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Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

101 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10178-0061, USA
Work +1 212 696 6000
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George Kahale III

Work +1 212-696-6179
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Work Department

International Arbitration; Corporate; Infrastructure Development; Oil and Gas; Electricity; Finance.


George Kahale III, Curtis' Chairman, maintains an active practice in both international transactions and international arbitration. He has acted as lead counsel in some of the world’s largest and most publicized transactions and infrastructure projects in the international petroleum industry, representing energy ministries and national oil corporations in many oil and gas producing countries.  He also has been lead counsel in several of the world’s largest international arbitrations and is the head of the Firm’s renowned international arbitration practice.

Mr. Kahale was the subject of a feature article entitled "The Oil Baron" in the June 2008 issue of The American Lawyermagazine.  In February 2009, Latin Lawyer awarded its Restructuring Deal of the Year honor to a Curtis team led by Mr. Kahale for a series of financing transactions relating to oil projects in Venezuela.  In April 2009, The American Lawyer named Mr. Kahale one of its "Dealmakers of the Year" for his work representing KazMunayGas, the national oil company of Kazakhstan, in agreements for the development of the giant Kashagan oil field.

Mr. Kahale is recognized as a leading international arbitration lawyer by Chambers, Legal 500 and Global Arbitration Review. Legal 500 Latin America 2013 reported that Mr. Kahale is regarded by clients as "one of the very best arbitration lawyers in the world." According to Chambers Global 2015: 'Sources praise his "laser focus on the right issues and questions," as well as his professional approach and awareness of cultural sensitivities.' Chambers Global 2016 went on to say: 'Sources note that "he has always stood out and his stewardship of his team is beyond belief."' In 2015-2016, Mr. Kahale led the Curtis team in the annulment proceeding in the Mobil v. Venezuela arbitration, succeeding in annulling a US$1.4 billion award, the largest annulment in ICSID history.

Mr. Kahale has written many articles on topics of international interest, such as sovereign immunity, the act of state doctrine, international arbitration and international petroleum contracts. In 2013, he was selected by the Burton Awards as a Distinguished Legal Writing Award winner for his article entitled: "Is Investor-State Arbitration Broken?" He followed up that article in 2018 with "Rethinking ISDS," which has been the source of extensive commentary and debate. He has also appeared as a speaker and lecturer at various seminars and conferences. In 2014, he delivered the keynote address at the Eighth Annual Juris Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference; in 2015, he lectured at Arbitration Academy in Paris; and in 2018, he delivered the inaugural Brooklyn Lecture on International Business Law.


English; Spanish; French; Arabic


The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; American Bar Association; American Society of International Law; Oxford Energy Policy Club


New York University School of Law, J.D.; City University of New York, Hunter College, B.A.

Latin America: International firms

International arbitration

Within: International arbitration

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is praised for its 'strong presentation skills in hearings, in-depth research and cogent written submissions'. It is widely recognised as a market leader representing states and state-owned entities in investment treaty disputes. New York-based group head George Kahale III is representing respondent Venezuela in a series of arbitrations, including an ICSID arbitration commenced by subsidiaries of ConocoPhillips with respect to petroleum projects, and a dispute concerning the nationalisation of a manufacturer and supplier of materials used in the extraction of crude oil. Other highlights include acting for a Mexican state-owned company in an LCIA arbitration in a high-value construction dispute. Claudia Frutos-Peterson  and Gabriela Álvarez Ávila are also recommended members of the team, which, however, lost Kate Brown de Vejar and Miriam Harwood to DLA Piper LLP (US)  and Squire Patton Boggs respectively.

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United States: Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Within: Leading lawyers

George Kahale III - Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Within: International arbitration

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has 'a sophisticated arbitration practice', which routinely represents sovereign states in high-stakes disputes. Leveraging 'an excellent ability to cut through challenges and make a case clearly and concisely', the team recently acted for the Republic of India on six separate arbitration matters brought by foreign investors in the telecoms sector, which included a case brought by Vodafone under the India-Netherlands BIT. The practice group also secured an ICSID annulment for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela concerning a $1.4bn award issued in 2014 in a case involving Mobil’s oil projects in Venezuela. The firm's roster of clients includes the State of Kuwait, the State of Libya and Turkmenistan. In New York, department head George Kahale III is ‘a bright legal mind’, and senior counsel Mark O’Donoghue, who acts for clients such as Republic of Cyprus, is ‘first rate’. Also recommended are recently promoted partner Robert Garcia and Washington DC-based Claudia Frutos-Peterson. Miriam Harwood left the firm for Squire Patton Boggs. All named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

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