International arbitration in Latin America: International firms
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's 'proactive and intelligent' team has an impressive breadth of expertise in international arbitration across the Latin American region. The New York-based team is co-led by prestigious arbitrator Donald Donovan and Dietmar Prager, and acts for its impressive roster of multinational corporates, international organizations and NGOs across a range of commercial, investment treat and public international law disputes. Mark Friedman is highlighted for his broad disputes practice while David Rivkin has particular expertise in energy and natural resources arbitration; while Ina Popova, who splits her time between New York and Paris, and counts energy, mining, technology, media and telecoms among her sector specialisms. Patrick Taylor and London-based Samantha Rowe have particular energy sector experience, while associates Laura Sinisterra and Guilherme Recena Costa (who has notable experience in Brazil-related matters) are other names to note. Unless otherwise stated, all recommended individuals are based in New York.
‘They are excellent professionals. Very quick and they know the industry perfectly.’
‘Proactive and intelligent.‘
Tethyan Copper Company (jointly owned by Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals)
Gramercy Funds Management
- Represented Tethyan Copper in its successful $6bn arbitration against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (arising from Pakistan’s denial of a mining lease for the Reko Diq project in 2011 in violation of the Australia-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty); it is the second-largest ICSID award ever rendered.
- Represented Perenco Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration against the Ecuadorian state, obtaining a record-breaking award of $435m —the largest award issued against the country in connection with Law 42-2006 regarding state participation in certain petroleum-sales’ profits.
- Acting for Freeport-McMoRan in a dispute regarding royalty payments with the Government of Peru under the United States–Peru Free Trade Agreement, with claims in excess of $1bn.
- Representing Gramercy Funds Management and an affiliate (Gramercy) in a dispute against the Republic of Peru arising out of Peru’s efforts to evade payment of agrarian bonds issued in exchange for property expropriated by the government.
- Acting for Mitsui in notified breach-of-warranty claims arising out of Mitsui’s purchase of shares in ESBR Participações —a Brazilian company operating the Jirau hydro-power plant in northern Brazil— from Engie Participações.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP's Latin American arbitration group has an impressive reputation for investment and commercial disputes in the region. Nigel Blackaby — who is noted for his impressive expertise in energy and mining disputes throughout Latin America — co-leads the team alongside New York-based Noiana Marigo, who handles a breadth of investor-state and commercial arbitrations. Other names of note include Caroline Richard, who counts energy and natural resources among her sector specialisms; and Alex Wilbraham, whose expertise spans energy, telecommunications, insurance, banking and international trade disputes. In London, the very well-regarded Sylvia Noury focuses on treaty arbitration. However, Brian King, formerly a senior partner in the New York office, joined London chambers 3 Verulam Buildings. Except where otherwise stated, all recommended lawyers are based in Washington DC.
- Representing the Republic of Guatemala in an ICSID claim brought by TECO Guatemala Holdings concerning the manner in which the Guatemalan state conducted a tariff review.
- Acted for Glencore International AG and C I Prodeco in an ICSID claim against the Republic of Colombia and concerning the Government’s alleged unlawful interference with a coal concession contract.
- Representing Eco Oro Minerals in a dispute with the Republic of Colombia, in which the company alleges that certain regulatory measures in the gold mining sector amount to a breach of the obligation to provide fair and equitable treatment and constitute an indirect expropriation under the Canada-Colombia FTA.
King & Spalding LLP's international arbitration team has a strong reputation for investment treaty and energy disputes, particularly in the oil-and-gas sector. It has also been increasingly active in construction arbitration. Houston-based Doak Bishop, Roberto Aguirre Luzi and Craig Miles jointly head the group alongside Edward Kehoe and Harry Burnett in New York. 'Excellent strategist' Bishop has broad experience and counts oil and gas, energy, construction, environmental matters and foreign investment among his area specialisms; while Miles, in turn, has a tight focus on the oil and gas sector. Burnett handles a range of international commercial and investment treaty disputes; and in addition to the energy sector, Aguirre Luzi and Kehoe have strength in the infrastructure and mining sector matters, respectively. The firm has continued to bolster its practice with the additions of Lauren Friedman and Lucila Hemmingsen in New York and Chicago-based Javier Rubinstein, from Kirkland & Ellis LLP; all have experience across commercial and investment treaty arbitration with a focus on the Latin American region. However, Caline Mouawad moved to Chaffetz Lindsey LLP in December 2019.
‘This team obtains the best results in the area of investment arbitration. They specialize in mega-arbitrations.‘
‘Doak Bishop is an excellent strategist and leader in the area.‘
South American Silver
The Williams Companies
- Successfully represented South American Silver in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Bolivia brought under the UK-Bolivia bilateral investment treaty, and concerning Bolivia’s expropriation of mining concessions owned by SAS’s indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary, Compañía Minera Malku Khota, including a large silver-indium-gallium deposit.
- Acted for Spain-based companies Teinver, Transportes de Cercanías and Autobuses Urbanos del Sur in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina over the unlawful expropriation of airlines: Aerolíneas Argentinas and Austral-Cielos del Sur.
- Representing Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi and Corporación América in ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under the Argentina–Peru BIT, a concession contract and a guarantee agreement; the dispute relates to the cancellation by the Peruvian government of a concession contract with Kuntur Wasi for the design, construction and operation of a new airport near Cusco.
- Acting for Italian construction group Salini Impregilo in ICSID arbitration against Argentina (brought under the Italy–Argentina BIT), concerning the construction and maintenance of a bridge and toll road.
- Advising Air Canada on ICSID arbitration against Venezuela concerning the blocking of the repatriation of the proceeds of ticket sales in the country.
White & Case LLP fields a strong team from its global network (including, in particular, its Washington DC, New York, London, Paris and Geneva offices) to handle a broad range of Latin American arbitration mandates. The practice has a strong reputation for construction and infrastructure disputes and counts energy, financial services, mining, oil and gas, technology and transportation among other sectors in which it has a high degree experience and specialisation. In Washington DC, practice head Jonathan Hamilton, Francisco Jijón, who made partner in 2019, and counsel Michelle Grando are the key contacts. Mexico City-based Rafael Llano Oddone is noted for strength in construction disputes, while Ank Santens (who has energy and infrastructure sector expertise), and associate Ricardo Chirinos, are the names to note in New York. In Houston, Jorge Mattamouros has particular experience in oil-and-gas disputes in Brazil, while Silvia Marchili (who splits her time between Houston and Miami) has a wealth of experience across both investment and commercial arbitration.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent team of lawyers specialising in mediation and arbitration. Able to distill issues and move them forward expertly and efficiently.‘
‘Jonathan Hamilton is a standout lawyer, able to fairly but robustly bring many views around the table into the right step forward whilst at all times managing expectations and diplomatically delivering the “tough” messages. I would want him on my side in a difficult dispute resolution.‘
‘I think that one of the greatest strengths of this team in Washington DC, and especially of its Latin American arbitration practice is based on its particular knowledge about this region and the way in which disputes develop there. White & Case’s Latin American arbitration team in Washington is undoubtedly a benchmark in the market.‘
‘In addition to having a highly qualified team, I emphasize the human factor and the relationship with the client. Working with White & Case has been a real pleasure for us since we have been able to stay in contact during our processes in a clear and continuous way. The team is always open and available to answer our questions and concerns. I highlight John Dalebroux as an associate who in particular has had a very close and professional relationship with our team at all times.’
Eldorado Brasil Celulose
Grupo Unidos por el Canal
TECO Guatemala Holdings
Daniel W Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates
The Republic of Peru
Red Eagle Mining
- Representing Brazilian paper products company, Eldorado Brasil Celulose, in multi-party ICC arbitration concerning an 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).
- Acting for Grupo Unidos por el Canal and its shareholders Salini Impregilo and Jan De Nul in a $5.5bn dispute with the Panama Canal Authority relating to the Panama Canal expansion project’s third set of locks.
- Representing the Republic of Peru in a UNCITRAL investment arbitration brought under the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement in connection with 1969-era agrarian reform bonds and related issues.
- Represented TECO Guatemala Holdings in an ICSID claim against Guatemala where the tribunal found that the State had violated fair and equitable treatment in the way that it conducted a tariff review that slashed the investment’s revenues by half; TECO was awarded and awarded TECO approximately $21m plus 75% of its costs.
- Representing Israeli energy company IC Power in its dispute concerning tax demands related to its subsidiaries DEOCSA and DEORSA, in Guatemala.
Arnold & Porter's international arbitration team has a strong reputation for investment treaty disputes matters and in particular is at the forefront of those acting for sovereign states, such as Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, as well as corporate clients. Practice head Paolo Di Rosa is particularly experienced in representing Latin American sovereigns, while Gaela Gehring Flores also acts for Latin American companies in investment and commercial arbitration. London-based Patricio Grané Labat and Mallory Silberman also specialise in 'the practice's forte', investor-state work; while Whitney Debevoise and Raul Herrera combine international arbitration experience with corporate finance transactional corporate and finance expertise. Unless otherwise stated, all named lawyers are based in Washington DC.
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
- Acting for the Republic of Peru in a $1.2bn gas and transport sector investment arbitration brought by Odebrecht Latinvest and Odebrecht Latin Finance.
- Representing Republic of Colombia in an investment arbitration claim brought by individuals under the Colombia-US Trade Promotion Agreement.
- Defending the Republic of Panama in an ICSID arbitration claim brought by US subsidiaries of Japanese tyre company Bridgestone Corporation under the US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
- Successfully defended the Republic of Chile in two parallel investment arbitrations.
- Defending Costa Rica in an ICSID arbitration claim brought by a Canadian mining company relating to a failed concession for the exploitation of a gold mine in Costa Rica.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton handles a range of investment treaty and commercial arbitrations in the Latin America region and is particularly active in the oil and gas, mining and infrastructure sectors. With a strong transactional team focused on the region, the group also frequently handles a broad range of commercial, M&A-related arbitrations. Jeffrey Rosenthal, Ari MacKinnon and Howard Zelbo co-lead the team from New York. Other names to note include the well regarded Claudia Annacker, in Paris; Buenos Aires-based senior associate Ignacio Zapiola, and São Paulo's Pedro Martini.
‘Extremely prepared team, hard-working and the attention to detail and ease of navigating through data was absolutely perfect.‘
‘The lead partner who I worked with is Jeff Rosenthal, couldn’t say enough about him, he was over-prepared, nothing seemed to phase him and his attention to detail was exemplary.‘
‘The other partner that we worked with was Ari MacKinnon, easy-going, transmits a calm and is extremely smart and a very good complement to Jeff’s style.‘
Telecom Italia International / Telecom Italia
Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras)
- Successfully represented Vale in a $2bn LCIA arbitration claim against its joint venture partner alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with a mining investment in Africa, and in pursuing enforcement of the award in the Southern District of New York and English High Court.
- Acting for Telecom Italia International and Telecom Italia in ICC arbitration brought by various parties in the Opportunity group of companies dispute relating to a settlement agreement resolving a previous contest for control of a Brazilian company Brasil Telecom.
- Acting for DP World in an ICSID claim against the Republic of Peru relating to an investment to build and operate a container terminal at the Port of Callao.
- Assisting Petróleo Brasileiro in litigation in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, opposing the enforcement of an arbitral award rendered in favour of Vantage Deepwater Company and Vantage Deepwater Drilling.
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP has a prestigious international arbitration practice; in Latin America, it has a certain focus on the energy, mining, construction and infrastructure sectors, along with post-M&A and financial disputes, and -significantly- is as active on outbound investment matters as inbound. The 48-strong global team includes lawyers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, among others, and the practice group is at ease handling proceedings in Spanish, Portuguese, or indeed, bilingually. Particularly highlighted for strategy issues in investor-state cases, the trilingual Miguel López Forastier, is an 'impressive opponent' who has an established track record across the region; he is admitted in Argentina, DC and New York. The 'tremendous' Nicole Duclos (in New York) has a 'stunning reputation' that is 'very merited'; like López Forastier she has considerable experience in commercial and investor-state disputes throughout the region. Key support comes from special counsel José Arvelo, who focuses on cross-border disputes and significant international arbitration (he has particular experience acting against the Venezuelan state); Clovis Treviño (promoted to special counsel in April 2020), who focuses on public international law and international commercial and investment arbitration; and upcoming senior associate Mary T Hernandez, who is trained in common and civil law, and has particular expertise in international public law matters. All lawyers are in Washington DC unless otherwise noted.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction
Korea National Oil
- Represent a Korean engineering and construction company in ICC arbitration against its Brazilian joint venture partner in relation to the construction of a major infrastructure project in South America.
- Represented Spanish subsidiaries of Mexican food conglomerate Gruma in ICSID arbitration against Venezuela arising out of the seizure of the claimants’ operations in the country, in violation of the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between Spain-Venezuela BIT Treaty; the subsequent $500m award is now subject to enforcement proceedings.
- Representing subsidiaries of ExxonMobil in the resubmission of an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela arising out of the expropriation of investments in 2014,
- Representing a subsidiary of Vulcan Materials in a $1.5bn investment arbitration against Mexico under NAFTA and arising out of adverse measures by Mexico that have interfered with the company’s investments in a limestone quarry and port terminal in Mexico.
- Represented CMPC Celulose Riograndense in five parallel Section 1782 applications seeking documentary evidence and deposition testimony in aid of a US$400 million insurance arbitration (and related litigation) in Brazil.
The 'exceptional' international arbitration team at Dechert LLP is known for its expertise in representing Latin American sovereign states and state entities. The group, which is experienced across a range of commercial and investment treaty disputes, counts energy, mining, construction and telecoms among its sector specialisms; it also counts private entities -including multilatinas and foreign multinationals- on its sovereign state-heavy, client roster. Eduardo Silva Romero (an 'expert in arbitration and public international law'), leads the group from the Paris office, which also houses José Manuel García Represa, who is particularly active in energy, construction and transport sector matters. Other names to note including 'extraordinary strategist', Arif H Ali (who heads up the global international arbitration team), Érica Franzetti and senior associate Juan Felipe Merizalde in Washington DC.
‘Dechert’s practice of international arbitration is exceptional! They have a good eye to design the best procedural strategies.‘
‘A key feature for Dechert’s international arbitration practice is that the team is international. Team members are from all over the world; thus, they speak different languages and, most importantly, they understand different cultures and their unique characteristics. When a company or a country has a cross-border dispute, it is essential to retain an external counsel who understands cultural issues that may affect the case. No other international arbitration practice has those characteristics, only Dechert’s.‘
‘Eduardo Silva’s leadership is unmatched. The team works synchronously following his strategic decisions.‘
‘Highlighted for its track record and international prestige, expertise in different venues of arbitration, extensive knowledge and access to key players. Excellent ability to define case strategies, with economic knowledge of the law.‘
‘José Manuel García Represa: in my experience, there are not two like him. His ability to understand, explain, and find, in detail, the strengths of a client’s case and the shortcomings of your opposition is something I have not seen in other attorneys. Certainly, these capabilities make him an outstanding court examiner.‘
‘Eduardo Silva Romero is a star. He is a leading authority in international arbitration. In addition to being an expert in arbitration and public international law, his professional career is an absolutely relevant asset before an arbitral tribunal. Certainly, his strategic abilities are amazing. His vision and strategic decisions make the difference in the course of arbitrations. He has the extraordinary ability to focus on the truly relevant of the case.‘
‘Arif Ali is an extraordinary strategist. In addition, he has unique knowledge of disputes related to Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as the energy industry. It has the great virtue of making complex things quite simple in court.‘
‘Juan Felipe Merizalde: I have not seen the legal and leadership capacities of Juan Felipe in other lawyers of his age. It is also rare to find such a young lawyer with so much recognition among his peers and in the international legal market. I know, for sure, that he is the right hand man of both Eduardo Silva Romero and José Manuel García Represa and the key associate in Dechert.‘
The Republic of Colombia
The Republic of Ecuador
The Plurinational State of Bolivia
Petróleos Paraguayos (Petropar)
Colombian investors Carlos Mario Rios Velilla & Francisco Javier Rios Velilla
AUNOR (Autopista del Norte)
- Successfully represented Colombia in ICSID arbitration against Glencore, arising from the imposition of a $19m fine and the alleged threat of the annulment of a modification to a mining exploitation contract for a large-scale coal project in Colombia.
- Representing Colombian investors Carlos Mario Rios Velilla and Francisco Javier Rios Velilla in investment arbitration against the Republic of Chile.
- Acting for the investor Autopista del Nortein its ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru arising from the breach of a concession contract for the construction, maintenance and exploitation of a 350+ km highway in the north of Peru.
- Representing Colombia in two major investment arbitrations in the telecom sector including a $1bn claim by América Móvil relating to telecoms asset restitution.
- Representing the plurinational State of Bolivia in an investment arbitration against an Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company in a dispute arising from the nationalisation of Bolivia’s largest tin mine (Colquiri) and two related companies.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills' international arbitration team has a breadth of expertise in commercial, public law and investment disputes in the Latin America region. Christian Leathley heads the group from the firm's New York office and counts energy, mining, banking, infrastructure and telecoms among his industry-sector specialisms. Other names to note in New York include Amal Bouchenaki, who has particular experience in the technology, telecommunications and energy sectors; counsel Florencia Villaggi, who recently relocated from the firm's London office; and associate Daniela Páez. For disputes relating to Brazil, Paris-based Thierry Tomasi is a key point of contact, while experienced, Madrid-based arbitrator David Arias (who joined from disputes boutique Arias SLP in May 2019) is highlighted for his breadth of arbitration experience spanning several jurisdictions.
- Acting for BP in a claim brought by Wakefield Argentina against BP’s subsidiary Castrol Caribbean and Central America relating to a the termination of an exclusive distribution agreement and other related agreements for the distribution of Castrol products in Argentina.
Latham & Watkins' international arbitration practice handles a range of commercial and investment treaty disputes across a range of Latin American jurisdictions including Brazil, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile. It frequently acts for multinational corporates and counts Columbia and Ecuador among its sovereign state clients. Fernando Mantilla-Serrano in Paris (who has particular experience in the oil and gas, mining and construction sectors), jointly leads the team alongside London-based Sophie Lamb. Other names to note include John Adam, who splits his time between the Paris and Madrid offices and has particular expertise in Latin American investment treaty and construction disputes; Claudia Salomon and associate Esperanza Barrón-Baratech, who are based in New York and Paris respectively.
Republic of Colombia
Republic of Ecuador
- Successfully represented Costa Rica’s State-owned refining company, RECOPE, in a politically-sensitive ICC arbitration against CNPCI, the People’s Republic of China’s state-owned oil and gas company; the disputed related to a joint venture agreement entered into by the parties in 2008 for the $1.5bn upgrade of Costa Rica’s only oil refinery.
- Representing the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration against Eco Oro Minerals, under Chapter 8 of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, relating to the adoption of certain regulatory measures in the gold mining sector.
- Defending the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID Case brought by Red Eagle in relation to mining activities in the protected area of the Santurban páramo ecosystems in Colombia.
- Acting for the Republic of Ecuador in a claim brought by Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados Ecuador and Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados relating to the alleged elimination of tax benefits in the oil and gas mid-stream industry, as well as the alleged violation of the FET standard and stability clauses in an investment contract for the construction and operation of an oil pipeline in Ecuador.
- Advising the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID case brought by Galway Gold in relation to mining activities in the protected area of the Santurban páramo ecosystems in Colombia.
Three Crowns LLP
London-based disputes specialists, Three Crowns LLP, has an impressive reputation for international arbitration including in Latin America. Leveraging its deep sector expertise, it is a popular choice among leading companies in the energy, construction, utilities, financial services and mining sectors in both commercial and investment treaty arbitration across the region. Gaëtan Verhoosel (who has a strong reputation for Latin American disputes) leads the international arbitration team alongside Constantine Partasides QC, who has particular experience in investor-state and energy sector arbitration. Other names to note include Carmen Martinez Lopez and Washington DC-based counsel Agustin Sanz; both have notable experience in the construction and energy sector.
‘The compact team at Three Crowns stands out above the rest, as a team with much fewer people than the large offices (large by number), which makes it more friendly, close and efficient.‘
‘Very good understanding of the cases. High dedication and passion for the work.’
‘Carmen Martinez, Gaëtan Verhoose and Agustin Sanz are excellent partners.‘
- Representing Naturgy in a claim against the Republic of Colombia relating to the alleged expropriation of Naturgy’s subsidiary, Electricaribe.
- Acted for ConocoPhillips in an investment treaty case against the Republic of Venezuela relating to expropriation of the company’s interests in two major heavy-oil projects in the Orinoco belt; an award in excess of $8bn was successfully obtained.
- Representing ExxonMobil in an ICSID claim against Venezuela, following a decision by the annulment committee that an original tribunal had exceeded its powers in making a $1.4bn award in a previous claim between the parties in 2014.
New York-based international disputes boutique Chaffetz Lindsey LLP attracts praise for its ‘very deep and detailed knowledge in the area of international arbitration, particularly in Latin America’. The group, which handles a range of commercial and investment treaty disputes for corporates and state-owned entities, is led by James Hosking who has from a broad international arbitration practice. Aníbal Sabater, who is particularly active in arbitration involving energy, construction, and financial transactions; Yasmine Lahlou, who counts energy, pharmaceutical and telecoms among her primary industry-sectors; and David Lindsey, who has a broad practice spanning contractual, projects, environmental and transactional arbitration, are all additional names to note. The group bolstered its arbitration expertise, particularly in the oil and gas, mining, consumer goods and telecoms sector, with the December-2019 hire of the ‘excellent’ Caline Mouawad from King & Spalding LLP.
‘Chaffetz is a very high-quality arbitration boutique. Its strength is in the expertise and engagement of the partners and the way that they build their team for each case, always including at least two senior partners that are fully hands on. The quality of the work is very impressive and they have a huge experience in commercial international arbitration.‘
‘Yasmine Lahlou, James Hosking and Peter Chaffetz are real stars. They make a huge difference in the case strategy and also conducting the hearing. Their dedication to the case is very impressive. They are one of the best New York firms we have worked with.‘
‘They have very deep and detailed knowledge in the area of international arbitration, particularly in Latin America, where we use their services. We receive highly professional and effective advice from them.‘
‘Partner Aníbal Sabater is fully bilingual in English and Spanish, is very well connected in the world of arbitration, both in Spain and Latin America and in the US, and has excellent technical knowledge in international arbitration.‘
‘Caline Mouawad is an excellent lawyer. She has good judgment, good oral presentation, good writing, a high level of analysis and a good strategist. She is a very high-level lawyer. I have not worked with other attorneys at the firm.’
‘We were advised by a team of several lawyers, led by Aníbal Sabater and supported by Rainbow Willard, who worked extremely well, very efficiently and effectively.‘
International Investment Group/ IIG TOF / Trade Finance Trust
Societa Esecuzione Lavori Idraulici
Graña y Montero
- Representing AES Corporation in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina seeking damages for breaches of the US-Argentina BIT.
- Acting for International Investment Group in parallel ICC arbitrations seated Buenos Aires and Washington DC against several South American entities and arising out of credit facilities; aggregate value $150m.
- Representing Peruvian construction company Graña y Montero, that is exercising the rights of a Peruvian consortium whose majority owner is an Austrian citizen, in bringing ICSID Arbitration against the Republic of Peru.
With significant strength in energy as well as insurance, Clyde & Co LLP has a reputation for handling high-profile natural resources cases and commercial arbitrations. Peter Hirst leads a team that includes the 'very impressive' Alejandro Garcia – identified by clients as 'a most valuable attorney' across the Latin American region – along with construction and engineering specialists Lee Bacon and Ricardo Lewandowski, and Neil Beresford whose predominant focus is on Colombian matters. In a recent work highlight, Vicente Bañuelos Rizo represented Infraestructura Hospitalaria de la Península against Servicios de Salud de Yucatán after the termination of a medical construction contract; a case featuring the first arbitration award originating from a public-private partnership agreement clause in Mexico. Garcia, Bañuelos Rizo and Liliana Veru-Torres also sit as sole arbitrators under WIPO, Chamber of Commerce and ICC rules, respectively. All named lawyers are based in London.
‘They have a difficult geographic difference to overcome. Its presence in Latin America is beginning to be noticed more, especially in Colombia and Peru.‘
‘Liliana Veru-Torres begins to be more notable in Latin America and Colombia, both in domestic arbitration and in international arbitration.’
‘Mr. Alejandro Garcia is a most valuable attorney in international arbitration cases as he is very knowledgeable about many details of law by heart. In many instances in our court he was able to present past reference cases and details of the results instantly. Very impressive. He managed our case to a big compensation reward.‘
Infraestructura Hospitalaria de la Península
Shanara Maritime International and Marfield
Empresa Nacional de Telecommunicaciones (ENTEL)
- Represented Infraestructura Hospitalaria de la Península following the termination of a medical construction contract, in a case which featured the first arbitration award originating from a public-private partnership agreement clause in Mexico.
Foley Hoag LLP
Foley Hoag LLP has an impressive reputation for representing sovereign states in international arbitration and counts Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua and Uruguay among its Latin American clients. It specializes in public international law disputes, both against other states and investors, and has growing experience in contentious commercial matters. Practice head Paul Reichler, Mark Clodfelter and Kenneth Figueroa all have notable experience in investment treaty disputes in the region while Reichler and Figueroa also have particular experience in State vs State and commercial matters, respectively. Clara Brillembourg and Tafadzwa Pasipanodya are other names to note for public international law disputes in the region. The Washington DC-based group frequently works cross-office and leverages its network of international arbitration experts, particularly in Paris, New York and Boston. However, Mélida Hodgson moved to Jenner & Block LLP in mid-2019.
‘Foley Hoag LLP has a high capacity to efficiently and fully understand international investment controversies, whether under contract or treaty and above all, from the point of view of the State, adapting in a versatile way to the diverse scenarios that may arise. The international law firm has the ability to propose concrete strategy options with positive results for the State, with highly competent professionals.‘
‘Excellent work which clearly differentiates them from other law firms.‘
‘Best in class. The international arbitration team is one of the most complete, professional, result-oriented and customer-management teams.‘
‘At the procedural level, the law firm in the hands of Kenneth Figueroa and Ofilio Mayorga has an excellent management of the arbitration stages, highlighting the good handling of the interrogations of witnesses and experts in investment arbitration hearings.‘
‘Permanent disposition to evacuate consultations, in-depth work on each point raised, preferential treatment with the client. As outstanding partners, I highlight Paul Reichler and Clara Brillembourg.‘
‘Kenneth Figueroa differs from the others in his empathy and understanding. Qualities: respect, patience, positivism.‘
‘Deep knowledge of the arbitration process, high investigative and analytical capacity.’
Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima
Crédit Agricole / CACEIS (France)
- Defended the Government of Uruguay in an UNCITRAL arbitration dispute concerning what would have been the largest mineral mine in Uruguayan history, covering up to 10% of the country’s territory.
- Representing the Republic of Ecuador in the damages phase of an investor-State arbitration conducted under UNCITRAL Rules, in which the claimants seek indemnification of a $9.5bn local court judgement plus billions of dollars in damages.
- Acting for the Republic of Peru in a non-treaty ICSID arbitration derived from a Public Private Partnership (PPP) concession contract for the construction and operation of line 2 of the Lima metro system.
Hogan Lovells US LLP is adept at representing both corporates and sovereign states in international investment and commercial arbitration proceedings. Daniel González, Maria Eugenia Ramirez and Richard Lorenzo in Miami are key contacts; González focuses on the construction and infrastructure sectors, while Ramirez counts contract, construction, and telecommunications disputes among her areas of expertise; and Lorenzo - who has particular profile in the Mexican market, has a distinct orientation towards energy matters. Mexico City-based Omar Guerrero Rodríguez also has experience in this area.
- Representing Republic of Panama in an investment arbitration before ICSID and brought by investors from Costa Rica and the Netherlands.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP benefits from 'a great team of experts in international arbitration' and counts construction, energy, petrochemicals, mining and financial services among its sectors of expertise. 'Brilliant' practice head Jose Astigarraga has been growing the practice since joining the firm -accompanied by colleagues Cristina Cárdenas and Edward Mullins from international disputes boutique Astigarraga Davis in 2017- to establish its Miami office. The group has continued to bolster its capabilities with the additions of New York-based James Duffy (who has particular life sciences expertise), and counsel Ben Love (who has experience in investor-state disputes), from Baker McKenzie LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, respectively. Both Houston-based Francisco Rivero, who has a particular focus on energy sector disputes, and counsel Eduardo de la Peña Berna in Miami, have noteworthy experience in Mexico-related arbitration. Associate Sujey Herrera, is one to watch.
‘They are focused on results and know every detail of how one lawsuit or arbitration proceeding unfolds. They were hired in a late stage of the case, and their speed on getting familiarized with all the details of the case was impressive. Their motions are easy to read and succinct, without missing any legal aspect important to make you win a case.’
‘José Astigarraga is -above all- a gentleman, and it does not take more than five minutes speaking to him to understand he is brilliant.‘
‘Edward Mullins knows exactly what he is doing and is able to take control of any hearing/trial. He gives you all the confidence one needs to deal with complex cases.‘
‘It is an office that prepares topics with great professionalism and with an in-depth analysis of those topics. They are very good compared to other international arbitration firms.‘
‘José Astigarraga, Eduardo de la Peña Bernal, Cristina Cardenas and Sujey Herrera form a great team of experts in international arbitration. They handle both English and Spanish perfectly and are masters at preparing international arbitration. The great work they do, they study all the possibilities and answer all the questions in the case and prepare you on how to make statements in court.‘
‘Associate Sujey Herrera is the best lawyer of her generation. She is extremely fast, competent, available, focused and kind, all the virtues we expect from a legal professional.‘
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 jurisdictions, investments and clients. New York-based Louis Kimmelman has deep and broad experience in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, as well as in the enforcement of awards; while Marinn Carlson and Jennifer Haworth McCandless (who are both based in Washington DC), focus on investor-state arbitration. Counsel Simon Navarro is another name to note in New York.
- Advising the Republic of Peru in an ICSID arbitration claim brought by Autopista del Norte relating to the breach of a concession contract for the construction, maintenance and exploitation of a highway in the north of Peru.
- Representing the Republic of Colombia in a dispute with Naturgy relating to the alleged expropriation of its subsidiary, Electricaribe, which provides electricity in the north of the country.
Clients praise the 'highly sophisticated' service provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP, and that seems 'better prepared and more knowledgeable' than most other firms handling Latin American international arbitration work. Its predominant caseload features commercial claims and arbitration opposing states and state-owned entities following breaches of investment guarantees and/or treaty agreements – most frequently in relation to transactions in the energy or oil-and-gas segments. The team also continues to receive instructions from the Panama Canal Authority regarding proceedings with Grupo Unidos por el Canal, and other contractors, in relation to aspects of the canal's expansion project. Houston-based practice head James Loftis, who 'combines comprehensive legal knowledge, strategic thinking and remarkable availability', recently ensured a successful outcome for Exxon Mobil in its long-running bilateral treaty dispute with Argentina alongside the 'accomplished' London-based Nick Henchie. Elsewhere, the 'sophisticated and pragmatic' New York-based Camilo Cardozo is representing Prime Energia regarding design and construction contracts for five Chilean power plants. Cardozo and of counsel José Sanchez (noted for his 'fastidious attention-to-detail'), are also acting for Offshore Exploration and Production against government-owned oil-companies from Colombia and South Korea.
‘I think the best thing about this team is that they are very good at what they do while being very cost-effective. We have worked with more than five large law firms on international arbitration matters and this is by far the most effective team we have worked with. This team does very good work for a fraction of the price that those other firms charge.‘
‘Our team at Vison & Elkins consists of Camilo Cardozo and Jose Sanchez. Camilo previously represented our firm in connection with an arbitration in Chile against a former licensee of our firm in Colombia. This team has shown its ability to break down complex legal issues in a manner that makes it easy for arbitrators to understand our positions. For us, the ability of this team to work with and understand conflicts in Latin America, has been key.‘
‘The team is fantastic. They are superb lawyers. Not only are they excellent lawyers, but they are also incredibly professional. They always give me complete confidence in their work. I have seen other firms that have represented clients opposed to us in international arbitrations, and in my opinion this team is always better prepared and more knowledgeable.‘
‘Highly sophisticated team with superior knowledge of the intricacies of international arbitral bodies and practice.‘
‘They are highly professional, detailed and responsible. Apart from the great knowledge they have of the subject, they surpass teams from other offices.‘
‘We have hired Camilo Cardozo and Jose Fernando Sanchez; who currently direct and are part of the international arbitration practice of Vinson & Elkins LLP; together they make a team with a deep legal structure and extensive knowledge of international arbitration procedures, which is why I consider that Vinson & Elkins LLP has an excellent international arbitration team.‘
‘Jose Sanchez is the lawyer leading our cases. Jose is an outstanding lawyer. I have worked with him on and off on several arbitrations since 2011, so I know his working style very well. He always masters all the facts and arguments better than any other lawyer on either side of the case. He is sophisticated, creative, and relentless. I’ve worked with several big US law firms and lawyers over the years on our international arbitration matters, and one big source of frustration for me has always been how those firms add up their legal fees so quickly. That has never been a concern with Jose. He is extremely efficient.‘
‘I have worked with Jose F Sanchez and Camilo Cardozo on three separate arbitrations that they have handled for us. I truly value and admire Jose as a lawyer, and will continue to trust him with our international arbitration matters. He is always attentive to every detail and is always thinking of ideas and arguments that no one else was thinking of and that strengthen our position on the cases. Throughout the years and the different cases Jose has handled for us, he has never been outworked by any other lawyer. On the contrary, he is always several steps ahead of all other lawyers on either side. I have also worked with Camilo Cardozo, who I also trust and respect as a lawyer, because he is both sophisticated and pragmatic.’
‘Jose Sanchez, in particular, stands out for his stellar work. Very conscientious and forward-thinking, with fastidious attention to detail. Superior job of communicating about timing, scope and parameters. Phenomenal final work product.‘
‘Nick Henchie has always stood out as a very accomplished lawyer and litigator.‘
‘Jim Loftis combines comprehensive legal knowledge, strategic thinking and remarkable availability and involvement in the matters. Tim Tyler has a thorough command of the cases, which ensures a smooth management of the matters.‘
‘José Fernando Sanchez is a great professional. He is an expert lawyer in Colombian and American law, very agile and creative. He is very studious, so his answers always have a lot of elaboration and success.‘
Panama Canal Authority
XTO and Exxon Mobil Exploration Argentina
Offshore Exploration and Production
- Representing Tampico Beverages in its dispute against Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana regarding the manufacturing, promotion and sale of Tampico’s products in the Dominican Republic.
- Successfully represented Exxon Mobil Corporation in its long-running dispute with Argentina based on violations of the US-Argentina bilateral investment treaty, confirming a $196m award and lifting a stay of execution.
- Representing Offshore Exploration and Production against Ecopetrol and Korea National Oil Corporation, regarding a stock purchase agreement for the sale and transfer of an American holding company, its Peruvian subsidiaries and oil assets for $1.2bn.
The Baker Botts L.L.P. international arbitration team does 'an extremely meticulous job' and 'makes a difference with attention-to-detail' for clients in the oil and gas, energy and construction sectors. Key contact Alejandro Escobar heads the practice alongside Jay Alexander in London, and Michael Goldberg in Texas, while Andrew Behrman provides strong support from the New York office on contracts disputes. Escobar is 'a lawyer who differs from the rest' with an ability to 'improvise in the face of unforeseen events', having recently represented the Republic of Ecuador in a successful defence claim against Spanish investor Albacora, concerning income tax exemptions under a bilateral investment treaty. Further cases concern state-owned entities and various project companies. 2019 saw a couple of personnel changes, as Dorine Farah made partner in January and Poupak Anjomshoaa joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in March.
‘They do an extremely meticulous job. Their attention to detail is amazing. I have had the opportunity to work with several law firms in international arbitrations and Baker Botts definitely makes a difference with attention to detail and the depth in which they analyze each case. They have a very careful working methodology, characterized by their organisation.‘
‘Alejandro Escobar is undoubtedly a lawyer who differs from the rest. His experience, ability to work under pressure and improvise in the face of unforeseen events is absolutely remarkable. As are his knowledge of legal principles and institutions of law in general. He has an extraordinary general legal culture. The great difference between Baker Botts and its competitors, I think, is in its organization and planning. They don’t leave details to chance.‘
Republic of Costa Rica
- Representing the Republic of Ecuador in a successful defence claim against Spanish investor Albacora, concerning income tax exemptions under a bilateral investment treaty.
The 'multi-disciplined' international arbitration team at Baker McKenzie LLP is led by Rodrigo Diaz de Valdés and María del Carmen Tovar Gil in Santiago and Lima, respectively, with a host of additional offices ensuring the firm has a significant presence on the ground throughout the region. With a strong track record in and knowledge of public works contracts, it handles considerable energy and construction-related work, as well as commercial matters. To this end, and in a current practice highlight, Rio de Janeiro-based Joaquim Muniz is acting against the for a consortium comprising Petrobras, Shell and Petrogal against the ANP and related to the classification of the Lula oil reservoirs, a matter valued at $10bn. Bogotá-based Claudia Benavides and Diaz de Valdés also continue to represent China United Engineering Corporation on various award challenges following successful arbitration concerning an EPC contract breach during a power plant construction in northern Colombia. Caracas-based duo Eugenio Hernández-Bretón and María Eugenia Salazar are also key practice contacts. Anchoring the practice from New York, Grant Hanessian has over 25 years' experience in contract and investment treaty arbitration, particularly across the energy, construction, commodities, financial services, and insurance sectors. Mauro Pedroso Gonçalves and Ricardo Quass Duarte departed for Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown and Souto Correa Advogados, respectively, in April 2019.
‘They have a multi-disciplinary team, but are led by a specialist in the main international arbitration domain.‘
‘Specialists and experience: María del Carmen Tovar, Inés Vázquez, Andrea Espejo, Claudia Cruces.‘
Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Representing ElectroPerú in an UNCITRAL arbitration against a private Italian electricity provider, related to a breach of their power-purchase agreement.
- Acting for family company Sucesión Heemsen in UNCITRAL proceedings against the Republic of Venezuela due to the expropriation of their 600 acres of land for a new port development.
Clifford Chance's international arbitration team is commended for both its 'depth of analysis' and 'high technical capacity', with 'very good synergy levels' that ensure 'personalized treatment' across the board. Typical work ranges from investment treaty and commercial cases to construction-oriented contractual disputes, mostly in the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure sectors. Department head Ignacio Suarez Anzorena stands out as 'exceptional during hearings' alongside 'phenomenal' senior associate José García Cueto, who is an 'excellent negotiator' in ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID and ad hoc proceedings. A noteworthy highlight involved representing a Luxembourg investor in relation to its $1.1bn financing of a South American pipeline concession. Young international associate, Fabio Nuñez Del Prado,'has a very interesting future in the field' and is one to watch. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC. Since publication, Suarez Anzorena has announced his departure from the firm to establish his own boutique (as of mid-November 2020).
‘This team far exceeds that of other law firms.‘
‘Has marked knowledge and understanding in construction matters. Its star lawyer, José García Cueto is phenomenal.‘
‘The Clifford Chance international arbitration team is excellent; they show great skill in the development of strategies to achieve the objectives set according to the case, and they have a fairly wide knowledge and experience of arbitration matters. They have a constant organization and communication with the client. It is an organized team, with an excellent ability to attend to any queries that the client may have.‘
‘It is a highly trained legal team and with a very good synergy level between them, which translates into high levels of trust on the part of the client. In particular, the performance of the following lawyers stands out. José García Cueto: Excellent negotiator, with high knowledge not only in arbitration but also market knowledge in the construction and hydrocarbons sector in Latin America. With very good soft skills and with an outstanding level of security and confidence. Definitely a high level professional. Fabio Nuñez Del Prado: He is a young lawyer, very skilled in preparing documents and strategies according to the objective of the case. With certainty, this professional has a very interesting future in the field.‘
‘The international arbitration team is one of great experience and extensive knowledge of various economic sectors. They are very fast and efficient in terms of working time and creative in their proposals for settling disputes.‘
‘I have worked with Ignacio Suarez Anzorena (partner) and José García Cueto (special adviser). Both are exceptional attorneys. Their experience in arbitration is essential to determine how to face a controversy, present the case, select arbitrators and experts. They also know the sector very well, which allows them to project how the defense of the counterparty will act in arbitration.‘
‘José García Cueto excels in this office, he is a very competent lawyer and takes each case with a high professional level and commitment, especially since he works very hard to achieve the goals that are set. I am more than pleased with him.‘
‘The professionals in charge of the practice have a deep knowledge of international arbitration. The team handles all aspects very well. It is difficult to point out any weak point in the team. The team has the same level as the best world firms in the field of international arbitration.‘
‘They know their subject with a depth of analysis that shows much rigor in their opinions and in the preparation and monitoring of their cases. Ignacio Suarez Anzorena and José García Cueto have a very personalized treatment and constantly study innovative options for their clients.‘
‘José García Cueto is an outstanding, very capable and dedicated lawyer.‘
‘An excellent team. High technical capacity and knowledge of international arbitration. Very efficient and practical team.‘
‘Thoroughness and attention-to-detail. Cases are won with details and the Clifford team is involved in the study and review of all the latest evidence. It is an added value that this team of Ignacio Suarez Anzorena and José García Cueto presents.‘
‘The team takes charge of the case, learns about it in detail, and is extremely meticulous about the matter at hand.‘
‘Ignacio Suarez Anzorena is exceptional during hearings and José García Cueto is brilliant at handling the case.‘
Enel Green Power
Graña y Montero
- Advising a South American global contractor in a potential $1.3bn construction arbitration dispute concerning the construction of a power plant.
- Representing Graña y Montero in an ICC arbitration against Técnicas Reunidas de Talara concerning two $200m contracts for the modernization of an oil refinery in Talara, Peru.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP's New York-based chairman and global international arbitration practice head George Kahale III is 'simply superb', and continues to act for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in ICSID proceedings related to petroleum projects, energy facility expropriation and the nationalization of heavy crude oil projects. Elsewhere, the 'outstanding' Mexico City-based Gabriela Álvarez-Ávila was recently appointed as tribunal president following an alleged international treaty breach between the Republic of Panama and the Dominican Republic. Other clients include the State of Kuwait and various Spanish governmental agencies, with the team continuing to build on its market reputation for state-side representation in investment-oriented disputes. New York-based Benard Preziosi Jr and Washington DC-office managing partner Claudia Frutos-Peterson are also key contacts, with the team further recommended for its 'highly prepared structure and excellent client management'.
‘Their expertise in arbitration, national and international, is significant. They know arbitration, institutional and ad hoc procedures, from the perspective of both the party’s attorneys and arbitrators, and from both a theoretical and practical point of view.‘
‘They have more experience than other firms in handling complex matters, with a highly prepared structure and excellent client management. I would mention Ben Preziosi, Mark O’Donoghue, Gabriela Ãlvarez-Ãvila and Claudia Frutos-Peterson.‘
‘Gabriela Ãlvarez-Ãvila, ex-ICSID counsel, is outstanding.‘
‘Curtis is one of only a very few firms (two?) that represent only host governments in investor-state dispute settlement [ISDS] cases. As a result, its positions across cases are not in conflict. It is superb at building a team of lawyers and experts that are dedicated to the case and who work well together.‘
‘George Kahale is simply superb, in terms of sheer intelligence, knowledge of the field, ability to manage a team, and dedication to his clients. Ben Preziosi is a close follow-up.‘
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Petroléos de Venezuela (PDVSA)
Procuraduría Federal de la Defensa del Trabajo
FROB Autoridad de Resolución Ejecutiva
- Representing the Dominican Republic against a Jamaican claimant in a dispute over a waste disposal facility.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
At Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the 'outstanding' New York-based Rahim Moloo forms 'an unbeatable team' with London-based international arbitration practice group co-chairs Cyrus Benson and Penny Madden QC. Moloo has particular expertise in ICSID Additional Facility proceedings, with two recent cases against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, following alleged breaches of bilateral investment treaties affecting various Kimberly-Clark subdivisions, as well as the expropriation of Crystallex International's gold mine – an award worth $1.4bn. The practice, also noted for 'combining an excellent knowledge of legal principles with practical commercial acumen', is currently acting for a group of US property investors against the Republic of Colombia over purported Trade Protection Agreement breaches. Further disputes emanate from clients in the infrastructure, insurance and technology sectors. New York-based associates Lindsey Schmidt and Philip Shapiro are also both noted.
‘The practice is experienced, smart, and knowledgeable. They have a great team and good resources. They are always available.‘
‘Positives: experience, resources, permanent availability, ingenuity and intelligence. The outstanding lawyers are Rahim Moloo and Philip Shapiro.‘
‘Gibson Dunn is a superb firm focused on international arbitration disputes, combining an excellent knowledge of legal principles with practical commercial acumen. They make a dedicated effort to understand the commercial imperatives of the client’s needs, and ensure that all litigation actions are aligned with the corporate values of the client, and proper governance.‘
‘Cyrus Benson, Penny Madden QC, and Rahim Moloo make for an unbeatable team. They are dedicated, focused and commercially-minded. They have additionally assembled an excellent team of associates (including Lindsey Schmidt, Zach Kady and Piers Plumptre). The team operates seamlessly across geographical locations and diverse time zones to provide an integrated product offering of the highest quality.‘
Angel Seda and others
- Representing mining company Crystallex International, which had its gold mine expropriated by the Venezuelan government, in the global enforcement of its $1.4bn ICSID Additional Facility arbitration award.
- Acting for a group of US property investors against the Republic of Colombia over purported Trade Protection Agreement breaches, arising from the seizure of land on which the claimants planned to build a real estate project.
Boutique firm GST LLP is dedicated to global dispute resolution, with a Latin American international arbitration practice focused predominantly on matters in the agribusiness, energy and infrastructure sectors. Recognised by clients for its 'vast and unique experience', the team handles investment and commercial cases – both as party counsel and sitting arbitrator – in primarily ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC proceedings. Washington DC-based Ignacio Torterola, along with Miami-based duo Diego Gosis and Quinn Smith, are further commended for their 'hands-on approach', while being 'enormously reliable and strategically gifted'. Recent work highlights, led by Torterola, involve defending the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; firstly, following various expropriations of companies allegedly owned by food distribution claimants, as well as in a matter concerning the State's prior denunciation of the ICSID Convention.
‘The firm has a vast and unique experience in complex international disputes. It has worked on more investment cases than most firms in the world.‘
‘Diego Gosis, Ignacio Torterola and Quinn Smith are enormously reliable and strategically gifted for complex disputes. Their hands-on approach to their cases leads to fantastic results.‘
‘The main characteristic of all the lawyers at the firm (regardless of hierarchy) is the ability to problem-solve, and proactivity. They are always available and have a knowledge of law that exceeds the specialty of international law.‘
‘At GST, most attorneys, including the youngest, have extensive legal knowledge. On the other hand, their variety of lawyers with different backgrounds and provenance means that the approach regarding the different topics can be carried out considering the legal systems of different countries.‘
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Republic of Ecuador
Plurinational State of Bolivia
Triangulo Pisos e Paineis
Ministry of Defense of Venezuela
Petróleos de Venezuela
- Representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the damages phase of an ICSID arbitration filed against Venezuela by dual-nationals and their companies.
- Acting for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in a case concerning whether or not a false document can form the basis for jurisdiction.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is recognised by clients for levels of 'transparency, dedication, confidence and commitment' when handling investment treaty and commercial arbitration matters. With the Miami-based Luis O’Naghten and Nicolas Swerdloff as its main players, the team is currently acting for Hydrika 1-6 SAC against the Republic of Peru regarding an alleged breach of concession agreements for six hydroelectric plants. Also of note is the ongoing representation of Grupo Pellas / SER Corporation in $200m dispute proceedings against the Republic of Panama and concerning the expropriation and destruction of an ethanol plant investment. Washington DC-based John Townsend co-chairs the practice along with New York-based duo John Fellas and Hagit Muriel Elul, while Diego Durán de la Vega joined the Washington DC office from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in the summer of 2019.
‘We are very happy with the team of Hughes Hubbard & Reed and I consider that they have been very detailed throughout our arbitration case. They know a lot about international arbitration, have always been direct with their position and recommendations, as well as sincere regarding the weaknesses and strengths of the case unlike other law firms that are always conservative with their opinions.‘
‘The team made up of Andrea Ruiz, Ernesto Fuentes Garcia and led by Dr Luis O’Naghten, has demonstrated a responsible attitude towards the case, with transparency, dedication, confidence and commitment.‘
Grupo Pellas /SER Corp
Republic of Paraguay
- Represented Huntington Ingalls Industries in ad hoc arbitration against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela over its failure to pay repair bills for two Lupo Class Frigates owned by the Venezuelan Navy.
- Representing the Republic of Paraguay in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising from a construction contract for a public transportation corridor.
Handling an array of commercial arbitration and investment treaty cases, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP stands out 'for its comprehensive vision' across the energy, mining and transport industries, in particular. Standout practitioner - Houston-based global practice co-chair C Mark Baker - has 'a great understanding of the business environment' and co-leads a group drawn from across the firm's international office network alongside Montréal-based Pierre Bienvenu. Recent highlights include obtaining interim measures on behalf of a client in the face of a Central American state-entity's multi-hundred-million-dollar demands against security guarantees; and ongoing representation of Vicinay Cadenas in a long-running $500m dispute with Petrobras America. Washington DC-based Matthew Kirtland, Montréal-based Martin J. Valasek and Houston-based Kevin O'Gorman are other key names; while at senior associate level, Latin America-specialised Denton Nichols is also noted. The team was further strengthened with the hire of New York-qualified senior assocate Daniel Allman from Covington & Burling LLP in November 2019.
‘The firm stands out for its comprehensive vision of international arbitration practice and its insertion into a business framework.‘
‘[C] Mark Baker is irreplaceable. He has demonstrated that despite being in high demand internationally, he is always available, and has also shown a great understanding of a business environment.‘
- Advised Canadian mining group Gold Reserve on enforcement proceedings against the Republic of Venezuela, related to a $760m ICSID award arising from a Canada-Venezuela BIT case.
- C Mark Baker was designated as party-appointed neutral arbitrator in a dispute brought by a group of US against Costa Rica under the framework of DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement).
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP provides 'a fast and attentive service' for clients on both sides of investor-state arbitrations under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, along with state-to-state and general commercial arbitration. The team –led by the 'very technical' Washington DC-based David Orta– is currently handling mandates from the energy, mining, transportation and infrastructure sectors, while also continuing to act for Odebrecht against the Peruvian state in relation to cancelled infrastructure projects worth a combined $1.5bn. Washington DC-based Daniel Salinas-Serrano and of counsel Dawn Yamane Hewett are further key names, while the arrival of New York-based Mark McNeill from Shearman & Sterling LLP in August 2019 was a noteworthy boost for the practice.
‘A fast and attentive service.‘
‘David Orta is an excellent lawyer. Very technical. Quick answers.‘
Gordon G Burr, et al
Odebrecht Latinvest / Odebrecht
Ampex Retirement Master Trust
Apple Oaks Partners
Axis Oil Field Services / Axis Oil Field Holding
Carolyn Grace Baring
Diana Grace Beard
TP Ferro Concesionaria
- Representing US investors holding stakes in oilfield services company Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro, in a claim against Mexico for expropriation and violations of the investment treaty; value, $700m.
- Representing 38 US investors against Mexico following the cancellation of valid permits to operate casinos, culminating in the closure of the investors’ $125m casino business.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the international arbitration team has built an impressive client roster across the energy, mining, construction and telecommunications industries. In a recent matter highlight, head of department Julie Bédard –who currently divides her time between the firm's New York and Sao Paulo offices– acted for Ovintiv (formerly: Encana Corporation) in ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Ecuador regarding an oilfield expropriation. Bédard's work also transcends the financial sector, having represented both a Brazil-based IT company during a shareholders’ disagreement with a state-owned bank, and along with Gregory Litt, a Brazilian financial institution over an escrow arrangement and indemnification claims following a bank sale in Switzerland. Jennifer Permesly –who made partner in April 2020– provides strong support, while Timothy Nelson and Lea Haber Kuck are further key contacts. All named lawyers are based in the firm's New York office unless otherwise stated.
Ovintiv (formerly: Encana Corporation)
- Representing a Brazilian investment company in LCIA arbitration relating to a mining project arising under a Share Purchase Agreement and the right to terminate said agreement.
- Acting for a Latin American conglomerate in an ICC arbitration against a European manufacturer, arising out of a contractual obligation to fund a separate arbitration proceeding.
B. Cremades & Asociados' work highlights include various ICSID proceedings, with the team currently acting for Blue Bank International & Trust (Barbados) against the Republic of Venezuela in a $400m award annulment case; as well as representing Inversiones Continental against the Republic of Honduras, in a case arising from the State's forced liquidation of Banco Continental. Founding partner Bernardo M Cremades S heads the entirely Madrid-based practice alongside Bernardo Cremades Román; both specialise in major construction and infrastructure-related investment treaty and commercial arbitrations. Other matters involve clients from the energy, gaming and pharmaceutical sectors, with Ángel Tejada a further contact of note. David Cairns left the firm in January 2020 to become a full-time independent arbitrator at the IAC.
‘The team at Cremades that attends to arbitral proceedings and contentious matters in general is exceptional. The lawyers’ knowledge of the norms of international arbitration is excellent. Their dedication to the details of the proceedings and to ensuring that the proofs are of sufficient strength to ensure success, make them in my opinion- the outstanding option among all the firms with which i have had the pleasure to work.
I am referring to the following partners and associates with who I’ve worked at the firm: Bernardo Cremades Román, José María López Useros y Paloma Carrasco García. They are incisive and very analytical of the procedural details, and very clear in their explanations and details regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the proofs and arguments of the parties of the cases they undertake. The added-value that makes them stand out is their ability to anticipate the differing circumstances that could arise in the course of the proceedings and in their rapid response before such situations.’
Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles (CIMSA)
Inversiones Continental (Panamá)
Blue Bank International & Trust
Mr. Raimundo Santamarta Devis
- Representing Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles (CIMSA), after the breach of a shareholders’ agreement regarding the sale of shares in Bolivia’s largest cement company.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Pedro Martinez-Fraga and Ryan Reetz lead a 'brilliant team' at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, which counts both investors and sovereign states on its client roster. The practics handles a range of ongoing ICC, UNCITRAL and ICSID cases, predominantly concerning the expropriation of investments and bilateral trade agreements. Martinez-Fraga also serves as a party-appointed neutral arbitrator. Domenico di Pietro is an additional key contact; the practice and all named lawyers are based in Miami.
‘Mr. Fraga and the brilliant team headed by him, including Graig S O’Dear, did a top quality job for us, bringing the necessary results in the most efficient and professional manner. We highly recommend Bryan Cave, especially the people named above, to all who need their legal issues to be addressed quickly and with the best value for money results.‘
Although its international arbitration practice is headquartered in Spain, Cuatrecasas also benefits from a strong -and growing- presence on the ground in Latin America, thanks to offices in Mexico City, Santiago, Sao Paulo and Lima. With a predominant focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors, typical work involves breach of contract and damages claims, as well as some ad hoc cases. Led by Madrid-based Alfonso Iglesia, the team is currently representing Sociedad Concesionaria Metro de Lima – a consortium granted financial, design, build and operative responsibilities for the new Line 2 development of the Lima Metro – during ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Peru, which failed to meet a deadline and provide the necessary land. Other key contacts include Mexico City-based René Irra and Lima-based Domingo Rivarola, who joined from ARF Consultoría Estratégica in November 2019.
Sociedad Conecsionaria Metro de Lima (ACS, FCC, Salini Impregilio, Cosapi, Ansaldo and Hitachi)
- Representing Sociedad Conecsionaria Metro de Lima in ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Peru, for allegedly failing to meet the deadline for land expropriations to permit ongoing development.
International arbitration boutique Dechamps Law is best known for representing investors, including high-net-worth individuals, against Latin American sovereign states – with particular specialism in the energy and infrastructure industries. Based out of London, founding partner Jean Paul Dechamps heads the practice alongside Gustavo Topalian, from Buenos Aires. The team recently acted for Glencore Finance (Bermuda) against the Plurinational State of Bolivia, following site expropriation measures affecting the company's $675m mining investments. In May 2020, Dechamps also saw a successful conclusion to his decade-long dispute on behalf of the Republic of Guatemala, with an ICSID tribunal dismissing the vast majority of a $350m claim concerning the tariff-setting mechanism adopted by national electricity regulators. Associate Pablo Jaroslavsky is also noted.
‘The team at Dechamps International Law is at the forefront of the most significant commercial and investment arbitrations in Latin America. The team brings an unparalleled combination of excellence and efficiency with a hands-on approach that ensures value without waste. With that in mind, it regularly exceeds expectations and outperforms rival firms.‘
‘JP Dechamps is a formidable advocate and brings more expertise in investor-state arbitration in Latin America than just about any other leading practitioner. What is more, he brings innovative ideas and strategies to every matter in which he is involved. His team is likewise impressive, starting with Gustavo Topalian, who also has a depth of experience in investor-state arbitration that few can match.‘
The Goyne Family Trust and a group of 20 other US investors
Glencore International, CI Prodeco and Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Nuevo
Mr Manuel García Armas and seven other Spanish citizens
Republic of Guatemala
Glencore Finance (Bermuda)
Latin American Regional Aviation Holding
Tralje International Finance
- Representing Mr Serafín García Armas and Mrs Karina García Gruber in UNCITRAL proceedings against the Republic of Venezuela, in connection with the nationalization of their assets in the food distribution sector.
Based in Miami, Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance is praised for its 'versatility' and 'efficiency' in arbitral disputes in sectors ranging from banking and finance, to construction and intellectual property. Michael Diaz, Jr, Gary Davidson and Brant Hadaway co-lead the international arbitration branch, with clients recognising their 'extensive experience and success rate' when handling commercial cases – which often involve state-level opposition - on behalf of holding companies or high-net-worth individuals. In a recent work highlight, the team acted for Qatar-registered contractor Western Building Group regarding service-agreement issues related to the South Terminal expansion project at Panama City's Tocumen International Airport. Hadaway and Diaz, Jr also represented Midway Labs before an ICDR tribunal, following allegations of personal contract breaches and tort claims by a high-profile Brazilian soccer player. Roland Potts handles arbitral and appellate matters, particularly in relation to construction defects, product liability and breach of contract claims.
‘The performance of Dr Michael Diaz Jr and that of his team is simply spectacular, the coordination, the treatment of his clients in a professional and ethical way makes them position themselves in the excellence of the results obtained in favor of their clients.‘
‘Unquestionably its knowledge, professionalism, and treatment of clients make the difference over other competitors. It is important to highlight the excellent leadership of Michael Diaz, Martha Colomar and Gary E Davidson.‘
‘Adaptable to customer needs. Understands the realities and situations of each country applicable to the case. Willingness to work as a team with the internal lawyers and factual or legal experts necessary to structure the case. Their extensive experience and success rate in handling arbitration results in a reliable strategy.‘
‘Versatility. Teamwork with in-house attorneys and experts. Knowledge of the different systems of law and especially the continental system (civil code) and also perfect linguistic command. It has lawyers with different backgrounds and international training. Effectiveness and efficiency – relative to the value of fees and expenses in relation to the results achieved. Excellent relation of price/value/results. 24-hour availability.‘
Western Building Group
Humberto Araque Tamayo (v Bayside)
- Representing a Brazilian-American manufacturer of nutrition supplements against a well-known professional athlete, over the alleged breach of an image licensing and marketing agreement.
Mexico City-based Kate Brown de Vejar and Paris-based Michael Ostrove act as global co-chairs of the 'exceptional' DLA Piper LLP (US) international arbitration department, with assistance from Buenos Aires-based Mariana Lozza. With energy and construction matters its predominant focus, the practice continues to represent Metro de Lima Línea 2 in ICSID proceedings arising from a PPP project against the Republic of Peru, and recently began advising LAMSAC over alleged contractual breaches by Construtora OAS during the design and execution of works on the Línea Amarilla road system. Benefiting from a network of offices across the region, the team also has experience with various Latin American bilateral and multi-lateral investment treaty disputes, with clients identifying Brown de Vejar as 'outstanding' in this domain – with 'her focus, insight and strategic direction' making her 'best-in-class'.
‘The DLA international arbitration team is exceptional. The lawyers work particularly well across geographies and the way they have coordinated between the Americas and Japan offices has, for us, been very impressive.’
‘Kate Brown de Vejar is outstanding. Our firm finds that her focus, insight and strategic direction are best in class. Every interaction is the very definition of professionalism.‘
‘The team know the technicalities in detail and that gives the greatest security. They translate complex legal matters in a simple way. As legal in-house for me it is simple to understand, but for the other departments it is complex and DLA Peru creates a bridge.‘
Consorcio Peruano de Conservación
Metro de Lima Linea 2
Conscorcio Vial Huara
INSA Holdings and Mercantil de Inversiones Arango
Línea Amarilla (LAMSAC)
- Advising Construções e Comércio Camargo Corrêa in an ICC arbitration against SEDAPAL, a drinking water and sewerage service company in Lima, over a contract termination for alleged defects and design shortcomings.
Holland & Knight's 'well-established' international arbitration practice works primarily with clients from the mining, energy and construction sectors, along with various repeat sovereign-state clients. Led by Miami-based Adolfo Jiménez, who acts as sole or co-arbitrator in ICC and ICSID hearings, the team' most recent highlight involved representing the Republic of Guatemala against two US parties responsible for silver and gold mines in La Puya. The team also continues to handle French-side proceedings, opposing the Mexican government, in light of Eutelsat bilateral investment treaty breach claims. Bogotá-based Enrique Gómez‐Pinzón and Alberto Zuleta Londoño (who divides his time between Bogotá and Miami), are further key contacts, while Katharine Menéndez de la Cuesta and Orlando Segura, who both made partner in January 2020, are also active in the area. Salvador Fonseca – the firm's previous head of dispute resolution in Mexico – left to join Fonseca, Rodríguez & Perchemlian Abogados, S.C. in June 2020.
‘Preliminary observation: my knowledge of the team is limited to the fact that several of their lawyers have represented clients in cases where I was an arbitrator, or have co-arbitrated cases with me. It is a very well established and suitable firm, especially for maritime and construction disputes in Latin America.‘
‘Adolfo Jimenez, Marisa Marinelli and Katharine Menendez de la Cuesta are tireless, persuasive and educated lawyers.‘
Republic of Guatemala
A Mexican state-owned enterprise
Eco Oro Minerals
- Advising Eco Oro Minerals Corp on environmental and mining law issues under Colombia law following an international arbitration suit filed by the Republic of Colombia in relation to the delimitation of the Santurbán Páramo.
Paris-based Emmanuel Gaillard heads Shearman & Sterling LLP's global disputes and international arbitration practice. It has particular strength in the construction and energy sectors, with a focus on joint ventures and government-side bilateral investment treaty cases. To this end, Gaillard and London-based Ximena Herrera-Bernal are representing the Republic of Colombia in ICSID proceedings brought in relation to the treatment of a real estate project in terms of the US-Colombia FTA. Christopher Ryan and Henry Weisburg, working from Washington DC and New York, respectively, continue to act for the Republic of Panama following an alleged expropriation of infrastructure contracts and violation of the terms of the US-Panama BIT. However, the team lost Mark McNeill who joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in September 2019.
Republic of Colombia
Republic of Panama
- Representing the Republic of Panama in claims brought by Omega Engineering relating to the alleged expropriation of infrastructure construction contracts and other US-Panama bilateral investment treaty violations.
George von Mehren and Stephen Anway co-chair the global dispute resolution group at Squire Patton Boggs, which boasts a fully-integrated international arbitration practice. José Feris is its most active player with a strong Latin American presence, having frequently sat on ICC or UNCITRAL proceedings in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Paris-based Feris, Stephan Adell (who splits his time between the Santo Domingo and Dubai offices), Raúl B Mañón and Prague-based investment expert Rostislav Pekař recently represented the Republic of Costa Rica over alleged violations of their bilateral investment treaty with Spain. Working from Miami, Mañón has built a strong portfolio of sovereign and state-owned clients; further names on the team's roster include the Servicio de Gestión Inmobiliaria del Sector Público in Ecuador and various Peruvian energy providers.
Republic of Costa Rica
Servicio de Gestión Inmobiliar del Sector Público del Ecuador (Inmobiliar)
Brazilian Company and the subsidiary of a Swiss Company
Brazilian companies of Chinese and Brazilian origin
Brazilian subsidiaries of a Chinese and Swiss company
Brazilian investment banking company
Uruguayan and Mexican technology parties
Mexican and Colombian companies and a Colombian public company
Chilean and Peruvian parties
Peruvian and Spanish oil and gas companies
Mexican subsidiaries of Austrian and US multinationals
- José Feris acted as president of the arbitral tribunal in a share purchase dispute between a Brazilian subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned company and the Brazilian subsidiary of a Spanish energy company.
Uría Menéndez handles a range of commercial arbitration and investor-state disputes, with particular prominence in the construction sector. The team, recognised for its 'great professionalism and prestige', is led by Jesús Remón Peñalver and Gabriel Bottini in Madrid, along with Fernando Aguilar de Carvalho in Lisbon. Current matters range from representing Iberdrola in a $200m claim against the Republic of Guatemala concerning electricity distribution matters, to acting for the Dominican Republic in PCA investment proceedings over alleged discriminatory measures preceding an expropriation. Other areas of expertise include breaches – and the award – of public contracts, while Bottini is a seasoned and trusted arbitrator across the Latin American region. Miguel Virgós left the firm in January 2020 to focus on sitting as an independent arbitrator.
‘A team of great professionalism and prestige. They are the best in Europe at this type of work.‘
‘They are 100% committed to the client and their case.‘
‘Good ability to adapt to customer needs, creativity in finding strategic solutions in defence of customer interests without losing sight of the best legal advice. Good knowledge of Latin American idiosyncrasies and how best to act in various scenarios.‘
‘A practice with great resources, both material and human, of the highest quality. Well prepared to take on any type of work. Its level of experience in similar cases makes it very suitable, especially for complex cases. Additionally, the firm has a network of collaborators worldwide that support work in this diverse geographical area.‘
‘Our case was handled by Álvaro López de Argumedo and Pablo Martínez Llorente. In particular, I would like to highlight the quality of the work carried out by Pablo, his level of knowledge of the case, his analytical capacity, work capacity, commitment and self-demand, which make him an excellent collaborator. On the other hand, the training and level of preparation of the rest of the people of Uria & Menéndez involved in the case have been exceptional.‘
Ingeniería y Economía de Transporte
Consorcio de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca, Infrainter Infraestructuras Internacionales, and Euskotren Participaciones
The Dominican Republic
- Acting for the Consorcio de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca clients in arbitration proceedings resulting from the breach of a construction contract for a tramway road platform in Ecuador.
Volterra Fietta's boutique disputes offering consists of high-profile investment treaty cases, state-to-state settlements and an array of commercial arbitrations. With a noteworthy track record in ICSID annulment cases, founding partner Robert Volterra is 'very knowledgeable about international law, particularly maritime boundary issues' and regularly sits as an arbitrator for the ICC and UNCITRAL. Along with Graham Coop, Volterra is currently representing subsidiaries of Koch Industries against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela regarding the alleged illegal expropriation of sovereign financing; case value, $400m. Internally developments saw Álvaro Nistal, known for his investment treaty arbitration work, promoted to counsel in May 2019. All named lawyers are based in the firm's London office.
‘The team is diverse and works with a lot of developing countries. The diversity on the staffing helps the firm to be sensitive to realities in developing countries. The team is also well versed on matters of arbitration involving developing countries.‘
‘Robert Volterra is thoughtful yet frank. He paints an accurate picture of the situation and comes up with real solutions. He is also very knowledgeable about international law, in particular maritime boundary disputes. He makes himself available and replies promptly to queries.‘
‘This practice specialises in public international law, and I think is unique in the extent to which it does so. Inevitably, this means that it has a very high level of expertise in that field, and is extremely well connected with its practitioners worldwide, including government officials.‘
‘Robert Volterra, a founding partner, comes with a great deal of experience in other law firms (including Latham and Watkins) and combines high intellectual ability with very good practical judgement. His partner Graham Coop, is a very experienced New Zealand barrister who, immediately before joining Volterra Fietta, was General Counsel to the Energy Charter Secretariat, a highly responsible post. Graham Koop is a very careful lawyer whose judgement I respect. Alvaro Nistal, counsel, is a young lawyer both Spanish and English qualified (among other things, this gives the firm the capability of dealing with Latin American issues); my experience of him is that he is an energetic and capable lawyer. Over the years I have had dealings with a number of the firm’s associates, who all seem very able. For example, Govert Coppens and Gunjan Sharma..‘
OI European Group
Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes and Owens-Illinois de Venezuela
Koch Minerals / Koch Nitrogen International
- Represented Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes and Owens-Illinois de Venezuela in an ICSID annulment proceeding arising from a bifurcation request and five disqualification proposal disputes; overall value approximately USD $1bn.
Winston & Strawn LLP's international arbitration practice offers 'a high-quality product tailored to the demand of clients', which include sovereign states, government-owned entities and Latin American investors. It continues to represent Dominion Minerals against the Republic of Panama concerning the treatment and protection of investments in a copper and gold concession, along with matters in financial services and oil and gas. Chicago-based global international arbitration chair Ricardo Ugarte, who has 'an ability to understand and adapt to a complex political context'; he co-leads the team – alongside New York-based Julissa Reynoso, who possesses a 'high degree of technical knowledge'.
‘The integrated team has formidable professional skills, demonstrated an ability to understand and adapt to a complex political context, and provided a high quality product tailored to the demand of clients. This mix of skills has not been easy to find before in another firm.‘
‘Team leader, Julissa Reynoso, demonstrated a high degree of technical knowledge, political sensitivity, and a high level of public speaking skills.‘
Dominion Minerals Corp
- Representing Dominion Minerals against the Republic of Panama concerning the treatment and protection of investments in a copper and gold concession.