International arbitration in United States
A giant in the world of arbitration, New York-based Debevoise & Plimpton LLP offers a full range of service in both international commercial and investment arbitration, where it acts for sovereign states, companies and individuals. The practice group has wide-ranging experience acting on the side of claimants and respondents, and has had recent strong showings in the energy, mining, oil and gas, telecoms, financial services, and pharmaceutical sectors. Clients praise the team’s skills in producing ‘first-rate written product’ and its ability to deliver ‘top-notch advocacy’ during arbitration hearings. This strength showed itself in the group's high-profile $5.8bn win for claimant Tethyan Copper Company in arbitration proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; the dispute arose out a mining project in Pakistan, and resulted in the second-largest award ever rendered in the history of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Apart from its proven track record of success, the group is also distinguished by the unsurpassed presence of multiple ‘top practitioners in the field’, all prominent in arbitration and public international law affairs. Donald Donovan served as president of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and shares leadership of the group with David W. Rivkin – former president of the International Bar Association, who boasts arbitration leadership experience across five continents. Further, Mark Friedman is vice president of the ICC Court of Arbitration; Natalie Reid is a director at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA); and Catherine Amirfar, recommended for investor-state arbitration, presides over the American Society of International Law. Ina Popova is routinely involved in disputes arising in Africa and Latin America. Associate Laura Sinisterra has also been singled out by clients.
Donald Donovan; David W. Rivkin
Other key lawyers:
‘The best international arbitration practice in the world‘
‘An extremely collaborative group of lawyers: their research is precise, their examinations – crisp, and they are incredibly client-oriented.‘
‘Debevoise & Plimpton’s lawyers have appeared before me as advocates in ICC cases, where I acted as one of three arbitrators. They are outstanding advocates – among the best I have seen in my capacity as an arbitrator.‘
‘Debevoise’s international arbitration team is composed of some of the top practitioners in the field. They are thoughtful, strategic, and work well together, so that a superior result can be achieved. The diverse range of experience that the lawyers bring also allows the practice to arrive at novel solutions to complex problems, which is a testament to their capabilities.‘
‘Debevoise works in small teams, which makes their work very efficient.‘
‘The team’s written work product is first-rate — clear, well written, and focused on the important points. The team members’ oral advocacy is top-notch as well — they focus on the key points, avoid marginal arguments, and are excellent cross-examiners.‘
‘I instructed a Debevoise team consisting of Mark Friedman and Ina Popova who are supported by associate Laura Sinisterra (among others) in international arbitration matters. Exceptional team work. Mark is incredibly thorough and a superb orator before the tribunal, especially under pressure during the rebuttal. Ina speaks multiple languages, has a genius academic legal brain, and is a very passionate orator. Laura has a tremendous capacity to assimilate huge amounts of complicated and diverse information and work tirelessly to formulate a legal argument. They really are an exceptional team.‘
‘Mark Friedman is extremely knowledgeable, highly skilled, and terrific in client service.‘
‘David Rivkin’s oral advocacy was the best I have ever seen.‘
‘David Rivkin is the best international arbitration practitioner. David is brilliant in his knowledge, but also the kind of lawyer who can serve as a trusted advisor.‘
‘Donald Donovan is a top practitioner, and his level of knowledge and expertise is unparalleled.‘
‘Catherine Amirfar is grounded, wildly smart, and tremendously hardworking. Her previous role working for the U.S. State Department provides her with insight that few other practitioners can provide, particularly as it relates to the pressure points that arise in the context of investor-state arbitrations. In addition, her sense of humor, level-headedness, and practical guidance are qualities that make working with her a pleasure when the stakes are high. There are very few lawyers of her caliber in the field.‘
Centerbridge Partners Europe
Government of Grenada
Government of Qatar
Gramercy Funds Management
Makae Europe Sarl
Occidental Petroleum Company
The Republic of Iraq
Royal Dutch Shell
Tethyan Copper Company Pty
- Successfully represented Perenco Ecuador against the Republic of Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration concerning Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of the Hydrocarbons Law (Law 42) and its declaration that Perenco’s Participation Contracts had come to an end.
- Successfully represented six Italian claimants against the Republic of Albania in an ICSID arbitration under the Albania-Italy Bilateral Investment Treaty concerning investments in the Albanian energy and television broadcasting sectors.
- Representing the Government of Grenada as a respondent in an ICSID arbitration arising out of reforms to the electricity sector.
- Representing Gramercy Funds Management and Gramercy Peru Holdings in an investment treaty arbitration against the Government of Peru arising pursuant to the U.S.- Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.
- Acting for Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and Pangea Minerals, subsidiaries of Acacia Mining, in a consolidated London-seated mining arbitration against the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acts for clients both in commercial and investment arbitral proceedings, either instituted under the rules of any of the leading arbitral institutions or initiated on an ad hoc basis. The US team is an important part of the firm's global arbitration strength and is able to draw on the expertise of arbitration specialists spread across 18 offices worldwide. Washington DC-based Nigel Blackaby heads the global arbitration group. The US arbitration group is led out of New York by Noiana Marigo.
King & Spalding LLP fields ‘an extraordinary arbitration team’, with recent work shows its strengths across a range of commercial and investment arbitration work, as well as arbitration-related litigation. The group’s ability to act worldwide is enhanced by the firm’s global network and the arbitration experience of its counterparts spread across 17 offices worldwide. In Houston, the team is routinely involved in disputes relating to large projects in the oil and gas industry; John Bowman is a well-known name in this space, as is Reginald Smith, whom clients have singled out as 'vigilant, courteous, and persuasive'. The group has a strength in energy disputes across the board, but also acts for leading construction, manufacturing, transport, telecoms, and hospitality companies. Further, demonstrating its ability to represent individual investors equally well, the team recently secured a $45m award for Dutch national Trinh Vinh Binh in an arbitration initiated under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; at the time of writing, this victory marks the largest compensation for moral damages awarded to an individual investor to date. Also recommended is New-York based Viren Mascarenhas, who represented the UK claimants in a £3bn UNCITRAL arbitration against Uruguay. The department is led by Edward Kehoe and Doak Bishop, based in New York and Houston, respectively. The group’s French language arbitration offering was somewhat weakened with the departure of Caline Mouawad to dispute resolution boutique Chaffetz Lindsey LLP in December 2019.
Doak Bishop; Edward Kehoe
‘An extremely responsive and business-savvy team, which provides solutions that take into account the business objectives of its clients.‘
‘It was our first and sole arbitration of such a huge scale, which made the team’s input crucial and essential.‘
‘Public international law is an extremely narrow field in which King & Spalding is an experienced player.‘
‘King & Spalding has an extraordinary international arbitration team consisting of people specialized in different areas. They have a deep understanding of construction disputes and international arbitration.‘
‘Doak Bishop is not only a highly accomplished and distinguished practitioner, but a leader in the field.‘
‘I would recommend Doak Bishop for his capacity to distil the main elements of a complex dispute, simplify them, and deliver clear messages to arbitral tribunals. His delivery during hearings is impressive.‘
‘Reginald Smith is vigilant, courteous, persuasive, and able to consider all aspects of a potential settlement.‘
Unión Fenosa Gas
Government of Turkey
AT&T / Bellsouth
Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi S.A.
Corporación América S.A.
Salini Impregilo S.p.A.
- Representing numerous renewable energy clients in 18 investment arbitrations brought under the Energy Charter Treaty against Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania.
- Secured a groundbreaking victory for Shell and Chevron in a S$4bn ICC arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines concerning the allocation of petroleum revenues.
- Representing Spanish energy company Unión Fenosa Gas in three arbitrations (one investment and two commercial) against the Government of Egypt and its national natural gas company, Egas.
- Representing Rockhopper Group in an ICSID arbitration initiated under the Energy Charter Treaty.
- Acting for the Government of Turkey in four sets of arbitral proceedings.
The ‘excellent’ full-service international arbitration group at White & Case LLP handles an impressive number of cases for sovereign clients, thereby cementing its market-leading position in international investment arbitration. The team is also adept at acting for corporate clients in commercial arbitral proceedings, and is regularly retained for construction, energy, mining and metals, and oil and gas sector work in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Americas. It is led out of Washington DC by Abby Cohen Smutny, who heads the global international arbitration group, and Carolyn Lamm, who serves as head of the Americas arbitration practice. However, the practice group also has a strong presence in New York - where key contacts include Paul Friedland, Ank Santens and Damien Nyer - and Houston; it is also well placed to call upon the expertise of arbitration specialists from across its global network. The Houston-based team has focused on serving Portuguese-speaking clients, among others; following his arrival from King & Spalding LLP, Jorge Mattamouros has become instrumental to the team’s offering in this regard.
Abby Cohen Smutny; Carolyn Lamm
‘This is an excellent team with the legal knowledge, advocacy experience, and organizational skills to get the job done and win the case.‘
‘The team is amazing, flexible, and creative. The overall level of service is excellent.‘
‘We have engaged White & Case as a counsel in an investment arbitration. We are thoroughly satisfied with the team’s performance. The lawyers respond quickly and effectively to our requests in every situation. They are client-oriented and go to great lengths to ensure the efficient use of the client’s time. They ensure that we remain fully informed and that our input is sought in a comfortable and accommodating manner. The team is well attuned to our organizational needs, and is able to grasp the details of the case as well as the big picture.‘
‘The team of White & Case LLP has extensive expertise and experience in all types of arbitration cases before the most-renown international arbitration institutions and in ad hoc arbitrations. The team is also very efficient and well-organized.‘
‘Abby Cohen Smutny is an exceptional counsel who impresses with reliable strategic judgement and excellent advocacy skills.‘
‘Abby Cohen Smutny shows excellent strategic thinking, and sound and reliable judgment. She impresses with her deep knowledge of public international law, international investment law, and extensive experience in international arbitration.‘
‘Ank Santens is an effective cross-examiner.‘
‘Paul Friedland is a top-tier international arbitration expert with a wealth of experience.‘
‘Damien Nyer is a hard worker.‘
‘I believe that Damien Nyer will be a future leader in international arbitration. Damien has an exceptional ability to read a situation and understand his client’s needs.‘
Republic of Bulgaria
Executive Chamber of the State of New York
Republic of Uzbekistan
Republic of Korea
The Russian Federation
Salini Impregilo S.p.A. / Jan De Nul N.V. / Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Republic of Peru
- Acting for the Republic of Bulgaria in multiple investment arbitrations; scored a recent €750m win in EVN AG v. Republic of Bulgaria, an ICSID arbitration initiated in relation to the country’s electricity regulation.
- Representing the Russian Federation in Yukos-related proceedings, as well as in an UNCITRAL arbitration commenced against the client by Mr Sergey Pugachev in relation to alleged unlawful expropriation, mistreatment, and denial of justice.
- Scored a win for the State of New York against the Seneca Nation of Indians, a sovereign Native American tribe operating three casinos in western New York, in in an American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration related to the Nation’s ongoing failure to share with the State its casino revenues.
- Achieved a victory for the Republic of Uzbekistan in Oxus Gold v Uzbekistan, with the Paris Court of Appeal rejecting the claimant’s attempt to revive its billion-dollar investment treaty claim against Uzbekistan.
- Representing the Republic of Korea as respondent in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated by New York-based hedge fund Mason Capital, pursuant to the US – Korea Free Trade Agreement, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), and seated in Singapore.
Chaired by Paolo Di Rosa in Washington DC, Arnold & Porter's arbitration group has a notable presence on the East Coast, where it is noted for its extensive experience in mandates relating to Latin America; both Di Rosa and Gaela Gehring Flores are bilingual and able to act in arbitration proceedings conducted in Spanish. For a decade now, the practice has remained strong on the West Coast as well. A contact in San Francisco is Maria Chedid, who serves as a US representative appointed to the Paris-based ICC Court of Arbitration. Taken across the board, the US team is known for its record of success in acting for sovereign clients in investment treaty arbitrations, though it also represents corporate clients and is regularly engaged to handle international commercial arbitrations. For cross-border matters, the team benefits from the expertise of its counterparts based in London, Shanghai, and the firm’s newly opened office in Seoul. Team members also routinely act in the capacity of arbitrators appointed to arbitral panels in proceedings conducted under the auspices of the ICSID.
Paolo Di Rosa
Other key lawyers:
Republic of Korea
Republic of Philippines
Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S.
Republic of Panama
Republic of Chile
Republic of Costa Rica
- Representing the Republic of Korea in the first investment treaty arbitration ever filed against Korea, with $4.4bn claims brought pursuant to the investment treaty concluded between Korea and the Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union.
- Defending the Republic of the Philippines in an investor-State treaty dispute brought by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. concerning the single largest foreign investment in the Philippines’ history — a deepwater natural gas project known as the “Malampaya Project”.
- Acted as lead counsel to claimant Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S., a Turkish energy company, in a successful ICSID arbitration initiated against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
- Served as lead counsel to the Czech Republic in the defense of seven investment treaty arbitrations arising out of the country’s reforms in its solar power sector.
- Defending the Republic of Panama in an ICSID arbitration against a $20m claim filed by US-based subsidiaries of Bridgestone Corporation (the Japanese tyre company) under the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s eight-partner group is led out of New York by Jeffrey Rosenthal, Howard Zelbo and Ari MacKinnon, and routinely works in conjunction with its European counterparts; most often, with the teams in Paris and London. Jonathan Blackman splits time between London and New York, and specializes in securities, banking and insurance law. Multiple team members have outstanding experience both in litigation and arbitration, and in the context of general corporate disputes, the department benefits from the firm’s leading corporate teams across the globe. Of particular note this past year has been the group’s investment arbitration work at the ICSID, where it acts for sovereign clients including the Hellenic Republic and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Elsewhere, the team is regularly engaged in international commercial arbitrations, acting for large corporate clients active in sectors such as financial services, telecoms, energy, mining, and oil and gas, among others.
Jeffrey Rosenthal; Howard Zelbo; Ari MacKinnon
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Blackman; Matthew Slater
‘The team has a deep understanding of the business and the commercial relationships underpinning the legal issues, which enables it to seek the most adequate legal response.‘
‘The team is very thorough in its research and its understanding of the case. Almost nothing remains unconsidered and, as a consequence, there are few surprises. This is the most thorough and best prepared law firm I have worked with.‘
‘Jeffrey Rosenthal invests a huge amount of energy and shows great focus on the needs of the client. His drive to find the optimum route forward leads to robust arguments and strong lines of cross-examination.‘
‘Ari MacKinnon is extremely smart and experienced.‘
‘Howard Zelbo offers exceptional insight, identifying key issues in both claimant- and defendant-oriented cases. His cross-examination skills are of the highest order. If you have a case you have to win, this is the guy you hire.‘
‘Howard Zelbo and Ari MacKinnon are recommended for their proactivity and their continuous drive to push for the best possible solution.‘
Vitro Flat Glass
The Hellenic Republic – Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co.
Telecom Italia International N.V / Telecom Italia S.p.A
The Republic of Argentina
Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.
The Republic of Tatarstan / The Ministry of Land and Property Relations of the Republic of Tatarstan
The Russian Federation
- Acting for claimant Vale, one of the largest mining and metals companies in the world, in an LCIA arbitration in London initiated against its former joint venture partner BSGR for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, and frustration.
- Representing DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru, initiated in relation to a concession agreement for the development and operation of the South Pier of the Port of Callao, Peru’s largest commercial port.
- Representing OJSC Tatneft in an UNCITRAL arbitration under the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, arising out of a forcible raider takeover of the Kremenchug refinery in Ukraine.
- Acting for Mexican glass company Vitro in an ICC arbitration arising out of a breach of contract dispute between Vitro and its counterparties, Fuyao Glass Illinois and Fuyao Glass America.
- Representing the Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration brought by Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd for alleged violations of the Cyprus-Hellenic Republic bilateral investment treaty, arising out of measures taken in 2012 to address the Hellenic Republic’s financial and sovereign debt crisis.
Described by clients as ‘impressive across the board’, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is at the forefront of investment treaty arbitration – an area in which it is recognized as the go-to counsel for sovereign clients and state-owned enterprises. With more than 100 high-profile arbitrations in its docket over a five-year period, it is difficult to single out any one matter, though among its notable work, the team has been representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for over a decade. The international arbitration is led out of New York by firm chairman George Kahale III, an ‘outstanding manager’; in the same office, Benard Preziosi Jr is noted for his significant expertise in the quantification of damages. The New York team is noted in particular for its track record in the energy, oil and gas, and telecoms sectors. The Washington DC-based team is also highly regarded in the oil and gas sector, as well as in the areas of mining and financial services. Claudia Frutos-Peterson (‘well respected’) is the name to note in the DC office; she is active in investor-state arbitrations, but also regularly receives arbitrator appointments.
George Kahale III
‘I was impressed with Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle’s international arbitration team and its ability to develop smart and effective strategies for complex legal issues and to execute those strategies with excellent expertise, novelty and professional diligence.‘
‘Curtis’ lawyers are working closely with their clients and local partners to gain in-depth knowledge of the facts and local laws, which is quite essential for improving their ability to successfully defend their clients’ interests in complex international arbitration cases. Clients are feeling that they are being taken care of by motivated and capable lawyers.‘
‘Curtis Mallet has a great international arbitration team, which is impressive across the board. Very creative, very responsive, and very hands-on.‘
‘The lawyers at Curtis’ international arbitration practice are very well-prepared, and present very clear, logical, and persuasive cases both in written pleadings and at hearings. What distinguishes them is that they truly believe in the cases they present. They are the best advocates a client could wish for.‘
‘The team is fully dedicated, and has shown a clear understanding of the operations and the challenges faced by governments and state-owned entities.‘
‘George Kahale is one of the smartest men I have ever met. On top of that, he is an outstanding manager. He builds teams of experts and lawyers that are dedicated to the case and assist each other; their work capacity and flexibility to adapt to changes and learn the key-to-win core business elements exceeds most service organizations.‘
‘George Kahale is a top lawyer in international arbitration. I am impressed by his simple and effective strategies. He has a great ability to develop novel arguments that are right to the point.‘
‘George Kahale is a bright legal mind with an excellent understanding of how companies and governments work in the real world. He is unbeatable in both commercial and investment arbitration.‘
‘I feel greatly confident working with Claudia Frutos-Peterson due to her professional diligence and her in-depth understanding of arbitration. She is very good at dealing with people, works hard, and always takes good care of all details of the cases. She would never give up and would not stop working until she feels comfortable with all aspects of her client’s defense. All this makes her a prominent and well-respected lawyer that can successfully lead a strong defense in complex international arbitration cases.‘
‘Benard Preziosi is always very well-prepared and has an excellent command of all facts of the case, which results in his presentation of very persuasive arguments.‘
Republic of India
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela / Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)
Republic of Cyprus
Republic of Indonesia
Republic of Kazakhstan
Kingdom of Spain
State of Libya & National Oil Corporation of Libya
Republic of Uganda
State of Kuwait
Ghana National Petroleum Corporation
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mellitah Oil & Gas B.V.
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
The United Nations
G.N. Terminal Enterprises
Republic of Ecuador
- Represented the Republic of India in seven high-profile disputes, including in the parallel investment treaty claims arising out of the taxation of Vodafone in connection with its acquisition of telecoms sector assets in India in 2007.
- Acted for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and PDVSA in three high-value matters involving claims by affiliates of ConocoPhillips.
- Represented the Republic of Ghana in AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited v Republic of Ghana, an ICSID case arising out of an alleged breach of a mining lease.
- Scored a victory for the Republic of Cyprus in an ICC arbitration arising out of the country’s regulatory measures adopted in the banking industry, resulting in the dismissal of $1.1bn claims.
- Achieved a victory for the respondent in Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining Pty Ltd v Republic of Indonesia, an ICSID arbitration concerning the country’s alleged revocation of mining licenses.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP maintains a busy arbitration practice covering international commercial- and investment treaty arbitration, acting for foreign sovereigns, US and foreign companies, and financial institutions. The team has also developed a reputation in disputes involving a political element. The practice group has an extensive footprint across Washington DC, New York, and Miami. The wider arbitration group is jointly led by New York-based John Fellas and Hagit Muriel Elul, alongside John Townsend in Washington DC. Also in DC is James Boykin, who chairs the investment treaty arbitration practice. The Miami-based team was strengthened by the arrival of Luis O’Naghten, who joined from Baker McKenzie LLP in February 2019; a fluent Spanish speaker, O’Naghten is especially experienced in handling disputes involving Latin America. Clients have also singled out New York-based Daniel Weiner for art-related disputes. Sector strengths in the wider team include financial services, mining, energy, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and real estate.
John Fellas; Hagit Muriel Elul; John Townsend; James Boykin
‘Daniel Weiner is exceptionally knowledgeable about the art business, which is essential in art disputes. He has a calm and collaborative manner.‘
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings
Global Gaming Philippines / GGAM Netherlands B.V.
Hardy Oil and Gas
The Pellas Group / SER Corporation
- Representing Ukrainian investors in five arbitrations against the Russian Federation initiated pursuant to the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, with the disputes arising out of measures carried out after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
- Acted as lead counsel to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) in an ICC arbitration seated in Tokyo against Canadian uranium concentrate supplier Cameco, arising out of arose out of TEPCO’s termination of a $1.2bn long-term uranium supply contract.
- Represented Global Gaming Asset Management in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Bloomberry Resorts and Hotel alongside Sureste Properties, with the dispute arising out of Bloomberry’s 2013 termination of the Management Services Agreement concluded between the parties.
- Acting for US real estate developer Edmond Khudyan in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Armenia.
- Representing Westwater Resources in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Turkey, arising out of the country’s taking of uranium mining licenses.
Three Crowns LLP
Three Crowns LLP is considered by some of its clients to be ‘one of the premier arbitration practices in the world’. Indeed, the team has carved out a reputation for acting in significant international commercial- and investment treaty arbitrations, and is equally strong in acting for sovereigns and private sector clients. Key figures in the DC team include Luke Sobota, recently promoted partner Liz Snodgrass, and founding partner and widely recognized practitioner Jan Paulsson, who splits his time between Washington DC and the firm’s newly opened office in Manama, Bahrain. The US-based practice also leads on high-profile matters in conjunction with the firm’s market-leading teams in London and Paris. Among its recent highlights, the team has had particularly strong showings in the oil and gas sector. In one example, the group teamed up with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, scoring a $8bn victory for ConocoPhillips in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in relation to the country’s expropriation of ConocoPhillips’ upstream assets in the Orinoco oil belt.
Jan Paulsson; Luke Sobota; Liz Snodgrass
Other key lawyers:
Ben Jones; Simon Consedine
‘What started as a boutique has quickly grown into one of the premier arbitration practices in the world. The quality of the lawyers’ legal work, their experience, and their results are all excellent.‘
‘In addition to the well-known arbitration stars (led by Jan Paulsson), the team includes excellent young partners such as Luke Sobota, who is one of the best and brightest practitioners in the field.‘
Kingdom of Bahrain
Sultanate of Oman
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Acting for Chevron Corporation in its investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador before an arbitral tribunal under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
- Representing the Kingdom of Bahrain in its first-known investor-state dispute, which was initiated under the Iran-Bahrain bilateral investment treaty by Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran.
- Acting as lead counsel representing Crescent Petroleum in an arbitration against Iranian state-owned enterprise NIOC.
- Representing Elliott Associates in an investment claim that has been brought under the UNCITRAL Rules arising out of a high-profile State corruption scandal.
- Assisting ExxonMobil with recommencing ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, following a finding by an annulment committee that the prior $1.4bn award is invalid due to the original arbitral tribunal exceeding its powers.
Baker Botts L.L.P. is adept at acting for clients in international commercial arbitration conducted under the rules of nearly all leading arbitral institutions, with particular experience of ICC and AAA arbitration. The team has a particular strength in handling disputes relating to IP rights, breaches of contract, and energy and construction projects, among others. Michael Goldberg and Jay Alexander jointly lead the firm-wide practice group from Houston and London, respectively, and indeed, clients have shown appreciation for this transatlantic presence. The group has a significant market presence in New York as well, where Edward Schorr and Andrew Behrman are key figures.
Michael Goldberg; Jay Alexander
‘Baker Botts has a transatlantic, tremendously experienced and savvy international arbitration practice.‘
‘Michael Goldberg and London-based Jay Alexander are the practitioners who I know best. Both are smart, efficient, practical, great to deal with, creative, focused, and knowledgeable in the field.‘
Cobalt International Energy Angola
- Acted for leading oil exploration and production company Cobalt International Energy Angola in an ICC arbitration against respondent Sonangol, arising out of a sale and purchase agreement relating to two off-shore blocks located off the coast of Angola.
- Acting for Oxbow Calcining in a pending AAA arbitration against Port Arthur Steam Energy, arising out of the terms of a Heat Energy Agreement concluded between the parties.
- Represented former soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo in a AAA arbitration with US Soccer Federation, with a three-arbitrator panel entering an award in favor of the client and confirming that US Soccer’s grievance procedure is in violation of federal law under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.
A decade following its establishment, New York-based dispute resolution boutique Chaffetz Lindsey LLP enjoys a very strong reputation in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration, having acted in arbitrations seated in more than 20 jurisdictions. Team members are multilingual (fluent particularly in Spanish and Portuguese), and are trained both in civil and common law jurisdictions. Among the firm's leading figures, Aníbal Sabater typically focuses on matters involving Latin America; name partner David Lindsey advises a number of large Brazilian construction clients; and Yasmine Lahlou stands out for her recent work in the construction sector. James Hosking leads the department and is a name to note for emergency arbitrator proceedings. Further, Caline Mouawad's arrival from King & Spalding LLP in December 2019 is a boost to the firm's ability to assist clients with arbitrations conducted in French.
Other key lawyers:
‘Chaffetz Lindsey is a unique firm as it is a boutique, with advantages which a boutique firm can offer in terms of arrangements, but which is still fully capable to provide excellent legal representation with an experienced team of lawyers. We particularly appreciate the partners’ involvement in the case.‘
‘We work with James Hosking and Yasmine Lahlou. Both are excellent and smart lawyers who can effectively advise us at each stage of the case. The written pleadings were concise and clear. They kept up with internal deadlines and delivered internal drafts on time. They are highly involved in the case, easily approachable, and flexible to our needs.‘
International Investment Group / IIG TOF B.V. / Trade Finance Trust
The AES Corporation
Construtora Queiroz Galvão S.A. (CQG)
QGI Oil & Gas Inc.
Government of the Cook Islands
Republic of Liberia
Società Esecuzione Lavori Idraulici, S.p.A.
HCC Insurance International Company
Cartesian Capital Group
Tvitec System S.L.
Government of Afghanistan
- Successfully represented a European energy company, as a respondent, in an ICC arbitration with a Spanish construction company concerning the termination of a civil works contract for a hydroelectric project in Central America.
- Successfully acted for NNPC, Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, in relation to its motion to dismiss a petition to enforce a $2.8bn arbitration award in a highly publicized decision in 2019.
- Represented International Investment Group in parallel ICC arbitrations, seated in Washington DC and Buenos Aires, against multiple South American entities.
- Acting for AES Corporation in an ICSID arbitration initiated against the Argentine Republic, seeking damages for energy sector breaches of the US-Argentina bilateral investment treaty.
- Represented Albacora, the world’s largest sustainable tuna fishing company, in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated against the Republic of Ecuador for arbitrary taxation measures imposed within a free trade zone.
Foley Hoag LLP
Building upon its historical reputation in state-state arbitration, Foley Hoag LLP’s international litigation and arbitration team is currently posting a 90% success rate collectively across state-state-, international commercial-, and investor-state arbitration. The group stands out in particular for its excellent and exclusive representation of sovereign clients. While the firm is headquartered in Boston, the arbitration group is spread nationwide across Boston; Washington DC, where global group chair Paul Reichler and deputy chair Lawrence Martin are based; and New York, where Daniel Schimmel leads the arbitration team. The US-based practitioners also regularly act in conjunction with their colleagues in Paris, enabling the team to represent clients in proceedings conducted in French, as well as in English and Spanish. Clients have also spoken highly of Washington DC-based investment treaty arbitration specialist and ‘strategy maestro’ Constantinos Salonidis.
Paul Reichler; Lawrence Martin
Other key lawyers:
‘Best in class ever – best knowledge, best practices, and tremendous experience‘
‘Foley Hoag’s lawyers stand out for their expertise in international arbitration, as well as for their ability to provide prompt answers to legal issues concerning foreign jurisdictions.‘
‘The international focus of the firm, its deep knowledge of the international arbitration field, and the wise choice of the people involved in cases – these are the firm’s strongest assets.‘
‘We appreciate the team spirit and the professionalism in the delivery of service to the client, coupled with the team’s discipline and high level of commitment.‘
‘Amazing experience in arbitration – you feel absolutely solid in your case when you have Foley Hoag on your side.‘
‘Constantinos Salonidis is a leader with deep knowledge, a strategy maestro, and a person with naturally good manners.‘
Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Company
Bangladesh Power Development Board
Bangladesh Oil Gas and Mineral Corporation
Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima
Public Gas Corporation of Greece
Natural Gas Transmission System of Greece
- Representing the Republic of Ecuador in the damages phase of Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Corporation v The Republic of Ecuador, a high-profile investor-state arbitration conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules.
- Representing the government of Uruguay in Ritika Mehta, Vinita Agarwal, and Prenay Agarwal v the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning what would have been the largest mineral mine project in the country, covering up to 10% of the country’s territory.
- Acting for the Republic of Albania in annulment proceedings concerning an ICSID arbitral award rendered in Hydro S.r.l. and others v Republic of Albania.
- Successfully acted for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in a $633m ICSID arbitration initiated by a Netherlands Antilles company and conducted in Spanish, as well as in the subsequent annulment proceedings before a court in Paris.
- Representing the Hellenic Republic of Greece in an UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration initiated by Wuxi T. Hertz Technologies Co. and Jetion Solar Co. in relation to a photovoltaic project in Prosotsani, Greece.
Situated within the firm’s wider public international group, the team at Jenner & Block LLP is distinguished in part by its nationwide footprint spanning offices in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The group is known for acting both for investor- and sovereign clients in investment treaty arbitrations; in this space, it significantly bolstered its offering in New York with the arrival of the ‘very talented’ Mélida Hodgson, who joined from Foley Hoag LLP in the spring of 2019. New York-based Elizabeth Edmondson is also recommended; she is experienced in the areas aerospace, manufacturing, and energy. Practice co-chair Richard Ziegler retired in May 2019. Patrick Pearsall joined Allen & Overy LLP in May 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Melida Hodgson; Elizabeth Edmondson; Patricia Cruz Trabanino
‘A practical and fast-responding team‘
‘The team has a good mix of experience and backgrounds, which seemed to work well together. The team took a thoughtful and practical approach, and worked hard.‘
‘A growing, high-quality arbitration practice including the very talented Mélida Hodgson.‘
‘Mélida Hodgson has decades of arbitration and trade experience, and is particularly valued as an adviser to States and State-owned enterprises.‘
‘Melida Hodgson is a true LatAm and investment treaty specialist.‘
‘I worked with Elizabeth Edmondson. Elizabeth did a very good job on complex legal issues, and was impressive in oral arguments and cross-examination.‘
Republic of Peru
Republic of Panama
Municipality of Lima
Kraft Foods Inc.
- Acting as the lead team representing a Latin American State in a multimillion-dollar ICSID contractual arbitration involving a large infrastructure project.
- Representing ArcelorMittal in enforcement proceedings concerning a $1.4bn arbitral award against Essar Steel administered by the ICC Court.
- Representing the Redeemer Committee of the Highland Crusader Funds with arbitral award proceedings in Delaware.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s US-based international arbitration group works seamlessly with its colleagues from across the firm’s global network. Though the department's work reflects the firm’s global reputation in the commercial arbitration space, the team is also adept at handling investment treaty arbitrations, placing particular emphasis on IICSID and UNCITRAL arbitrations. The majority of the team is based in the Houston office, and among them are global practice co-head Mark Baker, and Kevin O’Gorman, whom clients have singled out for arbitration initiated in relation to oil and gas sector disputes. The team also has a presence in Washington DC, where Matthew Kirtland is a name to note for disputes concerning the recognition and the enforcement of arbitral awards. The team’s client roster mostly consists of large corporations and global financial institutions, although it is also representing sovereigns, the Republic of Kazakhstan being one such example.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong team with diverse skills across arbitration and experience in state courts‘
‘Deep knowledge of arbitration in the oil and gas sector‘
‘The team works seamlessly with the client’s in-house legal team and business. The advocacy of Mark Baker and Kevin O’Gorman is exceptional.‘
‘Kevin O’Gorman is an exceptional and talented lawyer, whose clients have come to expect creativity and results.‘
‘Kevin O’Gorman has deep knowledge of the oil and gas market, and is a skilled advocate in the international arbitration space. He is a problem solver, superb lawyer and advocate. He is clearly a lawyer who takes a passionate interest in his client’s business, aims and objectives and selflessly strives to get the best result possible for his clients. Kevin is always able to build a valuable and genuine rapport with tribunals, ensuring his submissions are treated with respect at all times.‘
Mobil Investments Canada
Gold Reserve Corporation
The Republic of Kazakhstan
Martin-Baker Aircraft Company
- Representing Mobil Investments Canada against Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 arbitration conducted under the ICSID Arbitration Rules.
- Acting for Gold Reserve in enforcement proceedings against the Republic of Venezuela concerning a $760m award issued in the client’s favor by a tribunal constituted under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules.
Shearman & Sterling LLP is perhaps best known for its experience in the construction sector, but the team is equally adept at acting in international commercial- and investment treaty arbitrations for clients in the areas of mining and natural resources, energy, financial services, and chemicals. The US-based team is led out of New York by Henry Weisburg, and focuses on matters relating to the Americas. However, the team is an integral part of the firm-wide arbitration practice, and often acts on global matters in conjunction with its colleagues in Paris, London, and Abu Dhabi. The group has presence in Washington DC as well, where Christopher Ryan and Jonathan Greenblatt are the key contacts. Also recommended is New York-based Daniel Reich, who has had recent strong showings in post-M&A arbitration.
‘My experience with Shearman & Sterling has been in working with the team on international arbitrations in the construction sector. The teams in the firm’s offices in New York, London, Abu Dhabi and Paris have built up a considerable reserve of experience in the construction field.‘
Republic of Panama
The Dow Chemical Company
Empresa Nacional del Petróleo
Egyptian Natural Gas Hodling Company
- Representing the Republic of Panama in an investment treaty arbitration initiated by Omega Engineering and Mr. Oscar Rivera, with the claims being brought under the US-Panama bilateral investment treaty and trade promotion agreement.
- Representing Enka İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş. in an action before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to enforce a $47m award rendered in an ICC arbitration against the Republic of Gabon.
- Representing Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company as respondent in an arbitration conducted under the rules of The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), initiated by Union Fenosa Gas in Madrid.
- Representing an Australasian international oil company as respondent in a AAA arbitration initiated by a North American international oil company.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
The New York-based international litigation and arbitration group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is active in complex bet-the-company disputes, placing emphasis on commercial and investment treaty arbitration, as well as litigation seeking to enforce arbitral awards. The firm is a destination for large corporate clients active in sectors including consumer products, financial services, telecoms, oil and gas, and energy. Global group co-leader John Gardiner heads the department, and Julie Bédard serves as head of the Americas practice. The team is also noted for its language skills, boasting the ability to act in arbitration proceedings conducted in French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Other key lawyers:
WilmerHale has ‘lots of international arbitration experience’, which it leverages both in commercial and investment treaty arbitration mandates. The group has a notable strength in arbitration in the IP and financial services sectors, where it collaborates with the firm’s leading IP litigation and securities departments, respectively. Further industry-specific expertise include the oil and gas, telecoms, manufacturing, aviation, and automotive sectors. Washington DC-based Rachael Kent serves as vice-chair of the global arbitration group, and John Pierce heads the US practice in the office in New York. The New York-based team also benefits from the experience of senior counsel and chair at the New York International Arbitration Center James Carter, who has acted in the capacity of counsel or appointed arbitrator in more than 150 arbitrations worldwide.
Rachael Kent; John Pierce
Other key lawyers:
James Carter; John Trenor; Danielle Morris
‘The practice has lots of international arbitration experience and includes one of the most prominent lawyers in the field – James Carter, who has vast experience and sharp intelligence.‘
Baker & Hostetler LLP’s lawyers have extensive experience acting for sovereigns, international organizations, and private clients. In addition to its solid track in commercial and investor-state arbitration, the team is also well-equipped to handle issues relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards, both in litigation proceedings and in asset tracing and recovery mandates. Contacts in Washington DC include Kenneth Reisenfeld and practice head Mark Cymrot, who has niche expertise in matters involving the application of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Indeed, the majority of the group is based in DC office, though the team also has presence in Houston, where Sashe Dimitroff is recommended for his extensive experience in the energy sector.
‘Sashe Dimitroff is an experienced, savvy, and outstanding international arbitration attorney. He was our go-to lawyer for a key international dispute, and he delivered. Sashe’s business acumen, industry knowledge, attention to detail, and courtroom presence, made him a formidable asset to our company.‘
Empresa Siderúrgica del Mutún
Latam Hydro / CH Mamacocha
China Telecom / China Telecom (Americas) Corp.
Resolute Forest Products
Hydra-Pro Dutch Harbor
Evoqua Water Technologies
- Representing Latam Hydro LLC, a US company, and its Peruvian subsidiary, in a $50+m dispute with the Republic of Peru arbitrated under the ICSID rules, arising from the government’s interference with Latam’s development, construction and operation of a hydroelectric power plant.
- Acting for Resolute Forest Products in a $150m investor-state claim against the Government of Canada brought under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA.
- Representing Westmoreland Coal Company in a NAFTA Chapter 11 arbitration against the government of Canada, with the client seeking compensation in relation to the Alberta government’s phaseout of coal-fired electricity emissions by year 2030.
- Defending Empresa Siderurgica Del Mutun, a Bolivian state-owned company, in arbitration enforcement proceedings in the US District Court in connection with an $18m ICC arbitral award obtained by Jindal Steel, the subsidiary of an Indian company.
The US-based international arbitration team Baker McKenzie LLP uses the firm’s global network as a springboard for handling cross-border arbitrations, leveraging the availability of over 350 arbitration experts worldwide. As a result of an influx in investment-related disputes, the group is committed to developing its core investor-state practice. The department is led by North American arbitration group chair Michael Morkin and global group chair Brendan Cook, who are based in Chicago and Houston, respectively. In New York, the team is active in the enforcement of arbitral awards, an area where David Zaslowsky is a key contact. Grant Hanessian is also based in New York, and focuses on investment treaty arbitration.
Michael Morkin; Brendan Cook
Republic of Armenia
- Representing Manolium-Processing LLC in investment arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Belarus under the UNCITRAL rules and the provisions of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union of 29 October 2014.
- Acting for Austrian investor Georg Gavrilović and Croatian meat processing group Gavrilović d.o.o. in the first ICSID arbitration initiated against the Republic of Croatia.
- Representing Kazakh national gas operator KazTransGas JSC in arbitration proceedings conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules against Georgia, arising in relation to the investments of KazTransGas JSC in KazTransGas-Tbilisi LLP.
- Acting for two Indian investors in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Bosnia and Herzegovina initiated pursuant to the India-Bosnia and Herzegovina bilateral investment treaty.
- Acting for Owens-Illinois in enforcement efforts concerning a $485m ICSID arbitral award against the Republic of Venezuela for the expropriation of two plants in Venezuela.
Clifford Chance operates seamlessly as one global group handling both commercial and investment treaty arbitration, on an ad hoc basis and also pursuant to the rules of all notable arbitral institutions. Splitting time between New York and Washington DC, Ignacio Suárez Anzorena has a wealth of experience in arbitration administered under the rules of the ICSID.
Other key lawyers:
Based in New York, Cooley LLP’s international arbitration department specializes in commercial and investment treaty arbitration in the technology and life sciences sectors, though its recent work has also shown activity in the construction and energy sectors, as well as in post-M&A arbitrations and general commercial disputes. The department prides itself on its partner-led approach to dispute resolution, as well as on its transatlantic cooperation with its London-based counterpart, particularly in public international law issues. Mark Beckett, Marc Suskin and Rachel Thorn jointly lead the group.
Mark Beckett; Marc Suskin; Rachel Thorn
‘We have been extremely satisfied with the firm’s expertise and services.‘
‘Cooley’s lawyers take a great ownership of the project assigned to them. They are very creative, hardworking, and always deliver great results. As an in-house counsel, the best benefit of engaging the team is that you can have a full trust that they will deliver the legal services needed, with the same level of attention and diligence that an in-house counsel would show.‘
‘Marc Suskin is very knowledgeable, accessible, gives good feedback, and is able to communicate clearly with me without using a lot of legal jingo.‘
‘Marc Suskin is an extraordinary partner who has a great vision on structuring arguments, presenting them and dealing with unexpected shifts in the arbitration processes. He is a top-notch arbitration lawyer with great personal skills.‘
‘Mark Beckett is an exceptional lawyer in the arbitration field. His ideas, the way in which he presents them, and his performance in hearings, are incomparable.‘
Baymina Enerji, A.Ş.
TCR Sports Broadcasting Holding, LLP
Koch Minerals Sàrl / Koch Nitrogen International Sàrl
BM Mühendislik ve Ïnşaat A.Ş.
Bursel Tekstil Sanayi ve Diş Ticaret A.Ş
Odyssey Marine Exploration
- Acting for Odyssey Marine Exploration in an arbitration brought under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA against Mexico.
- Successfully represented Turkish construction companies Tekfen İnşaat ve Tesisat A.Ş. and TML İnşaat A.Ş, and their joint venture, as claimants in an ICC arbitration against the Republic of Libya and the Man-Made River Authority (a state-owned entity) pursuant to a construction contract.
- Representing Turkish companies Bursel Tekstil Sanayi Ve Diş Ticaret A.Ş., as well as Burhan Enuştekin and Selim Kaptanoğlu Bursel, in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Uzbekistan arising under the Turkish-Uzbek bilateral investment treaty and the Uzbek Foreign Investment Law.
- Acting for Turkish construction company BM Mühendslik ve Inşaat A.Ş. (BM Holding) in an ICSID arbitration against the United Arab Emirates under the Turkish-UAE bilateral investment treaty.
The Washington DC-based international arbitration practice at Dechert LLP acts both for claimants and respondents in investment treaty arbitration. Notably, the team is often retained for contentious issues involving alleged corruption and other economic crimes. It is also well-positioned to handle cross-border work thanks to the firm’s global presence; multiple work highlights demonstrate the team’s ability to cooperate with colleagues in Paris and London. Global group co-chair Arif Ali heads up the US practice and divides time between Washington DC and London. Alexandre de Gramont is praised for his ‘superb drafting and analytical skills’.
Other key lawyers:
Alexandre de Gramont; Érica Franzetti; Juan Felipe Merizalde Urdaneta
‘Certainly, this is an exceptional team with highly specialized professionals not only in arbitration procedures, but also in substantive matters related to the origin of the dispute, typically in sectors such as energy, construction, and mining.‘
‘Arif Ali is an excellent strategic thinker with superb client- and leadership skills.‘
‘Alexandre de Gramont is a gifted litigator with superb drafting and analytical skills.‘
‘For our case, Arif Ali put together a great team led by a knowledgeable appeals attorney and associates that responded to our needs with work of unmatched quality.‘
‘Special consultant Juan Felipe Merizalde Urdaneta is truly remarkable. His attention to detail and profound knowledge of arbitration makes him stand out. He makes himself available 24/7 and is always on top of things. He has a unique way of looking at difficult problems and making them simple and in a very persuasive narrative.‘
MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas
The Republic of Poland
Plurinational State of Bolivia
The Czech Republic
- Representing MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas Plc in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Croatia arising from the country’s treatment of the client’s $1.5bn investment.
- Acting for the Republic of Poland in recognition and enforcement proceedings in the US in relation to the award in Vincent J. Ryan, Schooner Capital LLC, and Atlantic Investment Partners LLC al. v the Republic of Poland.
- Representing the Plurinational State of Bolivia in a PCA arbitration against a US citizen and a Bolivian company (respectively, Julio Miguel Orlandini-Agreda and Compañía Minera Orlandini Ltd), relating to a dispute concerning a mining concession held by the company in Bolivia.
Dentons has a transatlantic strength both in investment treaty- and commercial arbitration, with clients recommending the New York-based team in particular for its ability to act in arbitral proceedings seated in London. Another of the team's strengths is in the post-arbitration procedures, particularly in relation to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards. Experienced arbitrator and mediator John Hay leads the international dispute resolution team; he is singled out by clients for his cross-examination skills. William O’Brien and Meriam Al-Rashid joined Eversheds Sutherland in March 2020.
‘The group has an excellent global reach, being able to run an arbitration in London using New York staff.‘
‘John Hay is unflappable, cool under pressure, and an excellent no-nonsense cross-examiner.‘
Gran Colombia Gold
GA Telesis, LLC
- Representing Champion Holding Company and other clients in an ICSID arbitration initiated against the Arab Republic of Egypt for expropriation-related breaches of the Egypt-US bilateral investment treaty.
- Successfully represented Thales SA, along with Thales Avionics in settling a dispute with Wamar International.
- Acting for Shanghai Qichengyueming Investment Partnership Enterprise in an action seeking to recognize and enforce a $100+m arbitral award issued by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission.
- Successfully assisted defense contractor Leidos Corporation with the enforcement of a $58m arbitral award against the Hellenic Republic in US District Court for the District of Columbia.
- Successfully represented US aviation company GA Telesis in an expedited LCIA arbitration against Transaero, formerly Russia’s second-largest commercial airline currently undergoing bankruptcy.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Based in the firm's New York office, Herbert Smith Freehills' international arbitration specialists act for sovereign and corporate clients in investor-state arbitrations throughout the Americas, and worldwide. The team's international proficiency is underlined by its ability to conduct proceedings in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic, among other languages. Dual-qualified (the US and England and Wales) Christian Leathley heads the practice group, which also plays a key role in the firm’s wider Latin America-facing service. Both Leathley and Amal Bouchenaki are praised as ‘brilliant arbitration partners’.
Other key lawyers:
Amal Bouchenaki; Florencia Villaggi
‘Christian Leathley and Amal Bouchenaki are brilliant arbitration partners.‘
Kingdom of Spain
Republic of Italy
- Acting as counsel for Chevron Corporation in connection with a sham arbitral award issued by an unlicensed, illegitimate “arbitration centre” in Cairo, Egypt.
- Representing the Kingdom of Spain in an UNCITRAL international investment arbitration filed under the Energy Charter Treaty by 14 investment funds from Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.
- Representing the Republic of Italy in its opposition to an enforcement action seeking the confirmation of an arbitral award, brought by Greentech Energy Systems A/S, NovEnergia General Partner S.A., and NovEnergia II Italian Portfolio.
Hogan Lovells US LLP has considerable experience representing construction, energy, and telecoms clients in international commercial- and investment arbitration. Miami-based Daniel González leads the global international arbitration group, and is able to represent clients in proceedings conducted both in English and Spanish. Fluent in Arabic and French, Samaa Haridi is the key arbitration practitioner in the New York office.
Other key lawyers:
Jones Day prides itself on its holistic approach to dispute resolution, and indeed the international arbitration team regularly works in conjunction with the firm’s appellate, IP, and asset tracing teams, among others. The group is also able to assist its large multinational corporate client base in various jurisdiction worldwide, owing to it cooperation with the firm’s arbitration teams in Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific. Of particular note, the practice has carved out a reputation for acting in disputes relating to large construction projects in the commercial arbitration space. On the investment treaty arbitration front, it focuses on issues arising in the energy sector; Charles Kotuby and Melissa Gorsline stand out in this regard. Gregory Shumaker leads the global disputes group, and San Francisco-based Marcus Quintanilla is recommended for handling Latin America-related mandates. Unless otherwise specified, all named practitioners are based in Washington DC.
Other key lawyers:
‘When I worked with Jones Day, I was impressed by the firm in that it was working as one team consisting lawyers from San Francisco, Tokyo, Spain, and Brazil.‘
‘I have worked with Marcus Quintanilla on arbitration regarding a dispute in a Latin America energy project. With his expertise of defending corporations in arbitration as well as his profound understanding of different cultures (Asia, the US, and Latin America), he led the company’s defense in a successful manner.‘
- Represented biotech company Adocia in arbitration proceedings against Eli Lilly & Company arising from a biopharma license agreement dispute.
The international arbitration group at Mayer Brown has a wealth of experience handling commercial arbitrations and related enforcement proceedings, acting for a mix of international companies, financial institutions, and state-owned enterprises. Praised by clients for his familiarity with the ICC Rules of Arbitration, Ted Howes heads the department out of New York, though the firm also fields arbitration specialists across its Chicago, Houston and Palo Alto offices. Of note in Houston, the team has particular experience of disputes in the energy and construction industries, areas where Michael Lennon is a key contact. The firm is also distinguished by its widely publicized work and recent appellate law successes in four US Supreme Court cases involving the interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Lennon; Sarah Reynolds
‘The team is great at putting together a plan and a strategy to approach the case.‘
‘B. Ted Howes is very familiar with the rules of the ICC, enabling him to efficiently prepare for pleadings and persuasive written submissions.‘
Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P.
Panama Canal Authority
Paul Hastings LLP
The ‘extremely professional, fast, thorough and efficient’ team at Paul Hastings LLP benefits from the firm’s network across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In particular, the team has expertise both in commercial and investor-state arbitration, specifically focusing on disputes arising in relation to IP issues, trade secrets, and trade credit insurance. Indeed, the group has been experiencing a surge in activity in the IP sector. Contacts in Washington DC include Igor Timofeyev and practice head Joseph Profaizer. The department lost some of its firepower in Latin America-related commercial arbitration with the departure of New York-based Camilo Cardozo to Vinson & Elkins LLP in July 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Paul Hastings LLP is extremely professional, fast, thorough, and efficient.‘
‘Joseph Profaizer and Adam Weiss, based in the Washington office, are excellent and very knowledgeable.‘
American International Group
Global Gaming Asset Management
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp.
- Acted for Samsung Electronics Co. and Samsung Electronics America Inc. in a motion to compel arbitration at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Focusing on international commercial- and investment treaty arbitration, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP operates within the firm’s global network, and can regularly be seen acting for sovereign and private sector clients alongside its colleagues in Paris and Geneva. The team’s arbitration expertise is complemented by the firm’s widely recognized litigation strength, namely in the enforcement of arbitral awards. The team is also noted for its partner-level language skills, enabling it to act in proceedings conducted in Spanish, English, French, Korean and Mandarin. The group is split mainly between the offices in Washington DC and New York, and is led out of New York by David Orta. It has been undergoing significant changes of late, with Mark McNiell joining the New York team from Shearman & Sterling LLP's London office. Former New-York practice leader Tai-Heng Cheng and counsel Simon Navarro departed to Sidley Austin LLP in April 2019, and Los Angeles-based senior partner Fred Bennett joined ADR provider JAMS.
Other key lawyers:
Mark McNiell; Daniel Salinas-Serrano
‘Working with Quinn Emanuel has given me a deep appreciation of the benefits a commercial approach can have on any proceedings. Rarely have I come across a team with so many exceptional advocates, who are able to think outside the box to offer solutions that do not always entail a courtroom appearance. I truly feel that Quinn Emanuel had our best interests in mind.‘
‘The lawyers showed a deep understanding of the South American culture, which made it easier for them to understand our case.‘
‘The level of service we receive from Quinn Emmanuel is of very high quality. The team is efficient in responding to queries, has an in-depth understanding of the area and their advice is always gratefully received. The team is led by Mark McNeill is good to work with, has great drafting skills, and provides sound tactical advice.‘
‘Mark McNeill is a top-class lawyer – both in his strategic and subject matter advice, but also in his written work and advocacy.‘
Odebrecht Latinvest S.A.
Odebrecht Latin Finance Sàrl
Peruvian Sporting Goods S.A.C.
Superdeporte Plus Peru S.A.C.
- Representing the 38 US investors in an international investment arbitration against the United Mexican States under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA.
- Representing the Odebrecht group of construction companies in an investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Peru concerning two large infrastructure projects.
- Acting for foreign investors holding direct or indirect stakes in the oilfield services company Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro, in an arbitration seeking $700m in damages under the NAFTA.
- Represented two Cyprus-based companies, Alverley Investments as well as Germen Properties, in an ISCID claim against Romania arising out of the expropriation of a real estate project in Bucharest.
- Acting for claimant Cairn Energy in an UNCITRAL arbitration against the Republic of India, arising from a retrospective taxation measure imposed on Cairn’s 2006 initial public offering in India.
Reed Smith LLP
Led out of Miami by global arbitration group chair José Astigarraga, Reed Smith LLP has extensive experience handling investor-state arbitrations involving Latin American elements, and indeed, multiple team members are able to act in proceedings conducted in English and Spanish. Further, staying true to the firm’s traditional areas of strength, the team also stands out for its in-depth knowledge in the construction, energy, and life sciences sectors. Francisco Rivero serves as deputy head of the global arbitration group in Houston. The group expanded its offering in New York with the appointment of James Duffy IV from Baker McKenzie LLP in May 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Francisco Rivero; Cristina Cárdenas; James Duffy
‘The team shows an excellent strategic approach and advocacy, coupled with the ability to respond swiftly to complex issues.‘
‘Reed Smith’s lawyers are attentive, fast, and their motions are straight to the point. It was impressive how fast they familiarized themselves with a case that was ongoing for years. In a few weeks, they had a clear picture of not only the main legal issues involved, but also the best measures to be taken to reach a reasonable outcome.‘
‘José Astigarraga is an excellent and very efficient professional, as well as a magnificent speaker.‘
‘Cristina Cárdenas is able to handle the most complex arbitration matters; she can handle multi-jurisdictional cases and can argue in English and Spanish effortlessly.‘
Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP is active in commercial and investment treaty arbitration and also handles arbitration-related litigation. New York-based Louis Kimmelman has a wealth of experience handling arbitrations in the energy, oil and gas, construction, and financial services sectors. Washington DC-based co-leader Marinn Carlson is a contact for sovereign and investor clients.
Squire Patton Boggs’ US-based international dispute resolution group is able to tap into the resources of 23 of the firm’s worldwide offices, housing over 100 arbitration specialists globally. The department is noted for its strength in investment treaty arbitration, where the group acts for a notable mix of sovereign clients and state-owned enterprises. Another area of expertise is oil and gas-related arbitration. At the time of writing, the team has handled 46 gas price review disputes making it one of the most in-demand commercial arbitration destinations for buyer clients. Stephen Anway serves as co-chair of the global group, splitting time between New York and Washington DC. New York-based investment arbitration specialist Miriam Harwood is also recommended by clients; her recent work is perhaps most impressive in the construction sector.
Other key lawyers:
Miriam Harwood; Luka Misetic
‘Strong depth of experience and knowledge. I have evidenced creative approaches to situations, which turned out to the effective and impactful on the case.‘
‘Squire Patton Boggs’ international arbitration team is well-versed in arbitration-related disputes and matters. The whole team is very professional, knowledgeable, and pays utmost attention to every detail. What is more, the lawyers are exceptionally thorough and do not leave anything to chance. They are efficient and work around the clock, should it be required. They spend ample time walking the client through the process and they provide regular updates regarding the case at hand (which is very important when the client is a governmental authority). The team has a proven track record in different arbitration proceedings and in representing different countries.‘
‘Words don’t do justice to the ability of Miriam Harwood — she continually delivers and has an ethic that strives for excellence.‘
Republic of Croatia
The Slovak Republic
The Republic of Estonia
The Republic of Ecuador
The Republic of Kosovo
The Republic of Turkmenistan
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- Acting for the Slovak Republic in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated against it by a Polish producer of mineral water in relation to the transport of water through an underground pipe.
- Acting for the Republic of Croatia in an ICSID arbitration relating to MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company’s investment in the Croatian energy company, INA-Industrija Nafte d.d.
- Representing the Government of Turkmenistan in an ICSID arbitration commenced by Russian telecommunications company MTS, resulting from the non-renewal of a contract to provide cellular and internet services in Turkmenistan.
- Acting for Turkmenhimiya, a state-owned entity of the Republic of Turkmenistan, in a SCC arbitration against Belarusian company Belgorkhimprom relating to a potash-mining project in Turkmenistan.
- Representing the Republic of Turkmenistan in four separate ICSID arbitrations, all involving claims by Turkish contractors asserting claims arising out of various construction and infrastructure projects in Turkmenistan.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Vinson & Elkins LLP handles international commercial and investment treaty arbitration, specializing in the energy, infrastructure and construction industries, which are areas of traditional strength for the group worldwide. Led by Houston-based James Loftis, the team often acts in conjunction with the firm’s global network, with a particularly strong reputation in matters handled alongside the dispute resolution practice in London. Of note in 2019, the team strengthened its presence in New York with the appointment of Camilo Cardozo, who joined from Paul Hastings LLP in July 2019; Cardozo has made a name for himself in arbitration work involving Latin America.
Other key lawyers:
Camilo Cardozo; Jose Sanchez
‘Initially, we appreciated the team’s reliability and honesty in regard to the possible outcome of the proceedings. In the course of the proceedings, the team stood out for its hard work and availability.‘
‘Vinson & Elkins’ lawyers are very qualified, intelligent, hardworking, and precise in giving opinion in any referred matter.‘
‘James Loftis has remarkable skills as a strategist and litigator.‘
Panama Canal Authority
Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius)
Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq
Exxon Mobil Corporation
- Handling a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority arising out of construction disputes valued in excess of $4.5bn with Grupo Unidos por el Canal.
- Assisting Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) with bringing claims as an investor under the Mauritius-India bilateral investment treaty.
- Representing the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq and its agencies in a number of contentious matters including an arbitration concerning the operation of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline and unlawful exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government.
- Scored a victory for Exxon Mobil Corporation in its long-running dispute with the Argentine Republic over violations of the Argentina-US bilateral investment treaty.
- Acting for Prime Energia SpA in an ICC arbitration against two contractors arising out of five EPC contracts concerning the design and construction of five separate power plants based in Chile.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is well-positioned to advise on a vairety of issues arising in the context of investment treaty arbitration, an area in which it benefits from team members’ past experience in treaty negotiations. In particular, New York-based department head Ted Posner formerly held a position in the Office of the United States Trade Representative; he now utilizes these skills in acting for sovereigns and investors. The team also prides itself on its successful track record in arbitration-related hearings, where it acts in conjunction with the firm's litigation group.
‘The firm is top-notch, very experienced, and pays a lot of attention to detail. The team members are hands-on and very thorough in their analysis on how to approach matters.‘
MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company
- Represented MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company in investment arbitrations against the Republic of Croatia.
Winston & Strawn LLP has strengths in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration, as well as in the subsequent enforcement of arbitral awards. Among its recent highlights, the team has had particularly strong showings in the energy, oil and gas, mining, and pharmaceutical sectors. The department is led by global practice chair and ‘excellent partner’ Ricardo Ugarte, who splits time between Chicago and London. Eric Bloom is the key contact for investment arbitration matters in Washington DC.
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely hard working and always effective‘
‘The team was very thorough and diligent in its research and preparation for our arbitration proceedings. The team members notified our company in a timely manner regarding the documents to be prepared by us, reviewed by us, and responded to. Their presentations and cross-examination of the other party’s witnesses was thorough.‘
‘The individual attorneys were very professional, thorough, and friendly in their interaction with all our team members.‘
‘Ricardo Ugarte is an excellent partner, who manages cases and clients very well.‘
Dominion Minerals Corp.
Republic of Ecuador
Republic of Haiti
Professional Football Club CSKA‐Sofia JSC
- Representing Dominion Minerals Corp. in an investor-state arbitration arising out of its investment in a copper and gold concession in the Republic of Panama.
- Representing Eskosol S.p.A. in an investment treaty arbitration against the Italian Republic arising from the country’ sudden departure from an incentive regime in the solar photovoltaic energy sector.
- Represented Sodexo Pass International in an investment treaty arbitration against Hungary initiated in relation to the country’s violations of the France-Hungary bilateral investment treaty.