International arbitration in United States

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Clients rate Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘intellectual depth’ and also point out that ‘from associate to the senior partner, everybody on the team understands the case’. In part, this in-depth understanding is owed to the group’s sophisticated ability to advise both claimants and respondents by simultaneously tackling issues of public international law, investment treaty arbitration, and international commercial arbitration. The department’s sector-specific expertise is also highly varied, spanning mining and natural resources, energy, construction, financial services, and telecoms, among others. Following its mining sector victory for Tethyan Copper Company Pty in an ICSID arbitration in 2019, the second-largest arbitral award rendered under the auspices of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a team led by Donald Donovan, Mark Friedman, and Natalie Reid, is defending the award against an annulment application submitted by the Republic of Pakistan. Well known in the market for its strong leadership, the group is jointly headed by Donovan and David W. Rivkin — respectively, past Presidents of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and the International Bar Association. Furthermore, the team is a popular choice among Latin American parties, with Dietmar Prager co-chairing the Latin America practice. Clients and peers alike highly recommend ‘excellent lawyer’ and current President of the American Society of International Law Catherine Amirfar, and Ina Popova who has ‘a brilliant legal and strategic mind’. Associate Laura Sinisterra and counsel Floriane Lavaud are rising stars in the team.

Practice head(s):

Donald Donovan; David W. Rivkin

Other key lawyers:

Mark Friedman; Catherine Amirfar; Dietmar Prager; Ina Popova; Floriane Lavaud; Natalie Reid; Laura Sinisterra


‘The Debevoise team is particularly impressive given not only its deep bench in international arbitration, but that the team they devised deliberately for our matter each provided subject-matter expertise that was unique to the arbitration at issue.’

‘Ina Popova has a brilliant legal and strategic mind, and would be happy to work with her on future matters. She is candid in her case assessment when presented with challenging facts and circumstances, but works with the client to unravel complex issues and find the best path toward resolution.’

‘Their knowledge of international arbitration practice and the multi-dimensional chess board it presents is amazing. They are able to successfully present arguments regarding the “gray areas” better than anybody. Their team approach means that from associate to the senior partner, everybody on the team understands the case. They are just a cut above everybody I have seen.’

‘Donald Donovan is the among the deans of this practice. I have never seen a lawyer that can explain things to business leaders and hold their attention like him. Natalie Reid is an extraordinary talent too, I always feel comfortable.’

‘Great ability to grasp the needs of clients quickly and precisely. Great speed of response to our requests.’

‘They completely understood what the client was requesting and embraced relevant cultural differences. They appropriately lead the client to the conclusion we wanted.’

‘Intellectual depth. Not only are the partners brilliant but the counsel and associates are also truly talented in their own right. There is also incredible dedication to the client. Each and every lawyer demonstrates a strong commitment to meeting the client’s business objective.’

‘Mark Friedman has a brilliant mind and no fear of tackling unique problems. Ina Popova has exceptional persuasion skills in several languages. Carl Riehl is a mathematical genius, one of a kind for a lawyer practicing at this level. Floriane Lavaud is an exceptional attorney that is truly dedicated to her clients.’

‘Debevoise’s team is exceptional in its professionalism, legal depth, client service, political and contextual understanding, and ability, most importantly, to focus on winning solutions for its clients.’

‘Catherine Amirfar is a global legal expert, an excellent lawyer, and a pleasure to work with. Natalie Reid is an exceptional lawyer and consummate diplomat and legal expert. Elizabeth Neilsen is an exceptional lawyer, sharp, focused, and always client-focused. An exceptional team across the board.’

Key clients

Barrick (Niugini) / Barrick (PD) Australia Pty

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. / Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde / Government of Qatar

Gramercy Funds Management LLC

Hydro S.r.l., Costruzioni S.r.l.

Occidental Petroleum Company

Makae Europe Sarl

Nova Group Investments B.V.

Perenco Ecuador

Qatar Airways

Royal Dutch Shell

SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands B.V.

Tethyan Copper Company Pty

The Republic of Iraq

World Health Organization

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Tethyan Copper Company in a $6bn arbitration against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the second-largest ICSID award ever rendered.
  • Representing Perenco Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the Republic of Ecuador’s unilateral increase of its participation to 99% of all revenues from oil sales above a fixed “reference price” and its declaration that Perenco’s contracts had come to an end.
  • Representing the State of Qatar and Qatari entities and individuals in international claims arising out of the measures imposed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt against Qatar.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has extensive experience handling international commercial and investor-state disputes across key lines of expertise, including sectors such as energy, mining, sovereign debt, telecoms, and aviation. Based in Washington DC, Nigel Blackaby serves as global co-head of the global arbitration group and also has a strong reputation among Latin American clients. In New York, Noiana Marigo is a key contact for arbitration conducted in Spanish, and Elliot Friedman stands out for his experience in enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Blackaby

Other key lawyers:

Noiana Marigo; Elliot Friedman

King & Spalding LLP

Split primarily between Houston, New York, and Atlanta, King & Spalding LLP’s dedicated arbitration group is not only one of the largest key US market players, but is also able to on the firm’s global presence and specialists with wide-ranging experience gained by representing parties from over 140 countries. The practice provides a full range of services to some of the largest multinational companies in sectors such as construction, energy and natural resources, manufacturing, and hospitality, among others. Of particular note, the team’s expertise in the energy industry would be difficult to match – it is handling multiple claims brought by both longstanding and newly attracted clients under the Energy Charter Treaty; practice co-heads Doak Bishop (Houston) and Edward Kehoe (New York) count clients the likes of Chevron and Shell among their key clients. Other key New York-based practitioners include Harry Burnett, whom clients describe as ‘simply an absolute pleasure to deal with’, as well as Viren Mascarenhas, who stands out for his additional specialization in public international law and human rights. Reginald Smith (Houston) focuses on bringing claims against sovereign states and other parties on behalf of energy sector clients. Elizabeth Silbert is the key contact in the Atlanta office. John Bowman retired from the partnership in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Edward Kehoe; Doak Bishop

Other key lawyers:

Harry Burnett; Viren Mascarenhas; Reginald Smith; Craig Miles; Elizabeth Silbert


‘This team is technically very good and highly experienced in international arbitration. Beyond that and most importantly, the team is very sensitive to cultural issues across the globe and are able to work respectfully and very effectively in many jurisdictions. This makes the team stand out from many others.’

‘Harry Burnett has all qualities of an exceptional international arbitration lawyer. His dedication and attention to detail are of the highest order and his personal attention to every case makes him incredibly effective. He is also able to get the best out of his colleagues and to lead a team in a very respectful and culturally sensitive way. He is simply an absolute pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients


Unión Fenosa Gas


Government of Turkey


Air Canada


Mexican Investor Group

Sociedad Aeroportuaria Kuntur Wasi S.A.

Corporación América S.A.

Salini Impregilo S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Representing large oil companies Shell and Chevron in an ICC arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines relating to the allocation of petroleum revenues earned by the clients under a petroleum services contract with the country.
  • Acting for The Renco Group in a resubmitted UNCITRAL arbitration against the Republic of Peru under the 2009 Peru – US Trade Promotion Agreement.
  • Representing multiple clients in approximately 20 investment claims brought under the Energy Charter Treaty against Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania.

White & Case LLP

Led out of Washington DC by global arbitration group chair Abby Cohen Smutny, White & Case LLP’s highly regarded ‘dream team’ shows a strong presence in other East Coast locations (including New York), in the West Coast, and in the South (in particular, Houston and Miami). In addition, the practice regularly collaborates with other offices abroad and is able to rely on arbitration resources in all large arbitration centers worldwide; examples of cross-continental cooperation include mandates handled alongside the firm's specialists in London, Paris, and Geneva. The team’s recent investment arbitration work stands out in the mining and metals sector, where it is representing Gabriel Resources Ltd. and its subsidiary bringing $4.4bn expropriation claims arising out of Romania’s treatment of the client’s investment in the Roșia Montană gold mining project. While the group certainly acts for numerous large companies in both commercial and investment treaty arbitration, it is equally well-versed in handling dispute resolution work for sovereign states; its notable client roster includes the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to name a few. Furthermore, team members’ sector-specific expertise span energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, financial services, and pharmaceuticals. The ‘very smart and energeticCarolyn Lamm (Washington DC) leads the firm’s Americas arbitration practice; in the same office, senior partner Jonathan Hamilton is also an advisor of choice for multiple Latin American clients. Notably, the team in Houston stands out for its ability to handle matters relating to Brazil or Lusophone African jurisdictions; Jorge Mattamouros is the go-to practitioner for Portuguese-speaking clients. Having formerly served as the firm’s arbitration group leader for close two decades, Paul Friedland is among the most recognized names in New York’s arbitration arena. Clients recommend Ank Santens in New York for her ‘effective’ cross-examination techniques and trust-inspiring approach. Damien Nyer stands out for his civil and common law qualifications.

Practice head(s):

Abby Cohen Smutny; Carolyn Lamm

Other key lawyers:

Paul Friedland; Ank Santens; Jonathan Hamilton; Brody Greenwald; Damien Nyer; Hansel Pham; Silvia Marchili; Jorge Mattamouros; Petr Polášek; Kristen Young


‘Very strong litigation capabilities, they set up the team we needed to deal with our dispute.’

‘Ank Santens has been outstanding in her support in our dispute. She mastered the details of a complex file and shared strategic insights that were key for us. She also ushered us through an international arbitration process that is not, in our case, usual practice for either in-house counsel or the investment teams. In my practice, I work with a great number of outside counsel, with firms of similar standing, but Ank is one of the few to have gained my complete trust.’

‘The quality of the work is usually higher than in other firms, because W&C has very specialized professionals, as well as a big team dedicated to the cases.’

‘The overall level of service is excellent. The team at White & Case has extensive expertise and experience in all types of arbitration proceedings before the most-renown international arbitration institutions and in ad-hoc arbitrations. The team is hardworking, efficient, well organized, and provides fast responses.’

‘I would recommend Abby Cohen Smutny. She has provided winning legal representation and advice in all cases she was instructed by us so far. She has excellent strategic thinking, and sound and reliable judgment. She impresses with her deep knowledge of public international law and international investment law, as well as with her extensive experience in international arbitration.’

‘I would recommend Ank Santens. She is an effective cross-examiner.’

‘I always point that White & Case’s arbitration team is the dream team. They are flexible, unique, smart, and creative.’

‘Carolyn Lamm is leads the team that works with us. She is one of the most amazing persons I’ve ever known. She is very smart and energetic, and she pays attention to every detail.’

Key clients

Gabriel Resources Ltd. / Gabriel Resources (Jersey) Ltd.

Israel Chemicals Ltd.

Ioan Micula

Teco Guatemala Holdings

MetLife Inc. / MetLife Servicios SA / MetLife Seguros de Retiro SA

WRB Enterprises Inc.

Agility Public Warehousing Company K.S.C.

Eldorado Brasil Celulose S.A.

Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A.

Saudi Arabian American Oil Co.

Republic of Uzbekistan

Republic of Bulgaria

Republic of Peru

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Republic of Korea

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter provides a full range of arbitration services, but has an unsurpassed strength in representing sovereign states as respondents in investment treaty arbitration proceedings. In a standout highlight from the past year, a team led by Washington DC-based Whitney Debevoise is defending the Republic of Philippines in an arbitration initiated by Shell Philippines Exploration in relation to the largest foreign investment in the country, the Malampaya project. Paolo Di Rosa leads the global arbitration group out of Washington DC; he is also a key contact for arbitration conducted in Spanish language, as is Gaela Gehring Flores. Building upon the team’s wide-ranging language capabilities, multiple team members also have legal qualifications in jurisdictions such as Colombia, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Further, handling disputes in the technology and life sciences sectors is yet another forte for the group; the team in San Francisco stands out in this regard, with Maria Chedid regularly taking the lead on related mandates.

Practice head(s):

Paolo Di Rosa

Other key lawyers:

Gaela Gehring Flores; Whitney Debevoise; Maria Chedid; Anton Ware; Mallory Silberman; Amy Endicott; Kabir Duggal

Key clients

Republic of Korea

Republic of Philippines

Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S.

Czech Republic

Kingdom of Thailand

Republic of Panama

Republic of Chile

Mercer International, Inc.

Republic of Costa Rica

Dominican Republic

Work highlights

  • Defending a North African sovereign state in an investment treaty arbitration in the airline industry.
  • Representing the Republic of Peru in seven ongoing investment treaty arbitrations, administered by ICSID and the PCA, in the gas transportation, oil and gas, mining, electricity, telecoms, and renewable energy sectors.
  • Representing the Czech Republic in an investment arbitration filed by Diag Human under the Swiss-Czech bilateral investment treaty (BIT), relating to an investment in the health sector.

Chaffetz Lindsey LLP

Dispute resolution boutique Chaffetz Lindsey LLP prides itself on its New York roots, but is also highly experienced in delivering a wide array of both investment and commercial arbitration services across borders. Its strong performance on cross-border matters is acknowledged by clients, who refer to the team’s ability to conduct arbitration in Spanish and English, a skill regarded as ‘essential for disputes in Latin America’; additionally, team members are also fluent in Portuguese, French, German, and Arabic, among other languages. The group also maintains its focus on disputes arising in Latin America; ‘extraordinary well-qualified lawyerAníbal Sabater stands out for his experience in this, as well as for his qualifications in the UK, the US, and Spain. Multiple other practitioners are qualified in multiple jurisdictions; this includes Yasmine Lahlou and Caline Mouawad, both of whom have dual qualifications in New York and France. Founding partner David Lindsey brings additional credibility to the group’s work due to his experience spanning over three decades; his recent work places an emphasis on acting for Brazilian clients in the construction sector. Department leader James Hosking is also highly experienced, with over 100 arbitrations under his belt; his recent practice of stands out in the energy industry. Andreas Frischknecht is a key contact for German-speaking clients and arbitration enforcement mandates.

Practice head(s):

James Hosking

Other key lawyers:

David Lindsey; Aníbal Sabater; Yasmine Lahlou; Caline Mouawad; Andreas Frischknecht; Cecilia Moss; Andrew Poplinger; Gretta Walters; Rainbow Willard


‘This practice brings big-firm reputation to a boutique.’

‘Caline Mouawad is an excellent, steady hand in arbitration. Her knowledge of the players, issues, and the ICC, means that there are no surprises and we go into any dispute prepared.’

‘An excellent team led by Anibal Sabater, fully dedicated to international arbitration and very much respected by its peers. They are bilingual (Spanish / English), which is essential for disputes in Latin America.’

‘Anibal Sabater is an extraordinary well-qualified lawyer and an excellent team leader. He personally is on top of the matters he handles.’

‘Rainbow Williard was very responsive and professional.’

Key clients

The AES Corporation

Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC

Synohydro Costa Rica / Omega Construcciones / Desarrollos y Construcciones Urbanas / CAABSA Infraestructura

Clorox Spain S.L.

Czech Republic

Eletrobras CGT Eletrosul

Entes Industrial Plants Construction and Erection Contracting Co. Inc.


Reti Televisive Italiane

Work highlights

  • Representing Tonopah Solar Energy, a US power plant owner, in a multi-billion dollar ICC arbitration arising out of the construction of a solar plant.
  • Successfully represented Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a federal court in New York in opposing the enforcement of a $2.8bn arbitration award issued against the Nigerian subsidiaries of Shell and Exxon.
  • Representing AES Corporation in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina seeking damages for breaches of the US-Argentina BIT.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton houses a premier New York-based arbitration practice specializing in investment treaty arbitration, with extensive experience of handling claims for both investors and sovereign states across a wide range of sectors, including energy, financial services, telecoms, and sovereign debt. In addition, the team’s recent mining and metals sector work also stands out; Jeffrey Rosenthal led a team including colleagues in Paris and London on acting as counsel to Vale in an LCIA arbitration and related enforcement proceedings arising out of a joint venture agreement with BSG Resources. ‘Strategic thinker and exceptional cross-examinerHoward Zelbo shares leadership of the department with Ari MacKinnon, who is known for his multiple high-stake representations of Latin American companies in commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Howard Zelbo; Ari MacKinnon

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Rosenthal; Jonathan Blackman; Matthew Slater; Emily Balter; Katie Gonzalez


‘Cleary’s dispute resolution team is very well-integrated and coordinated. They are intelligent, have experience, and know what they need from a company to present a case and win.’

‘The team is client-oriented; it accommodates our needs. The team members excel in their knowledge of arbitration proceedings. They act with integrity; they were being honest with the expectations that we should have when the case began.’

‘This is the most thorough practice I have ever worked with. Everything is considered and they leave no stone unturned in ensuring your case and filings are the best they can be. They foster a single team environment with the client, enabling you to be as involved as you want to be. ’

‘Partner Howard Zelbo is an exceptional legal talent. He is a strategic thinker and exceptional cross-examiner. If you need to win, this is the guy you hire.’

‘Partner Jeff Rozenthal (whilst being a strong lawyer and cross-examiner) ensures that the client is fully engaged in decisions being made and remains in control. This is not always the case with other firms we have worked with.’

Key clients

Vale S.A.

OJSC Tatneft

Selex Galileo, Inc.

DP World

Telecom Italia International N.V. / Telecom Italia S.p.A.

Agfa-Gevaert Group

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.

The Republic of Tatarstan / The Ministry of Land and Property Relations of the Republic of Tatarstan

Hellenic Republic

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Vale S.A. in a $2bn LCIA arbitration against its joint venture partner alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with a mining investment in Africa; work included pursuing enforcement of the award in the Southern District of New York and the Uk High Court.
  • Achieved a victory for global high-tech company Selex Galileo in an ICDR arbitration initiated against a business partner.
  • Acted for the US subsidiary of a Mexican glass manufacturer in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration against another glass manufacturer arising out of breaches of an exclusive sales agreement.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has a tradition of unsurpassed excellence in handling all stages of investment treaty arbitration, where it acts for an enviable client portfolio of sovereign states and state-owned enterprises. One standout example demonstrating this strength in international investment law is the team’s recent highly publicized victory for the Kingdom of Spain, with the client obtaining a rare annulment of a €128m ICSID arbitral award issued in favor of investors in the renewables sector. Of late, the firm is also gradually seeking to gain ground in the international commercial arbitration space, which constitutes a successful undertaking thus far, in light of its recent track record of success in the pharmaceutical and construction sectors. The team is also adept to handle mandates in the oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, and construction industries. The group is led out of New York by George Kahale III, while the office in Washington DC is managed by Claudia Frutos-Peterson, whose recent UNCITRAL arbitration work for the Dominican Republic testifies to the team’s increasing interest in the Caribbean region.

Practice head(s):

George Kahale III

Other key lawyers:

Claudia Frutos-Peterson; Benard Preziosi; Justin Jacinto; Simon Batifort; Andrew Larkin

Key clients

Republic of Colombia

Republic of Panama

Argentine Republic

Kingdom of Spain

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Republic of India

Venezuela & Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)

State of Kuwait

Republic of Uganda

Republic of Kazakhstan

Dominican Republic

Republic of Cyprus

State of Libya

National Oil Corporation of Libya

Mellitah Oil & Gas B.V.

Czech Republic

Albpetrol Sh.A.

Work highlights

  • Secured a widely reported victory for the Kingdom of Spain by obtaining the annulment of a high-profile ICSID arbitral award in Eiser Infrastructure Ltd. and Energia Solar Luxembourg SARL v Kingdom of Spain.
  • Obtained a victory for the State of Kuwait in Conseil Economique des Pays Musulmans v State of Kuwait, with an UNCITRAL tribunal dismissing an $86m investment treaty claim against the client.
  • Achieved a victory for the Republic of Kazakhstan in Gold Pool v Republic of Kazakhstan, an UNCITRAL arbitration in which the tribunal rendered a unanimous decision finding that the client was not bound as a successor to the Canada-USSR BIT.

Three Crowns LLP

Bridging leading expertise in international arbitration and public international law, Washington DC-based boutique Three Crowns LLP continues to be a key player in both investment treaty and commercial arbitration. In the investment space, a team led by Luke Sobota is acting for the Kingdom of Bahrain in the first-ever arbitration initiated by Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran under the Iran-Bahrain bilateral investment treaty. The group has a more pronounced focus on oil and gas sector disputes, in addition to sector-specific expertise spanning technology, telecoms, and financial services. Sobota shares leadership of the department with Liz Snodgrass, whom clients describe as ‘the real deal at the elite level of intellectual analysis and experience’. Jan Paulsson retired from the partnership at the end of 2020.

Practice head(s):

Luke Sobota; Liz Snodgrass

Other key lawyers:

Kimberly Larkin; Agustin Sanz; Simon Consedine; Nicola Peart


‘Vast experience in arbitration. Very professional treatment of clients.’

‘Luke Sobota is a highly intelligent, confident, hardworking and experienced lawyer in the field of international arbitration.’

‘Kimberly Larkin has a very friendly and approachable manner when dealing with clients, and is very hardworking and professional.’

‘ Luke Sobota deserves a special mention. Luke is exceedingly bright, a great strategic thinker, and a superb drafter.’

‘Agustin Sanz is extremely talented and hardworking.’

‘Liz Snodgrass provides critical advice on complex big-ticket litigation, particularly with sovereign counterparties. She is the real deal at the elite level of intellectual analysis and experience, in a very approachable and efficient manner.’

‘Liz Snodgrass is brilliant. She impresses everyone in the organisation that she speaks to, and quickly enlists their trust. She is simply at the top of her game and we wouldn’t use anyone else.’

‘Three Crowns has a unique, ultra-high calibre international arbitration practice, with the ability to quickly grasp and evaluate the most complex situations. They bring together superb legal knowledge, deep research, and an intuitive feel for the practicalities of high-stakes arbitration.’

Key clients




Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Kingdom of Bahrain

Chevron Corporation

Crescent Petroleum

Elliott Associates


Occidental Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Acted for Crescent Petroleum as buyer in two claims arising out of the seller National Iranian Oil Company’s breach of a gas supply contract, including achieving a victory in an interim phase of the arbitration.
  • Representing the Kingdom of Bahrain in its first-known investment treaty dispute brought under the Iran-Bahrain BIT by Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran.
  • Represented ConocoPhillips in an ICSID treaty dispute against Venezuela relating to the country’s expropriation of ConocoPhillips’ upstream assets in the Orinoco oil belt.

Foley Hoag LLP

Foley Hoag LLP houses ‘an incredibly deep bench of public international law and international dispute resolution specialists’, which has certainly made a name for itself in the fields of state-to-state dispute settlement and investment treaty arbitration arena. The group remains a fixture on the side of sovereign states, with an enviable client portfolio including countries and state-owned entities from all over the globe; its strong performance in representing states is boosted through its close collaboration with the firm’s United Nations practice group led by recently promoted partner Christina Hioureas in New York. Another notable recent development is the newly formed Africa practice group in Washington DC, which is chaired by Tafadzwa Pasipanodya. Also of note this past year has been the team’s increasing focus on commercial disputes, particularly in its traditional sectors of expertise – oil and gas, mining, construction, and transportation, among others. Clients singled out Washington DC-based Constantinos Salonidis for his ‘inventiveness and unconventional thinking’; in addition to his work on multiple ICSID arbitrations, his alternative dispute resolution skills extend to cover conciliation. Other noteworthy figures in Washington DC include group chair Lawrence Martin and Paul Reichler. Daniel Schimmel leads the arbitration practice in New York.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Martin

Other key lawyers:

Paul Reichler; Constantinos Salonidis; Joseph Klingler; Daniel Schimmel; Mark Clodfelter; Christina Hioureas; Sudhanshu Roy; Clara Brillembourg


‘Foley Hoag’s international arbitration practice is unique as it focuses almost exclusively on representing sovereign states in inter-state and investor-state cases. The team has represented clients in a wide range of fora and under a plethora or rules. The level of diversity within the firm is outstanding.’

‘Constantinos Salonidis in Washington D.C. has an outstanding knowledge and understanding of the international arbitration / international law landscape and its actors. In addition to being an exceptional solution-driven strategist, he has the ability to set up effective teams for the needs of every single case. He is perceptive and always listens to his peers. Inventiveness and unconventional thinking are undoubtedly two of his top qualities – very much needed nowadays due to the complicated nature of international disputes.’

‘I have worked extensively with associate Joseph Klingler. Definitely one of the rising stars of the firm’s practice. Knowledgeable, committed, and able to decrypt difficult factual backgrounds.’

‘Foley benefits from an incredibly deep bench of public international law and international dispute resolution specialists. They have already seen, or in fact devised themselves, the most cutting edge of approaches to international issues.’

‘Constantinos Salonidis has an encyclopedic knowledge of public international law, and is a superb craftsman of written advocacy, as well as a pleasure to work with.’

‘Mark Clodfleter is one of the wise men of arbitration, a steady hand at the helm, and simultaneously strikingly innovative in his approach to international law issues.’

‘Foley Hoag LLP has a team of very hardworking individuals who master their brief, consider all aspects that may have a bearing on the case and are thorough in their research. They also provide full information and support as required to enable the client to take required decisions as needed in the case at hand.’

‘Christina Hioureas and associate Sudhanshu Roy, whom I have dealt with, most certainly stand out for professionalism and their foresight and mastery of all the various aspects of the brief they work on.’

‘I can’t imagine any other attorneys have as much experience in representing States. They are not only extremely intelligent and insightful lawyers, but they are also thoughtful diplomats. Foley Hoag has won every single investment arbitration for our country (with costs!), and I fully trust our future fate in their capable hands.’

‘Paul Reichler is the best in his field. He is an unflagging advocate able to identify the winning point and conquer his adversaries with kindness.’

‘Clara Brillembourg stands our for her unparalleled wit and an uncompromising dedication to her clients. She is an exceptional and compelling advocate, who knows the law and facts backward and forward.’

‘Tafadazwa Pasipanodya is an insightful and tremendously capable attorney, able to deliver her arguments in an impressive number of six languages.’

‘Daniel Schimmel is a formidable, agile and talented barrister. I much admire his clairvoyance and elegance, as well as his astounding and, yet, meticulous efficiency. He always gives the impression that we are his most important client, despite leading a prominent and busy practice as both a barrister and arbitrator. His experience as an arbitrator is clearly an asset for the client and gives him an advantage over the competitors.’

‘Foley Hoag LLP is the best law firm with the best team in international arbitration. Extremely professional, always well prepare and looking for the best interest for the client. Also, they have an extraordinary communication system with the client, very open, always reporting how the process is going.’

‘It is a firm (Foley Hoag) that provides confidence, they respond to concerns quickly. They are very respectful. They provide their opinion of the cases with the greatest possible transparency.’

‘Excellent team spirit and superb delivery; top-class international lawyers with exemplary integrity and sincerity.’

Key clients

Public Gas Corporation of Greece

Natural Gas Transmission System of Greece

Crédit Agricole / CACEIS (France)

Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima

Republic of Croatia



Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales

Bangladesh Power Development Board

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Company Limited / Bangladesh Oil Gas and Mineral Corporation








Greece / Hellenic Republic



The Russian Federation


Equatorial Guinea




The Philippines








International Conference of Asian American Political Parties




Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique

Orange SA

Work highlights

  • Obtained a victory for the Republic of Uruguay in a US $4 billion PCA arbitration concerning the denial of a mining permit for the largest mine in Uruguayan history.
  • Secured a win for the Republic of Mauritius in an ICSID claim concerning Le Morne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site commemorating resistance against slavery.
  • Acting for two Bangladeshi state-owned companies in a $1bn ICSID arbitration.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P..’s arbitration group is, in the words of a client, ‘strong in all respects’. One such strength is certainly its beneficial geographic dispersion domestically and worldwide — while the team is split between New York, Washington, and Houston, its recent workload also reveals an ability to collaborate efficiently with its colleagues in London, Dubai, and Moscow. The past year has seen the practice cement its firm position in the energy sector, where a team led by practice head Michael Goldberg (Houston and New York) is acting for clients in multiple sets of commercial arbitral proceedings. Handling contractual disputes in the technology and construction industries is also a forte for the team; Andrew Behrman and Edward Schorr are a standout New York-based duo in this space.

Practice head(s):

Michael Goldberg

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Behrman; Edward Schorr; Vern Cassin; Dustin Appel


‘Certainly, the firm’s international arbitration practice is strong in all respects.’

‘The two partners with whom I have the most contact, Michael Goldberg and London-based Jay Alexander are creative, hardworking, client-focused, strategic and tactical, smart, knowledgeable.’

Key clients

China Fortune Land Development Co., Ltd.

JSC Tyumenneftegaz

Intercontinental Terminals Company

Oxbow Calcining LLC

Rocket Ball, Ltd.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP leverages its longstanding work relationships with arbitral institutions worldwide to handle some of the market's most controversial high-stakes disputes involving political or economic issues. Notably, the practice acts for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine as well as Ukraine’s state-owned companies in both state-to-state and investor-state disputes with the Russian Federation; department head Marney Cheek, Dave Pinsky (New York), and David Zionts all take the lead on mandates in this space. In addition, multiple team members are also sought after for international commercial arbitration mandates, where they count some of their more recent successes in the trade secrets arbitration realm. The practice is highly experienced in enforcement work; in a recent highlight showcasing its exceptional energy sector strength as well, a team led by Allan Moore represented ExxonMobil and persuaded a New York district court to confirm the validity of a $33m arbitral award issued against TIG Insurance Company in relation to the client’s prior losses incurred as a result of groundwater contamination judgments. The practice is also a destination for disputes originating in or arising in relation to Latin America; a key contact in this respect is Miguel López Forastier who has civil and common law training, and advises on contentious issues in Spanish and Portuguese; special counsel Clovis Trevino is also fluent in Spanish. Nicole Duclos (New York) stands out for her recent work in the petrochemical sector.

Practice head(s):

Marney Cheek

Other key lawyers:

Dave Pinsky; David Zionts; Allan Moore; Miguel López Forastier; Erin Thomas; Clovis Trevino

Key clients

Cameco, Inc.

CMPC Celulose Riograndense Ltd.

Eli Lilly & Company


Government of Ukraine, Ministry of Public Affairs

Gruma S.A. de C.V.

DTEK Krymenergo PJSC

Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd.


Vulcan Materials Co.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Covering the market on the East and West Coasts, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s wider arbitration group is spearheaded by New York-based Hagit Muriel Elul and John Townsend in Washington DC. Also in Washington DC, James Boykin chairs the investment treaty practice. The team is well equipped to handle commercial disputes in sectors such as insurance, energy, and technology, to name a few. It has also carved out a particularly strong reputation on the basis of its international investment arbitration work. Another key strength lies in the Latin America-originating disputes; the group in Miami deserves a mention in this regard due to the expertise of Luis O’Naghten. Former group co-chair John Fellas departed at the end of 2020 and currently focuses on serving as arbitrator, but Rémy Gerbay joined from MoloLamken LLP in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Hagit Muriel Elul; John Townsend; James Boykin

Other key lawyers:

Luis O’Naghten; Daniel Weiner; Malik Havalic; Eleanor Erney; Alexander Bedrosyan; Rémy Gerbay


‘We asked Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP to represent us in international arbitration in which we were sued based on an alleged breach of nuclear fuel supply contract. HHR team showed considerable expertise in developing a rigorous strategy to defend our argument. Additionally, the team comprised excellent individuals who had international backgrounds and was perfectly accustomed to work with non-U.S. clients. I strongly believe that it is their skills of legal analysis and intercultural diverse body that make HHR team distinguished from the other firms.’

‘We believe that Ms. Hagit Muriel Elul and Ms. Meaghan Gragg have astonishing legal skills, such as abilities to analyze and sharpen arguments. Arguments they presented in the arbitration were easy to understand. This straightforwardness made the arguments convincing to the arbitrators. Furthermore, their strong leadership also offered an effective and organized legal support to us.’

Key clients

Global Gaming Philippines LLC / GGAM Netherlands B.V.

Westwater Resources, Inc.

Hydrika 1-6, SAC

Republic of Paraguay

Arin Capital & Investment Corp.

The Pellas Group / SER Corp (BVI)

Mystique Brands LLC

Republic of Togo

Work highlights

  • Secured a victory for Global Gaming Asset Management in the Singapore High Court, in enforcement proceedings relating to a $296m arbitral award.
  • Representing Ukrainian investors in five arbitrations initiated against the Russian Federation under the Russia-Ukraine BIT, arising out of measures adopted following the Russian annexation of Crimea.
  • Represented Darren Indyke, co-executor of Jeffrey Epstein’s estate, in reaching a tripartite agreement with multiple claimants’ counsel and the US Virgin Islands attorney general concerning a multimillion-dollar program to compensate sexual abuse victims of the late financier.

Jenner & Block LLP

The arbitration experts at Jenner & Block LLP remain among the most prominent names in the international investment arbitration space. In an ongoing investment arbitration highlight, a team led by practice head Mélida Hodgson (New York) is acting for Sierra Leone as a respondent in Gerald International Limited v Republic of Sierra Leone, which marks the country’s first arbitration conducted under the auspices of the ICSID. The department has additional capabilities in commercial arbitration, as well as notable expertise in the infrastructure and mining sectors. Further, the group has been announcing multiple structural changes during the reported period: in May 2020, Patrick Pearsall  departed to lead Allen & Overy LLP’s team in New York; this departure was immediately followed by the arrival of former US ambassador and New York-based litigator David Pressman from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, an appointment expanding the team's ability to handle high-stakes commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mélida Hodgson

Other key lawyers:

Michael Doornweerd; Laura MacDonald; Elizabeth Edmondson; Patricia Cruz Trabanino; Sebastian Canon Urrutia


‘Their Chicago presence in particular makes them unique among their peers.’

‘I know Mélida Hodgson’s work. She brings valuable government experience to the firm’s practice, as well as experience representing states in investor-state arbitrations. Her addition has given the group both broader and deeper experience.’

‘Mélida is an excellent advocate in arbitration matters and also increasingly sits as arbitrator. She has built what is in my view a highly rated team around her.’

Key clients

Republic of Sierra Leone

Republic of Panama

Republic of Peru

Metropolitan Municipality of Lima

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Redeemer Committee of the Highland Crusader Fund


Work highlights

  • Representing Sierra Leone in its first ICSID arbitration relating to an iron ore mining project.
  • Acting as lead counsel to the Republic of Panama in a multi-million ICSID investment arbitration relating to the construction of the third set of locks of the Panama Canal.
  • Representing the Republic of Peru in a high-value ICSID arbitration concerning one of the largest ever infrastructure projects in Peru, the construction of a subterranean metro line.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP undertakes both international investment as well as commercial arbitration work; it is fully integrated within the global arbitration group and is adept at handling matters requiring close collaboration with the firm’s network consisting of over 150 specialists worldwide. The group attracts praise from clients for its ‘great leadership in oil and gas arbitration work’; indeed, the energy industry is an area of primary focus for the team in Houston, where key contacts include practice head Mark Baker and Kevin O’Gorman (‘knows oil and gas inside out’). Led by Matthew Kirtland, the arbitration team in Washington DC has extensive experience in court proceedings relating to the recognition and the enforcement of arbitral awards. In New York, Mina Matin specializes in Bermuda Form arbitrations in the insurance sector; Matin has additional barrister and solicitor qualifications in the UK.

Practice head(s):

Mark Baker

Other key lawyers:

Kevin O’Gorman; Mina Matin; Denton Nichols


‘Great leadership in oil and gas arbitration work with great depth of experience and global reach.’

‘Kevin O’Gorman in Houston is a leading advocate and strategist who knows oil and gas inside out.’

Key clients

Noble Energy

Vicinay Cadenas, S.A.

Mobil Investments Canada, Inc.

The Republic of Kazakhstan

Gold Reserve Corporation





Flowserve Corporation

Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Secured a first-of-its-kind settlement for Mobil Investments Canada, resolving a 15-year dispute with Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in multiple sets of court proceedings in the US concerning the enforcement of a $500m award issued pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • Acted for a Saudi-based company in US court proceedings concerning the enforcement of arbitral awards issued in Saudi Arabia.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s team uses the firm’s global platform as a springboard for international commercial and investment arbitration work, often representing a mix of investors and sovereign states alongside colleagues based across Asia and Europe. The group’s recent sector-specific experience spans energy, oil and gas, financial services, and construction, among others. Splitting time between New York and Washington DC, David Orta chairs the US and Latin America arbitration practice. Mark McNeill sits at the helm of the international arbitration group in New York; he is qualified in New York, France, and the UK. The department is noted for its ability to handle multi-lingual arbitral proceedings in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Korean; Daniel Salinas-Serrano (Washington DC) focuses on Latin America-related disputes and is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Practice head(s):

David Orta; Mark McNeill

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Salinas-Serrano; Dawn Yamane Hewett; Julianne Jaquith

Key clients

Cairn Energy PLC


TP Ferro

Oro Negro

Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, S.A.B. de C.V.

Alverley Investments Ltd

Rasia FZE


Work highlights

  • Representing Scottish oil and gas companies in a claim brought under the UK-India BIT and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in relation to a retrospective taxation measure adopted by the Indian Government in 2012.
  • Represented the Odebrecht group of construction companies in an investment treaty arbitration against Peru concerning two large infrastructure projects.
  • Representing a group of creditors of TP Ferro Concesionaria S.A., and the insolvency administrator of the company, in claims relating to the termination of a concession agreement.

Sidley Austin LLP

The arbitration, trade and advocacy group at Sidley Austin LLP is jointly led by Washington DC-based Marinn Carlson and Andrew Shoyer, and Tai-Heng Cheng in New York. The department has extensive experience of handling arbitrations initiated in relation to provisions contained in free trade agreements and investment treaties. Louis Kimmelman retired from the partnership at the end of 2020.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

The multilingual department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is based in New York and is known for its astute handling of both commercial and investment treaty disputes. Its client roster consists of multinational companies active across a variety of sectors, including aviation, financial services, energy, and pharmaceuticals. John Gardiner serves as chair of the global international litigation and arbitration group; Julie Bédard sits at the helm of the Americas practice.

Practice head(s):

John Gardiner;

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Permesly; Timothy Nelson; Gregory Litt


WilmerHale provides ‘creative, supportive and responsive services’ in commercial and investment arbitration conducted under all sets of institutional rules. Clients prize team members’ familiarity with ‘multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional matters’; indeed, the team stands out for handling issues governed by both common and civil law with equal ease. Further, the group is primarily split between New York and Washington DC, but its offering is also significantly bolstered through its close cooperation with its highly regarded colleagues in London. Senior counsel James Carter is a stalwart of the international arbitration community, widely recognized for having formerly presided over the American Society of International Law. Carter is based at the New York office, where John Pierce heads the arbitration team. Global group chair Rachael Kent and recently promoted partner Danielle Morris are noteworthy figures in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Kent; John Pierce

Other key lawyers:

James Carter; John Trenor; Danielle Morris; Claudio Salas


‘The top.’

‘Wilmer Hale provides creative, supportive and responsive services on a very flexible basis. They are cooperative, and stand out for their professional knowledge and advice. They are most helpful on everything you could ever expect.’

‘They are very familiar with multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional matters and they always accomplish the assigned goals beyond expectation.’

‘They are excellent advocates, who understand arbitration and present their clients’ positions very well. Standout partners include Gary Born, James Carter, Rachel Kent, and John Pierce.’

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP strengthened its New York-based arbitration practice with the arrival of Patrick Pearsall from Jenner & Block LLP in May 2020. This appointment significantly bolstered the team’s offering in investment treaty arbitration, where it acts for clients including the Kingdom of Sweden. Pearsall shares leadership of the department with recently promoted partner Bradley Pensyl, who has extensive experience in the financial services sector. The energy industry is also an area of focus for the team; it regularly assists clients with claims arising in relation to the Energy Charter Treaty.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Pearsall; Bradley Pensyl

Other key lawyers:

Karthik Reddy


‘They have an exceptionally talented and hard-working team.’

‘Practical; knowledgeable; willing to utilize its industry expertise; meeting flexibility.’

‘A sleeping giant in the US.’

‘Patrick Pearsall is one of the finest minds in the investor-state arbitration market and utterly charming to boot! It’s a real pleasure to work with him.’

‘Karthik Reddy has been very impressive at the associate level: diligent, efficient, very mature.’

Key clients

Kingdom of Sweden

Bridgepoint Group / Watkins Holdings S.à r.l.

Mubadala and Masdar Solar & Wind Cooperatief U.A

Sierra Leone

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Kingdom of Sweden as lead counsel in a multi-billion dollar claim brought by Aura Energy under the Energy Charter Treaty, relating to a ban imposed by Sweden on the mining of uranium.
  • Acting for a construction company on a claim against a former Eastern European country.
  • Advising an infrastructure investment company on the potential termination of a management services contract with P5 Infrastructure.

Baker & Hostetler LLP

Garnering praise for its ‘dedication, detail-oriented practice, and knowledge of international arbitration procedure’, Baker & Hostetler LLP handles a wide range of matters relating to all stages of international commercial and investment arbitration. In terms of its sector-specific offering, the team benefits from the ever-growing interest of its client base in sectors such as energy, hospitality, and telecoms, among others. In addition, the group has access to the firm’s IncuBaker team, which specializes in matters arising at the junction of law and legal tech; clients value its use of artificial intelligence for due diligence and document drafting tasks, praising it as ‘very effective and useful’. Mark Cymrot leads the practice out of Washington DC, where Kenneth Reisenfeld, Marco Molina, Paul Levine, and Analia Gonzalez are also names to note. Sashe Dimitroff is the key contact in Houston.

Practice head(s):

Mark Cymrot

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Reisenfeld; Sashe Dimitroff; Marco Molina; Paul Levine; Analia Gonzalez


‘In 2017, I chaired an ICC tribunal on which Mark Cymrot was a co-arbitrator. I appreciated his responsiveness and laser focus on the facts of our case.’

‘Their dedication, detail-oriented practice and knowledge of international arbitration procedure has been key to develop and effective strategy.’

‘Kenneth Reisenfeld has deep knowledge of applicable case law and is great at forming excellent strategy.’

‘Excellent research and legal analysis – Ken Reisenfeld and Marco Molina.’

‘Sashe Dimitroff is an excellent strategic lawyer. He is innovative and tireless in his determination to achieve victory. I have seen him work miracles.’

‘Their document system has been very effective and useful.’

Key clients

Latam Hydro LLC / CH Mamacocha

China Telecom / China Telecom (Americas) Corp.

ITG Brands LLC. / Commonwealth Brands Inc. / Liggett Group LLC / Japan Tobacco U.S.A. Inc.

Westmoreland Coal Company

Hydra-Pro Dutch Harbor, Inc.

Pyrotek, Inc.

Evoqua Water Technologies, LLC

Superior Energy Services, Inc.

Empresa Siderurgica Del Mutun

Work highlights

  • Representing Latam Hydro and its Peruvian subsidiary in a high-value investment dispute with the Republic of Peru relating to violations of the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement and breaches of a 20-year guaranteed revenue concession to provide hydroelectric generated renewable energy to the Peruvian grid.
  • Representing Resolute Forest Products in a $103m investor-state NAFTA Chapter 11 claim against the Government of Canada, centering on a dispute over the Canadian government’s support for a bankrupt paper mill in Nova Scotia.
  • Representing Westmoreland Coal Company in a $500m NAFTA Chapter 11 arbitration against the Government of Canada relating to compensation for the phase-out of coal-fired energy.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Acting seamlessly as part of Baker McKenzie LLP’s global arbitration group, the US-based team is praised by clients for its ‘great global reach’ and ability to handle multi-jurisdictional matters in collaboration with colleagues based in London, Moscow, Paris, Dubai, among other locations worldwide. The department’s recent workload testifies to the strength of its investment arbitration offering, where it acts for both companies and sovereign entities. The team specializes in matters arising in emerging economies, including former CIS countries; in an ongoing standout highlight, it is representing Manolium Processing LLC in UNCITRAL investment arbitral proceedings initiated against the Republic of Belarus – a first-ever investment claim brought against the country. Brendan Cook (Houston) chairs the North American arbitration team, while Michael Morkin (Chicago) serves as global chair of the global arbitration group. New York-based investment arbitration specialist Grant Hanessian retired from the partnership in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Cook; Michael Morkin

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Allison; David Zaslowsky; Derek Soller; Kyle Olson; Eugenie Rogers


‘The team consistently delivers a high quality work product; works well with a number of lawyers in the law department; has a great global reach and is able to pull in resources and know how from around the globe; sensitive to commercial realities; and clearly works well together.’

‘Brendan Cook and Eugenie Rogers are a pleasure to work with. Always available to take an unscheduled call and consistently provide sound advice that is collaborative takes into account legal and commercial objectives.’

Key clients

Longreef A.V.V.

Manolium Processing LLC

Marriott International

Naveen Aggarwal and Neete Gupta

Republic of Armenia

Work highlights

  • Representing Manolium Processing LLC in the first-ever investment arbitration initiated against the Republic of Belarus.
  • Obtained a victory for Marriott International in a contractual dispute between the client and the owner of the (former) W Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Representing two Indian investors (Naveen Aggarwal and Neete Gupta) in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated against Bosnia and Herzegovina pursuant to the India-Bosnia and Herzegovina BIT.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance represents a growing number of clients in high-value energy, oil and gas, construction, and infrastructure sector disputes. Jointly headed by Washington DC-based duo David DiBari and counsel José García Cueto as well as Anthony Candido in New York, the department is also able to draw on the firm’s resources in other large arbitration centers such as London and Paris, among other offices. Thanks in part to this global footprint, the practice is a suitable destination for both investment and commercial arbitration work; this is supplemented by its extensive experience handling issues arising in Latin America. Washington DC-based Ignacio Suárez Anzorena retired from the partnership in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

David DiBari; José García Cueto; Anthony Candido

Key clients

Enel Fortuna, S.A.

Ingeniería Estrella, S.A.

Consorcio Copán


Odebrecht Latinvest S.À.R.L.

Steag GmbH

Churchill Mining Plc / Planet Mining Pty

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ingeniería Estrella, S.A. and OEC, S.A., two large South American companies, in a dispute against a Dominican state-owned company relating to the construction of a 752 MW thermoelectric power plant.
  • Representing Odebrecht Latinvest S.À.R.L., a Luxembourg investor, in a $1.1bn ICSID investment arbitration initiated in relation to a pipeline concession.
  • Representing Enel Fortuna, S.A., a subsidiary of a European multinational company, in an ICSID arbitration with the Republic of Panama regarding the client’s investment in the energy sector.

Cooley LLP

The New York-based arbitration practice at Cooley LLP counts dispute resolution in the technology and life sciences industries among its core strengths, with additional expertise in sectors such as energy, natural resources, and construction. The team has a solid track record assisting clients with a wide range of commercial and investment treaty arbitrations conducted under the ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, and ICDR rules. In addition, it is also well-versed in advising on the enforcement of arbitral awards; Marc Suskin is a key contact for mandates in this regard. Following the departure of former department head Mark Beckett to found his own firm in the summer of 2020, Rachel Thorn took over sole leadership of the practice; she acts for a mix of multinational companies, sovereign states, and state-owned entities.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Thorn

Other key lawyers:

Marc Suskin

Key clients

Baymina Enerji, A.Ş.

Bursel Tekstil Sanayi ve Diş Ticaret A.Ş

Marsh & McLennan Companies

Odyssey Marine Exploration


Work highlights

  • Representing Odyssey Marine Exploration in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement against Mexico, in respect to a dispute arising out of Mexico’s wrongful denial of environmental approval for the development of one of the largest phosphate deposits in the world.
  • 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 Libya and the Man-Made River Authority relating to the installation of a large pipeline.
  • Representing Turkish company Bursel Tekstil Sanayi Ve Diş Ticaret A.Ş., and individuals Burhan Enuştekin and Selim Kaptanoğlu Bursel in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Uzbekistan arising under the Turkish-Uzbek BIT and the Uzbek Foreign Investment Law.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP’s Washington DC-based multilingual team is described by clients as being ‘tactically and strategically flexible and effective’. The department’s main focus lies in the investment treaty arbitration realm, although it also has significant capabilities in commercial arbitration as well. The team’s varied client portfolio spans sovereign states and state-owned enterprises, companies, and high-net-worth individuals. Notably, a team led by global arbitration group co-chair Arif Ali is also increasingly active in internet governance matters; of recent note is its work as counsel on the first-ever arbitration initiated against the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Other key figures in the team include French speaker Alexandre de Gramont and Érica Franzetti, both of whom have experience of advising clients in the energy, life sciences, financial services, and hospitality sectors.

Practice head(s):

Arif Ali

Other key lawyers:

Alexandre de Gramont; Érica Franzetti; David Attanasio


‘The team works extremely well in international collaboration with lawyers from other nations and legal systems. They are tactically and strategically flexible and effective, deploying their internal and collaborative resources to great effect.’

‘The standouts are Arif Ali, Alex de Gramont, and associate Mike Losco.’

‘Dechert has a very diverse team in all possible aspects, which makes the firm especially well-positioned to handle arbitration in virtually every part of the globe. In addition, the firm’s long track record in representing both states and private companies reassures it as a go-to firm to any kind of complex disputes.’

‘Partner Érica Franzetti really stands out a star in the field. Mrs. Franzetti pairs a solid international legal education with an impressive experience in the both investment and commercial arbitrations. Her international outlook and commercial mindset render her a true business partner, going way beyond the ordinary role of outside counsel. Her ability to always spot the core issue at hand and propose very clear, pragmatic, and business-orientated is simply remarkable. Mrs. Franzetti is the go-to lawyer for any kind of complex disputes.’

Key clients

MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc

The Republic of Poland

The Plurinational State of Bolivia

DotConnectAfrica Trust

Afilias USA, Inc.

AAN Digital Services

Russian Arbitration Centre

Work highlights

  • Representing MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas against Croatia in a dispute brought under the Energy Charter Treaty, in relation to Croatia’s treatment of the client’s investment exceeding $1.5bn.
  • Representing the Republic of Poland in recognition and enforcement proceedings in the US relating to a costs award rendered in an ICSID arbitration.
  • Representing a Kuwaiti telecoms company in a dispute against the Democratic Republic of the Congo arising out of the arbitrary revocation of a license for the utilization of telecom frequencies.


Dentons is particularly well equipped to handle international commercial and investment arbitration issues, particularly when it comes to the enforcement of arbitral awards in the US and in other jurisdictions. New York-based practice head John Hay has extensive experience of enforcement work before both state and federal US courts, coupled with notable mediation skills. The practice has been undergoing changes, following the departures of William O’Brien and Meriam Nazih Al-Rashid to Eversheds Sutherland in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

John Hay

Other key lawyers:

Kristen Weil; Diora Ziyaeva

Key clients

Gran Colombia Gold

GA Telesis, LLC

Work highlights

  • Secured a victory for Gran Colombia Gold Mining Co. in relation to a jurisdictional objections submitted by an opposing party in an ICSID arbitration.
  • Obtained a $22m LCIA award for US aviation company GA Telesis against Transaero, formerly Russia’s second-largest commercial airline undergoing bankruptcy.
  • Obtained a $13m ICC award for GA Telesis, against Transaero.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland launched a new international arbitration practice in March 2020, when a group of seven lawyers joined the firm from Dentons. The notable lateral hires are split between New York and Washington DC, and include both practice co-heads Meriam Nazih Al-Rashid (New York) and William O’Brien (Washington DC), alongside John Lomas (Washington DC) and a team of four associates. Clients refer to the group as ‘professionals at the very top of the game, with unmatched experience and an incredible track record in international dispute resolution’. Indeed, the team is adept at handling both international commercial and investor-state disputes for a mix of sovereign states, governmental entities, and companies. The department’s ability to advise on cross-border mandates is further enhanced by the firm’s global resources spanning over 80 lawyers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):

Meriam Al-Rashid; William O’Brien

Other key lawyers:

John Lomas; Ulyana Bardyn; Levon Golendukhin


‘Highly devoted team, very knowledgeable. Have the ability explain things in a very simplified manner. Very dynamic team that also communicates extremely well with the client.  Also, the promised outcome versus the actual outcome of the results was in line with our expectations.’ 

‘William O’Brien is very passionate about law and highly knowledgeable, which is also evident since he teaches law too.’

‘Will O’Brien and Meriam Al-Rashid are true collaborators who focus on their long-term relationship with us, rather then merely on short-term opportunities or engagements.  In addition, the team is extremely engaging and ethical.’

‘The key differentiator with this team is their judgment. You’re dealing with professionals at the very top of the game, with unmatched experience and an incredible track record in international dispute resolution. They have been down this road before, or something very close to it, and their tactical instincts are therefore spot on. Time and time again, this experience has paid off for us, and is requested by company management as well as the in-house legal team.’

‘They have people on the ground everywhere, and strong leadership in Will O’Brien, so although they are geographically widespread, they function as a cohesive team. We know that we can count on them to work hard and in a coordinated fashion, and to do their absolute best to achieve a positive result.’

‘The team is well seasoned, yet mentally flexible. It approaches each case or dispute individually, with critical thought instead of relying on cookie-cutter and siloed approaches.’ 

‘Three qualities stand out: (1) Experience and knowledge; (2) Ethics and integrity; (3) Congeniality and collegiality. Will O’Brien and Meriam Al-Rashid stand out in this respect. All team members are bright and capable.’

‘Will O’Brien is one of the best orators I have ever dealt with. He is calm in handling a situation. Excellent client service and advice. Will’s team is also outstanding: John Lomas and Daniel Morris were great and work together very uniformly as a team.’

‘Both William O’Brien and Danny Morris exhibit tremendous intellectual skill in addition to second-to-none integrity, both in the workplace and as human beings.’

Key clients

Gran Colombia Gold Corp.

Honwood Services

Future Pipe International

Shanghai Qichengyueming Investment Partnership Enterprise

Customs and Tax Consultancy LLC

Thales SA

Thales Avionics


Symbion Energy Holdings

Viorel Micula

Haulotte Group

Orbital ATK

Government of Kenya

High Negotiations Commission in Syria

Independent State of Papua New Guinea

Champion Holding Company

State of Libya

US Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program

Afghanistan Parliament

Ministries of Justice and Finance

Caratube International Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Representing Honwood Services in an approximately €1.4bn dispute arising out of Poland’s Ministry of Environment’s treatment of Honwood’s potash mining project, a case tackling the issue of viability of intra-EU bilateral investment treaties.
  • Representing Future Pipe International in a $240m investment treaty case against the Arab Republic of Egypt arising out of Egypt’s Ministry of Housing’s introduction of a series of decrees that seriously impeded the business of Future Pipe International’s investment in Egypt.
  • Represented Leidos in successfully obtaining the payment of a $58m ICC arbitral award issued against the Hellenic Republic.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Based in New York, Herbert Smith Freehills remains busy on the international investment arbitration front, where it acts for high-profile clients such as the Kingdom of Spain. This strength is supplemented by its notable commercial arbitration expertise and enforcement experience, as well as its focus on disputes originating in Latin America. Qualified in the US and the UK, practice head Christian Leathley represents a mix of sovereign and corporate clients in the energy, renewables, and infrastructure sectors. Similarly, Amal Bouchenaki also has dual qualifications – in the US and France; she is also a key contact for multilingual matters and an advisor regularly sought by parties in the Middle East and North Africa.

Practice head(s):

Christian Leathley

Other key lawyers:

Amal Bouchenaki; Florencia Villaggi; Daniela Páez

Key clients

Kingdom of Spain

Chevron Corporation

ST Shipping

Republic of Italy

Work highlights

  • Secured a victory for the Kingdom of Spain in a long-running investor-state arbitration concerning regulatory amendments made by Spain in 2011 to the feed-in tariff regulation governing the renewables sector.
  • Acting as counsel to Chevron Corporation on its defense against an $18bn sham arbitral award issued against the client and Saudi Aramco by a corrupt arbitration centre in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Representing the Republic of Italy in an enforcement action brought by Greentech Energy Systems A/S, NovEnergia General Partner S.A., and NovEnergia II Italian Portfolio.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP' team has longstanding experience advising clients on both investment and commercial arbitration matters. The group is noted for its global footprint, which includes a notable presence in the Middle East; trilingual Samaa Haridi is a key New York-based contact for Middle Eastern clients.

Other key lawyers:

Samaa Haridi

Jones Day

The arbitration department at Jones Day is able to rely on the firm’s global footprint for multi-jurisdictional work, as well as on its wider litigation, appellate, and IP strength for complex matters demanding cross-practice cooperation. The team is noted for its work on internet-related disputes; it counts the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) among its clients. Its commercial arbitration work also stands out in the construction sector, while its investment treaty arbitration expertise is increasingly sought by clients in the Middle East. Gregory Shumaker chairs the firm’s global disputes practice. Clients also single out Melissa Gorsline and Charles Kotuby, both of whom have notable knowledge of public international law. All named practitioners are based in Washington DC, although the group also has significant presence in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Shumaker

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Gorsline; Charles Kotuby; Marcus Quintanilla


‘The team pays close attention to the expertise the client needs. They make sure the right people are on board to ensure the best possible representation. They do not have solo superstars, the team is a superstar as one.’

‘Melissa Gorsline is the leading expert when it comes to corruption allegations. She is able to jump into a case that has been ongoing for years and pick up on the red flags raised by the opposing counsel effortlessly and counter them with a strong elegant force.’

‘Charles Kotuby recognizes the goals and the constraints that a client has, communicates transparently about what can and cannot be achieved, proposes a clear path forward, and always delivers the results he promised.’

Key clients

World Wide Minerals Ltd.

Federal Elektrik Yatirim ve Ticaret A.S.

Visor Group

Gold Pool JV Ltd.

Omega Engineering LLC

Alhambra Resources Ltd

Windoor AS

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Mayer Brown

Led out of New York by ‘skilled advocateTed Howes, Mayer Brown’s arbitration group also has significant market presence in Chicago, Houston, and Palo Alto. Reflective of Howes’ experience, the practice is a preferred destination for clients seeking representation during all stages of commercial disputes arising out of M&A transactions and distribution agreements, as well as for China-related matters. In addition, the team in Houston also specializes in commercial arbitration in the energy and construction sectors; Michael Lennon is a name to note in this space. Due to its access to the firm’s global network, the ‘highly professional and dedicated’ department is often engaged on multi-jurisdictional matters alongside the teams in London, Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong, among others. Notably, over the past decade, the firm has often found itself in the news due to its high-profile class arbitration work in the US Supreme Court.

Practice head(s):

Ted Howes

Other key lawyers:

Michael Lennon; Sarah Reynolds; Hannah Banks


‘The firm’s international arbitration practice is comprised of highly skilled, highly qualified lawyers and support staff in key markets around the world, which enables efficient and effective coordinated efforts in complex international disputes.’

‘Ted Howes is a skilled advocate, who is passionate and driven to achieve results for his clients, in an ethical and professional manner, and is well-versed in international arbitration procedures and protocols.’

‘Carmine Zarlenga is a litigation partner involved in international arbitrations from time to time, who is a highly skilled trial lawyer, with vast experience representing Fortune 100 clients with global interests.’

‘The team was highly professional and dedicated. They had well-defined roles and responsibilities for each member of the team who was involved with us. Very knowledgeable and sharp.’

‘Highly committed and focused individuals. Very client-service oriented, they are willing to go out of their way to ensure that the client has all the information required and keep us updated on all developments.’

Key clients

Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P.

Panama Canal Authority

Nestlé Middle East FZE

Capri Sun GmbH / Capri Sun Group Holding

Solvay S.A.

Work highlights

  • Obtained a victory for a multinational food and beverage corporation in a $75m ICC arbitration against the exclusive licensee of the client’s trademarks in the Middle East.
  • Secured a significant victory for a Canadian real estate investment fund in a $100m NAFTA arbitration case against Mexico.
  • Scored a win for an Asian state-owned oil and gas company in a $1.8bn UNCITRAL ad hoc arbitration arising from the termination of a coal bed methane (CBM) production sharing contract.

Paul Hastings LLP

The Washington DC-based arbitration group at Paul Hastings LLP is adept at handling both commercial and investment arbitral matters under a wide array of arbitration rules. The department’s recent international commercial arbitration work stands out in the pharmaceutical and property sectors, where it acts on a cross-departmental basis alongside the firm’s IP and real estate teams. Other sectors of focus include technology, manufacturing, and financial services, among others. Practice head Joseph Profaizer is qualified in the US and the UK, and counts high-profile names the like of AIG and Mitsubishi Tanabe among his clients. Igor Timofeyev is also a key advisor for matters involving free trade agreements and investment treaties.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Profaizer

Other key lawyers:

Igor Timofeyev; Adam Weiss

Key clients

American International Group

Global Gaming Asset Management

Nu Dotco

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp.

Daiichi Sankyo

Aetos Capital Real Estate Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Nu Dotco in a dispute resulting from a successful bid to operate a new internet TLD.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP represents multinational companies and investors in international commercial and investment arbitration in its traditional sectors of focus, including energy, construction, and pharmaceuticals. The group is praised by clients for being ‘a solid player across main arbitration centers’; indeed, it significantly benefits from the firm’s international network and acts in conjunction with other teams in London, Paris, and Singapore, among other locations. Further, the team has a particular strength in disputes originating in Latin America; Miami-based practice head José Astigarraga is a well-known practitioner in this space. In addition, multiple team members are able to effectively advocate in arbitral proceedings conducted in English, Spanish, and French languages.

Practice head(s):

José Astigarraga

Other key lawyers:

Ed Mullins; Cristina Cárdenas; Francisco Rivero; Ben Love; Eduardo De la Peña Bernal


‘Solid player across main arbitration centers. A few good hires in recent years.’

‘Ben Love has developed into one of the top five investment treaty arbitration globally. He combines encyclopedic legal knowledge, practical savvy, and superb advocacy skills. I have him on speed dial for all complex international matters involving state parties.’

‘Strong global platform that has deep relationships with US corporates.’

‘Ben Love is a superstar and the go-to lawyer for complex and high-profile international arbitrations.’

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Led out of New York by Henry Weisburg, Shearman & Sterling LLP is recognized for its wide-ranging experience in international commercial arbitration and high-stakes enforcement proceedings. Team members’ recent workload reveals a strength in multi-jurisdictional mandates in the construction and energy industries. Also in the construction sector, the department is representing the Republic of Panama in an investment treaty arbitration initiated by Omega Engineering alleging the client’s expropriation of construction contracts. Further, the team in Washington DC is routinely instructed by governmental as well as private clients; ‘excellent lawyerChristopher Ryan is the key contact. Daniel Reich (New York) departed to start his own firm in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Henry Weisburg

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Ryan


‘An excellent team, with a solid expertise on international arbitration matters.’

‘Christopher Ryan is an excellent lawyer, very respected in the field of international arbitration and well known by his peers.’

Key clients

Stoneway Capital Corporation

Enka Insaat ve Sanayi A.S.

Republic of Panama

Nevada Copper Incorporated

The Dow Chemical Company


Oil Search

Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company



Arizona Public Services Co.

Work highlights

  • Represented leading Turkish contractor Enka Insaat ve Sanayi AS in proceedings brought before the US Court for the District of Columbia to request the recognition of a $47m award issued in an ICC arbitration against Gabon.
  • Representing the Republic of Panama in investment treaty claims brought by Omega Engineering LLC.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs represents an enviable client base of sovereign states and state-owned entities in investment treaty arbitration proceedings; Miriam Harwood in New York has extensive experience in this space. Splitting time between New York and Washington DC, Stephen Anway serves as global co-chair of the firm's dispute resolution group.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Anway

Other key lawyers:

Miriam Harwood; Luka Misetic

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is a suitable destination for clients seeking assistance with the enforcement of arbitral awards. The practice is led out of New York by Joseph Neuhaus.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s arbitration group stays true to the firm’s traditional strength in the energy, infrastructure, and construction industries, where it handles both commercial and investment arbitrations. The team also relies on the expertise of the firm’s highly regarded trial specialists to handle all stages of disputes. For multi-jurisdictional work, it also calls upon the expertise of a global network of over 40 dispute resolution experts. Houston-based James Loftis leads the practice. Clients have also singled out Camilo Cardozo and counsel Jose Sanchez, a New York-based duo noted for their ‘great ability to come up with innovative legal arguments’.

Practice head(s):

James Loftis

Other key lawyers:

Camilo Cardozo; Adrianne Goins


‘We use a small team of lawyers at Vinson & Elkins that are knowledgeable of our business. Of particular interest to us is the team’s extensive knowledge of the arbitration process, as well as its experience in handling international disputes. I have not worked with another team that has the same level of international experience.’

‘Primarily we work with Camilo Cardozo and Jose Sanchez. Their knowledge of the arbitration process, combined with a great ability to come up with innovative legal arguments to support our positions.’

Key clients

Panama Canal Authority

Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd.

Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq

Exxon Mobil Corporation

KBR, Inc.

XTO and Exxon Mobil Exploration Argentina

Offshore Exploration and Production LLC

Tampico Beverages Inc

Prime Energia SpA

Work highlights

  • Handling a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority against Grupo Unidos por el Canal, arising out of the Panama Canal extension project.
  • Representing the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq and its affiliate state oil companies, in a number of contentious matters.
  • Assisting Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) as an investor with bringing claims under the Mauritius-India BIT.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Clients rate Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘knowledge of other languages and different legal cultures and institutions’, which the team utilizes in its work on international commercial and investment arbitration in the energy, mining and metals, manufacturing, and telecoms sectors. The department is equally well versed in arbitration-related litigation, often collaborating with colleagues from across the firm's global network, most recently in London and Hong Kong. Practice chair Ricardo Ugarte splits time between London and Chicago. The team’s client base also benefits from the firm’s Legal Innovation Center in Houston, where a team specializes in executing e-discovery tasks.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Ugarte

Other key lawyers:

Imad Khan


‘Ricardo Ugarte is an experienced and calm disputes partner. He leads the firm’s group in a very astute way. His expertise covers a wide array of international arbitration disputes, both commercial and investment. His team is excellent, and he has amassed a string of great results for clients.’

‘Ricardo Ugarte is superb. His ability to handle a wide array of arbitration matters and to handle tribunals is what sets him apart. He is a standout partner. His colleague in London, Daniel Meagher, also works at an extremely high level.’

‘Acquaintance with other legal systems, particularly those of the civil law tradition, and a quick grasp of the issues involved in international litigation.’

‘Knowledge of other languages and different legal cultures and institutions, which in my view are of paramount importance in international arbitration or litigation.’

Key clients

Dominion Minerals Corp.

Eskosol S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Representing Dominion Minerals Corp. in its bet-the-company claims brought under the US-Panama BIT in relation to Dominion’s investment in a copper and gold concession in western Panama.