International Arbitration

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Leading The Way

King & Spalding is a world leader in both foreign investment arbitration and international commercial arbitration.  King & Spalding’s arbitration practice has gained this position based on experience, strategic practice development, cross-office collaboration, effective advocacy and demonstrated results.  In the investment arbitration area, King & Spalding has represented clients in some 50 international arbitration proceedings brought under more than 25 different investment treaties, free trade agreements and the Energy Charter Treaty.  The disputes have involved a wide spectrum of facts and legal issues.  In the international commercial arbitration area, the Firm’s lawyers have represented clients in matters arising out of international energy and mining disputes; international construction disputes; international telecommunications disputes; international disputes relating to the intellectual property and licensing of rights of pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies, as well as a host of other breach of contract matters.  Lawyers in the group also represent clients in the courts of the United States and Europe in litigation related to arbitration, such as motions to compel arbitration, anti-suit injunctions, and enforcement actions. 

Among The Best

Recognizing King & Spalding’s “heavyweight international arbitration offering,” Chambers Singapore 2014 identified the Firm as one of only two firms in Band 1 for arbitration experience, emphasizing its “sheer width of practice and outstanding people.” This finding is echoed Legal 500 USA’s selection in 2013 of King & Spalding as one of four firms belonging in Band 1 on account of the Firm’s arbitration experience, praising King & Spalding as an “impressive proposition,” who “always gets really positive results.”  Likewise,  Who’s Who Legal 2013 ranked King & Spalding fourth among the world’s top global firms serving as arbitration counsel, featuring 12 of the Firm’s lawyers. These strong showings echoed Global Arbitration Review’s Guide to Specialist Arbitration Firms 2013which ranked King & Spalding as the number four firm worldwide for the second time, observing that King & Spalding “has a wonderful client list and is regularly found topping surveys of the biggest international arbitration cases” and that the Firm’s “track record” is “pretty awesome, really.”   Similar strong findings came out of surveys conducted in 2012 and 2013 by the prestigious Chambers Global Guide and Legal 500 Latin America which also allocated top rankings to King & Spalding, underscoring that the Firm is “highly appreciated by clients who feel well attended to by a fantastic team.”  The achievements were consistent with the findings of American Lawyer’s 2011 Arbitration Scorecardand consolidated the recognition that King & Spalding attracted in the preceding years, including the 2010 Chambers USA and Chambers Latin America Awards given to King & Spalding for excellence in the field of international arbitration.  In paying tribute to the Firm, Chambers USA observed that the team “has become one of the nation’s leading practices thanks to strong practitioners based in Houston, New York, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.”  In the 2010 GAR 100, Global Arbitration Review concluded that “the firm’s rise up the rankings speaks volumes for the power of a winning record,” and 2010 Legal 500 emphasized the team’s “consistently excellent work.”  In 2009 Chambers USA characterized King & Spalding as a “powerhouse” that “continues to impress with its international arbitration practice, attracting praise for its depth of knowledge and client service.”  That same year Global Arbitration Review reported that, with very few exceptions, “King & Spalding must possess the largest repository of ICSID experience you can tap.”  

The steady rise to the top in international rankings reflect strategic expansion, thoughtful leadership and notable successes achieved for the Firm’s clients.  Such successes in turn, are based on a creative, experienced, aggressive and cost-effective approach to cases.  

Extensive Arbitration Experience

King & Spalding’s International Arbitration group consists of more than 75 members, residing in its offices in Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Washington, D.C..  These lawyers have acted in arbitrations involving parties or projects in Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroun, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guernsey, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine,  United Arab Emirates,  United Kingdom,  United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe.  The amount of the claims at issue has ranged from less than US$ 1 million to more than US $27 billion.

Strong Institutional Knowledge

Members of the group have handled arbitrations under all of the major international arbitration rules, institutional as well as ad hoc.  These include the rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”), the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration (“ICC”), the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission (“IACAC”), the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) and its International Centre for Dispute Resolution (“ICDR”), the China International Economic and Trade Commission (“CIETAC”), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”), the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”), the  Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC”), the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (“VIAC”), the German Institution of arbitration (“DIS”), the Dutch Arbitration Institution (“NAI”), the Zurich Chamber of Commerce (“Swiss Rules”), the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”), the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”), and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, among others.  Firm lawyers are listed as members of the arbitral panels of many of the world’s arbitration institutions, including the AAA/ICDR, LCIA, CIETAC, WIPO, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Commercial Dispute Resolution Center for the Americas, the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, and the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association.  Lawyers in the group are Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Outstanding Peer Recognition

Individual lawyers in the group also are the subject of praise and recognition.  Chambers USA calls Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez “‘a bright light in the arbitration world,’ both as arbitrator and counselor,” and quotes sources who say he “is extremely responsive and works very well with his team.” Legal 500 recognizes his “litigation prowess” hailing him as “completely persuasive” and noting that “he appears to effortlessly out-lawyer his opposition.”  Global Arbitration Review refers to Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez as “Mexico’s foremost trade and arbitration academic” while Chambers Latin America refers to peers characterizing Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez as a “perfectionist with a brilliant mind.”  Chambers Latin America recognizes Roberto Aguirre for his “knowledgeable, highly proactive attitude” noting that he is a “high-level bilingual lawyer” and that “he’s a serious player and a very active name in the market.”  In 2011 Roberto Aguirre was included in the Global Arbitration Review 45 under 45Chambers Global observes that Doak Bishop, co-head of the International Arbitration practice group, “has unparalleled experience and knowledge in investor-state arbitration, coupled with an extremely pleasant, client-friendly manner,” and highlights his reputation as “a dynamic lawyer in the oil and gas investment area.” Chambers USA confirms that Doak Bishop “stands out; his abilities are truly extraordinary” and credits Bishop with “transforming the ICSID landscape and positioning King and Spalding as one of the top firms in the field.”  Legal 500 refers to him as “one of the most knowledgeable investor-state arbitration attorneys practicing today;” while Chambers Latin America calls attention to Bishop’s “excellent leadership and high-quality work product” and his reputation as “one of the top arbitration lawyers anywhere in the world” quoting sources who say that “few attorneys have a better command of investor-state arbitration.”  Chambers Global observes that John Bowmanis renowned for his extensive experience in acting for international oil and gas companies in investment and commercial disputes,” while Chambers USA notes that he is a “key player in the team”and that “he is praised as being ‘supremely knowledgeable and experienced in large scale, major cases.’”  Legal 500 confirms John Bowman’s focus on the energy sector and notes that he is considered “an exceptional international arbitration specialist.”  Chambers Global quotes sources saying that Edward Kehoe, who co-heads the International Arbitration practice, is wonderful and deserves recognition for his contribution to the practice,” and Chambers USA says that he “receives abundant praise for his talented approach to international arbitration and leadership skills in developing the practice,’” and remarks that he has moved up in the rankings “in recognition of his advocacy skills and the real commitment he demonstrates to clients.”  Chambers Global quotes sources who say that he is an “extremely thoughtful lawyer and strategic thinker.” Craig Miles is considered “tipped for greatness by peers” in Chambers Global.  Chambers USA remarks that he is “seen by sources as ‘the man behind a lot of the recent success of the group,’” and that “he is a young partner who impresses observers with the scope of his practice.  He handles both investor-State and commercial cases with equal aplomb.”  Chambers Latin America observes that he is an “impressive, responsive and helpful lawyer” who is relied on “for good advice” and notes that he is “distinguished by peers for his quality work in the field.”  In 2011 Craig Miles was included in the  Global Arbitration Review 45 under 45. Caline Mouawad was listed as “recommended” in 2012 and 2013 Legal 500 Latin America and in 2013 Legal 500 USA.  Most recently, Wade Coriell was called a “great up-and-comer” by Legal 500 USA, having earlier been named one of five energy lawyers under 40 to watch by Law360. Legal 500 Latin America commended Coriell for his “good service and strong work quality.”

King & Spalding is dedicated to the growth of its International Arbitration practice to serve its clients’ needs.  In 2009 the Firm opened an office in Paris, at the heart of international commercial arbitration, and added two prominent European international arbitration practitioners to its roster.  As Chambers Global notes, Eric Schwartz, former Secretary-General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, is recognized as having “excellent global experience,” and Who’s Who Legal in Commercial Arbitration 2013 quotes sources stating that “he knows as much about international arbitration as anyone practicing.James Castello is credited in Chambers Global with having “excellent judgement and familiarity with the major arbitration institutions,”and “is praised by market commentators as an absolutely open, thorough, fantastic lawyer.’”
2010 saw further expansion with the opening of an office in Singapore, where John Savage now leads the Firm’s International Arbitration practice in Asia.  Chambers Global recalls that John Savage has a strong reputation in Asia, quoting sources saying that “he is very thorough, strategic in his thinking and extremely well connected.”Chambers Asia Pacific Wide has reported that Savage “stands apart as a leader,” and that clients find him “excellent in strategic advice and indispensable when it comes to conducting the arbitration hearings.”  More recently, Who’s Who Legal in Commercial Arbitration 2012 referred to John Savage as a “veteran of over 100 arbitrations,” and quoted sources saying he is “one of the finest practitioners in Asia.” The 2013 edition of Who’s Who Legal quoted sources stating that Savage is “a tremendously effective advocate and a fine arbitrator.”

The group’s capabilities grew in our London office in 2011 with the addition of Tom Sprange who leads our international arbitration practice and arbitration-related litigation practice in the United Kingdom.  Chambers U.K. quotes sources as saying he is “a real star” who “really goes the extra mile for his clients.”  Chambers UK and UK Legal 500, have also recognized him as“impressive,” and is said to combine a “Mensa-like intellect with a down-to-earth attitude.” In 2012, Jane Player and Sarah Walker joined King & Spalding’s London office where they will, along with Sprange, continue to grow our international arbitration and High Court litigation practices.  U.K. Legal 500 lauds Player for being “fantastic for strategy;” and Chambers U.K. states that she is “pragmatic and solution-driven.”  Chambers U.K. recognizes Walker ashaving a wealth of arbitration experience and as being “excellent with clients and a fine-all around litigator;” and for having a“practical and proactive approach to dispute resolution.”  Also in 2012, Henry Burnett, who has particular expertise in disputes related to Latin America, joined our New York office.  Legal 500  recognizes Burnett as an “amazing lawyer: intelligent and hard-working” and as someone who “delivers results.” Chambers Latin America has reported that he “impresses sources with his ‘superb focus and attention to detail’ and is considered to be ‘a thought leader of the future.’” 

King & Spalding also added arbitration expertise in 2012 to its Frankfurt office with the arrival of Jan SchäferChambers Europe has reported that Schäfer is “a very smart young lawyer who is making a strong name for himself in international arbitration” and Chambers Global has referred to him as a “significant and growing talent,” quoting sources saying they are “impressed by his legal knowledge” and that “He is a perfectionist – he is calm, convincing and firm.Global Arbitration Review included Schäfer in its 2011 45 under 45 and Who’s Who Legal Germany 2014 has recently hailed him as “brilliant.” 

In early 2013, with the goal of broadening its Middle East presence, King & Spalding added Adrian Cole to its Abu Dhabi office from where he will be leading the Firm’s international arbitration and litigation practice in the region.  Chambers Global has ranked Cole in Tier One for Construction noting that he is “strongly rated as an excellent professional by his peers.”  Euromoney haslisted Cole as a “World Leading Construction Lawyer 2013,” and Legal 500 has commended him for his “expertise on construction aspects of major projects,” calling him “excellent.” Most recently Peter Megens joined our Singapore office, bringing particular experience in arbitration and mediation of construction disputes, especially in the energy and resources area. Chambers Asia-Pacific calls Megens an “Excellent litigator” who is respected for his “extensive knowledge and experience in construction matters…[and his] determination and tenacity in contentious issues.”

Professional Leadership

Many of the group’s lawyers are actively involved in leadership positions with the various arbitral institutions and in national and international bar organizations.  Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez is Vice President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and serves on the Board of the American Arbitration Association.  Roberto Aguirre heads the International Law Association’s American Bilateral Investment Treaty and Development Committee; Doak Bishop is the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and is a member of the Court of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).  He serves on the Board of the American Arbitration Association and as an Adviser to the American Law Institute project to develop the Restatement Third of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration; John Bowman recently took over as President Elect of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators; James Castello recently completed a term on the Court of the London Court of International Arbitration and now serves as President of the European Users’ Council of the LCIA.  He has served since 2001 on the U.S. delegation to UNCITRAL’s Arbitration Working Group and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre; Wade Coriell is an officer of the IBA North American Regional Forum; Craig Miles serves on the ICC Commission’s Task Force on Arbitration Involving States or State Entities; Caline Mouawad serves on the ICC Commission on Arbitration as does Jan Schäfer who is also a member of the Global Advisory Board of ICDR Young & International; co-coordinates the German Discussion Forum on Investment Law and Arbitration with an annual conference and serves on the ADR Committee of the German Federal Bar Association; Margrete Stevens, former Senior Counsel, ICSID, serves on the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, is former Vice Chair of the Mediation Committee of the International Bar Association and served on the IBA Task Force on Party Representation; Eric Schwartz is Vice President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and is Vice Chair of the ICC’s World Business Law Institute; and John Savage serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of SIAC, is Vice President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, and is an expert adviser to the Singapore Government’s delegation to UNCITRAL’s Arbitration Working Group. 

The group’s lawyers are also active in speaking, writing, and publishing on international arbitration and international law topics, having authored or edited several books as well as dozens of published articles in this field.  They frequently speak at international arbitration law conferences, as well as at energy, construction, and other industry conferences around the world.  In 2010 a second edition of The Art of Advocacy in International Arbitration was published.  The volume was edited by Doak Bishop and Edward Kehoe.  In addition, James Castello has written a Commentary on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, published in a Practitioner’s Handbook by Oxford University Press, John Savage co-authored International Arbitration and Mediation:  A Practical Guide, published by Kluwer Law International, Eric Schwartz was co-editor of Multiparty Arbitrations published by ICC publications, and  Jan Schäfer co-authored a German-language practitioner’s handbook on arbitration law and practice and won the 2001 Gillis Wetter Prize for an article on arbitration in Asia.  Most recently Doak Bishop and Silvia Marchili published a treatise on “Annulment under the ICSID Convention.” 

Success That Matters

King & Spalding’s successful International Arbitration practice offers recognized experience, expertise, leadership, diversity, determination and cross-office collaboration.  King & Spalding is indeed “one of arbitration’s biggest success stories” — not for itself but for its clients.

For more information about
our International Arbitration 
Practice, click here.

R Doak Bishop (Doak) 
T: +1 713 751 3205 HOUSTON
Edward G Kehoe 
T: +1 212 556 2246 NEW YORK

"King & Spalding earned the
No. 3 spot in Focus Europe's 2011 Arbitration Scorecard,
a worldwide ranking of law firms by number and size of arbitrations."

"King & Spalding has been recognized as one
of the top four global law firms serving as arbitration
counsel in the latest edition of Global Arbitration Review's
annual GAR 30 survey."