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Christopher Smith helps companies and individuals resolve their international disputes with other businesses and foreign governments. He has experience handling complex commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, as well as arbitration award enforcement litigation in the United States. Chris has represented clients in a variety of industries, including the energy (and particularly renewable energy), pharmaceutical, intellectual property, and insurance sectors.

In the field of commercial arbitration and litigation, Chris represents an Asian electronics manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration against another Asian electronics manufacturer involving a cross-license agreement and a U.S. and Swiss-based pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration against a Middle Eastern pharmaceutical company involving a dispute arising under a distributorship agreement. Chris also has experience representing a U.S.-based equity fund in an ICDR arbitration against two U.S. and Swiss-based insurers arising out of a political risk insurance policy related to a mining investment in a CIS country.

Chris previously successfully represented a U.S. public utility in an ICDR arbitration against a Canadian supplier, involving a dispute arising out of a uranium fuel supply and conversion agreement. Prior to the issuance of an award, the parties settled the dispute on terms very favorable to Chris's client. Chris also successfully represented a pharmaceutical company in a Texas appellate litigation to enforce a partial final award in a dispute related to a joint venture agreement, which the Texas Supreme Court subsequently declined to review after written briefing. The AAA tribunal ultimately awarded Chris's client injunctive relief, after which Chris successfully enforced in a Texas district court the three arbitral awards rendered by the tribunal.

In the investment treaty arena, Chris has extensive experience representing European investors in the solar, wind, and hydro sectors in twenty investment treaty arbitrations under the Energy Charter Treaty arising out of several European States’ alterations to and abrogations of their renewable energy incentive regimes. Each of these disputes is administered by either ICSID or the SCC under their respective institutional rules, and involves amounts in dispute of approximately €25 million to €155 million. Tribunals in six of these matters have issued awards in favor of Chris's clients, including:

- An award of approximately €50 million, plus €3.9 million and US $3 million in costs and legal fees and interest at a highly favorable rate in a dispute with Spain;

- An award of approximately €34 million, plus over €1.5 million and a quarter-million US$ in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate in a dispute with Spain;

- An award of approximately €42 million, plus over US $5.1 million and half a million € in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate in a dispute with Spain;

- An award of €16 million, plus €2.2 million in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate in a dispute with Italy;

- An award of approximately €12 million, plus approximately €1.9 in cost and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate in a dispute with Italy;

- An award of approximately €9.6 million, plus €1 million in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate in a dispute with Italy.

Additionally, Chris advises several other investors in the renewable energy, conventional energy, and the mining sectors regarding potential claims against these and other States. 

Chris has experience representing clients in arbitrations under the ICSID, SCC, ICDR, AAA, ICC, DIS, CAS, WIPO, SIAC, and ASA Rules.

Chris is currently a Regional Representative for North America to the International Chamber of Commerce's Young Arbitrators Forum. Between 2015 and 2019, Chris coached the University of Georgia School of Law’s Vis international commercial arbitration moot team.

Having worked for over two years in King & Spalding’s Paris office, Chris currently manages his global practice from King & Spalding's headquarters in Atlanta.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, cum laude

B.A. Political Science and History, Furman University, magna cum laude

Georgia

Georgia

International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum - Regional Representative for North America

Dutch

English

French

German

Russian

Spanish

Matters

Represents and advises dozens of European investors in the renewable energy sector in eighteen investment arbitrations in relation to claims under the Energy Charter Treaty arising out of changes to feed-in tariffs and other incentive regimes by Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania. In each proceeding, between approximately €25 million and €155 million is in dispute.

Represents a major U.S.-based electric utility in an ICDR arbitration involving a contract dispute regarding the purchase of nuclear fuel.

Represents an Asian electronics manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration against another Asian electronics manufacturer in a dispute regarding a cross-license agreement.

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Matters

Represents and advises dozens of European investors in the renewable energy sector in eighteen investment arbitrations in relation to claims under the Energy Charter Treaty arising out of changes to feed-in tariffs and other incentive regimes by Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania. In each proceeding, between approximately €25 million and €155 million is in dispute.

Represents a major U.S.-based electric utility in an ICDR arbitration involving a contract dispute regarding the purchase of nuclear fuel.

Represents an Asian electronics manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration against another Asian electronics manufacturer in a dispute regarding a cross-license agreement.

Represents a U.S.-based investment firm in an ICDR arbitration against two insurers regarding a mining investment in a CIS country and a political risk insurance policy.

Represents a U.S.- and Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration against a Middle Eastern pharmaceutical company involving a dispute arising under a distributorship agreement.

Successfully represented UK-based private equity firm First Reserve in its dispute with Spain in ICSID Case No. ARB/15/15. The tribunal awarded Chris's client approximately €42 million, plus over US $5.1 million and half a million euros in legal fees and costs and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented UK-based private equity firm Foresight and Denmark-based renewables firm Athena Investments (formerly Greentech Energy Systems) in their dispute with Spain in SCC Arb. No. 2015/150. The tribunal awarded Chris's clients approximately €50 million, plus €3.9 million and US $3 million in legal fees and costs and interest at a highly favorable rate.

Successfully represented Luxembourg-based investor Cube Infrastructure and France-based investor Demeter in their dispute with Spain in ICSID Case No. ARB/15/20. The tribunal awarded Chris's clients approximately €34 million, plus over €1.5 million and a quarter-million U.S. dollars in legal fees and costs and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented the German private equity firm KGAL Investment Management in its dispute with Italy in ICSID Case No. ARB/16/5. The tribunal awarded Chris's client €16 million in damages, plus €1.78 million and over US $450,000 in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented Denmark-based renewables firm Athena Investments (formerly Greentech Energy Systems) and Luxembourg-based investor Novenergia in their dispute with Italy in SCC Arb. No. 2015/095. The tribunal awarded Chris's clients approximately €12 million, plus approximately €1.9 in legal fees and costs and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented UK-based private equity firm Glennmont Partners in its dispute with Italy in SCC Arb. No. 2015/158. The tribunal awarded Chris's client approximately €9.6 million in damages, plus €1 million in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented U.S.-based Signature Pharmaceuticals in a Texas appellate litigation against an Indian pharmaceutical company to enforce a partial final arbitration award, which the Texas Supreme Court subsequently declined to review after written briefing. After the AAA tribunal issued its second partial award and final award, Chris successfully enforced in a Texas district court the three arbitral awards that the tribunal had rendered.

Successfully represented an Indian health insurance coding company in an ICDR arbitration against a U.S. company in a dispute arising out of a stock purchase agreement.

Advised a European investor in the oil and gas sector regarding the viability of a claim against a European state in relation to retroactive modifications to an investment regime.

Advised a U.S. investor in the oil and gas sector regarding the viability of a claim against a European state in relation to retroactive modifications to an investment regime.

Matters

Represents and advises dozens of European investors in the renewable energy sector in eighteen investment arbitrations in relation to claims under the Energy Charter Treaty arising out of changes to feed-in tariffs and other incentive regimes by Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania. In each proceeding, between approximately €25 million and €155 million is in dispute.

Represents a major U.S.-based electric utility in an ICDR arbitration involving a contract dispute regarding the purchase of nuclear fuel.

Represents an Asian electronics manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration against another Asian electronics manufacturer in a dispute regarding a cross-license agreement.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represents and advises dozens of European investors in the renewable energy sector in eighteen investment arbitrations in relation to claims under the Energy Charter Treaty arising out of changes to feed-in tariffs and other incentive regimes by Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania. In each proceeding, between approximately €25 million and €155 million is in dispute.

Represents a major U.S.-based electric utility in an ICDR arbitration involving a contract dispute regarding the purchase of nuclear fuel.

Represents an Asian electronics manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration against another Asian electronics manufacturer in a dispute regarding a cross-license agreement.

Represents a U.S.-based investment firm in an ICDR arbitration against two insurers regarding a mining investment in a CIS country and a political risk insurance policy.

Represents a U.S.- and Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration against a Middle Eastern pharmaceutical company involving a dispute arising under a distributorship agreement.

Successfully represented UK-based private equity firm First Reserve in its dispute with Spain in ICSID Case No. ARB/15/15. The tribunal awarded Chris's client approximately €42 million, plus over US $5.1 million and half a million euros in legal fees and costs and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented UK-based private equity firm Foresight and Denmark-based renewables firm Athena Investments (formerly Greentech Energy Systems) in their dispute with Spain in SCC Arb. No. 2015/150. The tribunal awarded Chris's clients approximately €50 million, plus €3.9 million and US $3 million in legal fees and costs and interest at a highly favorable rate.

Successfully represented Luxembourg-based investor Cube Infrastructure and France-based investor Demeter in their dispute with Spain in ICSID Case No. ARB/15/20. The tribunal awarded Chris's clients approximately €34 million, plus over €1.5 million and a quarter-million U.S. dollars in legal fees and costs and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented the German private equity firm KGAL Investment Management in its dispute with Italy in ICSID Case No. ARB/16/5. The tribunal awarded Chris's client €16 million in damages, plus €1.78 million and over US $450,000 in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented Denmark-based renewables firm Athena Investments (formerly Greentech Energy Systems) and Luxembourg-based investor Novenergia in their dispute with Italy in SCC Arb. No. 2015/095. The tribunal awarded Chris's clients approximately €12 million, plus approximately €1.9 in legal fees and costs and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented UK-based private equity firm Glennmont Partners in its dispute with Italy in SCC Arb. No. 2015/158. The tribunal awarded Chris's client approximately €9.6 million in damages, plus €1 million in costs and legal fees and interest at a favorable rate.

Successfully represented U.S.-based Signature Pharmaceuticals in a Texas appellate litigation against an Indian pharmaceutical company to enforce a partial final arbitration award, which the Texas Supreme Court subsequently declined to review after written briefing. After the AAA tribunal issued its second partial award and final award, Chris successfully enforced in a Texas district court the three arbitral awards that the tribunal had rendered.

Successfully represented an Indian health insurance coding company in an ICDR arbitration against a U.S. company in a dispute arising out of a stock purchase agreement.

Advised a European investor in the oil and gas sector regarding the viability of a claim against a European state in relation to retroactive modifications to an investment regime.

Advised a U.S. investor in the oil and gas sector regarding the viability of a claim against a European state in relation to retroactive modifications to an investment regime.

Credentials

J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, cum laude

B.A. Political Science and History, Furman University, magna cum laude

Georgia

Georgia

International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum - Regional Representative for North America

Dutch

English

French

German

Russian

Spanish