David Rivkin > Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10022
United States

Work Department

David W. Rivkin is a litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton and co-chair of the firm’s Business Integrity Group.


He is consistently ranked as one of the top international dispute resolution practitioners in the world. Mr. Rivkin has handled international arbitrations before virtually every major arbitration institution. Subjects of these arbitrations have included long-term energy concessions, investment treaties, joint venture agreements, insurance coverage, construction contracts, distribution agreements and intellectual property, among others, and they have involved common law, civil law, Islamic law and other systems. Mr. Rivkin also represents companies in transnational litigation in the U.S., including the enforcement of arbitral awards and arbitration agreements.


Mr. Rivkin served as Co-Chair of Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution Group for more than 20 years and is a Past President of the International Bar Association (IBA).


He is a member of many arbitration panels, including the AAA, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (where he sits as a Co-Chair), Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Cairo Regional Arbitration Centre, the Fédération International de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > International arbitration

(Hall of Fame)

David W. Rivkin – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

A longstanding force in complex arbitrations, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is widely admired for its impressive bench strength, with sources quick to assert that with this firm, ‘you do not hire an arbitration star, you hire a star team‘. A go-to firm globally, it is routinely selected by multinational corporations, states, NGOs and individuals to advise on the full range of international commercial arbitrations, investment treaty arbitrations and public international law cases. Equally adept in representing claimants and respondents, the group’s comprehensive experience spans all major arbitration rules and all industry areas. International disputes specialist Catherine Amirfarseems to do a week’s worth of work every day‘ and successfully defended the government of the Republic of Iraq in two separate arbitral proceedings totaling over $1bn. Ina Popova has ‘more talent in her little finger than in some entire law firms‘ and acted alongside Amirfar to co-lead the group’s defense of Iraq in the arbitration brought by Agility Public Warehousing Company. Mark W. Friedman is a ‘top-class strategist‘ and recently secured a $390m award for Perenco Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration against Ecuador. Other key names include Dietmar Prager, who has an ‘unparalleled capability to deal with foreign law matters‘, the ‘innovativeDavid W. Rivkin  and Caribbean practice group co-chair Natalie Reid. The firm also fields a talented band of rising stars including Floriane Lavaud (‘impeccable and greatly motivated‘) and Laura Sinisterra. Former group co-chair Donald Donovan retired from active practice at the end of 2021.

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration

(Hall of Fame)

David W RivkinDebevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘hard-working, high-quality attorneys’ in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s international dispute resolution practice handle all major sets of arbitration rules, providing multinational corporations, sovereigns, international organisations and individuals with support in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration matters. The practice has a strong presence in Latin America, securing significant awards for clients across a broad range of industries, including energy and natural resources, mining, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. The Latin American practice is led by the New York-based trio of Dietmar Prager , who displays ‘exceptional intelligence’; Mark W. Friedman  has some 20 years’ experience and is a former Vice President of the ICC Court of Arbitration; and Catherine Amirfar. In addition, the group has recourse to the extensive experience of veteran arbitration practitioner David W. Rivkin  , who divides his time between New York and London. Furthermore, the deep bench also houses an array of younger talent, including energy, mining and telecommunications expert Ina Popova  and London-based energy specialist Samantha Rowe. In addition Laura Sinisterra, who clients note is ‘very good at dealing with experts and witnesses’, was raised to the partnership in 2022; and young triple-qualified (Brazil, New York, England & Wales) associate Guilherme Recena Costa is undoubtedly an up-and-comer of note. Donald Francis Donovan retired from his of counsel position in August 2022 after over 35 years at the firm, subsequently taking up a role as an independent arbitrator at Arbitration Chambers.