Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP > Washington DC, United States > Firm Profile

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP
1717 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20006
United States

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 2

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP's team is widely hailed for comprising 'well-regarded experts in the field of investor-state arbitration'. The firm is well known for its record in representing sovereigns worldwide in complex investment disputes, with a roster of over 20 state clients. On the commercial arbitration side, it is well versed in acting for corporates in disputes between private companies. In New York, firm chairman George Kahale is recognized as a 'leader in the field of international arbitration', and counts state clients from LatAm, Asia, Africa and the Middle East among his clients. Claudia Frutos-Peterson, managing partner of the Washington DC office, handles a mix of investor-state and international commercial arbitration; she was recently appointed by the Argentine Republic to represent the state in the first investment arbitration globally relating to pension reforms. Other key contacts include the 'accommodating and very hardworking' Simon Batifort; he splits his time between New York, Brussels and Paris and is qualified to practice in all three jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The CMP team are well regarded experts in the field of investor-state arbitration, and have distinguished themselves with their ability to provide incisive and clear input on international law issues and practice, and their quick response times.’

‘They represent states and state agencies only, therefore, there is no concern of conflicts of interests from clients. They are dedicated to representing and defending state and state agency clients.’

‘The team provides exceptional knowledge and expertise of international investment law and local law. The team also includes people from developed and developing countries, which contributes to diversity in legal background and understanding of the business environment in developing countries.’

They possess the perfect combination of academic knowledge and pragmatic wisdom.’

‘The lead Partner from CMP on the matter is Mr George Kahale III. He is a well-established leader in the field of international arbitration, with a great deal of experience, and is fully committed to his client and to the case.’

‘The partners who work with us (George Kahale and Claudia Frutos-Peterson) are very attentive to the client’s need, identify our concerns and address them thoroughly. They strengthen our confidence in our case.’

Mr Simon Batifort is well established in the field in his own right. He is always available, very accommodating and very hardworking.’

‘The firm’s energy, skill, commercialism and client care are second to none, particularly Arianna Sánchez and Hermann Ferré in New York.’

Key clients

Republic of Congo

Republic of South Sudan

Republic of Uzbekistan

Comoros

Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Argentine Republic

Republic of Colombia

Republic of Panama

Kingdom of Spain

State of Kuwait

Republic of Kazakhstan

Republic of Cyprus

Romania

Republic of India

Republic of Uganda

Dominican Republic

Venezuela; Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)

Work highlights

  • Representing the Argentine Republic in an ICSID arbitration relating to retirement and pension system reform measures adopted by the State, involving claims of over $500m.
  • Representing the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID case initiated by two American companies related to the expansion and modernization of the Cartagena Refinery.
  • Acting for the Republic of Uzbekistan in an investment-treaty arbitration brought by a group of Turkish investors.

Dispute resolution > International trade Tier 3

Demonstrating 'deep knowledge of trade regulations and sanction programs', Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP's practice is best known for its activity in trade remedies cases. The team may be more compact than some, but sources attest this 'allows them to avoid conflicts that larger practices often have’. Its size is also no barrier to practice scope; alongside its strength in trade remedies and policy, the group is also well equipped to advise on WTO litigation, export controls, economic sanctions and foreign investment-related issues. Matthew McCullough splits his time between Washington DC and Geneva and is regarded by many as 'the top countervailing duty lawyer in DC' — he also frequently advises on economic sanctions. Group head Daniel Porter operates between DC, Geneva and Beijing and is focused on trade disputes; he is valued by sources for being 'data driven'. The group also includes James Durling, who possesses 'a deep of knowledge of economics', and senior counsel Christopher Dunn — both split their time between DC and Geneva.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team is very hands-on and pragmatic. Easy to deal with and creative in its solutions. No desire for endless briefs/memos; it is solutions they are after. Partners are hands-on themselves as well, which makes the team (cost-)efficient to deal with.’

‘Deep knowledge of trade regulations and sanction programs. Excellent service irrespective of the size of the client. Diverse team.’

‘Three superior senior partners — all with deep knowledge of trade laws, customs, etc. Yet, each has unique strengths. As a team, as uniformly strong as any I know in the DC trade bar. A smaller firm, which allows them to avoid conflicts that larger practices often have.’

‘Daniel Porter is head of the trade group. Organizes the legal demands across all members of his team. Does a great job training younger lawyers. Very hard working. Data driven.’

‘Matthew McCullough is our key contact in the firm. He is our gateway to both trade issues and sanctions programs and has the ability to explain to the client complex issues in a rapid and understandable way.’

‘Matthew McCullough — senior partner. In my view, the top countervailing duty lawyer in DC. Deep knowledge of esoteric Department of Commerce rules and practices. Top notch.’

‘Christopher Dunn has helped us for years overcome the imposition of antidumping tariffs in a very professional but close way. Assessing not only theoretical legal issues but also in their implementation.’

James Durling is a senior partner. Has a deep of knowledge of economics as any member of the DC trade bar.

Key clients

British Columbia Blueberry Council and Wild Blueberry Association of North America (Canada)

Bluescope Ltd. (United States and Mexico)

OCTAL SAOZ FZC (Oman)

Toyo Kohan (Japan)

Oman Aluminium Rolling Company (OARC) (Oman)

LG Electronics (Korea)

Saha Thai Steel Pipe Public Company (Thailand)

Agro Sevilla (Spain)

Shelter Forest (USA and China)

CMA LLC (USA)

LG Chem (Korea)

Silgan Containers (USA)

Ulma Forja S. Coop (Spain)

Tokyo Steel (Japan)

British Columbia Blueberry Council and Wild Blueberry Association of North America (Canada)

Bluescope Ltd. (United States and Mexico)

OCTAL SAOZ FZC (Oman)

Toyo Kohan (Japan)

Oman Aluminium Rolling Company (OARC) (Oman)

LG Electronics (Korea)

Saha Thai Steel Pipe Public Company (Thailand)

Agro Sevilla (Spain)

Shelter Forest (USA and China)

CMA LLC (USA)

LG Chem (Korea)

Silgan Containers (USA)

Ulma Forja S. Coop (Spain)

Tokyo Steel (Japan)

Work highlights

  • Represented the British Columbia Blueberry Council and Wild Blueberry Association of North America in a US ITC injury proceeding.
  • Represented Oman Aluminium Rolling Company in a year-long investigation by the DOC.
  • Won a court appeal in the Court of International Trade for Saha Thai Steel Pipe Public Company.

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 4

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is active on a plethora of mid-market transactions, having developed a particularly prominent reputation for cross-border inbound investments into the US. Lawrence Goodman fronts the offering from New York and is vastly experienced in a number of distinct sectors such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, commodity trading and shipping.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Goodman

Other key lawyers:

Valarie Hing; Andrew Seiden; Douglas Glazer

Testimonials

‘Flexible, intelligent and solution driven, hard working and fine communication skills. We did a cross border deal and they were superb.’

‘Andrew Seiden is very client focused. All issues and options are presented so that our team can weigh business decisions vs legal issues.’

‘Andrew Seiden has worked many deals for us. He’s client focused, gives 100% of his time and is very caring.’

 

Key clients

US Distribution LLC

American Elite Molding LLC

Business News Americas Inc.

LiquidityBook, LLC

Tax > International tax Tier 4

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP advises on tax matters related to M&A, fund formation, and international tax controversies. Its client base includes financial institutions, investment funds, and sovereign wealth funds. In New York, US chair Klas Holm focuses on cross-border transactions and global tax planning. Also in New York, Olga Beloded advises foreign multinationals and ultra-high-net-worth individuals on tax planning and cross-border transactions. Counsel Beth Kerwin joined from Baker McKenzie in August 2021, and specializes in US tax planning for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, working across the New York and Paris offices. Eduardo Cukier departed the team.

Practice head(s):

Klas Holm

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge and responsiveness.’

‘Klas Holm has complete tax knowledge and business acumen.’

Key clients

Unipharm

Brevet Capital Management

E.ON SE

Burgan Bank

United Gulf Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, Unipharm, in all ongoing tax matters including cross-border M&A transactions as well as tax planning.  
  • Advised Brevet Capital Management on a broad range of matters relating to transactions, the structuring of investments, and cross-border tax issues.
  • Represented long-standing client E.ON SE on a broad range of matters, including a recent $20bn global restructuring involving asset and business swaps across multiple jurisdictions.

Investment fund formation and management > Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 6

In addition to regularly advising financial institutions, investment managers, institutional investors, and family offices, the New York-based offering at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has carved out a particular niche representing sovereign wealth funds. The group’s diverse workload ranges from developing tailored structures for the investment community to restructuring existing fund complexes and providing regulatory assistance. Practice head Carl Ruggiero maintains many of the firm’s key client relationships, and is supported by a core senior team comprising ‘quick and resourcefulRandy DeSmyter and Shaun Reader.

Practice head(s):

Carl Ruggiero

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The partner that leads our account is very experienced and has a superior attention to detail. He is commercial and quick. The practice has an amazing depth of expertise in the funds business.’

‘Randy DeSmyter is the partner on our account. He makes a difference on a daily basis in our business. He is quick and resourceful, careful on the comments, has an amazing attention to detail and always does the right thing!’

‘Great lawyers who are a pleasure to work with. I’ve always gotten solid advice and service, especially when it counts the most. I view them as a true business partner, supporting the establishment and growth of my division.’

‘I’ve worked with top NY and international law firms for 30 years and these attorneys rank in the top quartile in terms of service, trust and quality of advice.’

Key clients

Blue Opal Capital

Brevet Capital Management

CrowdStreet Advisors

HBM Partners

Livingston Securities

Starbridge Venture Capital

Studio VC

Symbridge

United Gulf Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Brevet Capital Management on all aspects of offering and operating existing funds, including realization of an approximately $400m investment program and new offerings of approximately $140m.
  • Advising CrowdStreet on all aspects of structuring, offering and operating its funds, including assisting with the intricate tax aspects of specific strategies such as investing in opportunity zones, and handling various regulatory filings.
  • Advising Blue Opal Capital on all aspects of its business, including the process of filing with the SEC as an Exempt Reporting Adviser, as well as the launch of a venture capital fund of funds; an oil and gas royalty fund; and seven special purpose venture funds.

Tax > US taxes: non-contentious Tier 6

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is regularly engaged by MNCs, financial institutions, and sovereign wealth funds on a wealth of middle-market transactions and investment structuring mandates. The team is led by New York-based Klas Holm  and Marco A Blanco , who splits his time between New York, Paris and Geneva. Also in New York, Olga Beloded is noted for her expertise in treaty planning and tax-efficient charitable giving. Eduardo Cukier  has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Klas Holm

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Strong international practice’

‘Practical, well thought out international tax advice.

‘Olga Beloded offers intelligent, thorough and well reasoned international tax advice.’

Marco Blanco is a master of practical, well thought out international tax advice.

 

Key clients

Unipharm

Brevet Capital Management

E.ON SE

Burgan Bank

United Gulf Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Brevet Capital Management on a broad range of matters relating to transactions, the structuring of investments, and cross-border tax issues.
  • Representing E.ON SE on a broad range of matters, including a recent $20bn global restructuring involving asset and business swaps across multiple jurisdictions.

Mexico > Dispute resolution: arbitration

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C.'s Mexican arbitration practice is renowned for its expertise in handling investor-State arbitration, although, over the last few years it has successfully expanded its ‘excellent work and skills’ in that area to its growing commercial arbitration practice. The practice endured the departure of department co-head Gabriela Álvarez-Ávila, who moved to DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano in July 2021, so the local team is now led by oil, gas and power arbitration-specialist Eloy Barbará de Parres, who is closely supported by disputes specialists in the firm’s Washington, D.C. (particularly managing partner Claudia Frutos-Peterson) and Geneva offices. The practice is currently representing the Republic of Venezuela in two ICSID proceedings (against ConocoPhillips and Universal Compression International), as well as a third case under UNCITRAL rules.

Practice head(s):

Eloy Barbará de Parres

Testimonials

‘They started with great strength in handling investor-state arbitrations. They have now started to get involved in commercial arbitration and have successfully transferred their excellent work and skills to that area. They have a great future ahead of them.’

‘Claudia Frutos combines commercial and investor-state practice in a very flexible way. She is an extraordinary lawyer with great dedication.’

‘The firm with most experience in investor-state disputes.’

Key clients

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Dominican Republic

FROB

Colombia

Republic of Panama

Work highlights

  • Representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in ICSID arbitration against ConocoPhillips; the companies’ original demand for damages was $30bn.  
  • Representing the Dominican Republic against a claim by a Jamaican company concerning a dispute over a waste disposal facility.
  • Representing FROB in a case involving 54 Mexican individuals and legal entities under the Spain-Mexico BIT after the resolution and subsequent sale of Banco Popular.

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration

The international arbitration practice at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP acts exclusively for sovereign states in high-profile, high-value investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitrations. With its long-standing sector expertise in oil-and-gas the team is best known for its work representing the national oil companies of Venezuela and Mexico, but has also added Argentina, Colombia and Panama to its client roster. Notable matters the team has worked on include ongoing annulment proceedings for Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA and representing Panama in an ICSID arbitration against a US consortium concerning a construction dispute. New York-based practice head George Kahale III displays a ‘unique combination of superb legal skills and real-world intuition’ and has been the leading figure in the firm’s work for Venezuela, with the ‘extraordinaryClaudia Frutos-Peterson in Washington another key team figure. New-York based partner Simon Batifort, who also works on PDVSA matters, ‘is a very accomplished young lawyer with a bright future ahead. However, key Mexico City-based partner Gabriela Álvarez Ávila moved to DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano in late July 2021.

Practice head(s):

George Kahale III

Testimonials

‘Great expertise in many different areas related to international commercial arbitration which gives them a competitive advantage internationally.’

‘A modern practice with an excellent grasp of arbitration rules, which allows them to establish clear parameters for the conduct of procedures, while maintaining great flexibility.’

‘Claudia Frutos has excellent advocacy skills. Both are also great as arbitrators.’

‘The Curtis international arbitration practice is one of the best in Latin America and around the world. Curtis’s lawyers have superb legal skills and unbeatable industry experience. They are the best advocates a client could wish for.’

‘George Kahale has a unique combination of superb legal skills and real-world intuition. His broad experience negotiating deals makes him one of the best international arbitration lawyers in the world.’

‘Simon Batifort is a very accomplished young lawyer with a bright future ahead. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of international arbitration cases and great advocacy skills.’

‘Claudia Frutos combines commercial and investor-state work in a very flexible way. She is an extraordinary attorney with great dedication and unmatched legal insight.’

‘Curtis represents only host countries in investor-state arbitrations and avoids the inevitable conflicts of positions that plague firms that work both sides. Its principal lawyers are very dedicated to their clients’ interests and are excellent managers of the teams that work together on cases.’

Key clients

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; PDVSA

Dominican Republic

Colombia

Argentine Republic

Republic of Panama

FROB

Work highlights

  • Representing Venezuela in annulment proceedings; in August 2019 the team secured a favourable decision on rectification, which reduced the amount of an award by more than $200m; it is now handling the ongoing annulment proceedings.
  • Representing Argentina -together with the Procuracion del Tesoro (the Attorney General’s office), against claims concerning the process of consolidation of the Integrated Retirement and Pension System to become the Argentine Integrated Retirement and Pension System; the claimants argue that Argentina adopted arbitrary and unreasonable measures and expropriated their investment.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in 1830, is a leading international law firm providing a broad range of legal services to clients globally. Curtis operates through its 19 offices in the US, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Central and East Asia. The firm’s international orientation has been a hallmark of its practice for nearly two centuries.

Dedicated to counseling clients involved with some of the most challenging international transactions and complex multijurisdictional disputes, Curtis represents multinational companies, international financial institutions, governments and state-owned entities, family and other privately held businesses, entrepreneurs, and high-net-worth individuals. The firm has assisted governments and companies to develop financial structures, infrastructure and energy, and telecommunications in many emerging nations.

Main areas of practice
Capital markets: Curtis assists clients through all stages of the capital-raising process. The firm counsels issuers, investment banks, private equity funds and strategic shareholders in capital raising in different jurisdictions.

Energy and power: Curtis offers extensive experience in matters relating to the international petroleum and power industries. The firm’s work in this area includes the structuring, negotiation and drafting of the full range of international petroleum contracts, project finance transactions and international litigation and arbitration.

Finance: attorneys handle the full complement of debt and equity finance issues, including structured and asset-backed lending, issuances and placements in the public and private securities markets, the bilateral and syndicated bank market, and other institutional capital markets.

International arbitration: ranked among the top firms globally, Curtis has been retained to handle many of the world’s largest and most significant disputes. Curtis is well known for acting on behalf of states, state-owned entities and international organizations, both in disputes and non-contentious matters.

International investment: Curtis is uniquely positioned to help non-American companies take advantage of the business opportunities presented in the US and other jurisdictions. The firm’s multidisciplinary group of lawyers have backgrounds in commercial transactions, M&A, import/export, IP and tax.

International tax: provides sophisticated tax counsel in high-profile transactions and disputes, with particular expertise in cross-border tax planning.

International trade: Curtis’ top-rated international trade group provides practical solutions to global trade, international investment, market access and export control issues.

Investment management: advises on the structuring, implementation and ongoing maintenance of investment funds.

Litigation: advises on contested matters in courts, administrative and appellate forums, domestic arbitration, and corporate internal investigations. The firm also has an active white-collar crime practice.

M&A and private equity: represents private and public companies, private equity firms, hedge funds, governments and state-owned companies in a broad range of mergers and acquisitions.

Project finance and infrastructure development: active in major project finance transactions in the international petroleum and power industries.

Real estate: advises on virtually every type of real property. Clients include governments, private and sovereign funds, REITs, corporate lenders and developers of all types, as well as individuals, partnerships and corporate investors.

Restructuring and insolvency: Curtis has developed a reputation as the leading law firm in ‘conflicts counsel’ and special counsel engagements. Clients encompass debtors, creditors, lenders, equity owners, trustees and liquidators.

Chairman : George Kahale III
Other Offices : Almaty
Other Offices : Ashgabat
Other Offices : Astana
Other Offices : Beijing
Other Offices : Buenos Aires
Other Offices : Dubai
Other Offices : Frankfurt
Other Offices : Geneva
Other Offices : London
Other Offices : Mexico City
Other Offices : Milan
Other Offices : Muscat
Other Offices : Paris
Other Offices : Rome

For nearly two centuries, Curtis has represented Latin American-based clients, as well as international clients doing business in the region. Established in 1991, Curtis’ Mexico City office was one of the first to be opened by an international firm in Mexico. Buenos Aires followed in 2011. Curtis’ Latin America practice is among the largest of any international law firm and is highly developed. It has an enviable track record of helping clients, including governments, state-owned entities, corporates and private individuals, achieve successful results in their transactions and disputes. The firm’s Latin America practice is particularly well known for its oil and gas, corporate, and arbitration focus.

The firm: Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in New York in 1830, was one of the first US law firms to develop a truly international practice. The firm has always had an international outlook and a pioneering spirit: it remains the only US-headquartered firm licensed to operate in Oman. With 17 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Central and East Asia, this internationalist tradition continues today.

Main areas of practice: Curtis represents Latin American governments and state-owned companies and advises internationally based clients on acquisitions and dispositions of assets and equity interests throughout Latin America. Its clients in the region operate across a broad range of industries, including oil and gas, metals, water, energy, industrial and consumer products, agriculture and food products, telecommunications, transportation, finance, media and tourism. The Latin America team has counseled on transactions in virtually every country in the region. All Curtis lawyers in Mexico City are bilingual and many hold law degrees from Latin American jurisdictions, placing Curtis in a unique position among international law firms. Its attorneys have intimate and first-hand knowledge of the region combined with experience advising on some of the largest transactions in Latin America. Curtis’ Mexico City office routinely draws upon the firm’s international network to provide full-service representation to clients in Latin America. The firm’s international arbitration practice is particularly strong in Mexico City precisely because Curtis utilizes this integrated team approach.

The Buenos Aires office advises clients on local and international matters in the fields of banking and financial services, agribusiness, real estate, project finance and infrastructure, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, investment management, venture capital, restructuring and litigation. Clients include domestic and foreign companies and individuals, commercial and investment banks, as well as governments and multilateral agencies.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Firm chairman George Kahale III E: gkahale@curtis.com
Managing partner (Mexico) Eloy Barbará de Parres E: ebarbara@curtis.com
Managing partner (Buenos Aires) Luis Maria Ayarragaray E: layarragaray@curtis.com