International arbitration in Latin America: International firms

Arnold & Porter

The international arbitration practice at Arnold & Porter has a strong track record in investor-treaty matters and has adopted a policy of representing sovereign states in such cases. The practice is currently representing Peru in six arbitrations and has been retained by Colombia to act on a further two cases. The team is also working on high profile matters in infrastructure and transportation for Panama and Chile. Although state clients dominate its roster, the firm also represents corporates in the construction, infrastructure and aviation sectors. Washington-based Paolo Di Rosa heads the firm’s international arbitration practice and has extensive experience advising Latin American sovereigns across a 25-year career. Other investor-state specialists on the team include London-based Patricio Grané Labat, who also has significant international commercial arbitration experience; Mallory Silberman in Washington, who has been prominent in the firm’s work for Panama; senior partner Whitney Debevoise (who -like Di Rosa- is on ICSID’s panel of arbitrators) and has also worked closely on Panama-related matters, and like Raul Herrera, combines international arbitration expertise with experience in capital markets and transactional work. The practice was further strengthened in June 2021 with the hire of experienced, Latin America-focused counsel Alvaro Nistal, from Volterra Fietta, but subsequently endured the significant loss of Gaela Gehring Flores  who exited to Allen & Overy in September.

Practice head(s):

Paolo Di Rosa

Key clients

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

Argentine Republic

Work highlights

  • Representing Peru in six separate international investor-state arbitrations, with the largest a $1.2bn ICSID matter  in the gas-transportation sector involving Odebrecht.
  • Retained by Colombia on two matters, including a UNCITRAL arbitration in the banking and finance sector involving claims in excess of $323m.
  • Defending Panama in ICSID arbitration brought by electricity generator Enel Fortuna claiming breaches of the Italy–Panama Bilateral Investment Treaty and seeking damages due to delays in the construction of a major electricity transmission line.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The Latin America international arbitration practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP leverages off a global team of 14 international partners and a strong cadre of counsel and associates to advise a wide range of clients including multinationals, sovereigns and NGOs. The group handles international, commercial and treaty arbitrations and has delivered some notable results in the region, including securing $435m award for Ecuadorian oil-and-gas client Perenco Ecuador against Ecuador; and a $5.9bn award in favour of Antofagasta Minerals and Barrick Gold joint venture, Tethyan Copper. New York-based practice heads Donald Donovan and Dietmar Prager are highly respected, and experienced arbitrator David Rivkin is noted for his extensive international arbitration track record. Dividing his time between London and New York, Mark Friedman has played a leading role on some of the practice’s largest matters, advising Tethyan Copper, Perenco Ecuador and fund manager Gramercy. Other notable individuals on the practice’s deep bench include Paris and New York-based Ina Popova, who has expertise in energy and mining, and telecoms, media and communications sectors; and London-based energy expert Samantha Rowe. New-York based associates Laura Sinisterra and Guilherme Recena Costa are up-and-coming figures of note.

Practice head(s):

Dietmar W. Prager; Donald Francis Donovan

Testimonials

‘Great experience, with a lot of expertise and depth of analysis. Debevoise has lawyers with academic training in various jurisdictions and language skills. An elite practice.’

‘Dietmar Prager displays excellent strategic thinking and can conduct arbitrations in English, Spanish and German. Samantha Rowe produces excellent quality of work and client management.’

‘Extraordinary speed of response with depth. Very good knowledge of the issues and realities of Latin America coupled with an excellent team size and ease of working.’

‘Laura Sinisterra is an excellent lawyer, with great knowledge, depth of analysis and speed of response and works very well with Dietmar Prager’

Key clients

Tethyan Copper Company

Freeport-McMoRan / Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde

SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands

Perenco Ecuador

Gramercy Funds Management

Center for Reproductive Rights

YPF

Work highlights

  • Represented Perenco Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration against Ecuador, winning a record-breaking award worth $435m—the largest award issued against Ecuador in connection with the windfall tax known as “Law 42”.
  • Representing Gramercy Funds Management in a $1.8bn UNCITRAL arbitration against the Government of Peru arising from the latter’s efforts to evade payment of agrarian bonds issued in exchange for property expropriated by the government in the 1970s.
  • Secured a victory for mining company Tethyan Copper —a joint venture between Chilean miner Antofagasta and Barrick Gold — against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; w ith an aggregate total of $5.9bn, it is the second-largest ICSID-award ever rendered.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The Latin American international arbitration group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP stands out for its work on high-profile, high-value and frequently politically sensitive disputes. The practice advises both multinationals and sovereign states on complex arbitrations and has acted in more Latin American ICSID cases than any other firm. The team operates across a number of countries in the region and has broad sector expertise, acting on matters in power, oil and gas, mining, financial services, manufacturing and food among others. The practice is co-lead by highly experienced arbitration practitioner Noiana Marigo in New York and Washington DC-based Nigel Blackaby, who garners huge respect from his peer group and has built up a formidable reputation, amassing an impressive list of victories in a decorated career. Also in Washington DC, Caroline Richard is an investor-state specialist and undoubtedly one-to-watch, having secured a string of successful outcomes for key client Glencore and miner Crystallex. Appointed partner in May 2020, New York-based Lee Rovinescu is another key name, leading on cases in the energy and oil and gas sectors. Up-and-coming talent Natalia Zibibbo, who has a commercial and investment arbitration focus, has been active on a number of matters for the firm.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Blackaby; Noiana Marigo

Key clients

ConocoPhillips

Exxon Mobil

Glencore Group

América Móvil

Republic of Guatemala

Grupo Agroinsumos

South32

Occidental

García Armas Family

Eco Oro Minerals

Smurfit Kappa

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria  (BBVA)

Latin American Regional Aviation Holding

IC Power

Kenon Holdings

Abertis Infraestructuras

Fernando Fraiz Trapote

Vinci

AES Corporation

Anglo American

Work highlights

  • Representing Spain-based global financial services entity, BBVA, in an ICSID Additional Facility arbitration against Bolivia under the Spain-Bolivia BIT; the dispute relates to Bolivia’s nationalisation of the country’s pension fund administration industry.
  • Representing global commodity trading and mining company, Glencore Group in arbitration against Colombia arising from a dispute over governmental measures that affected investments by Glencore and its Colombian subsidiary in one of the region’s largest coal mines.
  • Representing IC Power and Kenon Holdings in an investment arbitration against Peru, brought under the Peru-Singapore Free Trade Agreement; the dispute relates to the pair’s former investments in the power generation sector in Peru.

King & Spalding LLP

Latin America-related mandates represent more than half of King & Spalding LLP‘s impressive international arbitration portfolio, which is handled by some 125 full-time arbitration practitioners. The firm’s international arbitration group covers the gamut of commercial and investment dispute resolutions and is particularly strong -indeed, renowned- in the oil and gas sector, although it has also built out its construction arbitration and related litigation expertise and is comfortable handling matters in other sectors including financial services, pharmaceuticals and hospitality. High profile matters include representing Chevron in its $11.5bn ICSID case against Ecuador; and acting for Colombian oil refinery, Reficar, in a $5bn ICC arbitration against CB&I. The highly respected Doak Bishop co-leads the firm’s international arbitration practice group and ranks among the most experienced arbitration practitioners in Latin American disputes. The Latin American international arbitration practice, in turn, is co-led by the ‘absolutely top arbitration partnerHarry Burnett in New York, and Roberto Aguirre Luzi and Craig Miles, both based in Houston. Associates Fernando Rodriguez-Cortina and Renzo Seminario, who have both worked on high-profile construction matters, are also recognised by clients. The firm expanded its team early in 2020 with the hires of partners Javier Rubinstein, Lucila Hemmingsen and Lauren Friedman, who all joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Former partner Caline Mouawad moved to Chaffetz Lindsey LLP in December 2019. Since publication, the firm has hired  the dual-qualified (Brazil / US) Érica Franzetti from Dechert LLP; she joins as a partner at the firm's Washington DC office.

Practice head(s):

Harry Burnett; Roberto J. Aguirre Luzi; Doak Bishop

Testimonials

‘King & Spalding has the best international arbitration team in the market, notably for Latin American matters. The breadth of expertise, experience and multi-cultural/languages skills offered by the team is unmatched by any other firm. From high-stakes commercial disputes to complex investor-state arbitration, the firm has just the right team to provide legally effective and commercially viable solutions.’

‘Harry Burnett is an absolutely top arbitration partner and his leadership abilities in complex arbitrations is a big attraction. Harry is an excellent litigator and is supremely easy to work with. His attention to detail is second to none.’

‘Harry Burnett is a leading figure in the Latin American international arbitration community and stands out for business approach and pragmatism. Burnett is a very seasoned arbitration practitioner who can pair his Spanish and Portuguese language skills with an impressive cultural sensitiveness.’

‘Roberto Aguirre stands out for his ability to design strategies to face complex problems. Associate Renzo Seminario shows a lot of commitment and involvement in the management of the issues under his charge.’

‘Craig Miles brings an impressive set of sophisticated technical skills and creative ideas. Fernando Rodriguez-Cortina is very dedicated and with an impressive work capacity and adds high value for this thoroughness and attention to detail.’

Key clients

Chevron

Renco Group

Lima Expresa

Kuntur Wasi

Vinci

Corporación América

WeBuild

Air Canada

Gente Oil

ConocoPhillips

Exterran

Williams Companies

Mexican Investor Group

Deviandes

Quanta Services

Shell

Work highlights

  • Representing Renco Group in UNCITRAL arbitration filed in October 2018 against the Republic of Peru under the 2009 Peru–US Trade Promotion Agreement.  
  • 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 Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi and Corporación América  in ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru brought under the Argentine–Peru bilateral investment treaty, a concession contract and a guarantee agreement.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP ’s deep bench of talent and extensive global international arbitration network provide Latin American clients with ‘sophisticated strategic thinking’ and a ‘practical, service-oriented touch’. The firm’s scale allows it to handle a broad range of Latin American arbitration disputes across multiple sectors and jurisdictions in the both investment and commercial arbitration segments. With a 30-year presence in the Latin American market, the practice has built up a strong reputation and particular sector expertise in energy, natural resources, financial services, technology and transportation among other industries. Washington-based practice head Jonathan Hamilton stands out for ‘exceptional strategic insights’ and ‘tactical know how’. ‘Outstanding professionalsRafael Llano Oddone in Mexico City and Ank Santens in New York are noted for expertise in construction disputes, and energy and infrastructure, respectively. Next generation partner Silvia Marchili, who splits her time between Miami and Houston, works on both commercial and investment arbitrations, while Jorge Mattamouros has carved out an impressive track-record in the oil-and-gas sector in Brazil. Paris-based associate Lucas De Ferrari was promoted to partner in January 2021. However, associate Juan Pablo Hugues moved to Foley Hoag LLP in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan C. Hamilton; Abby Cohen Smutny

Testimonials

‘Sophisticated strategic thinking, without losing a practical, service-oriented touch. Have taken a lead role on a very complex matter and have shown great strategic thinking, as well as skilled coordination with local counsel in Latin America.’

‘Very practical and service-oriented. They give straight, honest advice in a manner that can be use commercially.’

‘Jonathan Hamilton is outstanding in a lead role on arbitrations.’

‘Strong and competent professionals for complex commercial arbitration.’

‘Ank Santens and Rafael Llano are outstanding professionals, providing sound and pointed advice that is useful both for in-house counsel and the investment teams.’

‘White & Case has made significant investments in developing price competitive teams for Latin America without compromising on  quality.’

‘Jonathan Hamilton has exceptional strategic insights and tactical know how. He gets inside the head of the arbitrators and understands what they want to understand in order to present to them the information they need to determine the case. He is unwavering in his desire to win and every minute he invests is about how to drive the case towards a successful outcome.’

Key clients

PT Ventures SGPS

Eldorado Brasil Celulose

Grupo Unidos por el Canal et al

TECO Guatemala

Daniel Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA)

Zurich Insurance Company and Zurich South America Invest

The Republic of Peru (multiple disputes)

MetLife

Red Eagle Mining

Telefónica

Work highlights

  • Representing Brazilian paper products company Eldorado Brasil Celulose in one of largest contractual disputes of record in Brazil, concerning the alleged breach of a Sale and Purchase Agreement entered into between Eldorado’s controlling shareholder, J&F Investimentos (as seller), and CA Investment Brazil (as buyer); Eldorado is an intervening party to the SPA (having assumed obligations under the under said agreement); value BR$15bn (approx $4bn).
  • Ongoing representation of Grupo Unidos por el Canal (Panama) and its shareholders Salini Impregilo (Italy), and Jan De Nul (Belgium) in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority concerning the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project known as the ‘Third Set of Locks Project’; the governing law of the contract is Panamanian law and the arbitration agreement is governed by the ICC Rules and the US Federal Arbitration Act.
  • Successfully represented TECO in its ICSID claim against Guatemala under the DR-CAFTA, the tribunal finding a violation of fair-and-equitable treatment for the manner in which Guatemala had conducted a tariff review (that slashed the investment’s revenues by half), and awarding TECO approximately $221m plus 75 percent of its costs.

Chaffetz Lindsey LLP

The ‘very professional’ New York-based international disputes firm, Chaffetz Lindsey LLP, is a ‘true arbitration boutique’ with a ‘versatile team’ that delivers ‘excellent service’ to a roster of clients with a strong Latin American component. James Hosking heads the team, which represents corporates and state-owned groups in investment treaty and commercial disputes across a variety of sectors. Leading individual Aníbal  Sabater is a ‘great strategist’ with a considerable Latin American practice and extensive arbitral experience - particularly in the energy, construction and financial services sectors. Yasmine Lahlou has a strong Brazilian track-record and counts energy, pharmaceuticals and telecoms among her industry focus areas. Caline Mouawad, who joined from King & Spalding LLP at the end of 2019, has deepened the firm’s capability in investor-state disputes under investment treaties. Counsel Rainbow Willard is named as a rising star in recognition for her growing profile representing private entities and sovereigns in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, as well as in award enforcement proceedings in US federal courts.

Practice head(s):

James Hosking

Testimonials

‘The team shows dedication and is very professional. Chaffetz is excellent at managing coordination with our internal people and understanding our needs.’

‘A true arbitration boutique with great ambition for professional development.’

‘A versatile team with great professionalism and excellent service. I have worked with them on various issues as co-counsel and they are excellent.’

‘Aníbal Sabater is an excellent professional. He displays great versatility, knowledge and the ability to work with teams from other international firms. He always delivers quick answers and is a great strategist with knowledge of the most complex issues.’

Key clients

AES Corporation

Clorox Spain

Eletrobras CGT Eletrosul

Enel

Eskenazi family

Grañá y Montero

IESA Oleo & Gas

IIG TOF

SPI Energy

Stoneway Capital

Synohydro Costa Rica, Omega Construcciones, Desarrollos y Construcciones Urbanas and CAABSA Infraestructura

Work highlights

  • Represented a Brazilian construction company in an ICC arbitration arising out of the termination of an EPC Contract for the construction of modules for six floating, production, storage and offloading vessels.
  • Represented AES Corporation in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina seeking damages for breaches of the US-Argentina BIT arising from Argentina’s modification of its electricity tariffs in the context of the 2001 Argentinian financial crisis.
  • Represent Stoneway Capital and its Argentine subsidiary, SPI Energy, in an ICC arbitration against Siemens concerning construction defects, delays, output shortages and the termination of EPC contracts for the construction of four power plants in Argentina.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

New York-based partner Ari MacKinnon leads the Latin America international arbitration team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, which has expertise in mining, oil-and-gas and telecoms, among other sectors. Case highlights included winning a $2bn LCIA arbitration award for Brazilian miner Vale against a joint venture partner; and supporting Telecom Italia through a series of attempts by various parties to vacate the awards of an ICC arbitration in Paris. MacKinnon is supported by associates Pedro Martini and Katie Gonzalez, based in São Paulo and New York respectively. Martini has experience in a variety of disputes administered by international and Brazilian arbitral institutions; he focuses on construction, M&A and private equity. Gonzalez' practice centres on international arbitral and litigious matters in the manufacturing, industrials and oil-and-gas sectors. Associate Ignacio Zapiola exited in September 2020 to become head of international disputes at YPF.

Practice head(s):

Ari MacKinnon

Key clients

Vale

Republic of Argentina

DP World

Telecom Italia International / Telecom Italia

Petróleo Brasileiro – Petrobras

Work highlights

  • Advised Vale in winning a $2bn LCIA arbitration award against its joint venture partner, alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with a mining investment in Africa.
  • Advised Telecom Italia International and Telecom Italia in various successful efforts opposing the attempts of various parties in the Opportunity group of companies to vacate the awards of an ICC arbitration in Paris, which rejected these companies’ claims for over $15bn in damages.
  • Successfully advised the US subsidiary of a Mexican glass manufacturer in multimillion-dollar ICC case against another glass manufacturer for breach of an exclusive sales agreement.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP handles commercial, investment treaty, and state-to-state cases with a strong focus on matters in the energy, mining, construction and infrastructure industries. The firm has also demonstrated its technology-sector capability, representing ride-hailing platform Uber Technologies in a dispute with Colombia, where the state ordered the company to cease operations in the country. Other highlights include representing CMPC Group in a precedent-setting Section 1782 litigation in aid of a $400m insurance arbitration in Brazil; and reaching a settlement for client Hyundai Engineering & Construction with the Ministry of Public Works of Chile after a dispute over a construction contract for the Chacao Bridge. Miguel López Forastier in Washington DC (‘who has an impressive ability to present a case in a concise and simple way‘); and Nicole Duclos in New York (‘great at communicating and delivering understandable and effective advice, guidance and strategy‘, co-lead the Latin American practice. López Forastier worked on the Uber matter and has also represented clients in Mexican, Bolivian and Venezuelan arbitrations. Duclos has deep expertise and experience in international commercial and investment arbitration in the construction, energy, mining, agribusiness and finance. Both partners are also highly-sought after as sole arbitrators. New York-based Erin Thomas, who has worked on a number of mining-industry arbitrations in the region, is another notable figure; while special counsels José Arvelo, Clovis Treviño and Ricardo Chirinos (a May-2021 hire from White & Case LLP), and senior associate Mary Hernández, constitute the practice-group’s powerful and experienced second line.

Practice head(s):

Marney Cheek; Jeremy Wilson; Miguel López Forastier; Nicole Duclos

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Nicole Duclos and her team. She is a leader, very knowledgeable in arbitration and dispute resolutions at any level. She is great at communicating and delivering understandable and effective advice, guidance and strategy.’

‘I have worked with Nicole Duclos and her team for several years. She is rigorous, fast and has extensive knowledge of legal and technical aspects.’

‘Very neat and strategic in how to approach conflicts with states. Very good quality and fast response capacity.’

‘The Covington team is a highly integrated team where everyone knows their role. one of the few global firms whose Latin American arbitration practice group truly has a deep understanding of the region and the behavior of government entities in these countries.’

‘I would highlight Miguel López Forastier who has an impressive ability to present a case in a concise and simple way. He is the coordinator of a very well-oiled machine.’

‘Nicole Duclos’s cross-border experience in Latin America brings great added value when litigating matters in the region. She understands the differences between US and Latin American legal systems as well as cultural differences. She is always willing to find solutions and is highly client-oriented and a team player when collaborating with local counsel.’

‘The Covington & Burling international arbitration team stands out for its legal rigour. They have an impressive diversified team with multilingual capacities such as Spanish, French and Chinese. They are well-equipped to be adaptive to local cultures and the requirements.’

‘Miguel Lopez Forastier is a renowned investment arbitration specialist. He has an impressive case profile.’

Key clients

Uber Technologies

Hyundai Engineering & Construction

ExxonMobil

Grupo CMPC

Gruma

Barrick Gold

Vulcan Materials Company

Korea National Oil Corporation

Bacardi

Tidewater

Work highlights

  • Representing Uber in connection with a high-profile dispute with Colombia.
  • Representing Hyundai in a dispute against the Ministry of Public Works of Chile (MOP) in connection with the construction of the $700m Chacao Bridge in Southern Chile.
  • Representing CMPC Group in precedent-setting Section 1782 litigation in aid of a $40m insurance arbitration in Brazil.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP‘s international arbitration team has built its Latin American practice around advising sovereign states and state-owned entities. With expertise across a range of commercial and investment treaty disputes, the firm has developed substantial sector experience across the energy, construction, mining and telecoms industries. Highlights include successfully advising Guatemala on two matters in the electricity industry and Paraguay in a PCA-administered arbitration (under Paraguayan law) arising from a FIDIC design and construction contract. Eduardo Silva Romero leads the group out of Paris, where José Manuel García Represa , who has advised on matters in energy, construction and transport, is also based. Other notable names include Washington-based Érica Franzetti , who has played a key role in building the firm’s Brazilian presence; and Paris-based lead associate Catalina Echeverri Gallego, who is experienced in dispute prevention policies. However, former Washington DC-based senior associate Juan Felipe Merizalde left in December 2020 and has subsequently established his own eponymous boutique in Bogotá. Since publication, Franzetti has left the firm (effective as of October 2021).

Practice head(s):

Arif H. Ali; Eduardo Silva Romero

Key clients

The Republic of Guatemala

The Republic of Colombia

The Republic of Ecuador

The Plurinational State of Bolivia

The Republic of Paraguay

The Dominican Republic

Petróleos Paraguayos (Petropar)

Autopista del Norte (AUNOR)

Katoen Natie Group

Colombian investors Carlos Mario Rios Velilla & Francisco Javier Rios Velilla

 

Work highlights

  • Secured two major wins for Guatemala in a pair of energy sector investment arbitrations.
  • Representing an investor in an ICSID construction arbitration against the Republic of Peru.
  • Secured a victory for Latin American executives in an ICC arbitration in the life sciences sector.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills' ‘very competent’ Latin America international arbitration practice, led by the ‘simply excellent’ New York-based Christian Leathley, is recognised for its market comprehension and ability to build rapport with clients in the region. The practice can call on a diverse team of common and civil law lawyers, with Leathley supported by 30-year disputes veteran David Arias in Madrid; and Thierry Tomasi -who fronts the firm’s Brazil-focused practice- from Paris. New York-based counsel Florencia Villaggi has growing prominence in the sector and is tipped as a rising star, while associate Daniela Páez-Salgado is also noted. The team counts energy, construction, infrastructure, telecommunications and financial services among its most active industry areas and is comfortable handling commercial as well as international and bilateral investment treaty work. Current highlight-matters include advising Andes Petroleum Ecuador in arbitral proceedings seeking to recover its 40% share of a $1.06bn arbitral award from Occidental Exploration and Production; the case is unlike typical commercial arbitrations as it involves significant issues of international law, in addition to New York contract law.

Practice head(s):

Christian Leathley, co-chair of Latin America Practice, US Head of International Arbitration

Testimonials

‘The team has a very high dedication and quick response on arbitration issues led in the New York office by Christian Leathley, who knows the Latin American market very well in addition to speaking very good Spanish, which is highly appreciated by clients in Argentina.’

‘They know Latin America very well and have a very good team. In addition to Christian Leathley in New York, I highlight Lucila Marchini and Charlie Morgan in London.’

‘Very competent team with lawyers dedicated and available to clients. Supported by a large network.’

‘Christian Leathley is simply excellent.’

‘Brilliant lawyers with superb language and written advocacy skills.’

Key clients

BP

Engie

Chevron

BHP Billiton

Andes Petroleum

YPF

YPF Luz

Work highlights

  • Representing Andes Petroleum Ecuador in an arbitration seeking to recover the company’s 40% share of a $1.06 billion arbitral award from Occidental Exploration and Production

Latham & Watkins

The ‘highly-competent’ and ‘detailed-oriented’ international arbitration team at Latham & Watkins is led from Paris by the ‘incredibleFernando Mantilla-Serrano, who is known for his ‘highly effective and impressive’ approach to complex matters. With expertise in international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, multi-jurisdictional disputes and international public law, the practice advises a client base of private corporations, investors, state-owned enterprises and sovereign states. The February-2021 departure of Paris-based energy-and-construction specialist John Adam, who moved to Squire Patton Boggs, was a loss, but the office can still draw on a capable -albeit young- group of associates including Diego Romero, Eugenie Caroit  and Esperanza Barrón-Baratech (whom clients describe as ‘extraordinary lawyers’ who deliver ‘consistent, high-quality work’) and Hugo Varenne. Matter highlights include representing Colombia against three mining companies in relation to the adoption of measures to protect environmentally sensitive páramo ecosystems; and the team is also representing the Dominican Republic in ICSID Additional Facility proceedings against mining company EnviroGold in a dispute centred on an investment agreement for the operation of a tailings dam. On the investor side the team is representing Live Nation in an ICC arbitration related to the termination of a $462m deal to buy a stake in Mexican concert operator OCESA. The practice was reinforced with the February-2021 hire of Santiago Bejarano as counsel in New York; however, former practice co-chair Claudia Salomon left the firm in January 2021 and has since been appointed President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Mantilla-Serrano

Testimonials

‘Latham & Watkins has a highly competent and detail-oriented team. The quality of work is at the level of the highest level firms.’

‘Latham & Watkins is not afraid to take strong positions in arbitration, when they are necessary to advance the legal strategy. Additionally, it is a detail-oriented and highly perfectionist work group that does not allow any type of impression or omission in the collection of evidence.’

Latham & Watkins’ international arbitration team is clearly one of the leading practices globally. What makes this practice unique is its ability to handle complex matters in Latin America involving a multidisciplinary team of lawyers with backgrounds in both civil law and common law that complement each other perfectly.

‘Fernando Mantilla Serrano has been incredible. He is someone who is very easy to work with. Claudia Salomon, who as you know recently resigned from the firm to take her position later this year at the ICC. In addition, I have been able to work very directly with

‘The team of associates is always incredibly well-prepared, mainly I would highlight Hugo Varenne in the Paris office and Alice Hoesterey in the Los Angeles office.  The recent incorporation of Santiago Bejarano into the New York office is a strategic hire that will undoubtedly help strengthen the practice.’

‘The team is impressive. It works in a very consistent manner and provides clients with solid advice and positions, even in the face of complex issues.’

‘The in-depth knowledge of all the team members is outstanding, both in procedural and substantive matters.’

‘Partner Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is a true star in the field of international arbitration. His knowledge and direct approach to complex matters is highly effective and impressive. Associates Eugenie Caroit and Esperanza Barron-Baratech are also extraordinary lawyers and deliver consistent, high-quality work.’

Key clients

Republic of Colombia

Dominican Republic

Live Nation

Novenergia II Energy & Environment

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Grupo Prisa

GE

Andritz

Voith

Work highlights

  • Representing Colombia against three mining companies  – Eco Oro, Galway and Red Eagle – in relation to the adoption of measures to protect environmentally sensitive páramo ecosystems.
  • Representing the Dominican Republic in an arbitration brought by EnviroGold concerning a dispute over an investment agreement for the operation of a tailings dam adjacent to the Puerto Viejo open-pit gold mine.
  • Representin  US company 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.

Three Crowns LLP

Clients recommend the international arbitration team at Three Crowns LLP  for its ‘world-class experience’ and ‘unmatched strategic and tactical ability’. The highly rated Carmen Martinez Lopez and ‘exceptionalGaëtan Verhoosel lead the practice out of London. Verhoosel is a sought-after co-arbitrator and chair for commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and has developed an enviable client list and high-calibre track record in Latin America across the power generation, oil-and-gas, banking, infrastructure and construction sectors. Martínez covers commercial and investor-state work and is regarded as an expert in Spanish and Latin American matters in particular, with a strong focus on energy. Prominent clients include Madrid-based construction group Sacyr and energy utility Naturgy, who have both turned to Martínez in commercial and investor-state disputes in recent years. ‘Exceptional’ and ‘efficient’ Washington DC-based associate Agustin Sanz, who has worked in landmark investment-treaty arbitrations in the region and continues to advise clients on a wide range of disputes, is also picked out for special mention by clients.

Practice head(s):

Gaëtan Verhoosel; Carmen Martinez Lopez

Testimonials

‘A very creative team with deep and detailed knowledge of their cases as well as the knowledge of various regulatory and legal systems. The team is at the level of the best firms.’

‘Agustín Sanz is a very efficient lawyer and Gaetan Verhoosel is an exceptional leader.’

‘Agustín Sanz is an exceptional professional.’

‘Carmen Martínez, Agustín Sanz and Gaetan Verhoosel take on a client’s affairs as their own.’

‘An excellent team with world-class experience and unmatched strategic and tactical ability.’

Key clients

ExxonMobil

ConocoPhillips

Naturgy

Sacyr

Occidental Petroleum

British Petroleum

Grupo Unidos por el Canal

Webuild

Jan de Nul

Work highlights

  • Acted for Chevron in an investment treaty arbitration against Ecuador, concerning a  $9.5bn judgement against Chevron, securing a denial of justice award; currently retained as lead counsel in the damages phase of proceedings.
  • Ongoing representation of Conoco Phillips following a successful $8bn ICSID award in 2019, so as to defend said award against annulment attempts by Venezuela.
  • Represented a subsidiary of Occidental in a commercial dispute arising from ICSID proceedings against Ecuador that ended with a final award to Occidental of over $1bn.  

Clyde & Co LLP

The ‘excellent international arbitration team’ at Clyde & Co LLP is one that ‘you wish to have on your side’. The predominantly London-based practice, headed by Maurice Kenton, demonstrates considerable experience in the energy, mining and insurance sectors, with progress in construction, shipping and manufacturing arbitrations also evident. The practice works on commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and case highlights include advising Infraestructura Hospitalaria de la Península (IHP) against Servicios de Salud de Yucatán after the termination of a medical-facility construction contract; a case featuring the first arbitration award originating from a public-private-partnership agreement clause in Mexico. Clients speak highly of the ‘extremely knowledgeableAlejandro Garcia who stands out for his ‘outstanding legal, tactical and financial advice’. Lee Bacon focuses on commercial arbitrations, with oversight of cases in Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia. Neil Beresford has built up a strong practice focused on Colombia, while Ricardo Lewandowski brings construction and engineering expertise to the fore. Mexico City-based Vicente Bañuelos Rizo, who represented IHP, has experience handling complex litigations in the banking, maritime and insurance sectors.

Practice head(s):

Maurice Kenton

Testimonials

‘Alejandro Garcia has multi-jurisdiction knowledge and gives outstanding legal, tactical and financial advice.’  

‘Lee Bacon deals with problems and keeps cases on track.’

‘They have an excellent international arbitration team that you wish to have on your side.’

‘We were very impressed with Alejandro Garcia. He was extremely knowledgeable and up to date with the latest cases. The way he handled our case was amazing.’

‘The Clyde & Co team provides service of the highest quality and a high level of sophistication in insurance, reinsurance and dispute resolution matters.’

‘They have a great ability to work as a team with local firms.’

Key clients

Infraestructura Hospitalaria de la Península

Shanara Maritime International, and Marfield

Empresa Nacional de Telecommunicaciones ENTEL Chile

Work highlights

  • Advised IHP on a construction contract dispute.
  • Advising a consortium of insurers regarding the professional indemnity policy purchased by a Colombian bank.

Foley Hoag LLP

Foley Hoag LLP 's international litigation and arbitration practice (ILAP) draws on a deep bench of lawyers for its Latin American arbitration coverage, which is focused on acting for sovereign states. Case work highlights include acting for the Uruguayan government in ICSID arbitration over a failed public-private partnership (PPP) involving the national airline; acting for Uruguay in a $4bn PCA arbitration concerning the denial of a mining permit; and representing Peru in an arbitration involving a PPP contract for the construction and operation of a underground train line in Lima. The team has also worked on matters in Brazil, Nicaragua, Panama and Bolivia. Lawrence Martin recently took over as ILAP chair from respected arbitration partner Paul Reichler, with Constantinos Salonidis promoted to deputy chair. Martin and Salonidis are supported in Latin American matters by 'exceptional' next generation partner Clara Brillembourg and the 'intelligent and sharp' Kenneth Figueroa. At associate level, experienced seniors Ofilio Mayorga and Gisela Paris have also played a key role in growing the practice’s Latin American footprint.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence (Larry) Martin; Constantinos Salonidis

Testimonials

‘Kenneth Figueroa is experienced in the issues that he handles and is good at  keep his clients informed and updated. He is effective and organised, coordinating work with clients.

‘Foley Hoag are a serious, but friendly firm. They provide the necessary confidence to clients, accept suggestions and propose changes. They work as a team and have the infrastructure to serve international audiences.’

‘They give you confidence. They are serious but kind, and honest and  upright. They defend just causes. José Rebolledo and Kenneth Figueroa are intelligent, sharp, kind and honest.’

‘There is no firm that has a higher level of experience, knowledge of the processes and involvement with clients in international arbitration than Foley Hoag. This firm works through the finest details of each matter in order to make a real assessment of each case. Their interest is to always bring a good case that they can win or fight. Ken Figueroa is a brilliant lawyer and international associate Ofilio Mayorga is one to watch.’

‘This is a unique team that shows innovative spirit in highly complex cases and for its ability to work with a multidisciplinary approach. This team compares favourably with teams at other firms I have worked with.’

‘Clara Brillembourg’s worked on several cases over the last six years and her evolution has been incredible. Her ability to work and her strategic leadership of the case stands out.’

‘The distinguishing quality of the Foley Hoag team is the passion with which it defends the client, coupled with excellent technical mastery and strategic insight into the challenges posed by international investment arbitration. Their commitment to the defense of the States is appreciated, as well as their sensitivity to the legal and political particularities that the handling of matters of such importance for a country can present.’

‘Clara Brillembourg is an exceptional lawyer, extremely precise and intelligent, who is also fully available to her clients.’

Key clients

Brazil

Ecuador

Nicaragua

Uruguay

Panama

Peru

Guyana

Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima

Momotombo Power Company

Dominican Republic

Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales (CDEEE)

Kanai Management

Caña de Nicaragua

Spain

Nokia

Gazprombank

Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique

Orange

Work highlights

  • Obtained a victory for the Republic of Uruguay in a $4bn PCA arbitration concerning the denial of a mining permit for the largest mine in Uruguayan history.
  • Obtained a victory for Guyana in its territorial dispute with Venezuela in the first case formally referred to the ICJ by the UN Secretary General on the basis of an 1899 Arbitral Award.
  • Represented Ecuador in a case concerning a judgment issued by an Ecuadorian court, which required Chevron to pay $9.5bn in compensation for environmental pollution at a site that Texaco had operated in partnership with state-owned entity Petroecuador.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

The ‘responsive’ and ‘knowledgeable’ international arbitration practice at Hogan Lovells US LLP handles a fully-rounded mix of work, advising on both commercial and investor-state matters, with its investor-state caseload split evenly between business and government clients. Oliver Armas heads the firm’s practice out of New York with the ‘technically strongDaniel González Maria Eugenia Ramirez and Richard Lorenzo in Miami key contacts for Latin American matters. Associate Sam Zimmerman is also singled out for praise by clients. The team operates across a wide array of industry sectors and Latin American jurisdictions, with its work for Espiritu Santo Holdings on a high-value ICSID arbitration against the Government of Mexico for breach of its obligations under NAFTA, ranking among the highlights.

Practice head(s):

Oliver J. Armas

Testimonials

‘Sound technical advice combined with a good understanding of the sector and the demands on in-house counsel makes the team particularly easy to deal with. Partner and associate availability is great.’

‘Dan Gonzalez is very easy to work with – available, responsive, technically strong and commercial in his approach. Transparent in terms of billing and administration of the matter and is engaged in regular updates.’

 ‘Sam Zimmerman is the lead associate and is impressive in terms of being across a vast and complex matter. The team as a whole seems to be very respectful and work very well together.’

‘The Hogan team is responsive and knowledgeable. They are professional and have the ability to make you seem like you are their only client.

‘The team are available and responsive, knowledgeable on local and international law and takes the time to do the research and prepare for cases.’

Key clients

Espiritu Santo Holdings

Work highlights

  • Representing Canada-based financial group Espiritu Santo Holdings in a high-value ICSID arbitration against the Government of Mexico for breach of its obligations under NAFTA.

Reed Smith LLP

Latin American arbitration pioneer and rainmaker José Astigarraga heads Reed Smith LLP ’s international arbitration practice out of Miami. The team, which also includes the highly respected Miami-based Cristina Cárdenas and ‘superstar’ counsel William Russell  in Houston, has a strong presence in the commodities, energy and construction industries among others. The team handles commercial and international matters, with the Latin American practice especially strong in the investor-state space. The Latin American group was strengthened in 2020 with the lateral hire of partners Felipe Berer, who has a strong Brazilian practice, to the Miami office; and of the energy, natural resources and infrastructure-focused Nicolas Borda to the Houston team. While not strictlly arbitraiton-related, it is also worth noting that the firm has recently moved to strengthen its Latin America-related white collar and investigations capability with the successive hires of former assistant attorneys and deputy chiefs Mark Bini and Julia Nestor (from the business and securities-fraud section) to the firm's New York office, in September and November 2021.

Practice head(s):

José Astigarraga

Testimonials

‘The best Latin American arbitration team in the industry.’

‘Jose Astigarraga is undoubtedly a pioneer in arbitration. Great capacity, expertise and professional ethics.’

‘Reed Smith are able to pull from a diverse pool of talent and a diverse cross section of practitioners. Will Russell has been a superstar for our matters. He is particularly great for a gut-check as well as making sure we do not have many blind sides.’

‘The team led by Jose Astigarraga is a very complete one and knowledgeable about arbitration and the idiosyncrasies of business and culture in Latin America. They are rigorous in their analysis and preparation of cases.’

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Known for its strong practice in the construction and energy industries, the international arbitration team at Vinson & Elkins LLP has worked on a variety of commercial arbitration and investor-state matters across numerous Latin American jurisdictions over the years. Long-running case highlights include its ongoing representation of the Panama Canal Authority in a series of arbitrations arising out of construction disputes (valued in excess of $4.5bn) against Grupo Unidos por el Canal (“GUPC”), a consortium of European and Panamanian companies hired to design and build a set of locks as part of the Panama Canal expansion project. The practice’s expertise in energy matters is also evident, most notably of late with its success on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corporation in a long-running dispute with Argentina. Houston-based James Loftis leads the team, which stands out for its 'extensive knowledge’ and ‘broad level of analysis and understanding’. London-based Nick Henchie, who worked alongside Loftis on the Exxon Mobil matter, and the impressive New York-based Camilo Cardozo, are also senior partners of note. ‘Studious’ and ‘creative’, counsel José Sanchez is also singled for praise from clients.

Practice head(s):

James Loftis

Testimonials

‘Vinson & Elkins has a great arbitration team, which stands out for its extensive knowledge and broad level of analysis and understanding, as well as the way they structure strategies.’

‘Jose Sanchez  is a very dedicated lawyer in his work, with great attention to detail and a very high-level sense of preparation and strategy.’

‘Jose Sanchez is very studious and creative in his solutions, with a great sense of strategy.’

‘Great attention to the matter and the detail and with a lot of experience. The availability and knowledge of Jose Sanchez and James Loftis is a big plus.’

‘The firm shows care in defining the defence strategy and total involvement in the implementation of the strategy. There is care in every detail.’

‘Jose Sanchez is the lawyer who leads the project and shows care in defining the best strategy and involvement in its execution to the last detail.’

Key clients

Panama Canal Authority

XTO and Exxon Mobil Exploration Argentina

Offshore Exploration and Production

Tampico Beverages

New Fortress Energy

Work highlights

  • Working on a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority arising out of complex and technical construction disputes valued in excess of $4.5bn with   a consortium of European and Panamanian companies hired to design and build the third set of locks as part of the Panama Canal expansion project.
  • Secured a victory for Exxon Mobil Corporation in its long-running dispute with Argentina based on violations of the US-Argentina bilateral investment treaty.
  • Representing Offshore Exploration and Production in ICDR arbitration against the state-owned oil companies of Korea (Korea National Oil Corporation) and Colombia (Ecopetrol).

Baker Botts L.L.P.

The Latin American arbitration practice at Baker Botts L.L.P. has a strong track record of representing sovereign states, state-owned entities and energy companies. The ‘interdisciplinary’ and ‘comprehensive’ practice ‘delivers service of the highest level’, handling investment-treaty, commercial, and construction-related arbitrations in the region, with a focus on the oil-and-gas, energy and construction sectors. The ‘highly analyticalAlejandro Escobar and Jay Alexander, both based in London, co-lead the practice alongside Michael Goldberg in the Houston office. New York-based Andrew Behrman brings additional international law and dispute resolution expertise and is prominent in current cases involving Brazilian and Costa Rican clients; while experienced international arbitration and commercial litigation partner Edward Schorr has worked on numerous energy disputes in Brazil. At associate level, London-based senior Ernesto Féliz De Jesús is a ‘first-rate professional’ who has acted extensively as counsel in institutional and ad hoc arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Escobar; Michael Goldberg; Jay Alexander

Testimonials

‘Baker & Botts , providing a broad and global vision of problems. The excellence of its lawyers and their expertise and experience in international litigation make the firm stand out.’

‘The lawyers stand out for their cordial treatment and for their availability to meet all the requirements that are formulated in exceptional times.’

‘Alejandro Escobar constantly demonstrates his extensive knowledge of international and Ecuadorian legislation. He has great leadership skills and manages an appropriate approach to cases. He is a first-rate professional, highly analytical, with extensive experience.’

‘Ernesto Féliz  is a first-rate professional, with a great capacity for the management, processing and analysis of information.’

‘The team is very strong, as it is interdisciplinary and comprehensive. The difference lies in the knowledge that the firm’s lawyers have of the internal law of the countries involved in international arbitration.’

‘Alejandro Escobar stands out for his knowledge of Ecuadorian law and his thoroughness in analysis.’

Baker McKenzie

The Latin American international arbitration practice at Baker McKenzie advises on commercial arbitrations before all the major arbitral institutions and prides itself on its network of lawyers on the ground in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. The team, co-led by ‘experienced litigantRodrigo Diaz de Valdes in Santiago and Maria del Carmen Tovar Gil in Lima, specialises in commercial, energy and construction matters. Notable current mandates include advising a Petrobras consortium in a case challenging whether decisions by Brazil’s oil-and-gas agency ANP can be resolved via arbitration, with the team also representing Petrobras, Shell and Petrogal in two anti-suit injunctions filed by ANP before the Brazilian courts to suspend the arbitration. The case will set a precedent in Brazil as to whether state courts may suspend arbitral proceedings. Other key figures include global chair of the firm's dispute resolution practice, Claudia Benavides, in Bogotá; Luis Dates in Buenos Aires and Eugenio Hernández-Bretón in Caracas. However, in New York, the July-2020 departure of former practice head Grant Hanessian (to establish Hanessian ADR), and subsequent July-2021 departure of Derek Soller to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, have set back the firm's development of that office as a hub for the practice.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Diaz de Valdés; María del Carmen Tovar

Testimonials

‘Baker McKenzie has experience and skills in complex arbitration cases. A team of competent attorneys.’

‘They are close and always available. They have the ability to understand the views of the client and the experts and modify, where appropriate, their previous own understanding. Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés,  Ignacio Naudón, Antonio Lopez, Stephanie Hopfner and Ruggiero Cozzi standout.’

‘The team works in a cohesive way with a leadership that stands out but that allows each of its members to contribute to joint professional work.’

‘Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés should be highlighted as an experienced litigant with great knowledge of applicable law.’

Key clients

Petrobras

Duro Felguera

Vale

Anglo American

Longreef

Toshiba

STEAG

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Alstom

Astaldi

Work highlights

  • Advised a Petrobras-led consortium in high-profile arbitration against Brazil’s oil-and-gas agency ANP.
  • Represented Jorge and Henrique Heemsen in a $600m investment  arbitration against the Republic of Venezuela due to the expropriation of an investment in a 6000 hectare real-estate project in Venezuela.
  • Advised Longreef Investment on arbitration against Venezuela, as well as on the subsequent annulment proceeding, related to a case arising form the country’s bilateral treaty with the Netherlands.

Clifford Chance

Clients praise the ‘very good’ international arbitration practice at Clifford Chance for its ‘sharpness and objectivity in handling cases’ - primarily international investment treaty and commercial arbitrations in the construction, energy, infrastructure and oil-and-gas industries. Washington-based David DiBari and José García Cueto front the firm’s Latin American work, with the ‘brilliant’ García Cueto recognised as an ‘excellent strategist’ with an ‘impressive ability’ to grasp complexity. Work highlights for García Cueto include leading the successful settlement of a $1.3bn construction dispute for Ingeniería Estrella and OEC against a Dominican state-owned company. Fabio Nuñez Del Prado is a ‘young lawyer with great potential’ who also comes in for praise. However, former department head Ignacio Suarez Anzorena left in November 2020 to establish his own eponymous boutique.

Practice head(s):

David DiBari; José Ignacio García Cueto

Testimonials

‘Sharpness and objectivity in handling cases. Full support throughout the process. Direct and professional.’

‘Great technical skill for handling cases and high-quality responses. Excellent ability to manage cases, make recommendations and be aggressive or strategic when necessary.’

‘Jose Garcia Cueto has an impressive ability to respond quickly and accurately to complex issues in a short time.’

‘Jose Garcia Cueto is a brilliant lawyer. He has quick solutions for all problems. He knows how to work under pressure and has a lot of experience for his age. He will undoubtedly be one of the most important lawyers in international arbitration.’

‘A very good team where the lawyers work with complete coordination and strong leadership from the person in charge of the case. Jose Garcia Cueto  has great knowledge and  is an excellent strategist. Fabio Nunez is a young lawyer with great potential.’

‘The service is very personal. Jose Garcia Cueto  is always one step ahead of my needs and will always see the bigger picture of the decisions both legally and commercially. He is the guy you want in your corner.’

Key clients

Enel Fortuna

Ingeniería Estrella

Consorcio Copán

OEC

Odebrecht Latinvest

Steag

Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining

Work highlights

  • Advised Ingeniería Estrella and OEC, two major South American global contractors, in a dispute against a Dominican state-owned company concerning the construction of a 752MW thermoelectric power plant.
  • Representing Odebrecht Latinvest, a Luxembourg investor, in a $1.1bn ICSID arbitration investment concerning a pipeline concession.
  • Representing Enel Fortuna, a subsidiary of a European multinational, in an ICSID dispute with the Republic of Panama regarding its investment in the energy sector.

Cuatrecasas

The international arbitration practice at Iberian giant Cuatrecasas has benefitted from the firm’s significant recent expansion across Latin America, exemplified by the opening of new offices in Lima, Santiago and Bogota in 2020. The return of Cristián Conejero to the firm to lead the Santiago office and co-head the international arbitration practice has strengthened the firm's arbitral capabilities notably. Conejero works on multiple domestic and international arbitrations, covering commercial and investment treaty disputes. Alfonso Iglesia heads the litigation and arbitration practice in Madrid and has more than 25 years' experience advising on national and international arbitrations; he specialises in civil liability, construction and engineering law, primarily representing Spanish and foreign companies in both local and international matters. The practice group's current workload includes advising Sociedad Concesionario Metro De Lima, a consortium involved in the development of Lima's metro, in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru. The team is also advising on a number of confidential matters, with construction a prominent feature of its caseload. Other key figure in the team include Domingo Rivarola in Peru, and younger partners René Irra de la Cruz and Gianfranco Lotito, in Mexico and Chile, respectively. At associate level, principal Rodrigo Rabines in Mexico City and senior Juan Manuel Rey in Santiago de Chile are both also noted.

Practice head(s):

Cristián Conejero; Alfonso Iglesia

Testimonials

‘The team is  actively involved with their clients and are always readily available.’

Key clients

Sociedad Concesionario Metro De Lima

Work highlights

  • Representing the international consortium granted the project to design, finance, build, operate and maintain a subway line in international arbitration brought against the Republic of Peru before the ICSID.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

The international arbitration practice at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP acts exclusively for sovereign states in high-profile, high-value investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitrations. With its long-standing sector expertise in oil-and-gas the team is best known for its work representing the national oil companies of Venezuela and Mexico, but has also added Argentina, Colombia and Panama to its client roster. Notable matters the team has worked on include ongoing annulment proceedings for Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA and representing Panama in an ICSID arbitration against a US consortium concerning a construction dispute. New York-based practice head George Kahale III displays a ‘unique combination of superb legal skills and real-world intuition’ and has been the leading figure in the firm’s work for Venezuela, with the ‘extraordinaryClaudia Frutos-Peterson in Washington another key team figure. New-York based partner Simon Batifort, who also works on PDVSA matters, ‘is a very accomplished young lawyer with a bright future ahead. However, key Mexico City-based partner Gabriela Álvarez Ávila moved to DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano in late July 2021.

Practice head(s):

George Kahale III

Testimonials

‘Great expertise in many different areas related to international commercial arbitration which gives them a competitive advantage internationally.’

‘A modern practice with an excellent grasp of arbitration rules, which allows them to establish clear parameters for the conduct of procedures, while maintaining great flexibility.’

‘Claudia Frutos has excellent advocacy skills. Both are also great as arbitrators.’

‘The Curtis international arbitration practice is one of the best in Latin America and around the world. Curtis’s lawyers have superb legal skills and unbeatable industry experience. They are the best advocates a client could wish for.’

‘George Kahale has a unique combination of superb legal skills and real-world intuition. His broad experience negotiating deals makes him one of the best international arbitration lawyers in the world.’

‘Simon Batifort is a very accomplished young lawyer with a bright future ahead. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of international arbitration cases and great advocacy skills.’

‘Claudia Frutos combines commercial and investor-state work in a very flexible way. She is an extraordinary attorney with great dedication and unmatched legal insight.’

‘Curtis represents only host countries in investor-state arbitrations and avoids the inevitable conflicts of positions that plague firms that work both sides. Its principal lawyers are very dedicated to their clients’ interests and are excellent managers of the teams that work together on cases.’

‘George Kahale is  one of the smartest people I have ever worked with. He is  a good team manager, building a spirit of cooperation and mutual support among all parties working with him.’

Key clients

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; PDVSA

Dominican Republic

Colombia

Argentine Republic

Republic of Panama

FROB

Work highlights

  • Representing Venezuela in annulment proceedings; in August 2019 the team secured a favourable decision on rectification, which reduced the amount of an award by more than $200m; it is now handling the ongoing annulment proceedings.
  • Representing Argentina -together with the Procuracion del Tesoro (the Attorney General’s office), against claims concerning the process of consolidation of the Integrated Retirement and Pension System to become the Argentine Integrated Retirement and Pension System; the claimants argue that Argentina adopted arbitrary and unreasonable measures and expropriated their investment.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Kate Brown de Vejar, based in Mexico City, and Paris-based Michael Ostrove co-chair the international arbitration department at DLA Piper LLP (US), which -in terms of the Latin American aspect of the practice- has undoubtedly benefitted from the firm's substantial development throughout the region in recent years. Senior partner Gerardo Lozano Alarcón works alongside Brown de Vejar in Mexico City and has extensive experience in arbitral matters - both local and international. In Lima, where the firm continues to represent Metro de Lima Línea 2 in ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Peru, Guillermo Hesse focuses on complex commercial arbitrations. The team can also call on Florida-based associate Harout Samra, who is focused on international arbitration work in both the public and private sectors. The firm has further strengthened its Latin American arbitration capability with the February 2021 hire of Ricardo Alarcon (from Shearman & Sterling LLP) as associate director of the practice at the Bogota office; and the promotion of Houston-based Allissa Pollard to partner. However, Ileana Blanco has retired and Buenos Aires-based Mariana Lozza departed in December 2020 to join the Argentine State Attorney’s office as lead counsel. Since then, in late July 2021, the firm has hired former ICSID counsel Gabriela Álvarez Ávila (from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C.) to join its Mexico office.

Practice head(s):

Kate Brown de Vejar; Michael Ostrove

Testimonials

‘Gabriela Alvarez is recognised as an extremely solid litigant who delivers excellent results. Her understanding of the complexities of the realities of the Latin American states the regulatory changes that give rise to investment arbitrations make her an ideal candidate for this work.’

Key clients

Metro de Lima Línea 2

Línea Amarilla (LAMSAC)

Construções e Comércio Camargo Corrêa as a member of Consorcio Huachipa

Concesionaria Interoceánica Sur Tramo 2 (Odebrecht)

Republic of Lithuania

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

London-based Cyrus Benson and Penny Madden QC lead the international arbitration practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The practice group’s capability spans each stage of the dispute resolution process, from the drafting of arbitration clauses through to alternative dispute resolution efforts, including mediation, expert evaluation or early neutral evaluation and the conduct of arbitration proceedings. New York-based Rahim Moloo is a key Latin American contact and ran the team that obtained a key enforcement decision for gold miner Crystallex International regarding its $1.4bn award against Venezuela. Moloo is also leading representation of a group of Kimberly-Clark entities in a $550m ICSID Additional Facility arbitration against Venezuela related to disputes of bilateral investment treaties. A round of promotions in November 2020 saw Lindsey Schmidt and Charline Yim -who worked alongside Moloo on the Crystallex and Kimberly-Clark matters, respectively- promoted to partner and of counsel; both impress with their engagement in all aspects of arbitral cases and enforcement matters, increasingly a hallmark of the practice. Fellow of counsel Victoria Orlowski, recently active on a matter in Mexico's telecom sector, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Cyrus Benson; Penny Madden QC

Key clients

Crystallex International

Kimberly-Clark

Angel Seda and others

Liberty Mutual

Anglo American

Nokia

Work highlights

  • Obtained a key enforcement victory for Canadian gold mining company, Crystallex International,  which holds a $1.4 bn judgment against Venezuela.
  • Counsel to three Kimberly-Clark entities in an ICSID Additional Facility arbitration against Venezuela; the dispute concerns breaches of multiple bilateral investment treaties resulting from, inter alia, Venezuela’s price control and currency exchange restrictions.
  • Counsel to a group of US property-development investors in ICSID arbitration against Colombia; the dispute concerns seizure of land on which the claimants planned to develop a real estate project.
  • Representing two subsidiaries of the multinational insurance company Liberty Mutual in a claim against  Venezuela relating to currency exchange restrictions and unfair and inequitable treatment of Liberty Mutual’s flagship Venezuelan subsidiary.

GST LLP

With a decade in the market, highly regarded international arbitration boutique GST LLP is now an established market presence, regularly handling sizeable, high-impact cases globally. The firm recently strengthened its Latin American practice notably with the May-2021 hire of Venezuelan practitioner Carmine Pascuzzo as counsel in the Washington DC office; and the addition of Domenico di Pietro (from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP) as a partner at the London office the following month. Founding partners Ignacio Torterola (in Washington DC), and Diego Gosis and Quinn Smith (in Miami) co-lead the Latin America team, which acts primarily in ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC proceedings – be it as counsel or arbitrators. In addition to commercial matters, the practice has developed a strong roster of sovereign clients, including Venezuela and Guatemala. An experienced and capable second line is led by Pablo Mori (in Washington, DC) and Katherine Sanoja (in Miami), who were both raised to counsel in May 2020. Associate Fabian Zetina is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Torterola; Diego Gosis; Quinn Smith

Key clients

Dominican Republic

Guatemala

Venezuela

Petróleos de Venezuela

Werthein Group

Republic of Ecuador

Triangulo Pisos e Paineis

Moldova

Pakistan

Work highlights

  • Represented Pakistan in the quantum phase and then annulment proceedings in TCCA vs. Pakistan, the claimant seeking over $9bn in compensation due to the denial of a mining lease for a copper and gold mine.
  • Represented Guatemala in the liability and quantum phase of Kappes vs. Guatemala, a dispute where the claimants seek hundreds of millions of dollars in relation to a gold mine.
  • Represented Venezuela in Manuel Garcia Armas, et al vs. Venezuela and Luiz Garcia Armas vs. Venezuela, defeating on jurisdictional grounds claims worth hundreds of millions of dollars in relation to agrobusiness companies.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP’s Latin America international arbitration team is ‘very knowledgeable’ and supports clients with ‘professionalism, intelligence and high ethical standards’. The practice advises on commercial and investment treaty disputes under all major arbitration rules and is particularly strong regarding infrastructure, energy, mining and construction matters. Miami-based Adolfo Jiménez leads the firm’s international arbitration practice and has acted on complex arbitrations for clients in the hospitality, energy, mining and transportation sectors, as well as acting as arbitrator on matters coming before the ICC and ICDR. The team benefits from presence on the ground in two Latin American jurisdictions: in Mexico, Carlos Vejar is ‘very good for investor-state cases and for trade-related matters’, and Juan Pablo Moyano, who was appointed senior counsel in July 2021, is also a name to note. The Colombian office, in turn, houses the talents of disputes specialist Alberto Zuleta, with highly experienced arbitrator Enrique Gomez-Pinzon splitting his time between Bogota and Washington DC. At associate level Arantxa Cuadrado in New York and Laura Yvonne Zielinski, currently at the firm's Mexico office, are also both noted.

Practice head(s):

Adolfo E. Jiménez

Testimonials

‘They are great at trade and investment related matters.’

‘It is a team with a lot of knowledge and intelligently and professionally involved in understanding arbitration matters in telecommunications and energy. The team is enriched by having lawyers from various countries.’

‘Very knowledgeable about arbitration due to knowledge and experience in many arbitrations.’

‘Carlos Vejar has extensive experience from the government and private-sector perspectives on investor-state arbiration.’

‘Carlos Vejar is very good for investor-state cases and for trade-related matters. Juan Pablo Moyano is a rising star in commercial disputes.’

‘Alberto Zuleta exercises first-rate leadership to make the most of the talent and knowledge of his team.’

‘Laura Zielinski has the ability to understand complex issues and by identify the relevant aspects for the arbitral tribunal.’ 

‘A team that  works in harmony, with professionalism, intelligence and high ethical standards.’

Key clients

Eutelstat

Medical University Hospital

Republic of Guatemala

Eco Oro Minerals

Royal Industries International

King Baby Marine

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead counsel to Satmex (currently owned by Eutelsat) for more than 10 years in an investment arbitration proceeding against the Mexican government before ICSID for breach of provisions under the Mexico-France Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • Secured victory for one of the largest US investors in Colombia in a nine-party ICC arbitration involving the construction of a railway line.
  • Advising a  mining development company 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

Luis O’Naghten in Miami and Washington-based Diego Durán de la Vega co-chair the Latin American Disputes practice at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, which clients praise for its ‘team of excellent individuals’ and ‘considerable expertise’. The practice handles matters under all major arbitration rules, as well as in ad hoc settings, with particular strength in international commercial arbitration and investment-treaty arbitration. O’Naghten’s practice focuses on international financial frauds, energy, construction, telecommunications, and corporate commercial disputes; he also regularly acts as arbitrator. The ‘solid experience’ of Durán de la Vega centres on international disputes, including international commercial and investor-state arbitrations. Nicolas Swerdloff, who divides his time between New York and Miami, is another key contact with a focus on cross-border business disputes. Clients also reference the ‘astonishing legal skills’ of New York-based John FellasHagit Muriel Elul (co-chair of the firm's global arbitration practice), and . Ongoing matters include work for Italy’s Campos de Pesé in a dispute against Panama over the expropriation of an ethanol plant and representing Hydrika 1-6 in an ICSID arbitration against Peru regarding a hydroelectric construction project.

Practice head(s):

Luis O’Naghten; Diego Durán de la Vega

Testimonials

‘Hughes Hubbard & Reed showed considerable expertise in developing a rigorous strategy to defend our argument. Additionally, the team comprised excellent individuals who had international backgrounds and was perfectly accustomed to woring with non-US clients.’

‘John Fellas, Hagit Muriel Elul and Meaghan Gragg have astonishing legal skills. They present arguments with straightforwardness and their strong leadership provides effective and organised legal support.’

‘They have a solid practice and understand the Latin American market very well. There are few like them.’

‘Luis O’Naghten is an authority on international arbitration. He has extensive experience in Latin America. His response time is immediate and that sets him apart from the rest.’

‘Their rates are very reasonable and customers know that the value they receive is truly proportional to the price they pay. Excellent technical level and good coordination in arbitration issues.’

‘Diego Duran is a partner with a solid practice and knowledge in international arbitration issues.’

Key clients

The Pellas Group/SER Corp

Hydrika 1-6

IBT Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Italian-owned company Campos de Peséin a multihundred-million dollar investor-State dispute against Panama regarding the expropriation and destruction of an ethanol plant investment.
  • Representing IBT Group affiliate, Hydrika 1-6, in an ICSID arbitration against Peru relating to the breach of six concession agreements for the construction and operation of six hydroelectric plants that contemplated investment of over $160m.
  • Representing IBT Group in a dispute with the Republic of Panama regarding the construction of a penitential facility.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Outstanding personalityMark Baker co-leads Norton Rose Fulbright's international arbitration practice out of Houston alongside fellow global practice co-chair, Montreal-based Pierre Bienvenu. The practice - including practitioners based in Sao Paulo and Mexico - covers the entire Latin American market, advising on commercial and investment treaty matters, with energy, mining, transport, infrastructure and life sciences particular areas of focus. Recent matters saw the team advise offshore chains and accessories maker Vicinay Cadenas in a dispute with Petrobras America that lasted nearly a decade before a settlement was reached; it is also currently involved in confidential matters in the aviation, shipping, energy and agribusiness sectors. Key contacts include: Houston-based energy expert Kevin O’Gorman; international arbitration specialist Martin Valasek (in Montreal); and Matthew H Kirtland, who leads the firm’s Washington DC-based international arbitration team. Ottawa-based counsel Alison G. FitzGerald, who has experience in ad hoc arbitrations and matters administered under all the major arbitral institutions; and Houston-based senior associate Denton Nichols in Houston, are both up-and-comers of note.

Practice head(s):

C Mark Baker; Pierre Bienvenu

Testimonials

Mark Baker is an outstanding personality. Great knowledge of the field and the ability to forge strong interpersonal relationships.’

Key clients

Vicinay Cadenas

Work highlights

  • Represented offshore-chains and accessories maker Vicinay Cadenas in a dispute with Petrobras America that lasted nearly a decade before a settlement was reached.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP leverages off its international reach and broad expertise spanning the energy, project development and finance and communications to participate in a range of arbitral disputes involving Latin American sovereigns, investments and clients. Following the November 2020 retirement of practice head Louis Kimmelman, Marinn Carlson -co-head of the Global Arbitration, Trade and advocacy practice- is the key figure for Latin America-related matters, along with the experienced Jennifer Haworth McCandless, both of whom are based in the Washington DC office. In New York, counsel Simon Navarro is a key figure, his international arbitration and litigation practice demonstrating a decided emphasis on Latin America and Spain; he has experience across a broad range of industries including oil, gas, energy, banking, insurance, construction, maritime, infrastructure, airports and concession contracts. Ongoing matters include defending Colombia against a claim brought by Naturgy related to the expropriation of Electricaribe; defending the Republic of Peru in a $200m ICSID case brought by Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi for cancellation of a design-build-and-operate airport construction contract; and a Peruvian state company in a dispute against a consortium of natural gas production companies in relation to royalties.

Work highlights

  • Defending Colombia against a claim brought by Naturgy related to the expropriation of Electricaribe.
  • Defending the Republic of Peru in a $200m ICSID case brought by Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi for cancellation of a design-build-and-operate airport construction contract.
  • Defending a Peruvian state company in a dispute against a consortium of natural gas production companies in relation to the calculation of royalties.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

The highly regarded Julie Bédard leads Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's International Litigation and Arbitration Group for the Americas and is the key contact for the practice’s Latin America-related work. Bédard has led the firm’s most notable arbitration matters involving parties from the region. Highlights include representing Brazilian aerospace-group Embraer in three international arbitration proceedings against The Boeing Company before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, representing an IT outsourcer in an ICC dispute against a Brazilian state-owned bank; and advising Ovintiv (formerly Encana Corporation), and Encana International Finance, in an ICSID case related to the expropriation of an oil field in the region. Partner Jennifer Permesly also features prominently on work in the region, particularly as regards Argentina and Brazil.

Practice head(s):

Julie Bédard

Key clients

Embraer

Cinépolis

Netshoes

Sapura Navegaçáo Maritima

RR Donnelley & Sons

Vale

Empresas Polar

Atlantic LNG Company of Trinidad and Tobago

Cemex

ExxonMobil

Pattern Energy Renewables

Work highlights

  • 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 relates to Boeing’s  termination of a related military-aircraft joint venture.
  • Representing of one of the world’s largest IT consulting, outsourcing and professional services companies in ICC arbitration arising out of a shareholders’ dispute with the subsidiary of a state-owned Brazilian bank.
  • 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.

Uría Menéndez

Under the leadership of practice coordinators Gabriel Bottini (an experienced arbitrator) in Madrid and Fernando Aguilar de Carvalho in Lisbon, the international arbitration practice at Uría Menéndez has made steady progress, establishing itself as an independent department (separate from litigation, within the firm) over the course of the last year. Undertaking both commercial arbitration and investor-state disputes, the group has strong experience in the construction, agriculture and utilities sectors. Current matters include advising a consortium on a dispute arising from the construction of a tramway line in Ecuador and acting for the Dominican Republic in a PCA arbitration regarding state measures that resulted in an expropriation and consequent damages claims. However, Miguel Virgós left to establish his own eponymous boutique in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Remón Peñalve; Fernando Aguilar de Carvalho

Key clients

The Cuatro Ríos Cuenca Consortium

Corporación Minera de Bolivia

Mota Engil Ingeniería y Construcción

Telefónica

Enel

Work highlights

  • Advising on arbitration concerning a dispute arising from the breach of a construction contract to build a tramway line in Ecuador.
  • 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 on 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.

B. Cremades & Asociados

Led by veteran founding partner Bernardo M Cremades S and Bernardo Cremades Jr., with notable support from partner Ángel Tejada, Madrid-based practice B. Cremades & Asociados has acted on various ICSID and ICC proceedings. Work highlights include securing a settlement for the Bolivian subsidiary of Austrian-based Doppelmayr/Garaventa in a contract dispute with Bolivian state-owned company Mi Teleférico over the construction of a cableway transport system; and acting for Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo in two long-running ICC arbitrations arising from the construction of a power plant in Panama. In addition to its expertise in construction and infrastructure, the firm has also worked with clients in the energy, gaming and pharmaceutical sectors.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo M. Cremades; Bernardo M. Cremades Román

Testimonials

‘The most remarkable aspect from my point of view is the exclusivity in the provision of services as a boutique. Special and personalised attention with very close and direct involvement of the partners in matters.’

‘Bernardo Cremades Sanz is one of the best arbitrators at the international level.’

‘Bernardo Cremades Román is one of the most prominent international arbitration lawyers. Especially in international and multi-jurisdictional issues.’

Key clients

Blue Bank International & Trust

Inversiones Continental (Panamá)

Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles (CIMSA)

Teleféricos Doppelmayr Bolivia

Work highlights

  • Represented 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 representing two pharmaceutical corporations owned by dual nationals of Venezuela and Spain; the dispute concerns measures taken by Venezuela against our clients’ properties and assets in the country.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Miami-based Pedro Martinez-Fraga and Ryan Reetz lead the versatile Latin American arbitration practice at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, which handles arbitrations under all of the major institutions. The team has a broad sector capability, working on matters across the hospitality, manufacturing and financial services industries, among others. The partners also sit as neutral arbitrators. Martinez-Fraga has acted as lead counsel in seven Latin American jurisdictions, and publishes and lectures regularly on international law. Reetz, who also publishes and lectures frequently, maintains a practice with a particular focus on investor-state arbitration under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and commercial arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Pedro J. Martinez-Fraga; C. Ryan Reetz

Dechamps International Law

International arbitration boutique Dechamps International Law has expanded its caseload and staff count as it has gained traction in the market since its launch at the end of 2017. Founding partner Jean Paul Dechamps and partner Gustavo Topalian, both previously at leading firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, lead the firm with notable support from Pablo Jaroslavsky, who was promoted to senior associate in July 2021. Current matters include advising Glencore in arbitrations against Colombia and Bolivia and related to investments in infrastructure and mining, respectively; as well as working with miner South32 in an arbitration against Colombia concerning investment in a nickel-mining project. In addition to mining and infrastructure, the team has also advised on matters in aviation and telecommunications.

Practice head(s):

Jean Paul Dechamps; Gustavo Topalian

Testimonials

‘Dechamps is a high-quality practice without the magic-circle fee rates. Jean Paul Dechamps is technically very strong and commercially savvy.’

‘This is a excellent team that is very professional and dedicated to its clients.’

‘The team understands the law, has a long  track record of success, builds rapport with clients and holds deep relationships with dozens of experts and co-counsel all over the world.’

‘Jean Paul Dechamps is a consummate professional, exceptionally knowledgeable and is a skilled lawyer. He is an excellent communicator and always keeps us promptly up to date on all matters.’

‘Dechamps are very commercial, attention to detail is exceptional and they understand how arbitrators see the cases that we support. They are a class act.  Jean Paul Dechamps is an exceptionally good lawyer and businessman. He is able to empathise with his clients in a way that many lawyers can’t. His inter-personal skills and ability to win trust and confidence with clients are exceptional’. 

Key clients

South32 SA Investments

Glencore International

Glencore Finance (Bermuda)

Latin American Regional Aviation Holding

Fernando Fraiz Trapote

The López Goyne Family Trust

Luis García Armas

Dick Abanto Ishivata

Diamante Trading Investments

Victorio Podestá Combustibles

Tea Connection / Green Eat (Latin America)

Work highlights

  • Representing South32 Investments in an 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 arising out of measures taken by Uruguay that affected the claimant’s investment in a local airline.
  • Representing Glencore International in an ICSID arbitration against Colombia under the Colombia-Switzerland BIT and arising out of measures affecting its investments in the mining and infrastructure sector in Colombia.

Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance

Gary Davidson and Michael Diaz, Jr. front the Latin American international arbitration practice at Miami-based Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance. The practice is focused predominantly on commercial arbitration and litigation work in sectors ranging from construction and mining to retail and technology. Clients value the firm’s ‘proven experience in all arbitration forums and procedures’ and ‘ability to integrate with internal lawyers’ on cases. The ‘methodical and organisedMarta Colomar-Garcia in Bogota is highly regarded by clients who also praise Miami-based practice co-head Diaz Jr. for his ‘deep knowledge and experience’. Matter highlights include representing Western Building Group in a $16m construction arbitration dispute in Panama against construction company Construtora Norberto Odebrecht. Former practice co-head Brant Hadaway has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Michael Diaz, Jr.; Gary Davidson

Testimonials

‘Proven experience in all arbitration forums and procedures. They have a team of lawyers trained in the different systems of law, which allows them to know and apply the laws and precedents of each country, applicable to each case or arbitration process.’

‘The ability to work in an integrated way with the internal lawyers as a team and open to any suggestion. They are perfectly accessible and available.’

‘Michael Díaz Jr, stands out for his deep knowledge and experience. He adapts to the demands of each case.’

‘Marta Colomar is very methodical and organised in handling processes. She manages all aspects of communication and logistics to perfection.’

Key clients

Western Building Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Western Building Group in a $16m construction arbitration in Panama against Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and concerning roofing work at Tocumen International Airport, Panama City.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Washington-based David Orta leads the international arbitration practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The firm’s US-based team represents clients in international disputes in, or related to, Latin America, including representing US companies and nationals. Orta is both a trial lawyer and an arbitral counsel and has deep expereince representing both states and state-entities and investors in international arbitration matters across multiple sectors. Mark McNeill represents clients in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and also serves as an arbitrator. Experienced in proceedings under ICSID, ICC, ICDR and UNITRAL rules, Daniel Salinas-Serrano has a particula focus on investor-state arbitration. Margarita Sánchez who has a broad practice including anti-corruption, compliance and arbitration joined the firm as counsel in October 2020; however, associate Brian Rowe left to join the office of attorney general in Washington State.

Practice head(s):

David Orta

Key clients

Gordon G Burr et al.

Ampex Retirement Master Trust

Apple Oaks Partners

Cambria Ventures

Axis Oil Field Services

Floradale Partners,

TP Ferro Concesionaria

Work highlights

  • Representing 37 US investors in an international investment arbitration against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement; the U.S. investors claims arise from various measures taken by the Mexican government, including the cancellation of valid permits to operate casinos in Mexico.
  • Represented US investors holding direct or indirect stakes in oilfield services company Oro Negro in an international investment arbitration claim against Mexico under the NAFTA agreement.

Volterra Fietta

London-based arbitration boutique Volterra Fietta has extensive experience advising on public international law and investment treaty matters involving Latin American and Caribbean states. Founding partner Robert Volterra, who ‘is extremely able’ and ‘synonymous with knowledge and quality of advice’, is the primary contact, with Graham Coop also noted for his in-depth knowledge in Latin American arbitration matters. Case highlights include representing Koch Industries in a $400m ICSID annulment proceeding initiated by Venezuela, with Coop and Volterra prominent; and representing glass container makers Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes and Owens-Illinois de Venezuela in a $1bn ICSID arbitration against Venezuela, on which Volterra is leading. The experienced Peter Flint joined the firm as a senior consultant in 2020; however, counsel Alvaro Nistal moved to Arnold & Porter -as counsel- in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Robert Volterra

Testimonials

‘A leading boutique international law firm. A good deal of experience in Latin American disputes and negotiation.’

‘Founding partner Robert Volterra is extremely able and gets on very well with people.’

‘Graham Cooper has a great deal of experience in this area. Alvaro Nistal has good academic qualifications, and quite a lot of experience.’

‘Robert Volterra, is synonymous with knowledge and quality of advice. Great experience and in general a very good person.’

Key clients

Barbados

Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International

Owens-Illinois

Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes

Nordgold

Work highlights

  • Representing Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International  in an ICSID annulment proceeding initiated by Venezuela to annul an ICSID award worth approximately $400m.
  • Represented Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes and Owens-Illinois Venezuela in an ICSID annulment proceeding of an award arising from a dispute valued at approximately $1bn.
  • Advising Nordgold on a wide range of public international law and international arbitration matters in Latin America.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP works on complex ‘bet the company’ international arbitrations, with Latin American disputes representing more than fifth of the firm’s global arbitration caseload. Current matters include representing Dominion Minerals in a dispute with Panama over an investment in a copper and gold mining concession, as well as working with clients in hospitality and oil and gas. Chicago-based Ricardo Ugarte serves as practice chair and specialises in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. Sofia Arguello, whose practice encompasses disputes and investigations in Latin America, was promoted to partner in November 2020. However, the firm’s lead Latin American international arbitration lawyer Julissa Reynoso  stepped down to take up a public sector role serving as chief of staff to the First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Ugarte

Key clients

Dominion Minerals

Work highlights

  • Representing Dominion Minerals in claims brought under a US-Panama investment treaty and Panama concerning the treatment and protection of investments arising from Dominion’s investment in a copper and gold concession in western Panama.