Arbitration top trends: are investment treaties the answer to big tech’s problems?
Latin America and the Caribbean
A seamless combination of global strategy and local knowledge
For over 130 years, Freshfields’ Latin America group has advised clients on their Latin America matters. The team combines elite legal expertise with a wide network of local contacts and deep local knowledge. This compelling combination means that clients trust Freshfields to provide the best approach when dealing with their issues.
Our exceptional worldwide corporate and project finance experience means that we’re ready to support our clients as they invest in Latin America. Our strength across the region has led to us advising on the extensive, complex and business-critical Latin American aspects of global 'mega-deals'. We have also been active in many first-of-their-kind projects across the region in a variety of key sectors, from energy to telecommunications.
Meanwhile, for businesses needing advice on high-stakes, cutting-edge investment and commercial disputes, our market-leading international arbitration practice is the first port of call. The team have advised on some of the biggest and thorniest arbitrations embroiling Latin American states and are recognized for their continued major victories and successful settlements for clients. Our practice is widely ranked as the number one international arbitration practice by leading legal directories, including Legal 500, Chambers and Partners and Who’s Who Legal. The firm was ranked No.1 law firm globally for ICSID arbitration cases in Latin America by Latinvex in 2020 and 2021.
As part of the Freshfields global approach, members of our Latin America group can be found in our offices around the world. We fully engage in all aspects of our Latin American projects and cases, as members of our teams are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and in many instances legally trained in the region.
In every Latin American country, we have relationships with firms that form part of our StrongerTogether network. With these partnerships, our clients get the best of both worlds, with top local talent sharing their deep understanding of local laws and our top global talent providing the strategic, big-picture advice.
We regularly host cross-border teach-ins with these elite Latin America firms and have a secondment program where their associates work alongside Freshfields partners.
In short, the way we operate in Latin America means that we are able provide to our clients the very best seamless, strategic advice.
Successfully representing Suez (now Engie) and several of its subsidiaries in three investment treaty arbitrations against Argentina regarding economic emergency measures which denied tariff adjustments in the concessions of the water and sewage in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Cordoba.
We secured two awards totaling more than US$600 million plus interest and a settlement of the third case. Representing the group of concessionaires in a high-profile investment arbitration against Argentina concerning the world’s largest water concession.
Successfully representing Crystallex International Corporation in obtaining a US$1.4 billion award in compensation for Venezuela’s expropriation of one of the world’s largest untapped gold deposits.
This represented one of the largest-ever ICSID awards and the largest under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules.
Securing a US$380 million award for Burlington Resources – a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips – against Ecuador in relation to the expropriation of its investments, and reducing Ecuador’s US$2 billion environmental counterclaim to an award of US$40 million in its favor.
Represented ConocoPhillips and several of its subsidiaries in an ICSID arbitration, as well as in the related ICC proceedings, against Venezuela in relation to the expropriation of three oil investments — one of the largest expropriations in history — which were collectively worth tens of billions of dollars.
We recently secured a record-setting US$8.7 billion award for ConocoPhillips, the largest-ever ICSID award, and a US$2 billion award in one of the ICC proceedings.
Represented Glencore International A.G. and its subsidiary in an ICSID arbitration against Colombia concerning Colombian state measures affecting their investments in a coal mining project and recently obtained a highly favorable award—and the first-ever ICSID award against Colombia.
Representing Repsol and Repsol Butano in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina, following the expropriation of its controlling stake in YPF SA, Argentina’s largest oil company, and YPF Gas SA, an LPG distribution company.
The dispute was successfully settled for an amount in excess of dispute for over US$5 billion.
Representing Pan American Energy in its ICSID arbitration claim against Bolivia for the expropriation of the second-largest upstream oil company in Bolivia and the subsequent (largest) settlement agreed by Bolivia, in the amount of US$357 million.
Advising KfW IPEX-Bank in connection with the $1.2bn financing for the construction, startup, operation and maintenance of a world-scale anhydrous ammonia plant in Mexico.
Advising OPIC as the lender in the financing of the deployment of a 4G LTE network in six cities in Colombia (Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla and Cartagena) by Avantel S.A.S.
Successfully resolving without penalty an inquiry by the US Department of Justice into allegations of potential bribery by a multinational company in connection with government procurement contracts in Peru.
Melissa Raciti-Knapp Partner
Nigel Blackaby QC Global Co-Head of International Arbitration and Co-Head of Latin America Practice
Noiana Marigo Head of International Arbitration, Americas & Co-Head of Latin America Practice
Raquel Flórez Partner
Daniel Cendan Counsel
Jochen Ellrott Partner
Álvaro Iza Partner
Sylvia Noury QC Partner
Lluís Paradell Trius Counsel
Caroline Richard Partner
Graham Watson Partner