The ‘exceptional’ Arnold & Porter international arbitration practice is best known for its impressive track record in investor-treaty matters where it has focused on representing sovereign states. The firm has enjoyed a remarkable streak of 43 consecutive positive results in final and potentially final awards and decisions on behalf of sovereign States, as well as securing significant victories for the corporate clients it represents in commercial arbitration. The ‘impressive’ Paolo Di Rosa has more than 25 years’ practice experience in the sector and serves as co-chair of the firm’s international arbitration global practice group alongside San Francisco-based Maria Chedid, who was recently promoted to the co-chair role and is also one of only two US members of the ICC Court of Arbitration in Paris. ‘Capable and talented’ litigator Patricio Grané Labat also brings more than two decades; investor-state and international commercial arbitration experience to the team; while senior partner Whitney Debevoise is a key figure in the firm’s work for Panama. Mallory Silberman ‘displays mastery of arbitration rules and very good management in arbitral tribunals’; and Raul Herrera has extensive expertise in international arbitration and corporate securities law. The firm strengthened is ranks with the hire of counsel Latin America-focused Álvaro Nistal from Volterra Fietta in mid-2021, and subsequently reinforced the senior team with the hire of former Jenner & Block LLP arbitral practice-head Mélida Hodgson in January 2022, following the September 2021 departure of Gaela Gehring Flores to Allen & Overy LLP.
International arbitration in Latin America: International firms
Paolo Di Rosa; Maria Chedid
‘Arnold & Porter’s run successful results is exceptional. The practice is methodical and exemplifies legal rigour. It responds to client needs without comprising on its high standards.’
‘The Arnold & Porter lawyers stand out for their attention to detail and for understanding each and every one of the problems of a case. Patricio Grané is exceptional and Paolo Di Rosa stands out for his impressive ability to understand and attend to the specific needs of the client.’
‘Whitney Debevoise has managed to maintain an excellent relationships and negotiate agreements in the representation and defence of Panama. He is a well-connected partner. Mallory Silberman displays mastery of arbitration rules and very good management in arbitral tribunals.’
‘An excellent, flexible and highly experienced team. They know how to work with local firms and with the state as a client. The firm is displays great teamwork and is willing to integrate the local counsel and their experience into the team.’
‘The firm has great experience with Latin America and its idiosyncrasies. The native bilingual team delivers exceptional performance, with partners Patricio Grané and Paolo di Rosa and outstanding associates Alexander Witt and Claudia Taveras standing out.’
‘Extremely experienced in international arbitration. The quality of their partners is exceptional. They have a very well structured support team. It is remarkable that most of the team I’ve worked with were women.’
‘Patricio Grané is a very capable and talented litigator.’
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 Chile against a $354m claim filed under the Chile-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.
- Successfully represented Colombia in an investment arbitration with claims of over $323m, filed under UNCITRAL rules.
- Secured a successful result for Costa Rica in a dispute related to an environmentally sensitive gold mine project, which involved a $400m claim.
The ‘hard-working, high-quality attorneys’ in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s international dispute resolution practice handle all major sets of arbitration rules, providing multinational corporations, sovereigns, international organisations and individuals with support in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration matters. The practice has a strong presence in Latin America, securing significant awards for clients across a broad range of industries, including energy and natural resources, mining, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. The Latin American practice is led by the New York-based trio of Dietmar Prager , who displays ‘exceptional intelligence’; Mark W. Friedman has some 20 years’ experience and is a former Vice President of the ICC Court of Arbitration; and Catherine Amirfar. In addition, the group has recourse to the extensive experience of veteran arbitration practitioner David W. Rivkin , who divides his time between New York and London. Furthermore, the deep bench also houses an array of younger talent, including energy, mining and telecommunications expert Ina Popova and London-based energy specialist Samantha Rowe. In addition Laura Sinisterra, who clients note is ‘very good at dealing with experts and witnesses’, was raised to the partnership in 2022; and young triple-qualified (Brazil, New York, England & Wales) associate Guilherme Recena Costa is undoubtedly an up-and-comer of note. Donald Francis Donovan retired from his of counsel position in August 2022 after over 35 years at the firm, subsequently taking up a role as an independent arbitrator at Arbitration Chambers.
Dietmar Prager; Mark W. Friedman; Catherine Amirfar
‘The Debevoise’s team is unlike any other team of attorneys. The quality and professionalism of their attorneys is second to none. It is also a very diverse team.’
‘Within the Debevoise team, Mark W. Friedman, Ina Popova and Guilherme Recena Costa stand out. They are fantastic. Each one brings their own power or ability, and when they all act together they really are unbeatable. This is an essential feature in litigation.’
‘Dietmar Prager is very good at managing the team. Laura Sinisterra is very good at dealing with experts and witnesses.’
‘The team is filled with hard-working, high-quality attorneys who are very responsive.’
‘Dietmar Prager has exceptional intelligence and at every meeting is always prepared with the details of the facts, laws, and procedures for the matter he is handling for us. He answers all communications very promptly.’
Tethyan Copper Company
Gramercy Funds Management
SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands
- Representing Freeport-McMoRan and Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde in an ICSID arbitration brought against Peru under the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
- Acting for SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands in an ICSID arbitration brought against Peru under the Netherlands-Peru bilateral investment treaty.
- Secured a victory for Antofagasta/Barrick Gold joint venture Tethyan Copper against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; with an aggregate total of $5.9bn, it is the second-largest ICSID-award ever rendered.
The Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP international arbitration practice handles high-value disputes – frequently of a politically sensitive nature – across Latin America. The practice handles the full range of high-profile commercial and investment treaty work and has acted on more than 50 investor-state arbitrations, securing high-stakes victories for multinationals and sovereigns. Mining and energy are particularly active areas, with the practice group’s sector expertise also extending to the construction, agriculture, telecoms, financial services and transportation industries. A renowned figure, the outstanding Nigel Blackaby has earned an impressive list of victories during his prestigious career; he leads the Latin American practice from Washington DC alongside Noiana Marigo in New York – she has advised on complex disputes across the Americas for two decades. Washington DC-based partner Caroline Richard, who focuses on advising investors on contractual disputes and on conflicts with states and state-owned entities that are subject to investment treaties; and New York-based partner Lee Rovinescu, who is particularly noted for handling the cross-examination of technical witnesses, provide additional senior level expertise. At counsel level, Washington DC-based Alexander Wilbraham has extensive experience in arbitrations relating to Latin America – notably on disputes concerning energy, telecommunications, insurance, banking and international trade; while Natalia Zibibbo, in New York, has represented parties in more than 15 high-profile commercial and investment treaty arbitration proceedings under ICC, DIS, ICSID, ICSID additional facility and UNCITRAL rules, in both English and Spanish.
The Glencore Group
Eco Oro Minerals
Latin American Regional Aviation Holding
Fernando Fraiz Trapote
The AES Corporation
Espiritu Santo Holdings
- Successfully represented ConocoPhillips in a series of cases relating to the 2007 expropriation of three major oil investments in Venezuela.
- Representing Eco Oro in a claim against Colombia under the Canada-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement (FTA) in relation to measures that put an end to its Angostura gold mining project, one of the largest gold projects in Colombia.
- Advising ES Holdings on a dispute arising out of a concession contract that its subsidiary held with the government of Mexico City to install and maintain taximeters across Mexico City’s fleet of 128,000 taxis, and to develop a ride-hailing app to go along with the taximeters.
Global international-arbitration powerhouse King & Spalding LLP represents clients in significant commercial and investment cases, as well as in arbitration-related litigation before courts around the world. Latin America, which accounts for more than half the firm’s pending arbitrations, is a key market for the ‘unparalleled’ practice, which is best known for its exemplary energy-industry track record, but which has also secured a string of notable victories in the aviation and manufacturing sectors (among others). The Latin America team is co-lead by experienced investment treaty and commercial arbitration practitioner Craig Miles, who divides his time between the firm’s Houston and fast-expanding Miami offices (the latter having opening its doors as recently as February 2022); ‘outstanding’ Houston-based international arbitration and public international law expert Roberto Aguirre Luzi; and international commercial and investment treaty dispute specialist Harry Burnett, who is among those to have relocated from New York to Miami. The highly respected and experienced Doak Bishop and international arbitration veteran Edward Kehoe, who co-lead the firm’s global international arbitration group, are also closely involved in Latin American matters. The practice group’s deep bench was further strengthened with the October-2021 hire of tri-qualified (Brazil, New York and Washington DC) Érica Franzetti from Dechert LLP – initially to the Washington DC team but now in Miami. Partners Kenneth Beale (Washington DC) and David Wallach (San Francisco) have also come on board during the course of 2021, joining from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and Jones Day respectively. Elsewhere, Houston-based Fernando Rodriguez-Cortina -who has particular expertise in construction matters- was raised to the partnership in January 2022; and the New York office saw the arrival of civil and common law trained Samaa Haridi as partner from Hogan Lovells US LLP the following month. At a more junior level, tri-lingual associate Cedric Soule is rapidly gaining profile and is especially active in matters under ICSID and UNCITRAL rules relating to Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Harry Burnett; Roberto Aguirre Luzi; Craig Miles
‘King & Spalding’s international arbitration team is one of the most prominent in investment disputes with sovereign states, especially in Latin America. It has a great combination of American and foreign professionals, with very different backgrounds and training, which gives great richness and diversity to the advice.’
‘One of the strongest points of the team is its experience, which is also complemented by the permanent incorporation of young professionals with great potential. They know a lot about the investment arbitration market and that is a fundamental asset.’
‘The partners with whom I have worked the most are Roberto Aguirre Luzi and David Weiss, who are outstanding lawyers. Roberto combines knowledge of continental European law with extensive training and experience in the Anglo-Saxon system. This gives great versatility and flexibility. David is an extraordinary professional. He has a very broad knowledge of international law but is also very detailed and incisive in the factual aspects and the singularities of each case, which gives him a depth and overview that is not easy to match.’
‘King & Spalding’s international arbitration team is unparalleled in the market. The breadth of experience in virtually all industries and jurisdictions, paired with an outstanding client service, render the firm the go-to shop for any kind of complex disputes.’
‘Partners Harry Burnett, Erica Franzetti, Craig Miles and Fernando Rodriguez-Cortina and associate Marcio Vasconcellos are leading practitioners with a wealth of experience and expertise in the field. All of them deserve high praise for the outstanding work they provide.’
The Renco Group
Desarrollo Vial de los Andes
Odyssey Marine Exploration
Gente Oil Ecuador
- Represented Air Canada, in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela relating to the blocked repatriation of ticket-sale revenues from the country.
- Represents Chevron in investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador seated in the Hague and arising from a $9.5bn Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron for alleged environmental harm caused by historical oilfield operations.
- Represents the Dutch subsidiary of Quanta Services an ICSID arbitration against Peru under the Netherlands–Peru Bilateral Investment Treaty; the dispute relates to terminated contracts for work on internet networks in rural areas of the country.
White & Case LLP leverages its extensive client relationships and networks across Latin America to provide high-level investment and commercial arbitration support across the region. With more than three-decades’ experience in the Latin American market the ‘committed’ international arbitration team ‘works hand-in-hand’ with clients, doing so ‘with the greatest rigour’; as a result, it has built significant scale in the region. This has enabled the practice to take on a broad range of arbitration disputes across multiple sectors, with particular strength in energy, natural resources, financial services, technology and transportation matters. The ‘deeply impressive and knowledgeable‘ Jonathan Hamilton in Washington DC fronts the firm’s Latin American arbitration practice, with the highly respected global head of international arbitration Abby Smutny providing further senior leadership input. ‘Excellent professionals’ Ank Santens and Rafael Llano (based in New York and Mexico City, respectively), are praised for their ‘deep knowledge’ and are among the many senior names on a deep roster of talent. Silvia Marchili , who divides her time between Houston and Miami, focuses on complex investment and commercial claims, while Washington DC-based Francisco Jijón handles ICSID and UNCITRAL-governed matters and also handles commercial arbitration and litigation in various forums and arbitrations before US courts. Jorge Mattamouros in Houston is best known for his work in Brazil’s oil and gas sector. The practice has expanded its senior ranks with the promotion of Lucas De Ferrari (in Paris) and Sven Volkmer (in New York) to the partnership; and that of Mariele Coulet Díaz to counsel in Mexico City. A strong pipeline of counsel and associate-level talent includes rising star Michelle Grando and Alejandro Martínez de Hoz in Washington DC; Estefania San Juan in Miami; and Madrid-based Ignacio Madalena (primarily on Spain-LatAm related matters). Since research concluded, San Juan has been raised to the partnership, effective October 2022.
Jonathan Hamilton; Abby Smutny
‘Ank Santens and Rafael Llano are excellent professionals with a deep knowledge of their industry. We have a high level of trust in their advice.’
‘A committed team that works hand in hand with the client with the greatest rigour.’
‘Rafael Llano is outstanding in his strategic approach.’
Daniel Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA)
Red Eagle Mining
Rutas de Lima
Zurich Insurance Company
Zurich South America Invest
Eldorado Brasil Celulose
PT Ventures SGPS
Mitsui & Co
- Represent Daniel Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) as claimant in an ICSID arbitration against Guatemala in relation to the suspension of operations at a mine in the country.
- Acting for WeBuild in a treaty arbitration against Panama in connection with the high profile $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project.
- Represent Red Eagle Mining, as claimant, in ICSID arbitration against Colombia brought under the Canada-Colombia BIT and concerning claims of governmental expropriation of one of three gold mining concessions located in an environmental preservation zone, along with related financial losses.
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP‘s Latin America-focused international arbitration practice has ‘unusually strong advocacy and client relationship skills’ and is ‘deeply familiar with the Latin American reality’. The practice handles highly complex investment and commercial disputes and has accumulated expertise advising on high-profile matters in the technology, construction, mining and infrastructure sectors, among others. Tri-lingual and triple qualified (Argentina, New York and Washington DC) Miguel López Forastier is a ‘seasoned witness examiner and advocate’; based in Washington DC, he co-leads the team with New York-based Nicole Duclos, who clients praise for her ‘outstanding professional ability’. Duclos now also heads the firm’s wider Latin America initiative following the June-2022 departure of Sergio Urias to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. The highly-recommended Erin Thomas in New York is another key name: she is well-versed in construction and infrastructure disputes, as well as in litigation in aid of arbitration. A strong second line is composed of special counsels José Arvelo (New York and Washington DC-qualified, he has a special focus on the hydrocarbons sector); Clovis Trevino (Florida, New York and Washington DC-qualified; she specialises in public international law and international commercial and investment arbitration); and Ricardo Chirinos (Venezuela and New York-qualified, his practice is centred on cross-border commercial and investment disputes) who arrived from White & Case LLP in May 2021.
Miguel López Forastier
‘Nicole Duclos and her team are spectacular. They know the market very well. The Washington DC team is also phenomenal.’
‘Nicole Duclos is simply a star. A clear and concise communicator, who reflects great knowledge of the issues.’
‘This team has deep understanding of the law and the culture of the countries of the region. The team also work collaboratively with internal teams, and the quality of investigation and preparation is of high strategic value’
‘Nicole Duclos has outstanding professional ability. She has a unique ability to see solutions to conflicts beyond the judgments.’
‘With a number of native Spanish speakers from several states in Latin America, Covington’s team provides unusually strong advocacy and client relationship skills for matters arising in that region. The team also has access to the firm’s deep bench of advisers on government policy and international diplomacy, adding a rare set of capabilities to address transnational disputes.’
‘Miguel Lopez Forastier has deep experience with commercial and investor-state disputes and is a seasoned witness examiner and advocate. He practices effectively in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.’
‘Allan Moore is exceptionally strong in matters concerning insurance disputes and is well respected by other practitioners and arbitrators in that arena, in particular.’
‘The Covington team is truly international and deeply familiar with the Latin American reality, from a legal, cultural and political standpoint. They have the capabilities to handle any case in the region, but often work very closely with very well-regarded local players to give the client the best possible advice.’
Hyundai Engineering & Construction
Vulcan Materials Company
Korea National Oil Corporation
Barrick Gold Corporation
- Representing Uber in connection in a high-profile dispute with Colombia in which the state ordered the company to cease its ride-hailing operations.
- Represented Hyundai in a dispute against the Ministry of Public Works of Chile arising from the construction of the $700m Chacao Bridge in Southern Chile.
- Represents a subsidiary of Vulcan Materials in an investment arbitration against Mexico arising out of measures by the latter that have interfered with the company’s investments in a limestone quarry and port terminal development.
More than half of Dechert LLP‘s global arbitration cases involve clients in Latin America, where the firm has ‘deep knowledge’ and has built a strong reputation as a go-to adviser for states and state-owned entities. The practice also represents investors and is currently handling major cases against Panama, Peru, Chile and Uruguay. Given its strong state-side focus the practice is best known for its investment arbitration expertise; nevertheless, it also has an extensive commercial arbitration client base, with energy, construction, mining and telecoms all among the sectors where the practice has particularly strength. The vastly experienced Paris-based Eduardo Romero, an ‘outstanding lawyer and an excellent strategist’, heads the practice alongside Washington DC-based Arif Ali. The ‘tireless’ José Manuel García Represa is another high-profile senior figure; he is currently involved in more than 20 arbitrations and has played an influential role in many of the firm’s high-stakes’ matters. Senior associate Catalina Echeverri Gallego, who has recently started taking on work as an arbitrator alongside her practice as counsel, provides additional support. However, Érica Franzetti moved to King & Spalding LLP in October 2021.
Eduardo Silva Romero
‘A team that has deep knowledge of the Latin American reality and mastery of international arbitration.’
‘Eduardo Silva Romero is a world authority on arbitration and José Manuel García Represa a tireless young partner with experience that few others his age have. Gabriela González-Giráldez is sophisticated and a perfectionist.’
‘Dechert’s work is more than remarkable. The team adjusts to the client’s circumstances and undertakes deep legal analysis. Communication is excellent and inspires confidence in an experienced team in a complex field.’
‘Eduardo Silva Romero is a highly recognised lawyer in the investment arbitration field. His extensive experience as a litigator and arbitrator is a fundamental resource to build client confidence and obtain results.’
‘A very united team that is prepared and committed to the causes. The partners and associates are professional and technically excellent, with a lot of experience in complex conflict resolution.’
‘Dechert is a law firm that has demonstrated extensive experience in international commercial arbitration, specifically construction arbitration. They are experts in handling hearings, specifically cross-examinations of witnesses.’
‘Eduardo Silva Romero stands out for his knowledge of commercial arbitration. He is an outstanding lawyer and an excellent strategist. José María García is an excellent trial lawyer and expert in damages.’
‘Associate Antonio Gordillo’s thoroughness, attention to detail, and dedication to cases is spectacular.’
Carlos Mario Rios Velilla & Francisco Javier Rios Velilla
Autopista del Norte
Republic of Colombia
Republic of Ecuador
- Successfully represented Colombia against the Mexican telecommunications company América Móvil in investment arbitration arising from the state’s enforcement of a contractual clause regulating the restitution of assets to the state after the termination of a concession contract.
- Successfully advised the Belgian logistics group, Katoen Natie, in a dispute involving the company’s 30-year concession contract, agreed in 2001, to build and operate a container terminal in the port of Montevideo.
- Representing one of the largest power transmission companies in the world against the Republic of Chile, in ICISD arbitration arising from the construction and operation of a power line and the imposition of fines.
Foley Hoag LLP
Foley Hoag LLP‘s international litigation and arbitration practice (ILAP) formally established a Latin America practice group in 2022 so as to handle the firm’s fast-growing client base in the region. The ‘highly practical and strategically gifted’ Clara Brillembourg and ‘thorough and engaged’ Kenneth Figueroa, both based in Washington DC, co-lead the newly-formed group and have both played a critical role in widening the practice’s Latin America portfolio. The firm, which focuses predominantly on the representation of Latin American sovereign states and state entities, handles international investment and commercial arbitrations as well as public international law disputes. ILAP co-chairs Lawrence Martin and Constantinos Salonidis continue to work closely on Latin America matters, with partners Derek Smith and Tafadzwa Pasipanodya also providing active senior support to the Latin America team.
‘Kenneth Figueroa is thorough and engaged. He works closely with clients and is efficient and responsive.’
‘The team are responsive to any questions or queries and take the time to understand client needs.’
‘Clara Brillembourg delivers service of the highest quality and is focused on achieving successful results.’
‘Foley Hoag committed to the client’s goal and has a diverse and deep team with a broad range of experience.’
‘Partners and associates are close to the detail and understand all the technical aspects of the dispute.’
‘The Foley Hoag team is organised and excellent at providing concise analysis of complex situations to facilitate strategic decision-making.’
‘Clara Brillembourg is a highly practical and strategically gifted lawyer. She is excellent at identifying exactly what the problem issues are and coming up with effective solutions. His commitment to the defence of the state and the passion she shows are invaluable.’
‘Eva Treves stands out in the team. She handles high volumes of work and understands the details without losing the big picture of the case.’
‘Kenneth Figueroa is accessible and tries to address all the concerns we have as clients, whether they are big or small.’
Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima
- Representing the Dominican Republic in UNCITRAL arbitration initiated by a French national under the Dominican Republic-France bilateral investment treaty, arising from the termination of a waste management concession agreement.
- Representing Chile in one of its first investment arbitration cases before ICSID arising from the impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and state regulations to protect public health as a response.
- Representing Nicaragua in ICSID arbitration brought by US nationals under the CAFTA-DR related to the termination of a concession for hydrocarbon exploration.
Herbert Smith Freehills
The ‘brilliant’ and ‘dynamic’ Latin America international arbitration practice at Herbert Smith Freehills impresses clients with its ‘perfect Spanish language skills’ and the ‘huge experience in all sectors’ of its partners. The ‘extremely hands on’ Christian Leathley and Edward Dougherty -both based in New York- co-chair the practice, which draws on multidisciplinary expertise from across the firm’s international network – including a roster of common and civil law lawyers dedicated almost exclusively to Latin America. Fluent Portuguese speaker Thierry Tomasi leads a Brazil-focused practice from Paris and New York-based counsel Florencia Villaggi -undoubtedly an emerging figure- is currently advising clients in several complex international mandates across a broad spectrum of arbitration rules. Frankfurt-based disputes specialist Patricia Nacimiento and the highly regarded Amal Bouchenaki in New York provide additional senior level support. The team handles international investment and commercial arbitration work and counts energy, construction, infrastructure, telecommunications and financial services among its most active industry areas. In May 2022 the Madrid office saw the departure of David Arias to re-establish his own boutique, taking former of counsel Luis Capiel and senior associate Oliver Cojo with him – effectively unwinding their incorporation some three years ago.
‘Brilliant partners with perfect Spanish language skills. Huge experience in all sectors.’
‘Christian Leathley and Amal Bouchenaki have immense experience in Spain and Latin America. Two brilliant advocates.’
‘A slim and dynamic team. Great attention from the more senior members of the team and associates are familiar with the Latin America jurisdiction.’
‘Christian Leathley is extremely hands on and available. He takes the time to understand the needs of his clients and works hard to ensure his team delivers a high quality product.’
Autopista Rio Magdalena (Colombian subsidiary of Aleatica)
- Represented Andes Petroleum Ecuador in an arbitration in which the company sought to recover its 40% share of a $1.06bn arbitral award from Occidental Exploration and Production Company.
- Retained as co-counsel by Autopista Rio Magdalena to represent it in an ICC arbitration against a Spanish company and a Colombian consortium; the dispute arising from an EPC contract for the construction of a major highway in Colombia.
- Retained as counsel by Constructora Valko to represent it in ICC arbitration against a Peruvian public body; the dispute arising from a contract for the construction of various road facilities in the Amazon region.
Led by the ‘stellar’ Fernando Mantilla-Serrano from Paris, Latham & Watkins‘ Latin America international arbitration team covers international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, multi-jurisdictional disputes and international public law matters. The practice has developed a healthily-diverse client base that includes private companies, investors, state-owned enterprises and sovereign states; and is known for its broad industry experience, with the oil-and-gas, infrastructure, construction, financial services, mining, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors among its most active areas. Mantilla-Serrano is supported by group of talented associates who display ‘deep knowledge’ of business culture and law in the region. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) counsel, Santiago Bejarano, who joined the New York office from WilmerHale in early 2021 and represents domestic and multinational corporations in their high stakes international disputes. Impressive associates Esperanza Barrón-Baratech and Diego Romero (in Paris), and London-based Samuel Pape, all have considerable experience advising corporates, sovereign states and state-owned entities in Latin American matters.
‘The team has deep knowledge and shows full commitment to delivering the best possible result.’
‘Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is a stellar practitioner with deep knowledge of international commercial arbitration cases related to Latin America. The team of associates has deep understanding of the commercial and legal Brazilian culture.’
Republic of Colombia
Novenergia II Energy & Environment
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Grupo Energía de Bogotá Yes
- Represents Live Nation in an ICC arbitration in relation to the termination of a $462m deal to acquire a 51% stake in the largest concert promoter in Latin America, OCESA, and other subsidiaries owned by Mexico’s Grupo CIE.
- Representing Colombia against three mining companies in relation to the adoption of certain legislative, administrative and judicial measures to protect the environmentally sensitive páramo ecosystems.
- Representing the Dominican Republic in an ICSID arbitration brought by EnviroGold relating to alleged violations of an agreement for the reprocessing of the gold and silver refractory tailings dam of the Puerto Viejo mine.
Reed Smith LLP
The ‘committed and specialised’ Reed Smith LLP international arbitration practice ‘epitomises excellence’. The team handles a broad range of commercial and international matters, with the practice especially well-known for its work in the Latin America investor-state space and its commodities, energy and construction expertise. The practice is led by Latin American arbitration pioneer José Astigarraga, a ‘unique strategist’ who leads his team ‘masterfully’ from Miami. The highly-respected Cristina Cárdenas in Miami, and ‘simply outstanding’ Francisco Rivero (who heads up the firm's Latin America practice and is a former co-head of the international arbitration group) provide further senior level expertise alongside Edward Mullins, who focuses his practice on international commercial litigation and arbitration. Felipe Berer, who has a strong Brazilian practice, is another key partner. However, Houston based energy and infrastructure specialist Nicolas Borda left the firm in mid-2022.
‘The Reed Smith international arbitration group has a team of highly trained lawyers who are at the forefront of current legal affairs and who work in a highly collaborative way. The team’s strategies are innovative and the interpretation of the applicable law is accurate efficient.’
‘A team that epitomises excellence. Every legal strategy is backed by years of experience.’
‘Francisco Rivero has admirable expertise. His hard work and his passion for serving the client is simply outstanding.’
‘A committed and specialised team with a desire to win cases.’
‘José Astigarraga is a unique strategist with deep experience. He masterfully leads his team. He knows the Latin American arbitration market in depth and is very easy to work with. He has a unique ability to structure a winning strategy.
Eduardo De la Peña is an extraordinary lawyer. His deep knowledge and winning strategies make him an excellent professional.’
‘The Reed Smith international arbitration team is truly exceptional.’
Three Crowns LLP
The sizeable ‘top notch’ boutique, Three Crowns LLP (over 50-lawyers strong) focuses exclusively on international disputes and handles a significant number of high-profile Latin America cases - primarily in the power, oil-and-gas, infrastructure and construction sectors. The Latin America team, which ‘matches the standards of the best large litigation practices’, advises on matters spanning the entire region, representing a diverse roster of state and multinational clients. Established arbitration expert Gaëtan Verhoosel co-leads the practice out of London alongside the impressive Carmen Martinez Lopez, who clients single out for her ‘creative and innovative’ strategic advice. Highly rated Washington DC counsel Agustin Sanz ‘pays attention to detail’ and is praised for his thorough preparation ahead of hearings.
GaëtanVerhoosel; Carmen Martinez Lopez
‘A firm that is always well-prepared and does not allow for errors. A top-notch legal team.’
‘Laura Pereira is an exemplary manager investigation logistics and Agustín García Sanz is faultless when it comes to preparing for hearings.’
‘One of the best boutique firms globally. The team is well known for its effectiveness and experience in complex cases.’
‘The team is the best. A combination of experience and youth, intelligence and ability to work, makes them highly respected in the field.’
‘The specialist knowledge and diverse experience of the team allows for a comprehensive strategy that covers all angles. Undoubtedly one of the best firms in its field.’
‘Agustín García Sanz is professional and pays attention to detail. Carmen Martínez López has deep knowledge and is creative and innovative in the strategies she proposes in her cases. Macarena Bahamonde is highly efficient and offers attentive support.’
‘Three Crowns is one of the strongest international arbitration teams on the market. They are driven by one main goal, which is excellence.’
‘An elite firm that combines diversity without losing the quality and excellence of its talent.’
‘An excellent arbitration boutique that matches the standards of the best large litigation practices.’
Republic of Chile
Grupo Unidos por el Canal
Jan de Nul
Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia
- Representing 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.
- Representing Sacyr in a $1bn treaty claim against Panama under the Spain-Panama BIT, in connection with the expansion of the Panama Canal.
- Acting for Chevron in its investment treaty arbitration against Ecuador, having previously secured a historic win, the team continues to advise on the damages phase of the proceedings.
New York-based international disputes boutique Chaffetz Lindsey LLP advises on complex international arbitrations globally and has grown its Latin America client base and team in recent years. The firm has secured notable victories for clients in the construction, manufacturing and renewable energy sectors and secured new instructions involving clients and projects across multiple Latin American countries. Founding partner James Hosking leads the team and is active on the firm’s largest Latin America cases, as well as sitting as arbitrator on a number of Latin America matters. The highly regarded Aníbal Sabater maintains a sizeable Latin America client base and has built up extensive arbitral experience, especially in energy, construction and financial services disputes. Caline Mouawad is another key name and has 20 years' experience handling both commercial and investor-state disputes, while Yasmine Lahlou is best known for her work in Brazil and is active in the energy, pharmaceuticals and telecoms industries. The practice has strengthened its senior ranks with the promotion of Gretta Walters to the partnership in recognition of her contribution to complex matters in Guatemala, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico. Former rising star Rainbow Willard left the firm to take up a position at the US Department of Justice in 2021.
APM Terminals Callao
Eletrobras CGT Eletrosul
Grañá y Montero
Hydria Participações e Investimentos
IESA Oleo & Gas
QGI Oil & Gas
- Successfully represented Brazilian construction company IESA Oil & Gas in ICC arbitration seated in New York concerning a dispute arising out of the owner TUPI’s wrongful termination of an EPC Contract to build modules to for six different floating, production, storage and offloading vessels
- Represent Clorox Spain in ongoing UNCITRAL arbitration against Venezuela under the Spain-Venezuela bilateral investment treat
- Represented AES Corporation in ICSID arbitration against Argentina seeking damages for breaches of the US-Argentina bilateral investment treaty, arising from Argentina’s modification of its electricity tariffs in the context of the 2001 Argentine financial crisis.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
New York-based Ari MacKinnon and Jeffrey Rosenthal lead a Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Latin American international arbitration practice that advises multinationals and foreign and domestic corporations across a wide range of arbitral matters. The team continues to act for a notable roster of state-side clients, including it’s long running representation of the Republic of Argentina. The team handles commercial and treaty-based disputes across multiple sectors, with mining, telecoms and oil-and-gas and matters particularly prominent; in the latter segment, for instance, it counts Petrobras, YPF and Pemex as key clients. At associate level, Pedro Martini (litigation, arbitration and regulatory enforcement) in Sao Paulo; Katie Gonzalez (litigation and international arbitration – with an emphasis on complex cross-border disputes) in New York; and Pablo Mateos Rodríguez (international arbitration, litigation, and public international law, including commercial and investor-state disputes) in London, are all noted.
Ari MacKinnon; Jeffrey Rosenthal
Republic of Argentina
Petróleo Brasileiro – Petrobras
- Successfully advised Vale on a $2bn LCIA arbitration award against its joint venture partner, alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with a mining investment in Africa.
- Represented Petrobras in confirmation proceedings initiated in the Southern District of Texas to recognise and confirm an arbitral award of more than $600m issued in Houston, Texas, under the auspices of the AAA-ICDR.
- Represented Argentina, together with the Procuración del Tesoro de la República Argentina, in ICSID arbitration brought by holders of interests in multiple Argentine bonds under the Argentina-Italy bilateral investment treaty.
The Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP international arbitration team works closely with the firm’s litigators to provide clients with a broad range of support in complex disputes across Latin America. The practice has particular experience in the financial services, mining and real estate sectors, advising on each stage of the dispute resolution process, from the drafting of arbitration clauses through to alternative dispute resolution efforts, the conduct of arbitration proceedings and the enforcement of arbitral awards. In complex disputes the team is comfortable handling parallel and related litigation. London-based Cyrus Benson and Penny Madden lead the practice, with the ‘exceptional’ Rahim Moloo a key contact for Latin American matters. New York-based practitioner Lindsey Schmidt has experience handling both international commercial and investor-state matters; and counsel Charline Yim, also in New York, provides further specialist support.
Cyrus Benson; Penny Madden
‘The team is well equipped to handle arbitration processes involving different countries where multicultural factors are play. Very good at assessing all aspects of a case and defining an appropriate strategy.’
‘A team of focused, effective lawyers.‘
‘Gibson Dunn’s team is at the top of the market in international arbitration.’
‘Rahim Moloo and Charline Yim stand out in the team. Both are exceptional lawyers who undertake deep preparation for cases.’
Angel Seda and others
- Represents two subsidiaries of multinational insurance company Liberty Mutual in a claim against Venezuela, arising under the Spain-Venezuela and UK-Venezuela bilateral investment treaties.
- Obtained a key enforcement victory for Canadian gold mining company, Crystallex International, which holds a $1.4bn judgment against Venezuela.
- Counsel to a group of US property-development investors in ICSID arbitration against Colombia; the dispute concerns the seizure of land on which the claimants planned to develop a real estate project.
The Hogan Lovells US LLP international arbitration practice handles a broad mix of work, advising corporate entities and sovereign states in both commercial and investor-state matters; it's investor-state work being more-or-less evenly split between mandates from businesses and governments or other public bodies. A well known figure in arbitral circles, the New York-based Oliver Armas -who is also a member of the firm’s global enforcement and asset recovery team, leads the practice- and has particular experience regarding the financial services, food and power sectors, among others. Senior support comes from respected litigator and arbitration lawyer Daniel González in Miami, with fellow Miami-based partners Maria Ramirez and Richard Lorenzo also key contacts for Latin American disputes.
Mr Alejandro Diego Diaz-Gaspar and Iberico
Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Panama
- Representing Canada-based financial group Espiritu Santo Holdings in a high-value ICSID arbitration against Mexico for breach of its obligations under NAFTA.
- Representing Alejandro Díaz-Gaspar, a Spanish national, and Ibérico, a former pork and poultry food processing company in Costa Rica, on an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Costa Rica.
- Defending AES Corporation and AES Gener, its Chile-based subsidiary, in an ICC arbitration brought by Constructora Nuevo Maipo (CNM).
Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP represents Latin American clients in both commercial and investor-state arbitration across a broad array of industries, including construction, energy, financial services, mining, public utilities, and real estate. The firm has built up a strong roster of state clients but also works with investors and has expanded its market share of commercial disputes work too. Marinn Carlson in Washington DC works with both states and investors and co-leads the firm’s global arbitration practice alongside Singapore-based Tai-Heng Cheng, who has handled complex Latin American disputes before the ICC. Jennifer Haworth McCandless in Washington DC is key senior figure and has built her practice around advising states in high stakes disputes; and New York-based Simon Navarro focuses his international arbitration and litigation practice on Latin America and Spain. Former practice head Louis Kimmelman retired from the practice at the end of 2020.
Marinn Carlson; Tai-Heng Cheng
PACC Offshore Services
JPMorgan Chase & Co
- Secured a major victory for Colombia when a tribunal dismissed a $1.3bn investment treaty claim filed by Spanish company Naturgy related to the placing of its subsidiary Electricaribe into administrative receivership.
- Successfully represented Vantage Petroleum at every stage of a dispute with Brazil’s Petrobras over a cancelled contract.
- Defending Peru against investment treaty and contract claims brought by Argentine investors in a stalled project to build a new airport in the Peruvian city – and key tourist destination – Cuzco.
Houston-based James Loftis leads a Vinson & Elkins LLP international arbitration team that provides ‘clear, precise and well-founded solutions’ for its clients in both commercial and investor-state matters. The ‘excellent’ Camilo Cardozo in New York is a key contact for Latin America work, with London-based Nick Henchie known for his extensive construction industry expertise. Up-and-coming New York-based partner José F Sanchez handles arbitral matters in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and has experience of ICC, ICSID, ICDR, LCIA, UNCITRAL and Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce rules - particularly as regards infrastructure, energy, investor-state relationships, and post-acquisition disputes.
‘The Vinson & Elkins team led by Camilo Cardoso is excellent. They have extensive knowledge of arbitration.’
‘The commitment to the advisor-client relationship is extraordinary. Camilo Cardoso is there for the client every step of way.’
‘José Sánchez knows his cases in detail and delivers excellent work.’
‘They spend as much time as necessary to thoroughly understand the case and present clear, precise and well-founded solutions.’
Panama Canal Authority
XTO and Exxon Mobil Exploration Argentina
Offshore Exploration and Production
New Fortress Energy
- Handling a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority (arising from the complex Panama Canal extension project) against Grupo Unidos por el Canal, a consortium of European and Panamanian companies.
- Representing Tampico Beverages in its dispute against Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana, arising from a licensing agreement between the parties for the manufacturing, promotion and sale of Tampico’s products.
- Representing Offshore Exploration and Production in ICDR arbitration against the state-owned oil companies of Korea (Korea National Oil Corporation) and Colombia (Ecopetrol).
Allen & Overy LLP boosted its Latin American international arbitration offering significantly with the recruitment of experienced practitioner Gaela Gehring Flores (in Washington DC) and a team of four associates from Arnold & Porter in September 2021. Flores has an impressive track record in commercial and investment treaty disputes in the Americas, representing corporate and sovereign clients across a range of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, mining, life sciences and pharmaceuticals. The new hires follow the arrival of Washington DC-based Patrick Pearsall in 2020 to lead the firm’s international disputes practice. Pearsall handles big-ticket disputes and has successfully represented states across the region in investor-state mandates. The practice group’s capable second line is led by Washington DC-based associates David Ingle and Brian Vaca , who handle both investment treaty and commercial cases.
Gaela Gehring Flores; Patrick Pearsall
- Represent Peru in a PCA arbitration against the Renco Group concerning alleged breaches of the Peru-US FTA in relation to the La Oroya metallurgical complex.
- Representing a group of international lenders in a potential commercial arbitration concerning a project-finance entity in Mexico.
Baker McKenzie LLP
Baker McKenzie LLP’s international arbitration practice draws on its Latin America office network -spanning Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela- to provide clients with support on the ground in the region. The practice focuses on commercial and treaty arbitration matters before all the major arbitral institutions and is particularly strong in the energy and construction industries. The practice is co-lead by Santiago-based Rodrigo Diaz de Valdes in conjunction with Maria del Carmen Tovar Gil in Lima. Global chair of the firm’s dispute resolution practice, Claudia Benavides, in Bogotá, is also a key contact; with Luis Dates in Buenos Aires and Eugenio Hernández-Bretón in Caracas providing additional senior level support. The departure of New York-based Derek Soller in 2021, however, has limited the scope for developing that office as a hub for Latin American work.
Rodrigo Diaz de Valdés; María del Carmen Tovar
Baker Botts L.L.P.'s Latin America international arbitration practice undertakes both investment-treaty and commercial arbitrations for states, state-owned entities and corporates, with a particularly prominent roster of energy company clients. The practice is especially well-known for its expertise in matters related to the upstream oil-and-gas, LNG, power, and construction sectors. The retirement of Jay Alexander, co-founder and former chair of the practice is an undoubted loss (he now operates as an independent arbitrator), but the team can still draw on the extensive commercial and investment arbitration expertise of ‘top-level professional’ Alejandro Escobar in London; he now co-leads the practice alongside Johannes Koepp (also in London) and New York-based international disputes specialist Andrew Behrman. Edward Schorr , who has a long track record in international arbitration and commercial litigation and is active in Brazilian energy disputes, is another senior contact.
Alejandro Escobar; Andrews Behrman; Johannes Koepp
‘Baker & Botts delivers high-quality service and guarantees the client an adequate defence of their interests.‘
‘Alejandro Escobar has great leadership skills. He is a top-level professional who is very analytical, with extensive experience and who stands out in hearings.‘
‘The firm has an interdisciplinary team with extensive knowledge of foreign legislation, which I have not seen in other similar firms.’
‘The Baker Botts team of lawyers is made up of first-rate, brilliant professionals with impeccable ethics. They present various scenarios and alternatives while offering solutions. They anticipate the counterpart’s responses.’
‘They approach cases honestly and are always analysing different scenarios.’
Clifford Chance's international arbitration practice handles investment treaty and commercial arbitration matters and has earned a strong reputation for its work on high-value contractual disputes and complex multi-jurisdictional arbitrations related to construction, oil-and-gas, hydroelectric power and mining matters. It has significantly extended its Latin America footprint of late and is handling an increasingly significant volume of high-value cases. The group is co-led from Washington DC by David DiBari (head of US litigation and disputes practice and co-head of the global risk team), and José García Cueto, who was promoted to the partnership in 2022; the key figure for Latin America-related matters, he has experience advising on ICC commercial disputes, UNCITRAL, ICSID and ad hoc arbitrations.
José Ignacio García Cueto
Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento
Enel Green Power Costa Rica
- Representing Luxembourg investment entity Odebrecht Latinvest in a $1.1bn ICSID arbitration concerning the termination of a pipeline concession.
- Representing Enel Fortuna in an ICSID dispute with Panama regarding its investment in the energy sector.
- Representing ESSA2 and Enel Green Power Costa Rica in an ICSID dispute against Costa Rica related to the expropriation of its energy investments.
Clyde & Co
London-based arbitration specialist Maurice Kenton leads the Clyde & Co Latin America international arbitration practice, which handles both commercial and investment treaty arbitration work. The team has advised on a range of energy, mining and construction arbitrations but is best known for its expertise in the insurance sector. The dual-qualified (UK / Brazil) Ricardo Lewandowski has built his practice in cross-border international arbitration and commercial litigation, and is among the partners singled out by clients for his specific insurance and reinsurance expertise. Experienced litigator Neil Beresford is known for his expertise in arbitrations involving Colombian parties; while Lee Bacon has advised on disputes and claims from across Latin America, including Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Mexico City-based Vicente Banuelos Rizo acts as counsel, co- and sole arbitrator, as well as president of Arbitral Tribunals, in more than thirty arbitrations, including ICC, ICDR, CAM and CANACO cases. However, experienced treaty and commercial arbitration partner Alejandro I García left the practice in April 2022 to join Stewarts Law LLP.
‘A professional and dedicated team with excellent knowledge of the insurance market. Good in litigation, especially arbitration.’
‘Ricardo Lewandowski has deep knowledge of insurance and reinsurance. Pablo Hanna is a brilliant lawyer who is very intelligent, develops good legal strategies and has done very well conducting arbitrations.’
Infraestructura Hospitalaria de la Península
Shanara Maritime International and Marfield
Empresa Nacional de Telecommunicaciones ENTEL Chile
- Advised IHP in a dispute with Mexican public entity Servicios de Salud de Yucatán related to construction project.
- Advising a consortium of insurers in a dispute related to a professional indemnity policy purchased by a Colombian bank.
The Cuatrecasas Latin America international arbitration practice has benefitted from the Iberian firm’s investment in its Latin America network, with new office openings in Colombia and Chile in 2020 adding to the firm’s existing presence in Mexico and Peru. The practice handles commercial and investment arbitrations and has focused primarily on disputes in the infrastructure and energy sectors, which account for the bulk of the the portfolio. Peru has been a particularly busy jurisdiction, with the team advising on various Peruvian construction and transport disputes. Santiago-based Cristián Conejero, a specialist in international arbitration, litigation and alternative dispute resolution, co-leads the practice with Madrid-based Alfonso Iglesia, a 25-year veteran of both local and international arbitration. Fellow specialist Alberto Fortún (also in Madrid), and Mexican law expert René Irra in Mexico City are additional key names. Lima-based partner Domingo Rivarola, who specialises in commercial dispute resolution; and Madrid-based Manuel Franco, who was raised to the partnership in April 2021, round out the senior team, which was further strengthened with the hire of partner Alberto Zuleta from Holland & Knight in November 2021.
Alfonso Iglesia; Cristián Conejero
International Consortium Metro De Lima
Sociedad Concesionaria Peruana De Vías
SSK Ingeniería Y Construcción
Comité De Cooperación Económica Del Sistema Interconectado Nacional
- Representing a consortium commissioned to build and operate a subway line in Peru in ICSID arbitration brought against the Republic of Peru.
- Successfully represented SSK Ingeniería y Construcción in ICC arbitration against the Peruvian subsidiary of Técnicas Reunidas, related to a construction subcontract to build several parts of an oil refinery.
- Advising Sociedad Concesionaria Peruana de Víason in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Peru regarding a dispute related to a highway concession.
The ‘comprehensive’ and ‘cogent’ Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP international arbitration practice is best known for working exclusively with sovereign states and state-owned companies in high-profile, high-value investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitrations. The firm is especially active in the oil-and-gas sector, where it has advised various national oil companies across the region. George Kahale III leads the team from New York and has been a leading figure in the firm’s work for Venezuela. Washington DC-based Claudia Frutos-Peterson is another senior name and has extensive experience advising sovereign clients in investor-state disputes. Fernando Tupa splits his time between Buenos Aires and New York and covers investor-state and international commercial arbitrations; while up-and-coming partner Elisa Botero, who leads the firm’s Colombian office and also spends time in New York, is praised by clients for her ‘dedication and commitment’. Mexico City-based partner Gabriela Álvarez Ávila moved to DLA Piper Mexico in July 2021.
George Kahale III
‘The team is known for comprehensive way it approaches disputes and the breadth of legal resources it has available.’
‘Elisa Botero stands for her dedication and commitment to the client’s needs.’
‘A team of first-class lawyers.’
‘A strong team with great knowledge of international law. The team produces very powerful submissions, both orally and in writing.’
‘Mark O’Donoghue and Charles Buderi are very effective. They both deliver cogent arguments and are great at cross-examinations.’
Republic of Colombia
Republic of Panama
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)
- Representing the Dominican Republic in an investment arbitration brought by a Jamaican national seeking damages for the alleged expropriation of a waste disposal facility.
- Representing Argentina in an investment arbitration brought by Metlife seeking compensation arising from reforms to the country’s retirement and pension system.
- Representing Colombia in an investment arbitration brought by two US corporations and their joint venture partner seeking compensation relating to the expansion and modernisation of the Cartagena refinery.
DLA Piper LLP (US) has expanded is Latin America international arbitration department footprint in recent years with the 2019 hire of Kate Brown de Vejar in Mexico City as global co-chair of the international arbitration practice (alongside Paris-based Michael Ostrove), setting the ball rolling and playing its part in the firm’s growing profile in the region; subsequently appointed deputy managing partner of the Mexico City team too, de Vejar is a current vice chair of the IBA’s Arbitration Committee. The practice handles investment-treaty and commercial arbitration matters and has been particularly active in the infrastructure space. Experienced local and international arbitration practitioner Gerardo Lozano Alarcón is another notable name in the Mexico office, which was further strengthened with the lateral hire of Gabriela Álvarez Ávila from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C. in July 2021. The addition of Ricardo Alarcón (from Shearman & Sterling LLP ) as associate director of the practice in Colombia -also in 2021- was an additional boost. Specialist senior associate Sabrina Ramos in Buenos Aires is also noted.
Kate Brown de Vejar; Michael Ostrove
With offices in Miami, Washington DC and London, specialist international arbitration boutique GST LLP handles commercial arbitration and investor-state matters, acting predominantly on ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC proceedings as both counsel or arbitrators. The firm has built up its roster of sovereign clients, including Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guatemala. Founding partners Ignacio Torterola (in Washington DC), and Diego Gosis and Quinn Smith (in Miami) front the firm’s Latin America work with key support coming from Miami-based practitioners Carmine Pascuzzo and Domenico Di Pietro. Counsels Pablo Mori and Katherine Sanoja -in Washington, DC and Miami, respectively- lead the firm’s capable second line.
Ignacio Torterola; Diego Gosis; Quinn Smith
Holland & Knight LLP covers commercial and investment-treaty disputes under all major arbitration rules and is known for its expertise in infrastructure, energy, mining and construction cases. Experienced international arbitration practitioner Adolfo Jimenez, who acts as both advocate and arbitrator, leads the firm’s international arbitration practice out of Miami, with domestic and international trade attorney Carlos Vejar (in Mexico City), providing senior support. Other key senior names include highly experienced arbitrator Enrique Gómez Pinzón, who divides his time between the firm’s Washington DC and Bogota offices; and New York-based litigation partner Marisa Marinelli. Bogota-based dispute resolution partner Alberto Zuleta left to join Cuatrecasas in late 2021.
Medical University Hospital Authority
Eco Oro Minerals
Royal Industries International
King Baby Marine
- Acted as lead counsel to Eutel’s Satmex for more than 10 years in an investment arbitration proceeding against the Mexican government before ICSID for breach of several provisions under the Mexico-France bilateral investment treaty.
- Secured a victory for Drummond in a nine-party ICC arbitration involving the construction of a railway in Colombia.
- Advising a precious metals exploration and mining development company Eco Oro Minerals with respect to an international arbitration filed against Colombia concerning the prevention of mining activities in a protected area despite the existence of mining titles before the area was protected.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP handles international commercial, investor-state, and state-to-state arbitration matters under all under all major arbitration rules and ad hoc procedures. The practice is particularly well-known for its work in investment treaty arbitration, where it has acted for both states and companies. The firm’s Latin American disputes practice is co-chaired by experienced counsel and arbitrator Luis O’Naghten in Miami and Diego Durán de la Vega, an international commercial and investor-state disputes specialist, in Washington DC. Also DC-based James Boykin, who has commercial and treaty arbitration experience, chairs the firm’s investment treaty arbitration group, providing senior support alongside Rémy Gerbay, who joined the firm’s arbitration group as partner from MoloLamken LLP in June 2021. Other key names include cross-border litigation and arbitration lawyer Nicolas Swerdloff, who divides his time between Miami and New York; and Hagit Muriel Elul, the co-chair of the firm’s global arbitration practice. Respected partner John Fellas left the firm at the end of 2020 to focus on work as an independent arbitrator.
Luis O’Naghten; Diego Durán de la Vega
Campos de Pesé
- Representing Italian company Campos de Pesé in a multihundred-million dollar investor-state dispute against Panama regarding the expropriation and destruction of an investment in an ethanol plant.
- Representing a French investor in a multimillion-dollar investment arbitration against the Dominican Republic, brought under the France-DR bilateral investment treaty.
- Representing IBT Group in a disputeregarding the construction of a prison facility in Panama.
Norton Rose Fulbright draws on resources from across its global international arbitration team – including lawyers in Sao Paulo, Brazil – to cover the entire Latin American region, providing support to clients from the onset of a dispute through to the enforcement of awards. The team is especially well-known for acting on international commercial arbitrations but also handles noteworthy investment treaty cases, with energy a particularly strong industry sector. Highly respected arbitration veteran Mark Baker co-leads the practice out of Houston alongside fellow global practice co-chair, Montreal-based Pierre Bienvenu. Other key names include Montreal-based international arbitration specialist Martin Valasek, and Matthew Kirtland, who heads the firm’s Washington DC arbitration team. In Houston, Kevin O’Gorman handles international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and is known for his extensive energy expertise, particularly as regards Latin America. The practice strengthened its senior ranks at the start of 2022 with the promotions of Denton Nichols (in Houston) and dual-qualified (Ontario/New York) Alison FitzGerald (in Ottawa) to the partnership.
- Represented offshore mooring chains and accessories maker Vicinay Cadenas in a decade-long dispute with Petrobras America, related to product liability, gross negligence, and fraud claims.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP undertakes high profile Latin America-related commercial and investor-state arbitrations, and has notable expertise in post-M&A and intellectual property disputes. The practice has experience across the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, among others, and is also regularly sought out to support Latin American clients in litigation connected to arbitration. The formidable Julie Bédard leads the firm’s international litigation and arbitration group for the Americas and -dividing her time between New York and São Paulo- is the key contact for the practice’s Latin America-related work. Partners Jennifer Permesly and Timothy Nelson in New York also feature prominently on work in the region.
Encana International Finance
- Representing Embraer in three international arbitration proceedings against The Boeing Company before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR); two arise from Boeing’s termination of an agreement to purchase an 80% interest in Embraer’s commercial aviation business, the third to Boeing’s termination of a related military-aircraft joint venture.
- Advising Ovintiv (formerly Encana Corporation) and Encana International Finance in connection with the expropriation of an oil field in Latin America, in which the client once held a substantial economic interest; the expropriation also gave rise to one of the largest ICSID claims to date.
- Representing a multinational renewable energy company in connection with BIT claims against Mexico; the claims arise out of Mexico’s threat of significant regulatory and legislative reforms to the renewable energy sector.
The practice at Squire Patton Boggs has grown significantly in recent years, expanding its portfolio of cases in the region and making senior level lateral-hires to further strengthen its Latin American capability. ‘Exceptional’ investment arbitration and construction dispute specialist John Adam -previously at Latham & Watkins – joined the Paris office in 2021 to co-lead the firm’s Latin American drive alongside the ‘magnificent’ Paris-based José Ricardo Feris (a former deputy secretary general of the ICC); and Raúl Mañón in Miami, who has a strong state-side practice. The addition of Singapore-based public international law specialist Rodman Bundy (also in 2021), previously with Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP , has added further depth and senior expertise. Moreover, the firm also investing in its second line with the recruitment of associates Aline Ramos (Paris) and Maria Gomez (Miami), and the promotion of Francisco Batlle -to senior associate- in Santo Domingo. The practice handles investment and commercial arbitration matters across a range of sectors and has built up a particularly prominent portfolio of state and state-owned entity clients.
John Adam; José Ricardo Feris; Raúl B Mañón
‘José Ricardo Feris is a magnificent lawyer and outstanding arbitrator.‘
‘John Adam has exceptional knowledge of international arbitration and local affairs in Latin America. He has an exceptional grasp of detail and at the same time can step back and assess the strategic picture.‘
- Representing Peru in three ICSID arbitrations arising out of Peru’s alleged breaches of a concession agreement with a Spanish-Italian-Korean consortium for the construction of a metro line in Lima.
- Acting for Costa Rica in an arbitration arising from claims by a Spanish investor who initiated bankruptcy proceedings for a chicken farm business after permits were revoked following a Ministry of Health inspection.
- Defending Ecuador in a UNCITRAL investment arbitration against a claim for damages sought by WorleyParsons International related to the upgrade and construction of crude oil refineries in Ecuador.
International arbitration boutique B. Cremades & Asociados takes on commercial and investor-state arbitrations in Latin America across multiple sectors, including energy, oil-and-gas, natural resources, construction, engineering and pharmaceuticals. Veteran founding partner Bernardo Cremades is highly respected and leads the Madrid-based firm alongside Bernardo Cremades Román. The vastly experienced arbitration specialist Ángel Tejada is another key senior figure, with José López Useros providing further senior level support after his promotion to the partnership in December 2021.
Bernardo M Cremades; Bernardo M Cremades Román
Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles
Mr. Raimundo Santamarta Devis
Teleféricos Doppelmayr Bolivia
Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo
- Representing CIMSA in a dispute that arose out of the breach of a shareholders’ agreement.
- Acting as counsel in an ICSID dispute against the Republic of Honduras regarding the forced liquidation of Banco Continental.
- Acting as counsel to two pharmaceutical corporations owned by dual nationals of Venezuela and Spain; the dispute concerns the measures taken by Venezuelan authorities against the companies’ properties and assets.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's Latin America international arbitration practice is led out of Miami by international litigation and arbitration specialist Ryan Reetz and Pedro Martinez-Fraga, an expert in international commercial arbitration and transnational litigation. The practice heads act both as counsel and arbitrators, and have particular experience handling matters in the hospitality, manufacturing and financial services industries, among others.
Dechamps International Law
‘Consummate professional’and name partner Jean Paul Dechamps leads ‘cost-effective’ international arbitration boutique Dechamps International Law from London, alongside Buenos Aires-based partner Gustavo Topalian, who is experienced in both institutional and ad hoc international arbitrations. Additional support is provided by associate Pablo Jaroslavsky (also in Buenos Aires), who has experience in commercial and investment treaty dispute matters. The team represents corporations, individuals, states and state entities in investment treaty and commercial disputes across a wide range of proceedings, with a primary focus on Latin America.
Jean Paul Dechamps; Gustavo Topalian
‘Cost-effective and technically strong.’
‘Extensive knowledge of arbitration processes and US and Latin American culture. The team maintains high ethical standards.’
‘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.‘
‘Dechamps International has top rate expertise and commercial awareness. The firm is very adept at working with parties across different fields and organisations.‘
‘Jean Paul Dechamps is the consummate professional. An exceptionally knowledgeable and skilled lawyer.‘
‘The team is very agile and works well under pressure.’
‘Speed, agility and a wealth of practical experience wrapped in a guerilla team for medium and large investment cases.’
South32 SA Investments
Latin American Regional Aviation Holding
Diamante Trading Investments
The López Goyne Family Trust
- Representing South32 Investments in ICSID arbitration against Colombia under the United Kingdom-Colombia BIT, in connection with measures taken by various administrative and judicial entities in Colombia that affected the claimant’s investments in a major nickel-mining project.
- Represented Latin American Regional Aviation Holding in an ICSID arbitration against Uruguay under the Panama-Uruguay BIT and arising out of measures taken by Uruguay that affected the claimant’s investment in a local airline.
- Representing Glencore International in ICSID arbitration against Colombia under the Colombia-Switzerland BIT and arising out of measures affecting its investments in the country’s mining and infrastructure sectors.
Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance is best known for handling large, complex, cross border commercial disputes, both arbitral and litigious, as well as multi-jurisdictional and parallel proceedings - particularly between US and Latin America parties and involving sovereign-owned or government-related entities. The ‘outstanding’ Gary Davidson and ‘excellent communicator’ Michael Diaz Jr. co-lead the firm’s practice offering from Miami, with additional senior expertise coming from the ‘skilful’, tri-qualified (Miami, New York, Washington DC), Marta Colomar-Garcia, also in Miami. Brant Hadaway moved to The Davillier Law Group and Roland Potts to Foley & Lardner LLP in February and October 2021, respectively.
Michael Diaz, Jr; Gary Davidson
‘Great flexibility and capacity for integration with the client’s needs.’
‘Michael Diaz Jr, is a great leader, an excellent communicator and connects with the client. An experienced lawyer who develops good arbitration process strategies.‘
‘Marta Colomar is very skilful and organised.’
‘Gary Davidson is an outstanding lawyer who focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He combines a practical mindset with extensive knowledge and experience to deliver a high-quality service.‘
American Veteran Enterprise Team
- Represented a Peruvian doctor and his company, THI Medical, who were defrauded in an orchestrated scheme to sell counterfeit 3M masks; the New York case has recently been referred to arbitration before the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
The ‘remarkable’ David Orta in Washington DC leads Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP US and Latin America international arbitration practices. The versatile Orta acts as trial lawyer and arbitral counsel for states, state-owned entities and investors across a range of sectors; with Mark McNeill in New York handling commercial and investment treaty arbitrations as well as sitting as arbitrator. Washington DC-based Daniel Salinas-Serrano has built his practice around investor-state work, while Dawn Yamane Hewett (in Washington DC) represents clients in investment treaty matters, commercial arbitrations and multi-jurisdiction litigations. The firm has expanded its international arbitration bench with the promotion of Paris-based Alexander Leventhal international commercial arbitration expert; and Lucas Loviscek in Washington DC (a litigation lawyer with expertise in investment and commercial arbitration) to the partnership in January 2022.
‘The practice assembles small, extremely competent teams to handle cases. Teams work smartly and efficiently, and by hiring and attracting the top legal counsel in the world, they are able to create the strongest possible product.‘
‘David Orta is a remarkable leader. He absorbs and understands complex details about a case, and is able to distill the key points into a compelling narrative.‘
Gordon G Burr (et al)
Ampex Retirement Master Trust
Apple Oaks Partners
Axis Oil Field Services
TP Ferro Concesionaria
- Representing 38 US investors in an international investment arbitration against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- Representing Oro Negro’s US and European shareholders in a complex, cross-border dispute arising from Oro Negro’s bankruptcy; with associated litigation currently ongoing in Mexico, the United States and Singapore.
- Represent Miguel Orlandini (the owner of Compañía Minera Orlandini) in UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration against Bolivia and arising from Bolivia’s breaches of international law under the US-Bolivia BIT.
Shearman & Sterling LLP represents clients in commercial and investment treaty disputes under all leading arbitration rules, as well as advising parties in arbitration-related proceedings before national courts, including the enforcement of arbitration agreements and arbitral awards. The practice has experience across a wide range of industries, including energy, construction, mining, telecoms and technology. Washington DC-based partner Christopher Ryan is the main contact for Latin America in the firm’s global international arbitration practice and has two decades’ experience handling investment and commercial arbitration involving countries across the region. Associate Anna Stockamore in Washington DC provides key support and focuses her practice on investment and commercial arbitrations, as well as litigation and arbitration-related proceedings before US courts. Colombian-based Ricardo Alarcón left to join DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán in February 2021.
Christopher Ryan; Alex Bevan
Stoneway Capital Corporation
Republic of Panama
The Nature Conservancy
- Representing Stoneway Capital Corporation and its Latin American subsidiary in ICC arbitration (seated in New York) initiated by a Latin American construction contractor arising and from an EPC contract for the construction of a power plant in the region.
- Representing Panama in treaty claims brought by Omega Engineering and Oscar Rivera arising from the alleged expropriation of multiple infrastructure construction contracts.
- Represent SPS (a minority shareholder of Brazilian meat company JBS), in an action in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against Colorado Investment Holdings; SPS is seeking judicial assistance in obtaining discovery for use in an ongoing arbitral proceeding in Brazil.
Iberian powerhouse Uría Menéndez handles Latin America arbitration matters from its Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona hubs. The firm’s dispute resolution head Jesús Remón Peñalver co-leads international arbitration practice from Madrid alongside arbitration and public law specialist Gabriel Bottini, who is regularly sought out to act as an arbitrator; and Lisbon-based Fernando Aguilar de Carvalho, who also heads the firm’s litigation department in Portugal. The team supports clients in commercial arbitration and investor-state disputes, with particular experience in the construction, agriculture, transport and utilities sectors, among others.
Jesús Remón Peñalver; Gabriel Bottini; Fernando Aguilar de Carvalho
‘Uria presents a competent, capable and diverse team that adapts to the needs of the client.‘
‘Partners Alexandre Mota Pinto and Gabriel Bottini are supportive, understand client strategy and provide good advice.‘
The Cuatro Ríos Cuenca Consortium
Mota Engil Ingeniería y Construcción
The Republic of Chile
Republic of Cuba
- Representing Telefónica in an investment arbitration relating to a dispute pertaining to tax measures imposed by a Latin-American state against the client’s local subsidiary.
- Advising the Dominican Republic on PCA investment arbitration proceedings brought by Azucarera del Guadalfeo and Joaquín Francisco Martín Montero, regarding state measures that resulted in an expropriation.
- Advising Mota-Engil in a dispute related to a public works contract to develop a metro-bus project in Paraguay and concerning the alleged breach of a major construction contract.
London-based international arbitration boutique Volterra Fietta has extensive experience advising on public international law and investment treaty matters involving Latin American and Caribbean states. The firm regularly handles state-to-state proceedings, including cases before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and also takes on international arbitration for states and investors before ad hoc tribunals, the PCA, ICSID, the SCC and other institutions. The practice is also involved in a steady stream of commercial arbitrations, and in addition, has recently worked with states to reformulate model bilateral investment treaties (BITs). ‘Experienced and confident’ founding partner Robert Volterra is the main point of contact, with Latin America arbitration veteran Graham Coop another key name. Peter Flint , who joined the firm in 202o as a consultant, was raised to the partnership in 2021 and brings extensive international arbitration, cross-border litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to the team. Counsel Alvaro Nistal left the firm to join Arnold & Porter in June 2021.
Robert Volterra; Graham Coop; Peter Flint
‘Robert Volterra is an experienced and confident advocate.‘
‘When working with the team the preparation of arbitration claims and presentation of evidence and witness statements was meticulous and complete, and the legal arguments were impeccable.’
‘Robert Volterra’s expertise and experience in international investment arbitration is impressive, and his availability to the client is constant.’
Koch Nitrogen International
- Represent Grenada in ICSID arbitration related to Grenada’s citizenship-by-investment scheme.
- Advising Barbados on the reformulation of its model BIT.
- Representing Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International in an ICSID annulment proceeding initiated by Venezuela to annul an ICSID award worth approximately $400m.
More than a fifth of Winston & Strawn LLP's substantial global arbitration caseload involves Latin America-related matters. The practice group is particularly strong in the mining sector, with work for clients in the hospitality and oil-and-gas segments also prominent. Practice chair Ricardo Ugarte (in Chicago) specialises in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty matters and is the main point of contact, with additional senior support coming from the New York-based Talbert Navia and Allen Miller, who co-chair the firm’s overall Latin America offering. Litigation expert Marcelo Blackburn in New York is another key name, alongside Sofia Arguello - whose practice covers a broad range of disputes and investigations in Latin America.
Ricardo Ugarte; Talbert Navia; Marcelo Blackburn; Allen Miller
‘A team characterised by the diversity of its people and knowledge of legal cultures. The presence of bilingual people with knowledge of other legal traditions facilitates international work.’
‘Ricardo Ugarte and Rodolfo Herrera-Moro stand out.’
Dominion Minerals Corp
- Representing Dominion Minerals in claims brought under a US-Panama investment treaty and concerning the treatment and protection of investments arising from Dominion’s investment in a copper and gold concession in western Panama.