Richard - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International arbitration clients in Latin America: International firms using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based practice is led by the highly regarded Donald Francis Donovan and David Rivkin, who jointly lead the firm’s international dispute resolution group, alongside Dietmar Prager who co-heads the Latin America practice. Major work highlights in the investment treaty space included representing Perenco Ecuador against the Republic of Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration pertaining to Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of the hydrocarbons law and a subsequent termination-of-contract dispute; acting for LafargeHolcim in a pending ICSID arbitration against the government of Venezuela; and representing Gramercy Funds Management (and an affiliate) in a dispute with Peru arising from the country’s attempts to avoid payment of agrarian bonds issued in exchange for expropriated rural properties. On the commercial side, mandates saw Catherine Amirfar acting for a pharmaceutical company in a multimillion-dollar contractual dispute; and Prager representing a construction contractor in ICC arbitration arising from an EPC contract. Mark Friedman and Patrick Taylor are also noted.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a widely recognised market leader for complex investment treaty disputes and high-value commercial and construction arbitrations involving the majority of the jurisdictions in Latin America. Demonstrating its capability in handling high-stakes arbitrations, the team successfully represented Crystallex International in a $1.4bn investment treaty arbitration with Venezuela arising from the expropriation of an untapped gold mine; acted for ConocoPhillips’ subsidiary Burlington Resources in an expropriation claim against Ecuador arising from a dispute involving a tax on windfall profits; and assisted ConocoPhillips with an ICSID arbitration claim brought by a number of Dutch subsidiaries against Venezuela resulting from the latter’s expropriation of three oil-field investments. The highly regarded Nigel Blackaby leads the global international arbitration group from the firm’s Washington DC office and is particularly singled out for his expertise in the energy sector. Other names to note are New York-based Noiana Marigo, Elliot Friedman and Brian King, London-based Sylvia Noury, and Washington DC-based Caroline Richard, who focuses on investor-state matters.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘impressive’ team has an outstanding track record in the oil and gas sector, a strength that was amply demonstrated when it successfully represented Chevron in a series of arbitrations relating to an environmental judgment issued by the courts of Ecuador. More recently, the ‘knowledgeable’ Roberto Aguirre-Luzi secured a $320m award for Teinver, Transportes de Cercanías and Autobuses Urbanos del Sur in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina relating to the expropriation of two airlines. Other highlights included successfully representing Burlington Resources in investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador; acting for South American Silver in investor-state arbitration (under UNCITRAL rules) against Bolivia concerning the expropriation of mining concessions; and securing an award exceeding $550m for Bear Creek Mining Company in an ICSID arbitration against Peru resulting from the expropriation of the Santa Ana mining project. According to one client, Doak Bishop is ‘among the top five arbitrators worldwide’. New York-based Henry Burnett has particular expertise in the mining and construction sectors and Singapore-based Wade Coriell is ‘extremely prepared and diligent’. Kenneth Fleuriet, who divides his time between Paris and Washington DC, Edward Kehoe, Craig Miles and counsel Isabel Fernandez de la Cuesta are all also noted.

White & Case LLP is praised for its ‘excellent service, and thoughtful and efficient use of different experts to extract the most from its strength and expertise’. Practice head Jonathan Hamilton, ‘an incredible powerhouse’ in the investor-state arbitration segment, is singled out for his ability to ‘look further and plan the strategy accordingly’. Hamilton counts the Republic of Peru as a major client; he recently secured victory on the State’s behalf in a $1bn UNCITRAL case brought by The Renco Group (involving claims arising from environmental and operational disputes related to a metallurgical facility); and in a separate matter, he is handling a $1.6bn UNCITRAL investment arbitration relating to a 1969 agrarian reform bonds programme. Among its recent commercial arbitration cases, the team handled a series of multimillion-dollar construction disputes in the oil and gas sector. Mexico City-based Rafael Llano Oddoneunderstands the needs of Latin American clients’ and is a noted member of the practice, alongside Carolyn Lamm, Andrea Menaker, Francisco Jijón, New York-based Paul Friedland and London-located counsel Luiz Aboim. The individuals mentioned are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Arnold & Porter stands out in investor-state arbitration representing sovereign states; the Dominican Republic, Chile, Peru and Panama are on its impressive client list. In 2017, Washington DC-based Paolo Di Rosa, together with the London-based Patricio Grané Labat and Dmitri Evseev, represented the Republic of Costa Rica in response to an investment arbitration filed by Infinito Gold, seeking $321m in connection with the revocation of exploration permits and an exploitation concession for a gold mine. Labat is acting for the Republic of Peru, as respondent, in an investment arbitration initiated by Odebrecht Latinvest and Odebrecht Latin Finance, relating to a multimillion-dollar dispute in the gas transportation sector. The team also handles commercial arbitration, and recently advised on a transport-related ICC contractual case in Colombia. Within the 15-partner team, Whitney Debevoise, Gaela Gehring Flores and recently promoted partner Mallory Silberman are also names to note.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP handles a mix of investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitration for multinational, foreign and domestic corporations, states and state-owned entities. On the investor-state arbitration side, Howard Zelbo is representing DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru regarding the development and operation of facilities at the port of Callao; Matthew Slater is defending the Republic of Argentina against a petition to enforce an arbitration award issued in favour of AWG Group; and Jonathan Blackman successfully obtained the dismissal of a $15bn ICC damages case (due to alleged misconduct over nearly a decade) brought by Brazilian claimants against client Telecom Italia. Jeffrey Rosenthal, Jonathan Blackman and Ari MacKinnon are also key contacts. All individuals mentioned above are based in New York, and work closely with the firm’s network of offices.

Covington & Burling LLP acts for corporates, both as investors in investment treaty disputes and as private parties in commercial arbitrations. Recent highlights include representing an ExxonMobil subsidiary in an ICC arbitration against Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroléos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in which the team secured a $908m award for breach of contract; handling ICSID arbitration against Venezuela (brought under the Netherlands-Venezuela BIT) on behalf of ExxonMobil subsidiaries as a result of the expropriation of their investments in the country; and acting for a European oil and gas company in a dispute with a Latin American company over a joint operating agreement relating to the development of a natural gas field in Bolivia. Miguel López Forastier has solid track record in investor-state and commercial arbitrations. Nicole Duclos is also a key name to note; she has experience of international commercial and investment arbitration as well as transactional litigation, particularly in the construction segment.

To some, Dechert LLP has ‘outstanding credentials in the international arbitration community’, representing sovereign states and investors in investment treaty disputes. The team has also seen an increasing number of commercial arbitration instructions. Head of the firm’s international arbitration practice, Paris-based Eduardo Silva Romero was part of a team that represented Carlos Mario Rios Velilla and Francisco Javier Rios Velilla in ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Chile relating to the expropriation of investments in the transportation industry in Santiago. The practice is also acting for Petropar in a $270m ICC arbitration against PDVSA Petróleo, arising from Petropar’s alleged failure to comply with the payment of a debt for the supply of hydrocarbons. On the commercial arbitration side, Romero handled an ICC arbitration on behalf of a Brazilian construction company and a breach of contract dispute for a Peruvian insurance and reinsurance company. Promoted to the partnership in 2018, Érica Franzetti is a ‘pragmatic and business-driven lawyer, with solid cross-border experience in the arbitration field’. José Manuel García Represa and Antonio Gordillo Fernández de Villavicencio are also noted.

According to one client, ‘outstanding’ dispute resolution boutique firm Chaffetz Lindsey LLPprovides the advantages of a boutique firm in which partners and senior lawyers are very knowledgeable and well versed in the details of specific matters – but is simultaneously readily available and has very short response times in respect of a broad variety of matters, as a full-service law firm would be’. The practice is especially active in commercial arbitration: highlights included representing an investment fund in parallel ICC arbitrations against a number of South American entities arising from disputes concerning credit facilities; representing the subsidiary of a European energy company in arbitration against an international contractor (related to the construction of a power plant); and acting for a Brazilian construction company in a dispute with an oil company concerning the construction and refitting of floating production storage and offloading vessels. Recent investor-state arbitration cases include representing Albacora in a dispute against Ecuador over allegedly arbitrary taxation measures imposed within a free-trade zone. The ‘experienced and thorough’ David Lindsey and James Hosking co-lead the New York-based group, which also includes Aníbal Sabater, who has ‘great attention to detail and is pleasant to work with’.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP fields a number of ‘truly brilliant’ individuals who ‘take pride in learning everything about each case, not only the legal aspects but also the factual, technical, and economic aspects’. The team ‘brings an international perspective and a proximity to the client’. It has a market-leading practice representing states as respondents in high-stakes investor-state arbitrations, particularly in the oil and gas sector, and also has commercial arbitration capabilities. The practice counts Venezuela as a key client and has handled a number of high-profile ICSID cases for the state, including an arbitration brought by ConocoPhillips’ subsidiaries relating to petroleum exploration and development projects. The team includes lawyers based in New York, Washington DC, London and Mexico City, and is led by George Kahale III, who is ‘a bright legal mind with an excellent understanding of how companies and governments work’, which makes him ‘unbeatable in both commercial and investment arbitration’. Benard Preziosi is ‘great at cross-examining witnesses and experts’; Mark O'Donoghue, Claudia Frutos-Peterson, Kate Brown de Vejar and Gabriela Álvarez-Ávila are all noted.

International litigation and arbitration practice Foley Hoag LLP has a solid track record of representing states in investor-state arbitration. It also continues to grow its international commercial arbitration capabilities. Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela feature on the practice group’s client list, which also includes new clients Peru and the Dominican Republic. The team recently represented Ecuador in an UNCITRAL dispute against FLOPEC, relating to the installation of a deposit-and-transport system for liquefied natural gas (LNG); it also acted for Uruguay in ICSID arbitration brought by Italba concerning regulation of the claimant’s authorisation to provide telecoms services. Other highlights included representing Nicaragua in a series of arbitrations at the International Court of Justice concerning its maritime boundary with Colombia. Paul Reichler leads the group from its Washington DC office and is supported by Lawrence Martin. Daniel Schimmel6 is a key name to note at the New York office, as is Mélida Hodgson6, who has ‘a sharp legal mind as well as attention to detail’. Clara Brillembourg and Alberto Wray are also noted.

Herbert Smith Freehills is singled out for its ‘in-depth knowledge about the Latin America market’, especially in the mining infrastructure space. The ‘business- and solution-oriented’ Christian Leathley is defending the Republic of Costa Rica in investment treaty proceedings arising from the termination of a residential and hotel project on environmental grounds; he is also advising BHP Billiton on a series of disputes relating to the Escondida mining project in Chile, and a number of investment treaty arbitrations in the region. The team also handles a steady flow of commercial arbitration: recent cases include representing a joint venture company in ICC arbitration concerning a dispute over the development of an offshore LNG regasification project. The team lost Laurence Shore and Emmanuelle Cabrol to BonelliErede and Ashurst LLP respectively, but welcomed Thierry Tomasi, who joined the Paris office from Betto Seraglini.

Leveraging its global network of offices, the international arbitration team at Hogan Lovells US LLP is well positioned to handle investor-state disputes, representing both investors and respondent governments, as well as commercial arbitration. Led by Daniel González, the 56-partner team includes key practitioners based in the firm’s US, European and Latin American offices. González and Miami-office managing partner Richard Lorenzo continue to represent IBM México in ICC arbitration concerning an IT systems service agreement. Among other recent highlights, the team represented the Republic of Panama in three separate ICSID arbitrations involving the real estate, mining and financial services sectors; assisted Lidercón in a dispute with the Republic of Peru pertaining to breaches of the Spain-Peru BIT; and handled an ICC arbitration for a multinational company against a Spanish construction company in the energy sector. Mexico-based Eduardo Siqueiros and Omar Guerrero Rodríguez are also noted.

The growing practice at Latham & Watkins handles a mix of investment treaty arbitration and high-stakes commercial disputes. It recently advised on a number of multimillion-dollar construction disputes in the energy sector in countries including Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia, as well as on a range of commercial arbitrations. Group head Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is representing Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo as the respondent in an ICC arbitration brought by a subsidiary of an Asian state-owned oil-and-gas company regarding a joint venture dispute; he is also defending the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration brought by Eco Oro Minerals concerning the adoption of regulatory measures in the gold mining sector. The team operates from across the firm’s geographic footprint, with key practitioners based in Paris, Madrid, London, New York, San Francisco and San Diego. Notable practitioners include counsel John Adam, who is a barrister with Spanish and Portuguese language capabilities, and the London-based Charles Claypoole and Sophie Lamb.

Reed Smith LLP’s international arbitration group has a strong focus on the Latin America market, representing multinational companies, financial institutions and governmental institutions, and is particularly active in the telecoms, construction, infrastructure, and oil and gas sectors. Global head of international arbitration José Astigarraga is ‘amazingly strong in commercial arbitration’; he recently represented a Latin American multinational construction company in a commercial dispute in the infrastructure sector, as well as acting for a joint venture chemical manufacturing plant in a dispute with a state, arising from an energy supply contract and agreements concerning construction of the plant. Other notable practitioners include Eduardo De la Peña, Edward Mullins, Cristina Cárdenas and senior counsel William Russell.

Sidley Austin LLP lost leading individual Stanimir Alexandrov (who is dedicating himself to acting as an arbitrator), and the practice is now co-led by Louis Kimmelman and Marinn Carlson from the firm’s New York and Washington DC offices, respectively. The team focuses primarily on investor-state arbitration, representing investors and respondent governments in ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitrations, but it also regularly handles commercial arbitration; representative clients include the Republic of Peru, Caribbean Investment Holdings and Philip Morris International. Jennifer Haworth McCandless’ experience includes defending a Latin American government in multiple cases, including against multibillion-dollar claims brought by French investors in the financial services and real estate sectors, and claims brought by US, Canadian and European investors in the energy, mining and service sectors. Other notable practitioners include James Mendenhall and counsel Dana MacGrath.

Leveraging its solid experience of advising oil and gas sector clients in transactional matters, Baker Botts L.L.P. handles high-stakes commercial and investment treaty arbitrations for sovereign states, governmental agencies, state-owned utilities and international energy companies. The 14-partner team has a strong presence in its London office, and the ability to handle arbitration conducted in Spanish. Among its recent highlights, Alejandro Escobar represented a Latin American state in a multimillion-dollar arbitration in the liquefied gas sector and is also advising a sovereign state on an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration proceeding initiated under a bilateral investment treaty by a European investor. Jay Alexander and Washington DC-based Ryan Bull are advising an oil company on the expropriation risk for its assets in a Latin American country. Trial lawyer Michael Goldberg, who divides his time between Houston and New York, is also noted, as is Andrew Behrman.

Baker McKenzie LLP stands out for its ‘deep knowledge of the energy industry, a sharp commercial mindset and strong technical-legal skills’. The firm, which has seven offices in Latin America, is uniquely placed to handle a broad range of commercial arbitration and has a particularly strong niche in the construction segment. Current mandates include representing a consortium of multinational petroleum companies in an arbitration against Brazil’s National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) regarding the Lula oil reservoir (in block BM-S-11 of the Santos basin); and acting for IBT Group in three construction arbitrations against the Republic of Panama. Brazil-based Joaquim Muniz and New York-based Grant Hanessian are praised for their ‘attention to the clients’ needs, experience in the field of international arbitration and business approach’. María del Carmen Tovar and Claudia Benavides, based in Lima and Bogota respectively, are also names to note. Salvador Fonseca moved to Holland & Knight in early 2018.

International dispute resolution boutique GST LLP fields a number of ‘highly skilled’ international arbitration practitioners, with fluent Spanish and Portuguese speakers who handle both investor-state arbitration and commercial disputes. The practice has experience in a large number of jurisdictions, including Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Guatemala, and has notable expertise in the agribusiness, energy and natural resources, and infrastructure sectors. It counts the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as a key client and is representing the state in a series of expropriation disputes in the food distribution sector, as well as acting as co-counsel in annulment proceedings filed by Venezuela against an ICSID award obtained by OI European Group. Ignacio Torterola and Diego Gosis ‘devote themselves to the matters they work on entirely’; they, along with Quinn Smith, who acts as counsel and arbitrator before arbitral tribunals and ad hoc committees, are ‘highly experienced’ practitioners. The team operates from Miami, Washington DC and London.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s team is jointly led by Washington DC-based John Townsend and New York-based John Fellas and Steven Hammond. The team handles a steady stream of investment treaty disputes and a range of commercial arbitration and is growing its regional expertise – at least in Brazil – via a co-operation agreement with the Rio de Janeiro-based Saud Advogados. Recent highlights include representing Huntington Ingalls Industries in its arbitration against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela arising from Venezuela’s failure to pay for repairs on two Lupo-class frigates. Co-chair of the firm’s Treaty Arbitration practice, as well as acting as counsel Hammond also frequently sits as an arbitrator. The team lost Alexander Yanos to Alston & Bird LLP in 2017.

Recent headline mandates for Jones Day include Madrid-based Mercedes Fernández acting for a Spanish infrastructure firm in ICSID arbitration against Argentina (regarding a contaminated water concession); and Steven Smith and Marcus Quintanilla’s representation of an EPC contractor in ICC proceedings relating to the construction of ore-processing facilities in a major South American jurisdiction. Ricardo Puente is a key name to note in Miami, but the practice – led by Gregory Shumaker – lost Mexico-based Luis Rubio Barnetche who moved to Holland & Knight in January 2018.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s recent caseload features a number of high-profile commercial arbitration cases, particularly in the energy and mining sectors. Among them, Caracas-based Pedro Saghy is representing Mayor La Algaida in an arbitration pertaining to a recollection of award following a breach of contract; Houston-based Mark Baker represented a Latin American oil producer in ICC arbitration concerning a joint operation agreement dispute. On the investor-state arbitration side, Martin Valasek represented Gold Reserve in its enforcement proceedings against Venezuela for the $770m settlement of investment disputes.

Known for its leading litigation capability globally, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP fields specialist arbitration partners who regularly lead on high-stakes investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitrations. Clients praise its ‘extraordinary team effort which is properly equipped to deal with any problems along the way’. The ‘remarkable’ David Orta leads the international arbitration practice from the firm’s Washington DC office, which also includes Daniel Salinas-Serrano; the pair are currently representing 39 US investors in ICSID arbitration against Mexico regarding the alleged closure and expropriation of casino businesses. Other matters saw Michael Carlinsky and Tai-Heng Cheng successfully represent Renova Energia in a breach of contract dispute with TerraForm Global and the team is also representing foreign investors in arbitration seeking damages under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). London-based global international arbitration practice chair Stephen Jagusch QC is an additional key player; and the team has been strengthened with the partnership promotion of Gabriel Soledad and the hire of Dawn Yamane Hewett, who joined from the US Department of Commerce.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, São Paulo-based Julie Bédard has a wealth of experience in handling high-profile Brazil-related arbitrations. Bédard was part of the team that successfully represented a Brazilian venture capital and private equity company in LCIA arbitration against a Chinese company following the sale of a major iron ore mining project in Brazil. The team is also representing a Brazilian insurance company in arbitration brought by the American and Brazilian affiliates of a heavy industry multinational regarding a major incident at an alumina refinery in Brazil; and acted for a US energy company in relation to a potential accident claim against the sellers of a hydroelectric power plant. The six-partner team also includes Timothy Nelson, Lea Haber Kuck and Marco Schnabl, all of whom are based in New York.

Based in London, Paris and Washington DC, specialist arbitral boutique Three Crowns LLP is recommended for investment treaty, state-to-state and commercial arbitration, as well as its ‘excellent’ investor-state arbitration capacity. Gaëtan Verhoosel, who serves as the senior vice-chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee, is well regarded, as is Carmen Martinez Lopez. Constantine Partasides QC, Luke Sobota and Jan Paulsson secured a $2bn award for ConocoPhillips in ICC arbitrations against PDVSA pertaining to the expropriation of its interests in two major heavy-oil projects in Venezuela’s Orinoco belt. Other commercial arbitration highlights include representing an international oil company in arbitration arising from a joint operation agreement; handling an ICC arbitration concerning a share purchase agreement on behalf of a private equity house; and acting for an international oil company in an ICDR arbitration related to a farm-out agreement.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has a solid track record of handling Latin America-related investment treaty and commercial arbitrations. A multi-jurisdictional team, led by Nick Henchie and James Loftis, is currently handling a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority, as defendant, arising from disputes with construction contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal relating to the installation of a third set of locks as part of the Panama Canal expansion project. Other matters saw London-based Louise Woods represent a consortium of US investors in a claim for unfair treatment and expropriation brought against Costa Rica in relation to a real estate development project. ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina and XTO Energy also feature on the team’s client roster.

Led by Ricardo Ugarte, Winston & Strawn LLP’s six-partner team is known for investment arbitration, where it has a wealth of experience acting for a diverse mix of Latin American sovereign states, state-owned entities and investors. The Washington DC-based Tomás Leonard and Eric Bloom continue to represent the Republic of Ecuador in a decade-long series of disputes, including its multibillion-dollar UNCITRAL arbitration with Chevron and Texaco pertaining to environmental damage. Other work highlights saw the practice group handling an investor-state arbitration in the telecoms sector. Team developments saw the 2017 arrival of Julissa Reynoso, who joined from legacy firm Chadbourne & Parke.

Madrid-based firm B. Cremades & Asociados handles a steady stream of commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. Recent highlights include representing a Spanish investor in two ICC arbitrations relating to the construction of a power plant and acting for Blue Bank International & Trust (Barbados) in ICSID arbitration against Venezuela. Well-regarded founding partner Bernardo Cremades regularly acts as an arbitrator in Latin American-related arbitrations, having previously handled disputes in forums such as ICSID, the LCIA and the ICC. David Cairns is also noted.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP fields a number of ‘outstanding practitioners with great technical ability’ and the team has considerable experience handling both commercial arbitration and investor-state disputes. Recent mandates saw Miami-based Pedro Martinez-Fraga and Ryan Reetz represent the Dominican Republic in an UNCITRAL claim, as well as acting for a US manufacturing company in ICC arbitration arising from a breach of contract dispute. Counsel Emma Lindsay leads the international arbitration team in New York; and 2017 saw the arrival of counsel Domenico Di Pietro, who joined the firm’s London office from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Clifford Chance is particularly recommended for handling investment treaty and commercial arbitration in the energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, and telecoms sectors. The team recently acted for a Spanish investor in an UNCITRAL claim against Bolivia arising from the expropriation of a concession agreement to run the country’s three international airports; it is also representing mineral resource exploration-and-development companies Galway Gold and Red Eagle Exploration in two separate ICSID arbitrations against the Republic of Colombia. Recent activity on the commercial arbitration side includes ICC arbitration relating to alleged breach of contract and a number of multimillion-dollar construction disputes. The practice, led by Washington DC-based Ignacio Suarez Anzorena, also includes special consultant José Ignacio García Cueto, who is praised for his ‘deep knowledge combined with the eloquence and legal thinking of a junior partner’. London-based Janet Whittaker is an additional name to note.

Clyde & Co LLP’s recent caseload features a number of commercial arbitrations, particularly in the insurance sector. London-based practice head Peter Hirst acted for a contractor in ICC arbitration related to the construction of floating production storage and offloading vessels and represented a Brazilian steelmaker in a breach of contract claim. The team counts Alstom as a key client and has also been handling a series of ICC arbitrations for the company, including its ongoing dispute with Mitsui. Neil Beresford and Maurice Kenton are noted for their experience in the insurance and energy sectors respectively; and the team also has a notable presence in Brazil, where Stirling Leech is a key practitioner. The hire of Alejandro Garcia, who joined from Winston & Strawn London LLP, has added significant experience in general commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

Cuatrecasas added to its international arbitration capacity with the hire of René Irra in Mexico and Alberto Fortún in Madrid. The 13-partner team is led by Madrid-based Alfonso Iglesia, with support from Iñigo Quintana, who has notable experience of handling Brazil-related disputes. The team focuses on commercial arbitration, particularly ICC disputes, and has a growing investment-treaty arbitration practice. The team has recently handled disputes involving Peru, Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has a strong network of offices in Latin America and is particularly active in commercial arbitrations and construction disputes. In Mexico City, Cecilia Azar has a wealth of experience handling arbitral and mediation proceedings, and is a name to note, alongside Gerardo Lozano Alarcón; in New York, of counsel Kiera Gans has notable expertise in investor-state arbitration, acting both for and against sovereign states; in Lima, Carlos Nuñez is highly regarded for arbitral matters, particularly in the infrastructure and construction sectors, and is noted for his ability to ‘identify key issues and propose sound strategy’; and in Houston, Ileana Blanco regularly represents financial institutions in complex disputes. 2017 saw the team represent Brazilian construction company Investimentos e Participações em Infraestrutura in an EPC contract dispute, and it is currently acting for Consorcio Vial Huaura in a $20m arbitration arising from the construction of a highway.

Holland & Knight LLP’s 2017 hire of Luis Rubio Barnetche and Salvador Fonseca from Jones Day and Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C., respectively, added notable commercial arbitration capacity to its already strong offering in Mexico City. The predominately US-based team regularly handles commercial arbitration in the maritime, aviation, hospitality and energy sectors; and recent headline mandates include representing an international EPC contractor in a $2bn claim arising from the construction of an oil refinery. Adolfo Jiménez and Brian Briz are singled out for their ‘excellent negotiation skills’; both have experience managing arbitrations in English and Spanish in fora including the ICC, the ICDR, UNCITRAL and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). Joseph Mamounas, New York-based Marisa Marinelli and Austin-based Juan Alcalá are also notable practitioners.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP joins the ranking following the recruitment, in 2016, of Javier Rubinstein in Chicago, as well as Lauren Friedman and Lucila Hemmingsen in New York. The team is representing a consortium of Mexican investors in separate claims against the European Union and Spain for multiple breaches of the Mexico-Spain BIT, and is also acting for a major engineering company in a multimillion-dollar construction dispute.

Shearman & Sterling LLP handles a broad range of commercial and investment treaty arbitration. In 2017, a team led by Paris-based Emmanuel Gaillard and Yas Banifatemi represented a Mexican company in a dispute under a BIT signed with a European state. Within its network of offices, New York-based Henry Weisburg and Washington DC-based Christopher Ryan and Jonathan Greenblatt are also names to note.

Uría Menéndez’s strength lies in its solid experience of handling construction disputes, along with the capacity to handle a broader range of commercial disputes. Jesús Remón and Miguel Virgós lead the 23-partner team, which includes key practitioners based in Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona. The team is also active in the investor-state sphere; 2017 saw Virgós and Gabriel Bottini act for an international investor in a dispute arising from the breaching of a BIT. Virgós, Bottini and Álvaro López de Argumedo also regularly sit as arbitrators.

Acting for both sovereign states and investors, London-based international public law specialists Volterra Fietta focuses on investment treaty arbitration and state-to-state disputes. Recent highlights include representing Favianca and Owens-Illinois in ICSID annulment proceedings against Venezuela. Founding partner Robert Volterra is highly regarded.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to