International arbitration is big business for those firms with the experience and sophistication to access significant mandates. Latin America has become something a of focus for a significant number of firms, including those with teams in major arbitration centres such as New York, Washington DC, Miami, London and Paris. The economic and political volatility of the region continues to generate a steady pipeline of cross-border disputes, including commercial, investor-state and state-to-state arbitration. Given the frequency of investment cases against Latin American nations, many firms have sought to build strong connections to sovereign states, with a small number focusing exclusively on state representation.
International arbitration in Latin America: International firms
Undoubtedly the "go-to" firm for State-side representations in the wake of an peerless track record of 48 (out of 49) positive outcomes, Arnold & Porter counts some 14 Latin American states among its clients; this perhaps unfairly overshadows its fine credentials as regards representing Latin American corporates in ICC arbitrations. The firm's sizeable arbitral group houses practitioners with government experience, who are members of ICSID's panel of arbitrators and/or have the linguistic and bicultural expertise to allow the team to conduct proceedings in Spanish. 30-year arbitral veteran Paolo Di Rosa founded the firm's international arbitration practice (which he subsequently led for 15 years) and has an exceptional record of success as a counsel; fully bilingual (Spanish/English) he has represented a dozen Latin American states in public international law matters and/or international litigation and arbitration. London partner Patricio Grané Labat is another deeply experienced figure in investor-state arbitration, including cases under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but also handles international commercial arbitration, public international law, and international trade matters. A January 2022 lateral hire, New York partner Mélida Hodgson impresses in both international commercial cases and investor-state arbitrations (particularly on behalf of Venezuela); she has a notable focus on the infrastructure construction, mining, transportation and energy sectors. The experienced and versatile Whitney Debevoise provides further senior level gravitas and Latin America experience in the arbitral sphere. Emerging talent Mallory Silberman has represented the governments of Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, as well as representing investors in investor-State disputes against Argentina. Trilingual (English, French & Spanish) counsel Álvaro Nistal is also highly active in Latin America as part of his broader, global practice.
Paolo Di Rosa; Maria Chedid
Republic of Peru
Republic of Colombia
The Dominican Republic
Republic of Panama
Republic of Costa Rica
Republic of Chile
Republic of Guatemala
Republic of Ecuador
Republic of El Salvador
- Successfully defended the Republic of Peru against a $26m claim.
- Successfully represented the Republic of Costa Rica against Infinito Gold in an ICSID arbitration pursuant to the bilateral investment treaty Costa Rica-Canada.
- Successfully represented Colombia in an investment arbitration filed under UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules pursuant to the Colombia-United States Trade Promotion Agreement
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a large team of international arbitration specialists located across its international offices. The practice group evidences a healthy generational spread from prestigious senior figures and seasoned practitioners, through to younger partners, and a deep and specialised associate bench; much of Latin America-focused team is based in New York. The firm has an established record in investor-state and commercial disputes, often representing multinationals in cases against Latin American sovereigns or businesses; it also acts for Latin American entities in cases against entities outside of the region. Multilingual practitioner Dietmar Prager is co-chair of the Latin America practice group and is a recognised leader in international arbitration, notably in investor-state disputes, where he frequently represents investors. Hugely experienced, Mark Friedman is co-chair of the international dispute resolution practice and a preeminent figure in investor-state and commercial disputes; he led on the Perenco Ecuador case, obtaining a record $390m award from the Ecuadorian state. A member of the International Court for Arbitration of the ICC and ‘a very complete lawyer’, New York and Paris-qualified Ina Popova divides her time between the two cities and is particularly noted for energy, mining, and TMT sector disputes. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) and a native Spanish-speaker, Laura Sinisterra was raised to the partnership in July 2022; already an experienced practitioner in both investor-state and commercial arbitration, she is praised as being ‘an excellent interrogator of witnesses and experts’. Sinisterra and Prager teamed up to co-lead on both the Freeport-McMoRan & Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde, and SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands, cases against Peru – the former a $1bn+ case under the US-Peru FTA; the latter a $250m+ case under the Netherlands-Peru BIT. London-based Patrick Taylor has a global practice but is increasingly involved in Latin America matters; he has a certain focus on upstream oil and gas, energy and telecoms cases. Up-and-coming figure Guilherme Recena Costa moved in house as head-of-legal for Latin America at Barrick Gold in October 2022; and senior partner David W Rivkin retired in Febraury 2023 after over 40 years at the firm - he now acts as an independent arbitrator.
Dietmar Prager; Mark Friedman; Catherine Amirfar
‘The team is extraordinary. It has a series of people who are very good at what they do and stand out for their work. In addition, it should be noted that each one of them brings vast experience and added value.‘
‘They are very dedicated lawyers with a very high work ethic. In addition, being very technical, they are great strategists and know how to listen.’
‘It is undoubtedly the best or one of the best international arbitration teams in the world. The entire team stands out, but the partners and senior associates are true arbitration specialists and stand out for their intelligence, vast experience, commitment to clients and cases, and excellent service. It is a team that stands out for handling complex controversies very easily, and they have lawyers who speak various languages and have work experiences in other countries (especially in Latin America), which facilitates work with international clients and local firms. I witness that the practice area has recently received accolades for its contribution to diversity.’
‘The entire team stands out from some of its competitors because they work in a very harmonious and organised way, always meeting deadlines and with excellent quality, and this level of very high excellence is uniform among all the lawyers in the team. Several senior partners and associates are among the best lawyers in their field. I highlight a few: 1. Mark Friedman: he is a born leader and an incredibly talented lawyer, as well as being a very warm person. Professionally, he has a great ability to present arguments very solidly and clearly, both in writing and verbally. 2. Dietmar Prager: he stands out for having a deep knowledge of the cases he handles, for his ability to convey the client’s position and interests in the best way, and for his excellent personal quality. He is also an excellent leader, in his case from the Latin American practice. 3. Laura Sinisterra: she is a brilliant lawyer, incredibly talented, always prepared, and an excellent interrogator of witnesses and experts. On a personal level, she transmits a lot of energy and security, and clients praise her great personality and excellent service. 4. Ina Popova: she is a very complete lawyer, extremely intelligent and with all the necessary skills to excel in the field of arbitration. 5. Julio Rivera Rios: despite still being young, he is an associate of the firm who stands out a lot for his intelligence, hard work, great personality, and the excellent preparation he has for interrogations. He contributes tremendously to the team and always maintains an excellent relationship with the client and local lawyers. 6. Nawi Ukabiala: he is an associate of the firm who also stands out a lot for handling very complex aspects of the cases and knowing them in detail and explaining them in a didactic and simple way. He is also involved in various aspects of the cases, including document production, and his work is critical to the success of the team.’
‘Excellent written and oral advocacy. Tenaciously building and pursing a case. Collegial and diverse team. Extraordinary Spanish language skill. Very experienced in Latin American cases, particularly mining industry.’
‘Dietmar Prager: excellent advocator and very effective cross examiner. Laura Sinisterra: elegantly passionate advocator, someone who you do not want to be in an opposite side. Nawi Ukabiala: very intelligent, comprehensively analyze a case. Julianne Marley effective and excellent drafter. Michelle Huang: effective and excellent drafter.’
‘It is an amazing team. I have worked with them for ever 20 years, in several complex cases. We do believe that it is one of the most profound and sophisticated teams in the world.’
‘Mark Friedman, Ina Popova, Dietmar Prager and Laura Sinisterra are amazing.’
Tethyan Copper Company (co-owned by Antofagasta Minerals and Barrick Gold Corporation)
Sumitomo Metal Mining
Gramercy Funds Management
- Represented Tethyan Copper Company, a mining company jointly owned by Antofagasta Minerals of Chile and Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada, in a multibillion-dollar investment dispute arising out of a mining project in Balochistan province, Pakistan.
- Represented Freeport-McMoRan and Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Government of Peru under the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
- Represented SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Government of Peru under the Netherlands-Peru BIT.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s global standing in international arbitration is very much in evidence in Latin America, where it has an unrivalled record in investor-state arbitrations over recent years; it typically represents investors against states and state-owned entities. It has represented parties in some of the largest and most high-profile cases to involve the region, notably expropriation and nationalisation-related cases, including representing ConocoPhillips in a series of cases relating to the 2007 expropriation of three major oil investments in Venezuela under then-President Chávez. The firm is active in cases involving parties from across the region and has an array of native Spanish and Portuguese speakers in the team. ‘Brilliant senior practitioner’ Nigel Blackaby KC (in Washington DC) is co-head of the Latin America group alongside Noiana Marigo, who ‘directs the practice in Lat Am in an exceptional way’. Also in Washington DC, Caroline Richard (‘an outstanding international arbitration expert’) is another notable name in investor-state disputes, as is Lee Rovinescu, who was promoted to the partnership in 2020, and is highlighted for mining, energy and natural resources cases, as well as his expertise in damages. Blackaby and Richard (along with Americas practice head Elliot Friedman) are currently co-leading advice to Glencore in the first ever ICSID case against Colombia; while Marigo is acting for the same client in an UNCITRAL case against the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Counsel Natalia Zibibbo (an ‘excellent professional’); DC-based special legal consultant Maria Julia Milesi (who was promoted to counsel in May 2023); and senior associates Santiago Gatica (‘remarkable intelligence, legal knowledge and great capacity for work’), Hinda Rabkin and Madeline Snider (in Madrid), are also noted and further illustrate the practice group’s strength-in-depth. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Former counsel Alex Wilbraham has left the firm to become an independent arbitrator in January 2023.
Nigel Blackaby KC; Noiana Marigo
‘The team is very professional. High level of commitment in the development of legal argumentation, depth in the analysis and understanding of the issues exposed. They are fully involved in the case, studying, comparing and testing the different legal approaches required to properly represent the company’s position. They have a wealth of experience and their support teams are highly competent. They have the technological capacity to handle thousands of documents, extract the most valuable elements, cite them, link them and access them to support each of the assertions of the briefs presented.’
‘The legal team has extraordinary experience to analyse very complex issues that consider national and international legal argumentation, arbitration rules and link it to elements of the case. It is directed in an exceptional way by the lawyer Noiana Marigo who directs the practice in Latam and has a great analytical and strategic capacity essential to design the approach to each topic dealt with. The lawyer Santiago Gatica stands out in an outstanding way with a remarkable intelligence, legal knowledge and great capacity for work. They stand out for their commitment to the case, 24-hour availability, knowledge and experience.’
‘Big name, multilingual, very responsive.’
‘The international arbitration team is the best in class. The team is equipped with outstanding lawyers, is comprised of partners specialising in different areas, senior and junior associates. Clients are presented with a team of diverse practitioners, ethnic and gender diversity and out of the box thinking and cognitive skills. Impressively the teams are maintained throughout these lengthy arbitrations and the team is a handful of lawyers that know the case very well and function very efficiently.’
‘Caroline Richard – an outstanding international arbitration expert; works relentless hours and is always available and open to a discussion. Excellent in tactics and strategy, spanish and french speaker, runs cases very efficiently as head/lead practitioner of the team. Deep experience of international law. Nigel Blackaby KC – Brilliant senior practitioner with years of international arbitration experience, has deep country knowledge, fluent in Spanish and knows Latin America intimately. Lee Rovenescu – best in class for his years of experience and has tremendous gravitas. Engenders a great deal of trust, is highly skilled and works tirelessly. Excellent in mining/energy and natural resources. has a great deal of technical knowledge in these areas and is a damages expert.’
‘In the area of international arbitration, I believe it is one of the best law firms in the world, since they guarantee the success of their work. In our case they obtained an excellent result on our behalf in the arbitration involving our companies. The leaders of the team that attended us are: Noiana Marigo and Nigel Blackaby and the rest of the team; Natalia Zibibbo, Ezequiel Vetulli, Sofia Klot, Santiago Gatica. It’s a team of excellent professionals.’
The Glencore Group
Eco Oro Minerals
Latin American Regional Aviation Holding
Fernando Fraiz Trapote
Espiritu Santo Holdings
- Successfully represented Grupo Agroinsumos Iberoamericanos in connection with an arbitration claim, brought under the Spain-Venezuela BIT, arising out of the 2010 expropriation of the client’s business.
- Acted for BBVA in a dispute concerning Bolivia’s nationalisation of the country’s pension fund administration industry, a 10-year process which began in 2010; in July 2022, the ICSID Tribunal issued an award ordering Bolivia to pay over $100m to BBVA.
- Successfully represented ConocoPhillips in a series of cases relating to the 2007 expropriation of three major oil investments in Venezuela under then-President Chávez.
King & Spalding LLP is a global leader in international arbitration with its Latin America-focused teams primarily located in the key strategic centres of New York, Miami and Houston – the practice having outgrown its original hydrocarbons focus in the latter office. The group has an outstanding record in investment and commercial arbitration, along with arbitration-related litigation before the courts. It has represented clients in some of the biggest, longest running and highest profile cases to involve parties from Latin America. This includes its ongoing pre-eminence in energy sector cases. Clients include some of the largest multinationals and investors with interests in Latin America, and the practice continues to represent Chevron in the long-running investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador (seated in the Hague), concerning alleged environmental harm caused by historical oilfield operations. Made up of ‘world-class lawyers’, the practice group includes Argentine-born Roberto Aguirre Luzi, who has an exclusive focus Latin America disputes and co-heads the Latin America international arbitration group. Houston and Miami-based Craig Miles and senior arbitration specialist Doak Bishop, who are also both widely acclaimed for their Latin America arbitration expertise; as is Wade Coriell, who divides his time between Houston and Singapore and was recently appointed as the new global head of international arbitration. The immensely experienced Harry Burnett relocated to the firm’s new Miami office in mid-2022; a trilingual practitioner (English, Spanish & Portuguese), he is a ‘true Latin American specialist’ and widely recognised as a leader in Latin America-related mandates. New York’s Edward Kehoe is another key practitioner, along with newly promoted partner Fernando Rodriguez-Cortina and Chicago-based Javier Rubinstein. New York and Washington DC-based Érica Franzetti and New York’s Samaa Haridi (‘an extremely hard-working and sharp lawyer’) also impress. All named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.
Harry Burnett; Craig Miles; Roberto Aguirre Luzi; Edward Kehoe; Doak Bishop
‘Leading international arbitration practice.’
‘I have worked with Samaa Haridi who is an extremely hard-working and sharp lawyer, and Harry Burnett, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and is a true America specialist.’
‘Outstanding knowledge and capabilities to deliver the best strategy and to provide guidance with each step of the international arbitration and best strategy, with deep knowledge on the singularities of it and excelent communication strategy for the shareholders.’
‘Craig Miles and Arturo Oropeza Casas work in a very coordinated way to provide customer with the best support for its needs, but still dividing the legal work within the law firm to adjust the fees to the structure of lawyers position/knowledge that each step requires, avoiding over bill. Moreover, their understanding of the potential impacts for shareholders -beyond the purely legal aspects- at each step, and the measures to reduce these impacts, are excellent.’
‘Tier 1 team! The go-to firm for international disputes.’
‘Harry Burnett, Erica Franzetti, Fernando Cortina-Rodriguez, Craig Miles and Samaa Haridi are world-class lawyers! The best in the field.’
Gente Oil Ecuador
Odyssey Marine Exploration
Desarrollo Vial de los Andes
Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi
The Williams Companies
AMERRA Capital Management
- Represented subsidiaries of Quanta Services in several separate commercial, insurance and investment arbitrations, including a major ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under the Netherlands–Peru Bilateral Investment Treaty.
- Represented Gente Oil Ecuador in a Spanish-language UNCITRAL arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador concerning the breach and repudiation of a service agreement for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in an Amazon oilfield.
- Represented Chevron in an investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador seated in the Hague, arising out of a $9.5bn billion Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron for alleged environmental harm caused by historical oilfield operations.
Three Crowns LLP
Three Crowns LLP is the largest specialist international arbitration firm in the world and has an outstanding record in Latin America. In April it announced the launch of a Madrid office (in autumn 2023) to further expand its handling of Spanish (and more generally European) clients. Leading Latin America international arbitration expert, the tri-qualified (England & Wales; New York and Spain) Carmen Martinez Lopez, is relocating from London, as is prominent Argentine-qualified special legal consultant, Agustin Sanz, from Washington DC. The firm has deep civil law credentials, language capabilities and cultural links to the region, which provide the basis for a thriving practice in both investor-state and commercial cases. Clients note that the team ‘understands the reality of the market’ and has a ‘pedigree that is second to none’. Indeed, Martínez is currently representing Chile in a $200m+ ICSID case filed by ISA under the Chile-Colombia FTA (related to the construction of the Cardones-Polpaico electricity transmission line in Chile); and co-leading advice to Sacyr on its $1bn+ investment treaty claim against Panama relating to the expansion of the Panama Canal, alongside the London-based Gaëtan Verhoosel KC (and Singapore's Simon Elliot). Verhoosel is a leading arbitral practitioner with a first class track record in the region, a standing reflected by his selection as chair in a $500m ICSID case brought by B-Mex (and others) against the United Mexican States. Tri-qualified (California, New York & Washington DC) Luke Sobota, a founding partner of the firm, is currently handling Chevron's long-running $9.5bn Permanent Court of Arbitration case against Ecuador, which as of late 2022 had reached the quantification of damages stage; and is also co-lead on the defence of ConocoPhillips' $8bn ICSID award against Venezuela in the face of the latter's attempts to annul or otherwise stay the decision. As the foregoing suggests, the firm has represented various oil and gas majors in headline cases against Latin American states, and has also been engaged by sovereign entities themselves. It is now experiencing further growth in intra-regional cases and disputes conducted solely in Spanish, and is also gaining prominence in environmental disputes and cases related to sovereign states’ efforts to capture windfall profits from the mining sector. Multilingual and dual-qualified (Brazil/New York) special legal consultant Laura França Pereira (Washington DC) is also noted.
Gaëtan Verhoosel KC; Carmen Martinez Lopez
‘There is no better quality in the market. Three Crowns has a pedigree that is second to none.’
‘The team that covers the Latin American practice is diverse and understands the reality of the market. The origin of the people that make up the team allows them to perfectly combine the knowledge and practice of common law with the needs of civil law jurisdictions where investor-state disputes arise.’
‘It is a fantastic team with acute knowledge in LatAm; Gaetan Verhoosel, Luke Sobota, Carmen Martinez Lopez and Agustin Sanz All of them are great.’
The Republic of Chile
Jan de Nul
Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia
- Represented the Republic of Chile in a $200m+ ICSID claim filed under the Chile-Colombia FTA and concerning the largest electricity transmission project in Chile’s history.
- Represented Sacyr in a $1bn+ treaty claim against Panama under the Spain-Panama BIT in connection with the expansion of the Panama Canal.
- Acted for Chevron in its investment treaty arbitration against Ecuador before an arbitral tribunal under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
Highlighted for its ‘very deep bench and industry knowledge’ White & Case LLP has a very sizeable Latin America-focused international arbitration team (totalling some 100 professionals) that handes an impressive mix of commercial, construction and investment arbitration engagements. The team is also noted for its expertise in enforcement proceedings, while its catalogue of recent cases includes appointments in the energy, resources, financial services, technology and transportation sectors. Indeed, the energy sector – particularly renewables – has been a notably active area for the practice, while in sovereign matters, it has acted for clients in a series of investment arbitrations against Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Peru (among other jurisdictions). ‘Invaluable’ practitioner, Jonathan Hamilton, is head of Latin America international arbitration, which has team members across it Washington DC, New York, Miami, Houston Mexico City, London and Madrid offices. Rafael Llano Oddone leads the international arbitration group in Mexico City, while Ecuadorian Francisco Jijón has impressed in a series of ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitrations involving Latin American parties. Houston and Miami-based Silvia Marchili is building a name for herself in investor-state arbitrations; and New York’s Jorge Mattamouros has a focus on Portuguese-speaking markets, especially Brazil’s oil and gas sector. Miami’s Estefanía San Juan was elected to the partnership in January 2023, with Ignacio Madalena becoming a local partner in Madrid the same month. Michelle Grando impresses at counsel level, as does Mexico City’s Marièle Coulet-Diaz. All named individuals are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise. Since publication, Alejandro Martinez de Hoz has been promoted to counsel - effective as of December 2023.
Jonathan Hamilton; Abby Cohen Smutny
‘Very deep bench and industry knowledge.’
‘We principally work with team leader, Jonathan Hamilton, and Francisco Jijón. Both are invaluable.’
Grupo Energía de Bogotá
Daniel Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA)
Webuild / Grupo Unidos por el Canal
Red Eagle Mining Corp
Rutas de Lima
Zurich Insurance Company & Zurich South America Invest
Orazul International España Holdings
Mitsui & Co
- Represented Grupo Energía de Bogotá (GEB) and its Guatemalan subsidiary, Transportadora de Energía de Centroamérica (TRECSA) in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Guatemala.
- Represented WorleyParsons in an investment arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador under the US-Ecuador BIT; the case relates to the oil and gas sector.
- Represented Telefónica in two separate ICSID arbitrations against the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Peru.
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP has a long history with Latin America and has a fine record in investment and commercial arbitration. The firm frequently represents multinationals and Latin American businesses in investor-state arbitration against Latin American sovereigns, along with handling the enforcement of awards against states. It is further noted for post-M&A disputes, and has a mix of common and civil law trained lawyers, many of which are native Spanish or Portuguese speakers; the team has handled a number of proceedings solely in Spanish or Portuguese. It has a particular profile as regards the technology, construction and engineering, mining and resources, and infrastructure sectors. Qualified in Argentina, New York and Washington DC (as well as the US District Court, Southern District of New York), senior figure Miguel López Forastier (‘excellent judgment’, a ‘consummate leader’ and ‘also a skilled trial attorney’) is co-director of the firm’s global dispute resolution practice and an experienced Latin America arbitration specialist, who has extensive experience in representing multinationals against sovereign states. ‘Outstanding’ and ‘extraordinary’ New York partner Nicole Duclos (‘staggering depth and breadth of knowledge’) is chair of the Latin America group and has over 20 years’ experience in international arbitration, notably in the construction, engineering and infrastructure sectors. New York’s Erin Thomas is also recognised for construction and infrastructure disputes in Latin America. Of counsel José Arvelo, who has particular knowledge of the oil and gas sector; and Clovis Treviño (‘possesses trial and witness exam skills far beyond her years’), who was promoted to partner in October 2023, are both bilingual Spanish and English speakers. Dual-qualified (Venezuela/New York) associate Ricardo Chirinos is a licensed special legal consultant in Washington DC, where all named individuals are based in unless otherwise stated.
Miguel López Forastier; Nicole Duclos
‘Direct and fast responses. Strategic solutions.’
‘Covington professionals have a high level of excellence. They have the virtue of quickly and deeply understanding problems and the ability to seek creative solutions. A good work environment is perceived in Nicole Duclos’ team, in which lawyers have the opportunity to display their knowledge. In recent times, they have also made an additional effort to incorporate women into the team.’
‘Nicole Duclos is outstanding. She has an exceptional command of common law and continental law, which allows her to provide more effective advice to her Latin American clients. Her contribution to the development of the arbitration body of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce has been very valuable and highly appreciated. Working with her I have been able to perceive that she is a very good leader, her associates feel comfortable and motivated with her work. Finally, Nicole’s human quality favors the development of trusting relationships with her clients and with the law firms with which she works (including mine).’
Inversiones Polar and Owens-Illinois
Hyundai Engineering & Construction
Vulcan Materials Company
Korea National Oil Corporation
Barrick Gold Corporation
- Represented Inversiones Polar and OI European Group in an investment arbitration against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in relation to the expropriation of their investments in two glass factories in Venezuela.
- Represented Hyundai in a dispute against the Ministry of Public Works of Chile (MOP), arising from a public contract for the engineering and construction of the $700m Chacao Bridge in Southern Chile.
- Represented a subsidiary of Vulcan Materials Company in an investment arbitration against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) arising out of adverse measures by Mexico that have interfered with the company’s investments in a limestone quarry and port terminal in the country.
Dechert LLP’s highly reputed multi-office international arbitration has a distinct emphasis on Latin America, with more than half of its cases involving a Latin American entity. Although globally recognised for its expertise in investment arbitration, the firm is also highly active in commercial arbitrations in the region, and is also noted for its experience in the enforcement of arbitration awards. It defends a large number of Latin American states in investment and commercial arbitrations, along with representing state entities as claimants. It also acts for an array of investors in cases against Latin American sovereigns. Energy, mining, construction, transport, telecoms and food are key sectors for the team. Many within the group are natives of Latin American states or are fluent Spanish or Portuguese speakers. The Latin America focused team is primarily located in Paris, where dual-qualified (Colombia/Paris) Eduardo Silva Romero is co-chair of the global international arbitration practice; he has ‘indisputable experience in commercial and investment arbitration’ and focuses primarily on arbitration involving states and state-owned entities. José Manuel García Represa is another experienced figure in the team, typically handling a large case load; both he and Silva are particularly noted for their expertise in damage quantification. Senior associate Catalina Echeverri Gallego (‘a great professional’, ‘100% analytical and methodical’) is another Latin America specialist, while associates Javier Echeverri Díaz and Santiago Soto Garcia are also highlighted by clients. All named individuals are based in Paris. Antonio Gordillo left the firm in July 2023.
Eduardo Silva Romero; Arif Ali
‘Dechert (Paris) LLP’s practice is characterised as highly sophisticated and legally robust. They have extensive experience in international litigation, in different locations and centers, with a strong focus on the client’s business.’
‘The lawyers are highly prepared and close. The partners participate directly in the strategy and in the day-to-day of the case. They are also concerned about the client, the business and any problem that might arise in the host country of the investment. I would mainly highlight Eduardo Silva Romero, José Manuel García-Represa and Catalina Echeverri Gallego.’
‘Dechert LLP can be characterised as having a disciplined team which maintain close communication with its clients, take the time to explain the incidents and strategies that they have contemplated for the cases and do not hesitate to take into consideration any contribution that the client wishes to contemplate. Their practice is remarkably innovative compared to other law firms, with respect to billing they are always involved and attentive to resolve any incident that may arise. Despite the fact that there is a wide difference in time zone, they are always willing to attend to any concern, by far one of the best firms we have worked with.’
‘Each of the people that make up the Dechert LLP team has made us feel safe by denoting that they control and manage the issues. Each one of them takes their time to analyse and understand the case carefully, they know that they must work step by step to have a solid strategy. Eduardo Silva Romero is a great professional and academic, who is always willing to explain any questions we may have. Denotes great leadership before his team and extensive knowledge in international arbitration issues. Catalina Echeverri is an exceptional person and great professional, always ready to attend to our concerns no matter what time it is; 100% analytical and methodical. They have extensive knowledge in investment arbitration and always guide the client to the best strategy. Santiago Soto Garcia is an excellent professional, demonstrates great experience when it comes time to analyse the expert reports in each of the investment arbitrations.’
‘It is a team of committed professionals who are fluent in Spanish and other languages. They are aware of the difficulties involved in state defence, and the various controls of public resources, and they are always willing to collaborate with the needs of the institution. In terms of knowledge, they are top-level professionals with the highest professional training, management of digital resources, with whom contact can be maintained despite the time difference between France and Ecuador. Their billing is clear and trustworthy.’
‘Dechert’s lawyers demonstrate a strong commitment to the work they do, they are always diligent and attentive to the requests made. They are aware of the need for transparency in the management of public funds and collaborate diligently with the institution in case of requirements from the Ecuadorian control body. Professionally, they have extensive knowledge in litigation and their experience in various matters is outstanding, for example in hydrocarbons, environment, infrastructure, investments, telecommunications and the calculation of damages. We highlight their commitment to work with the PGE and their intellectual generosity in sharing their knowledge with the institution’s lawyers.’
‘What makes this firm unique is that they have a diversified team. Composed of lawyers from Latin America and Europe, of different nationalities who have worked in public and private sectors. That is, they know and move perfectly in these “two worlds”. In the cases that I had to work with this firm, I see that they assign a large number of lawyers for each case, in which one creates a direct and personal bond with each one of them.’
‘Eduardo Silva Romero, José Manuel García Represa and Javier Echeverri Díaz are excellent lawyers and excellent people. Eduardo’s experience in commercial and investment arbitration is indisputable. He is also an arbitrator and has written many publications. As a lawyer, despite having a busy schedule, he always responded to my queries and calls regardless of what time it was. He has extensive experience in construction arbitrations and representing States. He and José Manuel create an exceptional duo due to their expertise is in damage quantification. José Manuel has a lot of experience in economics and calculations. Javier has considerable experience in construction arbitration and representation of states.’
Interconexión Eléctrica (Grupo ISA)
Autopista del Norte
Carlos Mario Rios Velilla & Francisco Javier Rios Velilla
Katoen Natie Group
The Republic of Colombia
The Republic of Ecuador
The Argentine Republic
The Republic of Guatemala
Plurinational State of Bolivia
The Dominican Republic
- Represented one the largest power transmission companies in the world against Chile in an ICISD arbitration arising from the construction and operation of a power line.
- Represented a Brazilian investment holding company in a billion-dollar ICC corporate dispute.
- Successfully represented the first and largest solar photovoltaic power-generating company in Guatemala in an ICC arbitration initiated against a power distribution company and concerning two long-term power purchase agreements for solar plants.
Foley Hoag LLP
Foley Hoag LLP has an impressive background in defending Latin American states and state-owned entities in international arbitration proceedings, including state-to-state cases, investment arbitration and commercial disputes. The firm has a significant market share of sovereign state engagements in the arbitral sphere and it continues to gain and represent new Latin American sovereign clients in the area. It is also noted for its expertise in public international law. The firm launched its dedicated Latin America practice in 2021 with Clara Brillembourg (‘a brilliant leader’, ‘very effective and persuasive’) and Kenneth Figueroa (‘truly exceptional’) at the helm; both have extensive connections to Latin American states and outstanding track records in big-ticket cases. The team also includes an array of fluent Spanish and Portuguese speakers, some of whom were trained and qualified in Latin American jurisdictions. An ‘indispensable member of the team’ Christina Beharry has ‘a deep mastery of quantum and damages issues’; she, along with dual-qualified (Nicaragua/New York) Ofilio Mayorga, who is based in New York and was raised to the partnership in August 2022; and counsel Gisela Paris (who is admitted in Argentina, New York and Washington DC), are all key figures in the Latin America focused arbitration practice group. Paris-based global co-chair of international litigation and arbitration Diana Paraguacuto-Mahéo provides further senior-level support; while head of the firm’s Africa arbitration practice, Tafadzwa Pasipanodya, also works on Latin America where clients highlight her ‘formidable legal mind’. All named individuals are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.
Clara Brillembourg; Christina Hioureas; Diana Paraguacuto-Mahéo; Constantinos Salonidis
‘Foley Hoag for me is one of the or the best International Arbitration law firm that one can count on. A few years ago I had the opportunity to work with them in litigation and the truth is that their dedication, teamwork, attention to detail and, above all, analytical capacity to propose all the strategies in the case were beyond any standard. Lawyers like Ofilio Mayorga, Ken Figueroa are truly exceptional.’
‘The team makes you feel that every case is unique. That your case is unique and that they are 1000% committed to its success although they may also be working on other cases, they make you feel like a unique client and that gives a lot of peace of mind as a client. In addition, the ability to coordinate and process information from different experts who are part of the team is extraordinary.’
‘It’s a little excellent team, always pro active. They have extensive litigation experience, including cross-border lawsuits.’
Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima
- Successfully represented Peru in an UNCITRAL arbitration under the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.
- Represented Ecuador in an UNCITRAL arbitration stemming from a contract between the Ecuadorian State-owned oil and gas transport company FLOPEC and Consorcio GLP for the installation and setup of a pier, deposit and transport system for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
- Represented Uruguay in an ICSID arbitration, involving the failure and bankruptcy of its only national airline, Pluna.
Herbert Smith Freehills
A genuinely global player in international arbitration, Herbert Smith Freehills' Latin America group is spread across multiple offices - including Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Tokyo - but is primarily led from New York, London, Madrid and Paris. Some 20-lawyers' strong, the practice houses an array of specialists with a sharp focus on the region, many of whom are bilingual and/or native Spanish/Portuguese speakers, and either dual-qualified or licensed to practice in Latin American jurisdictions. With impressive capabilities in both common and civil law, the practice also demonstrates a balance between investment and commercial arbitration, and represents big-name multinationals along with a group of sovereign states. Its headline cases include public international law matters and investment treaty arbitration, with energy and infrastructure being core areas of expertise for the team, along with telecoms and financial services. Heading up the Latin America Group, the deeply experienced Christian Leathley (‘brilliant advocacy and technical legal acumen’) is very much the motor of the arbitral practice and leads the team on the majority of its Latin America disputes' mandates; he relocated to the London office -from New York- in August 2023, but remains US head of international arbitration. Paris-based Thierry Tomasi (‘an excellent lawyer, certainly one of the best within the firm’) brings senior level Portuguese capabilities to the group; he has a fine record in Brazil-related cases. Further senior fire-power is provided by multilingual, Paris and California-qualified Amal Bouchenaki in the New York office, which also houses the bulk of the Latin America-focused associate team - namely seniors Benjamin Guthrie and (Ecuadorian-qualified) Daniela Páez-Salgado, along with Argentina-qualified Lucila Marchini and Chilean-qualified Carlos Hafemann who arrived as a visiting attorney in August 2022.
Christian Leathley; Edward Dougherty
‘I have experienced the team’s work in several cases in Brazil. The partners and associates which I worked with were from Paris, perfectly Portuguese speaking and very efficient. I think that there are very few firms with this ability.’
‘Thierry Tomasi, head of the arbitration practice is an excellent lawyer, certainly one of the best within the firm.’
‘Christian Leathley: brilliant advocacy and technical legal acumen.’
- Represented Andes Petroleum Ecuador in recovering its 40% share of a $1.06bn arbitral award from Occidental Exploration and Production Company.
Latham & Watkins LLP continues to impress the market with its notable experience in representing both Latin American states and private parties in investment treaty arbitrations; this includes a series of cases for the Republic of Colombia involving ICSID arbitrations brought by claimants relating to legislative, administrative and judicial measures introduced by the government – particularly as regards environmental and community matters. The firm is also noted for commercial arbitrations and enforcement proceedings with Paris-based global co-chair of the international arbitration practice, Fernando Mantilla-Serrano, who ‘stands out for his quick grasp of the essence of the matters’ and has long been a senior name in the region, leading on the vast majority of the firm’s Latin America cases. The hire of John V H Pierce as global co-head of the arbitration practice -from WilmerHale– in mid-2022, gives the practice considerable additional heft; and while not solely focused on the region, he does handle Latin America-related mandates. Pierce is based in New York, as is dual qualified (Colombia/New York) counsel Santiago Bejarano (‘always up-to-speed on the advice and willing to answer questions’) who is a key team member on many of the practice’s Latin America arbitration engagements; as is London-based Samuel Pape, who was elected to the partnership in January 2023. Paris associates Esperanza Barrón-Baratech (a Spanish national), Hugo Varenne and Diego Romero (who is qualified in Colombia, New York and Paris) are also key members of the team. Eugenie Caroit moved to Campos Mello Advogados in cooperation with DLA Piper as Of Counsel in mid-2023.
‘The Latham & Watkins arbitration group is characterised by its thoroughness and organisation. In-house counsel should know that this is a highly compliant task force that normally gives task teams reasonable time to make reviews. These qualities have been consistently manifested in over five arbitrations in which we have had the opportunity to work with LW.’
‘They have a large and exceptionally committed work team. The wealth of human and logistical resources available to the firm, favours excellence in the production of results.’
‘The experience of the partner who leads, is very important for the company as well as his knowledge of the sector and the market (knowledge of the sector in several Latin American countries was required).’
‘Fernando Mantilla-Serrano’s experience is exceptional and the knowledge of the precedents that are related to the case study. The service is very good and fast, they meet the established times and are always available to the client. The relationship with Santiago Bejarano was very close, always up-to-speed on the advice and willing to answer questions.’
‘Excellent team where also young people get a good chance to gain experience and are involved (for example at hearings) at an early stage.’
‘Fernando Mantilla-Serrano stands out for his quick grasp of the essence of the matters, and his attention to detail.’
‘L&W has a very competent arbitration team. They are very good lawyers with a lot of attention to detail.’
Republic of Colombia
Norman Sorensen, Matthew Turner and Joseph Zappala (Independent Board Members of CODERE)
Novenergia II Energy & Environment, (SCA), SICAR
Grupo PRISA; Cadena SER
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
The GICOM Consortium formed by GE; Andritz, Voith, Siemens
- Represented the Republic of Colombia in ICSID arbitration brought by Eco Oro Minerals relating to certain legislative, administrative and judicial measures introduced by Colombia to protect environmentally sensitive páramo ecosystems.
- Represented the Republic of Colombia in ICSID arbitration brought by Aris Mining Corp, relating to Colombia’s alleged failure to evict members of the local communities engaged in artisanal and small-scale mining activities from certain gold mining titles.
- Representing the Dominican Republic in ICSID Additional Facility Rules arbitration relating to alleged violations of an investment agreement entered into by parties for the reprocessing of the gold and silver refractory tailings dam of the Puerto Viejo (open-pit) mine.
Reed Smith LLP
Providing ‘world class service’ Reed Smith LLP’s leading international arbitration practice is co-led by specialist Francisco Rivero, who also heads up the firm-wide Latin America group from the Houston office; while Francisco Rodriguez and José Astigarraga (‘incomparable’, ‘a brilliant professional with impressive experience’) lead the Latin America arbitration team. Astigarraga was previously head of the global arbitration group (until January 2022), and Rodriguez joined the firm from Akerman LLP in May 2022. (The firm also hired Gilberto Guerrero-Rocca – who has extensive experience in the arbitral matters in the Lat Am region – as a consultant the same month). The group features a large number of Latin America international arbitration experts, many of which are dual-qualified in the US and in a Latin American state. The group is particularly recognised for disputes in the energy and infrastructure sectors, along with construction and engineering, and petrochemicals. It is also noted for investor-state disputes, counts mining is another growth area, and has enjoyed a steady pipeline of high-value commercial cases – especially in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. Qualified in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, DC and Virginia, foreign legal consultant Felipe Berer has twenty years’ experience and is particularly active with a range of Brazilian clients. Additional experienced practitioners of note include both Edward Mullins and Sandra Millor – the latter an additional May 2022 recruit from Akerman LLP. Counsel Eduardo De la Peña Bernal is ‘exceptional’, and ‘has an endless capacity for work’. All named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise. Former partner Cristina Cárdenas left the firm in late-2023.
Francisco Rodriguez; José Astigarraga
‘The Reed Smith practice team provides a world-class service. Their human talent is formidable and they are made up of highly committed people. The costs/hour of their most experienced lawyers are very competitive and lower than other lawyers of the same level in firms of equal standing.’
‘Reed Smith has a group of high-quality attorneys who are highly committed, extremely versatile, and with a superior ability to implement a brilliant litigation strategy. Their experience and prestige is preceded by the great work they do and their expertise in arbitration matters. It is worth highlighting José Astigarraga, who is a brilliant professional with impressive experience, which is evidenced by his efficiency in overcoming procedural challenges and in implementing a correct litigation strategy. His leadership and human quality are recognized. Similarly, Eduardo De la Peña-Bernal is exceptional and has an endless capacity for work. His dedication and focus to work tirelessly until results are achieved is commendable. Both are very well in tune with the legal, cultural and practical reality in Latin America.’
‘Reed Smith has a diverse team prepared for umpiring practice. They also have sophisticated information systems that allow complete, efficient and timely information. They are knowledgeable about the laws of various states in Latin America and have vast experience in international arbitration. The number of successful cases makes them very competitive. His fees are flexible.’
Baker Botts L.L.P. has a rich background in Latin America international arbitration. With a strong background in public international law cases, the firm has also built out a thriving commercial arbitration practice. The firm is noted for its ongoing representation of a sovereign state in Latin America as well as a number of state-owned enterprises. It has also built a foreign investor client base, along with further oil and gas businesses in Brazil. Much of the practice centres on oil and gas, power, electricity generation and renewables, along with some political risk matters for US property developers. Alejandro Escobar leads the firm’s public international law practice from London, where he has a lengthy track record in sovereign cases. Houston’s Edward Schorr is also noted for cases related to Brazil, while New York partner Andrew Behrman provides further senior firepower. London senior associate Ernesto Féliz De Jesús is a public international law specialist with a focus on Latin America. The practice was further strengthened with the hires of former Sidley Austin LLP international arbitration partner Jennifer Haworth McCandless and managing associate, María Carolina Durán (as special counsel) to the firm’s Washington DC office in August 2023.
Alejandro Escobar; Andrew Behrman; Johannes Koepp
‘I believe that it is a firm that has very high-level professionals and that, having offices worldwide, has extensive experience. Additionally, its professionals have a thorough management of international legislation, as well as a very adequate development of several languages, which translates into better customer service.’
‘The members of the Baker Botts firm team have demonstrated at all times to have an adequate business vision, offering permanent, high-quality services and guaranteeing the client an adequate defense of their interests. Alejandro Escobar has served as a team leader, constantly demonstrating his extensive knowledge of international law, he has great leadership skills and manages an appropriate approach to both the problems and the legal defence strategies of the client. He is a top-level professional, very analytical, with extensive experience and who stands out particularly in his interventions in hearings, helping the client to obtain an advantageous position.’
‘The mastery of the technical aspects that support the cases handled by the firm is highly appreciable. The team that currently works is multidisciplinary and we cannot ignore the importance of providing spaces for women lawyers in such complex cases. Local law firms rarely include women in case strategy.’
‘Alejandro Escobar, partner of the firm and team leader. His standard of work is very demanding. He has a natural aptitude for aligning his team members and those who collaborate on his issues with the established objectives, which facilitates the fulfillment of the established goals and objectives. Ernesto Feliz de Jesus – his understanding of the complex technical issues that are analysed as part of the legal strategies of each matter is impressive.’
‘My experience with them was exceptional, with emphasis on the composition of the team. Four people from Baker Botts were very dedicated to the case, each with a different profile. Edward is very senior and experienced and was concerned with storytelling and how to get our messages across to the arbitral tribunal. Andrew [Behrman] is brilliant and provided invaluable input. Derek [Craig] is very attentive to detail and has an incredible ability to write little and accurately. Thaysa [Panza de Paula] was able to facilitate communication because she is Brazilian.’
‘Edward Schorr did not spare any trips to Brazil to meet with the client, with us, and with factual and technical witnesses. Andrew [Behrman] is probably one of the most brilliant lawyers I have ever met (I just don’t say the most brilliant because I have met a lot of good people, like Toby Landau and the late Johnny Veeder). He would grasp the problem quickly and propose efficient solutions.’
‘Maria Carolina Durán will soon be a leader in the field.’
‘I want to highlight Maria Carolina Durán, who is an exceptional lawyer with great handling of complex cases. She is a lawyer to follow.’
Chaffetz Lindsey LLP is a New York international disputes boutique with a significant focus on Latin America, covering both common law and civil law systems. The firm has developed greater expertise in Latin America cases in recent years through lateral hires at partner and associate level, and the firm has a number of fluent Spanish speakers, along with native Portuguese speakers to support its Brazil arbitration cases. Over the research period, it handled cases involving parties in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and Uruguay. Additionally, the firm is noted for its expertise in enforcement actions and its representation of numerous Latin American businesses, multinationals and financial sponsors. It has also represented clients in a series of Mexico-seated arbitrations. A co-founder of the firm, James Hosking is head of the international arbitration group and is closely associated with Latin America-related cases. Aníbal Sabater previously practised in Spain and is a veteran of the Latin America market. Caline Mouawad is another senior practitioner with a fine record in Latin America, while Yasmine Lahlou is noted for Brazil-related arbitrations – particularly in the construction, energy, and oil and gas fields. The senior team was expanded in early 2022, with the promotion of Gretta Walters; she has experience handling cases involving multiple jurisdictions in the region.
‘One of the great virtues of the office is that they work as a team, very collaboratively. This adds a lot of value to the customer, makes them efficient and generates high performance.’
‘The firm is entirely focused on disputes and it tells; they live an breath disputes in ways uncommon for international firms. A true team, everyone uses the best of their abilities in full and unreserved cooperation with the rest. They work with local counsel in much the same way, which is effective and efficient. From partners to associates and paralegals only the best work at CL.’
‘James Hosking: he knows the game from top to bottom and vice versa, combining vast knowledge of the field with tons of experience and a business eye. Best of the best. Anibal Sabater: a standout figure in Iberoamerica, particularly strong in construction and infrastructure disputes. The “go to” person for sound advice on disputes from business and high level matters to the most complex and granular procedural issues. Jasmine Lahlou: impressive career, always shining in whatever forum she is in thanks to the knowledge of the field and particularities of disputes at large.’
‘Very specialised and high quality services. The partners are knowledgeable and experienced and are directly involved in the cases. I would always recommend them to my clients for very complex arbitration and litigation.’
‘Yasmine Lahlou is a very talented partner with high experience in complex cases, both as arbitrator and counsel. She fully understands the clients needs and is a real strategist. Peter Chaffetz is the best US litigator I have came across.’
‘Peter Chaffetz: A strategist with great common sense and an excellent ability to manage customer expectations. James Hosking: Deep, dedicated and talented, with a permanent focus on identifying the best arguments to achieve the client’s objectives. Aníbal Sabater: A well-rounded lawyer with the ability to litigate in English or Spanish, who excels in court.’
‘Excellent team, with extensive experience in various industries.’
‘Their individualised approach to disputes makes them stand out from their competitors.’
APM Terminals Callao
Eletrobras CGT Eletrosul
Grañá y Montero
Hydria Participações e Investimentos
IESA Oleo & Gas
Sinohydro Costa Rica, Omega Construcciones, Desarrollos y Construcciones Urbanas and CAABSA Infraestructura
- Represented AES Corporation in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina arising out of interventions in the electricity generation market in breach of the US-Argentine BIT.
- Represented Clorox Spain in its UNCITRAL arbitration against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under the Spain-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty.
- Represented a government-owned Brazilian electricity generator in a substantial European-seated arbitration against a Chinese contractor arising out of the design, construction and fit-out of a major power plant project.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
The Latin America practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has an all-round market-leading reputation in which the international arbitration team plays a significant part. The group has landed roles in some of the largest investment and commercial arbitrations to involve Latin American entities, including a significant number of engagements from sovereign states such as the Republic of Argentina and a range of state-owned companies. The team has a fine record in oil and gas (including LNG), and mining and metals disputes. Ari MacKinnon is a real force in international arbitration and has a primary focus on Latin America, conducting matters in both English and Spanish. Jeffrey Rosenthal and Carmine Boccuzzi are also prominent international arbitration specialists with experience of Latin America disputes. Counsel Boaz Morag is also rated by clients. At associate level, Katie Gonzalez works primarily on Latin America-related matters, representing both sovereign and private entities.
‘We retain Cleary for international arbitration cases. In this arena, it is an exceptional firm with very high standards and long experience. Cleary knows our company and its executives, is empathetic to our needs and flexible to our internal dynamics, which can be complex at times. In terms of service it is superior to similar firms.
‘Ari Mackinnon, an excellent arbitration lawyer with considerable experience and total availability for his clients. His communication skills in Spanish are an invaluable plus in the region. Boaz Morag is an excellent technician who guarantees maximum depth and detail in legal arguments. He is a respected lawyer and a benchmark in his field.’
The Republic of Argentina
- Acted for Vale in obtaining a multibillion-dollar LCIA award as a result of misrepresentations and corruption concerning a West African mining project.
- Represented the Republic of Argentina in obtaining (in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) affirmation of the dismissal of claims to principal and interest as time-barred under the applicable New York statute of limitations, as well as the rejection of renewed pari passu claims.
- Acted for Pluspetrol Peru Corporation, Pluspetrol Block 56, Tecpetrol Block 56, and Sonatrach Peru Corporation in an ICC arbitration derived from an ICSID arbitration against the Peruvian State relating to claims against a Peruvian buyer of gas, successfully obtaining a final award and securing payment of over $133m.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has an impressive track record in representing sovereigns and state-owned companies in big-ticket international arbitrations, including both investment treaty and commercial cases; it has, moreover, long maintained a policy of only representing sovereign states in investment arbitrations. As a result it's client roster in the region is replete with sovereigns, including Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, along with the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). The Latin America-facing international arbitration group is spread across its New York, Washington DC, Mexico City, Bogota and Buenos Aires offices. On the investment-treaty disputes front, the firm has handled some of the largest cases before ICSID, while on the commercial arbitrations side, it has continued to develop its presence, including cases before the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission (IACAC). New York partner George Kahale is chairman of the firm and head of the international arbitration group, having led teams on numerous and sizeable cases involving Latin America. Managing partner of the Washington DC office Claudia Frutos-Peterson is a dedicated Latin America specialist, having represented an impressive number of sovereign states in investor-state arbitrations. Buenos Aires and New York-based Fernando Tupa and Bogota and New York-based Elisa Botero, are also key members of the team, particularly in investor-state disputes.
George Kahale III
‘The team of Curtis couldn’t be better. Their different abilities come together to meet our needs perfectly. Elisa Botero has her hands on the facts and works closely with us. Fernando Tupa appears only when is necessary and works on the law. Yet he is fantastic. And Claudia Frutos directs the team. She is also present and knows the case.’
‘Claudia Frutos: an expert on the field that leads the orchestra. She is a team player with excellent relations with the client. Elisa Botero: she is intelligent, experienced and committed. She has been our main point of contact and did a wonderful job. Her attention to detail is an asset. Fernando Tupa: a more reserved lawyer, always has an interesting comment on the law. In a hearing, these three are a delight to watch and also know how to collaborate with the client.’
Republic of Colombia
Republic of Panama
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)
- Represented the Republic of Panama in an ICSID arbitration commenced by two US companies under the US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement in connection with the construction of a women’s rehabilitation centre.
- Represented the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID case brought by two US corporations (and their joint-venture) under the Colombia-US Trade Promotion Agreement.
- Represented the Dominican Republic in an UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration under the Dominican Republic-CARICOM Free Trade Agreement.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has an exceptional record in bulge-bracket investment and commercial arbitrations, and is further recognised for its expertise in the global enforcement of arbitration awards. It has represented multinationals in a long list of cases against Latin American states, including cases involving expropriation, particularly the Government of Venezuela and Venezuelan state-entities. More recently, it has also launched cases on behalf of clients against the Republic of Colombia and the United Mexican States. New York partner Rahim Moloo has emerged as a prominent name in Latin America arbitration, acting for a range of US-based, European and Asian multinationals, along with a number of Latin American businesses. Lindsey Schmidt is also an active lead on Latin America cases, and Charline Yim is increasingly co-leading relevant cases with Moloo.
Cyrus Benson; Penny Madden KC; Rahim Moloo
‘GDC is one of the most competent law firms to the best of my knowledge, particularly in terms of international arbitration and white-collar crime.’
‘In looking at different firms for our arbitration matter we really felt there was no better team than Gibson Dunn based on their extensive experience representing claimants in high-stakes arbitration matters.’
‘Partners Rahim Moloo and Lindsey Schmidt have incredible depth of experience which gives them a unique ability to set strategy and best position our claim for success. Associate Abdallah Salam is highly responsive and also seems very knowledgeable at an early stage of his career.’
‘They compare favourably with any international firm.’
‘Rahim Moloo is a great lawyer to have lead important international disputes and has deep knowledge of arbitration. The work of Charline Yim is also very impressive.’
Angel Seda and others
- Acted for Canadian gold mining company, Crystallex, in attempting to enforce a $1.4bn judgment against Venezuela.
- Acted as counsel for a Spanish subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark Corporation in an UNCITRAL arbitration against the Government of Venezuela.
- Acted as counsel for US property development investors in an ICSID arbitration against the Government of Colombia.
Hogan Lovells US LLP has a large number of international arbitration practitioners that are either dedicated to Latin America or have a primary focus on the region. Furthermore, it has an impressive background in the specialty and has developed a thriving investor-state practice, where it represents an even split of sovereigns and private entities. Commercial arbitrations are also a forte for the team, while infrastructure and energy cases are key segments for the practice. New York partner Oliver Armas is global head of international arbitration, fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and frequently acts in cases involving Latin America. Richard Lorenzo is regional managing partner for the Americas and is a recognised leader in international arbitration, having spent long periods in Latin America itself. Daniel González is the former global head of international arbitration and also has an impressive background in Latin America cases. Puerto Rico born Maria Ramirez is fully bilingual in Spanish and English, and a genuine Latin America specialist; she has represented clients in cases involving multiple Latin American jurisdictions. The team can also call on seasoned international arbitration practitioner Luis Enrique Graham in the firm’s Mexico office. All named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise.
Espiritu Santo Holdings (ES Holdings); and L1bre Holding
Government of the Republic of Panama
- Represented ES Holdings and Libre Holding in a high-value ICSID claim against the United Mexican States (Mexico) for violation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after the Mexican Government indirectly expropriated the client’s concession to implement a taxi-hailing app and digital taximeter in Mexico City.
- Represented AES Corporation and AES Gener, its Chile-based subsidiary, in an ICC arbitration brought by Constructora Nuevo Maipo (CNM).
- Represented the Government of the Republic of Panama in an ICSID arbitration involving a claim brought against Panama for the alleged seizure and liquidation of a local brokerage company in violation of the Netherlands-Panama BIT.
Sidley Austin LLP remains active in both investor-state and commercial arbitrations, most notably in the energy, construction, financial services, mining and real estate sectors. In state representation, the firm has acted for the Republic of Peru in a series of cases, and also has successfully defended the Republic of Colombia. New York and Singapore-based partner Tai-Heng Cheng has represented a number of Asian clients in cases against Latin American states, while New York partner Simon Navarro handles a mix of commercial and investor-state work, particularly in representing Spanish and European clients in energy disputes against Latin American entities. Former (international arbitration) senior managing associate María Carolina Durán and counsel Courtney Hikawa left the firm in August and October 2023, respectively.
‘The Sidley Austin team is discerning, skilled and highly trained.’
‘The Sidley Austin team is without a doubt the best in the business when it comes to investment arbitration. We act as their local partners in various ICSID arbitrations and the quality of their work and dedication to cases is unmatched.’
‘The Sidley Austin team is highly trained to resolve complex issues in complex disputes. Their lawyers are very skilled and understand the perspectives of international arbitration very well.’
PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH)
TC Energy Corporation
The Republic of Peru
- Obtained a victory for PACC Offshore Services Holdings (part of the Kuok Group of Singapore), in an investment treaty arbitration against Mexico administered by ICSID under UNCITRAL Rules (ICSID Case No. UNCT/18/5), which concerned the expropriation of the claimant’s investment in the Mexican offshore marine services industry.
- Represented long-time client the Republic of Peru in successfully limiting the ICSID tribunal’s award to just 5% of the more than $150m in damages sought by Autopista del Norte S.A.C. (AUNOR) for alleged cost overruns incurred by AUNOR and its subcontractor, OHL Construcción, in relation to the upgrading of a stretch of the Pan-American Highway; the Tribunal agreed with Peru on various aspects of the dispute between the parties regarding the quantification of damages, including the applicable interest rate and the application of taxes.
- Representing Peru in a pair of parallel ICSID cases brought separately by US (majority) and Netherlands (minority) shareholders in a copper mining project in connection with billions of dollars in taxes imposed on portions of the project; Freeport-McMoRan v. Republic of Peru (ICSID Case No. ARB/20/8) and SMM Cerro Verde v. Republic of Peru (ICSID Case No. ARB/20/14)).
Squire Patton Boggs US LLP represents a number of sovereigns and government-owned entities in major cases. Clients include the Republics of Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Costa Rica, with recent mandates including defence of the latter in a Costa Rica-Spain BIT case brought by a Spanish investor. The team is also notably active in energy and transportation-related cases. Although probably best-known for its investor-state experience, the firm is a recognised force in representing state-owned companies and private companies in commercial arbitrations. Raúl Mañón heads the international dispute resolution practice in Miami and is the key figure for Latin America-related arbitrations, along with John Adam and Jose Feris (both of them in Paris), who are senior investment and commercial arbitration specialists. Singapore partner Rodman Bundy is a leading name in public international law and has represented Latin American governments in a number of state-to-state cases.
John Adam; Jose Feris; Raúl Mañón
Government of Guatemala
Government of Bolivia
Government of Panama
- Represented the Republic of Costa Rica in a case brought by a Spanish investor alleging that the Costa Rican Ministry of Health conducted inspections of its chicken farm business, detected infractions, and issued administrative orders that suspended the activity, thereby indirectly causing the exit of his company from the Costa Rican market.
- Represented The Republic of Ecuador in an UNCITRAL investment arbitration under the Ecuador-US Bilateral Investment Treaty, relating to two multibillion-dollar projects to upgrade and construct crude oil facilities in Ecuador.
- Acted for the Republic of Peru in the damages phase of a commercial arbitration case held before the International Centre for Dispute Settlement (ICSID).
Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team is led by Houston and Dubai-based James Loftis (head of the firm's international disputes practice), and New York’s Camilo Cardozo, who heads up the Americas division of the practice. The firm has a particularly notable record in energy and infrastructure disputes, including LNG and natural gas-related arbitration. Additionally, it has extensive experience in both investment and commercial arbitration and demonstrates wide-ranging geographic coverage. The practice continues to be prominent in the market due to its headline role in representing the Panama Canal Authority in arbitrations connected to the Panama Canal expansion project. London's Nick Henchie is a leading figure in Latin America construction arbitrations, with fellow London-based partner Louise Woods also active on Latin America matters. Raised to the partnership in early 2022, New York’s José F Sanchez is an up-and-coming tri-lingual practitioner with a close focus on the Americas. The team also includes Houston counsel Peter Danysh who has extensive construction and energy disputes experience (both commercial and investor-state), and a particular focus on Latin America.
James Loftis; Camilo Cardozo
‘José Sánchez and his team are characterised by their passionate work, with a global vision and without losing any detail of the case.’
‘José Sánchez is an excellent lawyer, fully committed to the cases he handles. He maintains a close relationship at work on a day-to-day basis with whoever is on the other side of the table.’
‘In particular, I have worked together with Jose Sanchez and he is a lawyer who demonstrates a lot of knowledge of the subject and of finding solutions that satisfy the client’s needs. ‘His quick thinking and his capacity for synthesis to create convincing arguments, even in cases of great complexity.’
‘Great ability regarding Spanish language procedure with many of its Latino-speaking members.’
Panama Canal Authority
XTO and Exxon Mobil Exploration Argentina
Offshore Exploration and Production
New Fortress Energy
Upland Oil and Gas
- Handled a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) arising from the Panama Canal expansion project, against Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), a consortium of European and Panamanian companies.
- Represented Upland Oil and Gas (Peru), and Upland Oil and Gas in a dispute arising from a licensing agreement executed between Upland and PeruPetro.
- Represented Tampico Beverages in a dispute against Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana stemming from a license agreement between the parties for the manufacturing, promotion and sale of Tampico’s products in the Dominican Republic.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP has expanded its Latin America arbitration practice in recent years. The firm has attracted attention for its experience in both investment and commercial arbitration, notably disputes in the energy, infrastructure, mining and life-sciences sectors. It represents a range of corporates and sovereign clients, such as the Republic of Panama and Republic of Peru, and has acted for clients in a growing number of investor-state arbitrations. Gaela Gehring Flores frequently represents private companies and sovereign states in Latin America-related arbitrations. Patrick Pearsall is head of the Americas international arbitration practice, and is noted for investment arbitration and public international law. David Ingle was promoted to senior counsel in May 2022 and has proven to be a key team member in multiple Latin America cases, especially in the energy and extractive industries. Associate Brian Vaca has dual nationality (Ecuador/US); a fluent Spanish and English speaker he is dual-qualified in Florida and the District of Colombia. All are based in Washington DC. In May 2023 the firm announced its merger with Shearman & Sterling LLP to form A&O Shearman; the realisation of this combination remains in process and it is not yet possible to gauge its full impact.
Gaela Gehring Flores; Patrick Pearsall
‘We worked with the A&O arbitration team and our impression was of excellence. The level of expertise and knowledge of the A&O team impressed us, as did their diligence and way of working. The A&O team achieved resounding success in a $50M case in which they released their client from paying all the claims.’
‘Their knowledge of the subject, the personal and dedicated involvement of each of the team members and their ability to relate to external teams like ours. We worked with David Ingle and Gonzalo Jimenez. The delivery, knowledge and involvement of both was decisive in the success of the case.’
Republic of Panama
Republic of Peru
- Advised the Government of Panama on numerous administrative proceedings and three international arbitration disputes (one commercial arbitration, two investment arbitrations) regarding the Cobre Panama copper mining concession.
- Represented the Republic of Peru in a claim brought before the Permanent Court of Arbitration by the Renco Group, in relation to a metallurgical complex in the Andes Mountains, located in La Oroya, Peru.
Clifford Chance‘s connections to multinationals and their Latin American subsidiaries, along with Latin American corporates, provides the basis for a thriving international arbitration practice. The group routinely handles cases from Mexico down to Argentina, and demonstrates an especially strong record in energy and construction cases. It frequently represents clients in international arbitrations relating to EPC and RPC contracts, oil and gas pipelines, power plants, mining and concession contracts. Active on cases throughout the region (including those in the construction, infrastructure, energy, and oil and gas sectors), Washington DC-based José García Cueto has all the hallmarks of an emerging star. While only promoted to the partnership in mid-2022, he is already something of a client favourite (‘a rising star’, ‘a crack’, ‘outstanding work’) and is highlighted for his management of audiences, strategy design and anticipation of his counterparts’ movements. Key associate support in the ‘young but experienced team’, comes from multilingual Paris-based senior Marie-Isabelle Delleur, and intermediates Florencia Bohl and Hernan Chiriboga in DC. The team was strengthened further in September 2023 with the hire of associate Pablo Mori - formerly of GST.
Robert Houck; José Ignacio García Cueto
‘The lawyers are extremely energetic, specialised and experts in dealing with international arbitrations of all kinds.’
‘Desire to obtain the best possible result for the client.’
‘Clifford Chance’s international arbitration team is dynamic and sophisticated. Unlike their competitors, they are proactive and know how to manage costs and time well. They have a truly Latin American team – which allows them to understand the needs of their clients.’
‘The biggest plus is that they are lawyers of Hispanic American origin with a clear and defined client focus. José García Cueto is one of the best lawyers I have ever seen. He presents clear and convincing arguments and is an excellent interrogator.’
‘The international arbitration team is a legal team that you want to have on your side. They have great legal knowledge. They project good strategies. They are fulfilled in terms of delivery. It is felt that they give their all in the arbitrations in which we have worked together. In addition, they are always available to the client for any questions, even if they were different from what is being discussed.’
‘José García Cueto is a crack. One of the best arbitration experts. His ability to design strategies and anticipate the movements of the opponents in arbitration gives us the security of having the best legal defence. His legal and market knowledge is the best I have seen in the field of international arbitration.’
‘A brilliant team.’
‘The work of José García is outstanding.’
Yura Inversiones Bolivia
Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento
Enel Green Power Costa Rica
- Represented a Luxembourg investor in a $1.6bn ICSID arbitration, concerning the termination of a pipeline concession.
- Represented Enel Fortuna in an ICSID dispute with the Republic of Panama regarding its investment in the energy sector.
- Advised ESSA2 and Enel Green Power Costa Rica in an ICSID dispute against Costa Rica related to the expropriation of its energy investments.
Cuatrecasas’ prominence in Latin America-related international arbitration field stems from its commitment and track record in Spain, coupled with its growing presence in Latin America itself. Unlike many other international firms, it has a sizeable team of international arbitration specialists based in Latin America. With a steady influx of investment and commercial arbitration engagements, the team is best known for energy, infrastructure and construction cases. It has represented parties in a series of headline infrastructure disputes. Madrid partner Alfonso Iglesia leads the international arbitration group and is hugely experienced in Latin America-related arbitrations, including those involving Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Panama, Ecuador and Dominican Republic; he has acted in a series of recent ICSID and ICC cases. Santiago partner Cristián Conejero is a senior figure in the team and is noted for construction arbitrations. Alberto Zuleta is another experienced arbitration expert in Bogota along with René Irra in Mexico City and Domingo Rivarola in Lima. Madrid partners Alberto Fortún and Manuel Franco are also active in Latin America cases, both noted for construction, infrastructure and energy disputes. Raised to the partnership in April 2022, Uruguay-qualified Juan Manuel Rey (in the Santiago office), is also noted.
International Consortium (ACS, FCC, Webuild, Cosapi, Ansaldo, Hitachi) Metro de Lima
Sociedad Concesionaria Peruana de Vías (COVINCA)
Perú Masivo (Transmasivo)
- Initiated two ICSID arbitrations on behalf of an international consortium regarding the construction of Lima’s second subway line.
- Represented a client in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Peru in a €50m dispute relating to a highway concession.
- Represented Perú Masivo in an arbitration initiated by Protransporte (currently, Autoridad Nacional de Transporte Urbano para Lima y Callao – ATU) relating to the rate increase carried out by the concession companies of the Metropolitano system’s public transport service in Lima, Peru.
DLA Piper LLP (US) has rapidly expanded its Latin America-facing international arbitration practice in recent years; co-global chairs Michael Ostrove and Kate Brown de Vejar sit in Paris and in Mexico City, respectively - with the latter particularly known for her work in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The firm has achieved ever greater prominence in the Mexico market, particularly in the energy sector (notably power and renewables). It has also seen further growth in tech, life sciences and pharmaceutical disputes. The team has a strong mix of investment and commercial arbitration engagements, and represents a number of big-name multinationals. Mexico City co-practice head Gabriela Álvarez Ávila , whose past experience incudes seven years as senior counsel at ICSID, is another key practitioner. Bogota's director of international arbitration, Ricardo Alarcón, is also noted. Former Mexico-office senior partner Gerardo Lozano Alarcón left the firm in November 2022 to become a sole arbitrator and counsel; former Buenos Aires-based senior associate Sabrina Ramos also departed - in her case to undertake an LLM in Stanford.
Michael Ostrove; Kate Brown de Vejar
‘A great team put everything at the service of the case.’
‘Kate Brown de Vejar, a brilliant person with the ability to answer questions from the court knowing the whole case, without having to consult and answer later, and in doing so, make connections to other points in the proceedings thereby strengthening the argumentation.’
GST LLP is a Miami and Washington DC-based dispute resolution firm, majoring in Latin America-related international arbitration. It has an established presence in investor-state disputes, representing a number of sovereign states and state-owned companies -including the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Guatemala and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) – over the years. Washington DC partner Ignacio Torterola has an established record in ICSID cases, among others, covering a wide range of sectors including mining and construction; he has also represented sovereign states such as Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. Argentina qualified Diego Gosis is prominent in Latin America investor-state disputes, acting for both sovereigns and investors. Managing partner Quinn Smith is another investor-state disputes specialist, with many of his cases involving Latin America. Licensed to practice in New York and Brazil, Mauricio Gomm Santos specialises in Brazil-related cases. In Washington DC, counsel Katherine Sanoja and of counsel Carmine Pascuzzo, provide further senior-level expertise. Named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise. Former counsel Pablo Mori left the firm in September 2023.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is a dispute resolution powerhouse with a hugely impressive record in Latin America international arbitration. The firm represents a range of US-based multinationals and individuals, along with a number of Latin American entities in cross-border disputes. The firm is noted for representing investors, shareholders and other individuals with interests in companies that are involved in arbitration proceedings. David Orta is chair of the US and Latin America international arbitration practices, dividing his time between Washington DC, New York and Miami; he has earned accolades in a wide variety of contentious matters, including investor-state and commercial arbitration proceedings and the enforcement of arbitral awards. Daniel Salinas-Serrano is another key figure with a major focus on Latin America investor-state and commercial arbitrations. Dawn Yamane Hewett and Lucas Loviscek provide further senior firepower, along with Paris-based Alexander Leventhal.
‘I’ve never worked with a team of lawyers that was more talented and dedicated to our case. David Orta is truly incredible to watch in action and unparalleled to any attorney I’ve worked with in litigation. Both in person and on paper, he has a way of taking complex arguments and distilling them into key persuasive components that pave the pathway for your side to win. It is an art, and it’s no wonder that he is Chair of the US and Latin America International Arbitration Practices. Both David and his team are easily accessible at any time of day, any day of the week. What sets them apart from many firms is they provide clear, defensible answers to concerns about strategy, and after speaking with David or his team, you’re left feeling more confident and assured about your case and how these concerns will be addressed. They do a wonderful job of preparing for any argument the other side may have. Their witness preparation is by far harder than the questions I faced in the hearing!’
‘I’ve never seen anyone more skilled in the hearing/court room as David Orta. Listening to him, both in opening statements and his examination/cross examination of witnesses, is like watching a movie unfold. I thought it was impossible for him to surpass his performance in the hearing. However, seeing his re-work of our post-hearing briefs made me truly understand how exceptional he is. There are few attorneys as skilled and persuasive in litigation/arbitration as David Orta.’
‘Daniel Salinas-Serrano complements David well and they make an excellent team. Julianne Jaquith (associate at Quinn Emanuel based in the Houston office) is an up and coming attorney and someone to watch. Both of these people exhibit similar the charisma and ability to frame arguments in the hearing/court room (and on paper).’
The Estate of Julio Miguel Orlandini-Agreda; Compañía Minera Orlandini
Peruvian Sporting Goods, Rodrigo Xavier Ribadeneira Parducci, Superdeporte Plus Peru
- Represented Miguel Orlandini, a US/Bolivian national and 95% owner of Compañía Minera Orlandini, in an investment-treaty arbitration (under UNCITRAL Rules) against Bolivia and arising from the latter’s breaches of international law under the US-Bolivia BIT.
- Represented 37 US investors in B-Mex, a company invested in gaming casinos in Mexico, in an international investment arbitration against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- Represented Oro Negro’s US shareholders and former officers and directors in a complex, cross-border, billion-dollar dispute arising from Oro Negro’s bankruptcy, with litigations in Mexico, the United States, and Singapore, as well as in an international arbitration.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP remains noted for high-value commercial arbitration and investment arbitration, including post-M&A disputes, along with energy, infrastructure and mining cases. It has a fine record in investor-state cases connected to expropriation, and under free trade agreements, BITs, and multilateral trade agreements. It has also impressed by representing a number of major Latin American businesses and other multinationals in big-ticket cases. Well-known market figure Julie Bédard leads the Americas international litigation and arbitration group, and has an extensive recent record in Latin America-related cases. Jennifer Permesly is another senior arbitration specialist with a significant focus on Latin America; and Timothy Nelson has also led teams on key Latin America mandates. The practice group has a deep associate bench including the experienced Spanish-speaker, Amanda Raymond Kalantirsky, and Brazilian nationals Caio Pazinato and Rafael Bittencourt, all of whom participate in Latin America-related cases.
- Represented Brazilian aerospace conglomerate, Embraer (and its related entities), which are party to three multibillion-dollar international arbitration proceedings against The Boeing Company before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR).
- Represented Ovintiv and Encana International Finance (Bermuda), a hydrocarbon exploration and production company, regarding its right to recover several hundred million dollars in connection with the expropriation of an oil field in Latin America.
- Represented a multinational renewable energy company in connection with treaty claims against Mexico, arising under certain bilateral investment treaties and multilateral free trade agreements.
B. Cremades & Asociados is a pioneer in the Spanish market in the international arbitration field. It has decades of experience in investor-state arbitration thanks to hugely experienced founding partner Bernardo Cremades. The Madrid-based firm represents an impressive variety of Spanish and Latin American businesses primarily in commercial arbitrations (a segment where it is very much to the fore) as well as handling high-value construction disputes. Energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure cases are also a forte for the team. Bernardo Cremades Jr is another prominent figure who now leads the majority of the firm’s Latin America-related cases. Ángel Tejada and José López Useros provide further senior-level support.
Bernardo Cremades; Bernardo Cremades Jr
Inversiones Continental (Panamá)
Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles (CIMSA)
Mr. Raimundo Santamarta Devis
Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo
Comercializadora Mediterránea de Viviendas
- Represented Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles (CIMSA) in a dispute arising from the breach of a shareholders’ agreement.
- Acted as counsel for Inversiones Continental (Panamá) in an ICSID dispute against the Republic of Honduras regarding the forced liquidation of Banco Continental.
- Acted as counsel for Raimundo Santamarta Devis, a dual national of Venezuela and Spain, and the owner of two pharmaceutical corporations, concerning measures taken by authorities of Venezuela against the client’s properties and assets.
Baker McKenzie LLP
Baker McKenzie LLP’s international arbitration team is largely located in Latin America itself, primarily in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Argentina. The firm has are fine reputation in investment and commercial arbitration, notably in the energy, infrastructure and construction fields. Santiago partner Rodrigo Diaz de Valdes represents both state and private sector entities in cross border arbitrations, including those in the mining, energy and construction sectors. Lima’s Maria Del Carmen Tovar has represented the Peruvian state and state-entities in a series of investment arbitrations. Bogota partner Claudia Benavides Galvís is global chair of the firm’s dispute resolution group and an experienced figure in investment and commercial arbitrations, particularly for private companies. Luis Dates in Buenos Aires and Caracas-based Eugenio Hernández-Bretón are also key names.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has a track record of representing clients in Latin America investor-state and commercial arbitrations. It has acted for investors in a series of cases against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), and has also defended sovereign states in other investor-state cases. Miami partner and global co-leader of the international arbitration group Pedro Martinez-Fraga has a big reputation in the market and Miami managing partner Ryan Reetz is also a recognised force in Latin America investor-state and commercial arbitrations.
Clyde & Co
Clyde & Co has an impressive heritage in international arbitration with Latin America being very much part of its international focus. Among its array of international arbitration specialists is Ricardo Lewandowski, a dual-qualified Brazilian and English lawyer, who divides his time between London, Miami and São Paulo; his arbitration cases include construction, engineering, energy, mining, and insurance disputes. The wider team operates in similar fields, with Neil Beresford noted for Colombia professional liability claims. Mexico City’s Vicente Bañuelos Rizo is another experienced figure in the arbitration space as both party counsel and arbitrator.
Dechamps International Law
Dechamps International Law is an international arbitration boutique, established in London in November 2017, and with an additional office in Buenos Aires, launched in 2019. It now has two partners and 12 associates, all fluent Spanish and English speakers, and at the time of research was handling more than a dozen investment treaty cases and a similar number of commercial arbitrations. In particular, the team has represented a series of big-name multinationals in investment arbitrations against Latin American states. London based founding partner Jean Paul Dechamps began his legal career in Argentina, before working for a number of top international law firms, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and then launching his own firm. Buenos Aires partner Gustavo Topalian provides further senior-level expertise. Associate Pablo Jaroslavsky also impresses.
Jean Paul Dechamps; Gustavo Topalian
‘I would rate Dechamps International Law with the highest rank a firm could receive and then I would rank it higher than that. They are experts in their field, they work very hard, and they always communicate clearly. They have earned our trust from the day we were introduced to them. It is important for clients to have faith and trust in their lawyers and Dechamps International works with absolute integrity. We always feel at ease with Dechamps International.’
‘The firm has top rate expertise in commercial awareness. They have a clear understanding of the diverse range of entities that involve our case. For example, we need to work with technical experts in a diverse range of fields and Dechamps International is very adept in working with parties in many different fields and organizations. Dechamps knows how to work with people and that is critical.’
‘Jean Paul Dechamps oversees and handles all aspects of the case. He has years of experience being successful in international arbitration. He is the consummate professional, is exceptionally knowledgeable and is a skilled lawyer. He is in charge of overseeing all of the work in the case and does it well.’
South32 SA Investments
Glencore Finance (Bermuda)
Latin American Regional Aviation Holding
Dick Fernando Abanto Ishivata
Diamante Trading Investments
The López Goyne Family Trust
Mr. Luis Garcia Armas
Government of Romania
Victorio Podestá Combustibles
Tea Connection / Green Eat (Latin America)
Mr. Yoram Moussaieff
- Represented South32 Investments in an arbitration against Colombia under ICSID Arbitration Rules and the United Kingdom-Colombia BIT, in connection with measures that affected the claimant’s investments in a mining project.
- Represented Latin American Regional Aviation Holding in an arbitration against Uruguay under ICSID Arbitration Rules and the Panama-Uruguay BIT in connection with measures that affected the claimant’s investment in a local airline.
- Represented Glencore International in an arbitration against Colombia under ICSID Arbitration Rules and the Colombia-Switzerland BIT, in connection with measures that affected the claimant’s investments in the infrastructure sector in Colombia.
Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance is headquartered in Miami and has a major focus on Latin America. The full-service law firm has a big reputation in contentious matters, primarily litigation and white-collar crime, but is also a recognised player in international arbitration, particularly the enforcement of arbitration awards. The firm has a lengthy track record representing clients in cross-border disputes involving Venezuela, although it also enjoys extensive geographic coverage of the Latin America region. Global managing partner Michael Diaz; senior dispute resolution specialist Gary Davidson who is qualified in Arizona, Florida and the District of Columbia (and who has a significant focus on Venezuela); and Marta Colomar-Garcia (who is qualified in Florida, New York, DC and Spain), are the key figures. With considerable arbitral experience, Brant Hadaway - formerly a partner at the firm for 12 years - returned as of counsel in November 2022.
Michael Diaz; Gary Davidson
‘The Diaz Reus international arbitration team’s main differentiator is that is truly international, hosting qualified lawyers from all over Latin America, Spain, etc, and at the same time understanding very well the pitfalls of international arbitration with seats in the USA.’
‘The approach to fees including contingencies and ABAs (alternative billing arrangements) is quite innovative. Marta Colomar, Gary Davidson and -not least- Michael Diaz and Javier Coronado are extremely responsive and proactive and it is a pleasure work with them.’
American Veteran Enterprise Team
Silmar Roberto Bertin
- Assisted Silmar Roberto Bertin oppose the action which seeks to enforce an arbitration award, issued by an arbitration panel in Brazil, of $40m in the Southern District of New York.
- Represented Alibaba in all its US litigation involving IP violations, including in arbitration-related matters.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has an established background in investor-state disputes under ICSID, UNCITRAL and Permanent Court of Arbitration rules, and demonstrates solid experience acting for and against states in cases brought under bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and other frameworks such as the Energy Charter Treaty. The Latin America-focused team also has a strong presence in commercial arbitration. Diego Durán De La Vega chairs the Latin America disputes practice and James Boykin is chair of the investment treaty arbitration group; as these positions would suggest, both are deeply experienced practitioners. Rémy Gerbay, who became head of the firm's Investor-State arbitration practice in March 2023, is another key figure for contentious matters in Latin America; former co-chair of the Latin America disputes team Luis O’Naghten joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP the same month.
Diego Durán de la Vega
‘Diego Durán de la Vega – deep knowledge but with a practical and business sense.’
‘I think that Hughes Hubbard’s practice for international arbitration focused on Latin America in general, Mexico in particular, has a fundamental characteristic that consists of the solid preparation of its partners as local lawyers in the region, combined with their international experience and training as lawyers in the US.’
‘Hugues Hubbard’s practice for Latin America and Mexico has a fundamental component in its partner Diego Durán, who is a Mexican lawyer with extensive experience in litigation in Mexico, which combines perfectly with his training as a US lawyer and his experience in matters in the USA. This mixture of expertise and academic preparation both in a Latin American concept of civil law, and in a North American context of common law gives him both a deep grasp of cases and particular knowledge of the technical and judicial aspects.’
Campos de Pesé
- Represented Campos de Pesé, an Italian-owned company, in an investor-state dispute against Panama regarding the expropriation and destruction of its investment in an ethanol plant.
- Represented a French investor in a multi-million-dollar investment arbitration against the Dominican Republic, brought under the France-DR bilateral investment treaty.
- Represented IBT Group in a dispute with the Republic of Panama regarding the construction of a women’s prison facility.
Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s long history in Latin America, coupled with its global standing in international arbitration, provides a solid platform for its Latin America arbitration practice. The firm is particularly noted for construction cases, along with energy, mining and telecoms, and -more generally- has a fine record in both investment treaty and commercial arbitrations; it is also recognised for its expertise in the enforcement of arbitral awards. Washington DC and New York-based Christopher Ryan is an experienced international arbitration specialist with a significant focus on Latin America. Washington DC associate Anna Stockamore is another key figure in the team. In May 2023 the firm announced its merger with Allen & Overy LLP to form A&O Shearman; the realisation of this combination remains in process and it is not yet possible to gauge its full impact.
Uría Menéndez has an impressive mix of investment and commercial arbitrations, along with public international law cases. Much of the team is located in the Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon offices, but the practice also benefits from the expertise and resources of associated firm, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, which has offices in in Chile, Colombia and Peru. The group frequently represents Europe-based multinationals (particularly those from the Iberian peninsula) in investment treaty cases against Latin American states and commercial arbitrations against Latin American businesses. José Miguel Fatás became head of the practice in January 2023, following the promotion of Jesús Remón Peñalver to the position of senior partner. Gabriel Bottini is an experienced name in investment arbitration, including Latin America cases; he also frequently sits as an arbitrator. Álvaro López de Argumedo is another key figure. All named partners are based in Madrid.
José Miguel Fatás; Gabriel Bottini; Fernando Aguilar de Carvalho
‘Uría Menéndez presents a highly trained team with experience in different areas of law. This allows them to offer their clients complete and effective advice, adapted to their needs and the complexity of each case. His practice is focused on the client, always looking for the best solution to their problem and adapting to their needs and objectives. Likewise, it presents a multiculturalism in its teams that, in my opinion, greatly favours the final result of the creative process with a greater capacity to adapt to the reality of the country where its support is needed.’
‘The proximity to the client and his effort to adapt the best legal practices to the strategy defined by the client, in my opinion would be a strong point. In addition, and as mentioned above, the multiculturalism of the team adds a dimension of greater competition to the strategy defined depending on the market, in order to better exploit the client’s needs. I point to the partner Alexandre Mota Pinto (Lisbon office) and Gabriel Bottini (Madrid office) as examples of what has been described and whose work, effort and dedication to the client deserve recognition.’
Banco Nacional de Cuba
Mota Engil Ingeniería y Construcción
The Cuatro Ríos Cuenca Consortium
TSK Electrónica y Electricidad
- Represented a Spanish telecommunications company in an investment arbitration relating to a dispute on tax measures imposed by a Latin-American state against the client’s local subsidiary.
- Represented Canal Extensia in an investment arbitration against Colombia regarding measures the current government imposed in relation to Canal Extensia’s investments in Colombia that resulted in it being forced to sell its shareholding in Triple A (Barranquillas Water Public Utilities).
- Represented Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca consortium in an ICC arbitration against an Ecuadorian state entity.
Volterra Fietta is at the forefront of public international law and investment treaty arbitration cases. It is also recognised for its expertise in the broader international arbitration sphere, where it represents a balanced mix of sovereign states and foreign investors. The firm has helped a number of foreign investors to land significant ICSID awards over recent years. In public international law, it has also represented Latin American states in International Court of Justice cases against other Latin American nations. ‘Outstanding’ founding partner Robert Volterra has true stature in the public international law and investment treaty arbitration spheres. Peter Flint and Gunjan Sharma provide additional senior-level expertise. However, Graham Coop joined Pinsent Masons LLP as co-head of investor-state arbitration in March 2023.
Robert Volterra; Gunjan Sharma; Peter Flint
‘This is the leading boutique law firm specialising in public international law. It competes very well with larger law firms which do international law as well as other subjects. The partners, especially the founding partner Robert Volterra, made considerable and successful efforts to attract high-flying talent from around the world.’
‘Robert Volterra, the founding partner, is really top-class. He is extremely well informed, intelligent, practical. I have worked with him in the past cases, would be happy to do so again.’
‘Excellent team, led by Robert Volterra.’
‘Robert Volterra is outstanding.’
Koch Nitrogen International
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Republic of Kenya
- Represented Grenada in the ICSID case: True Blue Development and others v Grenada.
- Represented KN-Holding and Severgroup in an investment treaty arbitration against the French Republic in relation to a gold mine in French Guiana.
- Represented Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International in an ICSID annulment proceeding initiated by Venezuela to annul an ICSID award worth approximately $400m.
Winston & Strawn LLP significantly augmented its Latin America credentials with the launch of a sizeable Miami office in 2022, which included the hire of Latin America disputes specialist Gustavo Membiela from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP; he has a background in Latin America-related arbitrations and investigations. Membiela has joined an established team of professionals such as Chicago partner Ricardo Ugarte, who can draw on over 30 years’ experience and has a fine record in both commercial and investor-state arbitration. The wider team has an established presence in mining, oil and gas, energy, financial services, technology, agriculture and hospitality cases, among other sectors. New York partner Marcelo Blackburn is also noted for energy, and oil and gas cases involving Latin American states.
Ricardo Ugarte; Michael Stepek; Allen Miller; Talbert Navia
Banco San Juan Internacional
Avanzalia Panama and Avanzalia Solar
- Represented Dominion Minerals in its claims brought pursuant to the Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Panama concerning Dominion’s investment in a copper and gold concession in Western Panama.
- Represented Banco San Juan Internacional in connection with a UK judgment enforcement action against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to recognise two judgments awarded in the UK against PDVSA and PDVSA Petróleo.