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Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

1775 I STREET, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20006-2401, USA
Work +1 202 721 4600
Fax +1 202 721 4646

John Townsend

Work +1 (202) 721-4640
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Work Department

International Arbitration


Partner; Chair, Arbitration and ADR Group.


Hughes Hubbard & Reed since 1971, New York, Paris, Washington. Admitted NY 1972; DC 1990.


Chairman of the Board 2007-2010, American Arbitration Association; US Member,ICSID Panel of Arbitrators, 2008-2014; Chair of Privilege Task Force, Member, Arbitration and Competition Law Committees, US council for International Business; Chair 2005-06, Mediation Committee,International Bar Association; Challenge Review Board, CPR Institute; College of Commercial Arbitrators; American Law Institute; Vice President of the Court of Arbitration, LCIA.


BA Yale University 1968; JD Yale University 1971.

Latin America: International firms

International arbitration

Within: International arbitration

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP 's 2019 hire of Luis O’Naghten from Baker McKenzie LLP added additional strength to its investment treaty and commercial arbitration offering. The team is representing the investors in a breach of agreement dispute regarding the construction and operation of hydroelectric plants, and continues to act for Huntington Ingalls Industries in its arbitration against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela arising from Venezuela's failure to pay for repairs on two Lupo class frigates. John Townsend is recommended for investment treaty arbitration, has 'unique knowledge of international law' and is a 'true strategic thinker'. Nicolas Swerdloff focuses on financial, joint venture, securities, professional liability and sports disputes. Many of the arbitration lawyers also sit regularly as arbitrators.

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United States: Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Within: Leading lawyers

John Townsend - Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Within: International arbitration

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is 'at the top of its legal game'. Jointly led by Washington DC-based John Townsend and 'great legal mind' James H. Boykin, the team is especially active in investor-state arbitration and is involved in five arbitrations against the Russian Federation under the Russia-Ukraine BIT, pertaining to the loss of investment by Ukrainian investors that occurred during the Crimea annexation of 2014. Townsend also represented the Government of Hungary in an $800m ICSID arbitration commenced by Engie under the Energy Charter Treaty. Key contacts in New York include John Fellas, an 'instinctive advocate', the 'exceptional' Hagit M. Elul and Steven Hammond, who heads the treaty arbitration team. Stephen Rabinowitz left the firm for Dechert LLP.

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