People

James Castello, a partner in the Paris office and a lawyer for more than 30 years, specializes in international arbitration. James has advised and represented clients in a wide range of legal disputes including commercial as well as investor-state arbitrations, both under institutional arbitration rules and in ad hoc arbitral proceedings. For the past 15 years, James has been based in Europe. In addition to his work as counsel, he also sits as an arbitrator.

In arbitration, James has represented clients from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East in disputes arising from large infrastructure or industrial projects as well as in the field of energy, such as contested control of an oil refinery, state privatization of a power plant, long-term gas supply and gas price readjustment.

James complements his work as counsel with service to numerous arbitral institutions. In 2001, he became a member of the U.S. delegation to the Arbitration Working Group at the UN Commission on International Trade Law and has since participated in revising or drafting the Model Laws on Conciliation (2002) and on International Arbitration (2006), the Arbitration Rules (2010), the Rules on Transparency (2013), the Transparency Convention (2014) and the Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings (2016). He has written extensively on UNCITRAL's Arbitration Rules, including in the Practitioner’s Handbook on International Commercial Arbitration, the World Arbitration Reporter and Concise International Arbitration.

In 2009, James was appointed to the Court of the London Court of International Arbitration (serving on the subcommittee that drafted the 2014 LCIA Rules), and he now serves on the LCIA's Board of Directors and as President of the LCIA's European Users Council.

Previously, between roles at other firms, James served for nearly six years in senior legal positions in the Clinton administration, including as Deputy Counsel to the President at the White House, and Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department, where he focused on such international issues as immigration and human rights.

Full Bio

Credentials

B.A., Yale University

J.D., University of California-Berkeley, Order of the Coif

M.A., University of California-Berkeley

District of Columbia

New York

Paris, France

Law Clerk, William J. Brennan, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States

Law Clerk, Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court of the United States

Law Clerk, Abner J. Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Law Clerk, Howard Holtzmann, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal

English

French (proficient)

German (basic)

Construction Law


International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers, 2017

“A well-respected practitioner and incisive presenter of facts."


Chambers Global, 2016

"‘Extensive, in-depth experience’ in international arbitration.”


Chambers Global, 2016, quoting a client

An “illustrious” senior arbitrator and counsel


International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016

A "top specialist" in large infrastructure and commercial projects, especially in the energy sector.


International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016

“A ‘great brain’ and ‘one of the reasons [King & Spalding] is so good in Paris.’”


International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016, quoting a client

“A ‘talented individual’ who enjoys a ‘prestigious reputation’ in the international arbitration field.”


Who’s Who Legal France, 2015

“Notable expertise in handling large investor-state cases and disputes related to commercial issues in the energy sector.”


Chambers Global, 2015, quoting a client

“He's at the top of my list, without a doubt.”


Chambers Global, 2015, quoting a client

“‘Outstanding’ and ‘among the best worldwide’”


Global Arbitration Review 100, 2015, quoting a client

“The Paris team handles key investment and commercial oil and gas disputes in the Middle East and Asia.”


Legal 500 France, 2015, quoting clients

“Practice head Eric Schwartz and James Castello have ‘excellent reputations’ and form ‘an excellent team.’”


Legal 500 France, 2015, quoting clients

“An expert in this field.”


Chambers Europe (France), 2014

“Highly experienced in the energy sector.”


Chambers Global, 2013

“Interviewees laud his ability to readily handle technically complex issues."


Chambers Global, 2013

"Very up to speed on new technologies” says one source


Chambers Global, 2013

“Able to quickly absorb the entire history of the case, including exchanges that took place before he handled it.”


Chambers Global, 2013

“[Has] close ties with some of the European arbitration institutions.”


Chambers Global, 2010

“Praised by market commentators as an ‘absolutely open, thorough, fantastic lawyer.’”


Chambers Global, 2010, quoting sources

Matters

Representing a supplier of heavy machinery in an ICC arbitration arising from an African port development project.

Representing a respondent in a UNCITRAL arbitration brought under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arising from disputed control of an oil refinery.

Representing a European energy company in an ICSID arbitration arising from its failure to receive gas under a long-term supply contract.

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Matters

Representing a supplier of heavy machinery in an ICC arbitration arising from an African port development project.

Representing a respondent in a UNCITRAL arbitration brought under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arising from disputed control of an oil refinery.

Representing a European energy company in an ICSID arbitration arising from its failure to receive gas under a long-term supply contract.

Advising an international construction joint venture in arbitrations and dispute resolution board proceedings arising from construction of a high-speed rail project.

Representing a European gas company in an ICC arbitration arising from a gas price reopener [add "clause" ?]dispute with an African gas producer.

Advising an international construction engineering firm during a dispute review board proceeding on issues arising from construction of a harbor tunnel.

Representing a European commodities trader in an ad hoc arbitration arising from a breached agreement for sale and delivery of goods in the CIS.

Representing an international construction firm in a dispute concerning asphalt specifications on a road project in Africa.

Representing the claimant in an ICC arbitration arising from an aborted geophysical study project in Africa.

Representing the owner of an LNG liquefaction facility in arbitrations arising from disputes under a gas supply agreement.

Representing a European gas distributor in an ICC arbitration involving operation of a gas price readjustment clause.

Representing an international construction engineering firm in arbitrations arising from delay and disruption of a road project in East Africa.

Representing a government in an ICC arbitration arising from an attempted privatization of a state-owned power plant.

Representing the manufacturer of precision equipment for an industrial glass factory in a Vienna Rules arbitration arising from a dispute with an installation subcontractor.

Representing an international construction engineering firm in ICC arbitration arising from its work as electro-mechanical subcontractor on a hydroelectric project in Southeast Asia.

Representing western European investors in an ICC arbitration arising from a shareholders' dispute following privatization of a cement plant in eastern Europe.

Representing an international construction engineering firm in ICC arbitration arising from construction of a steel tube plant in Europe.

Matters

Representing a supplier of heavy machinery in an ICC arbitration arising from an African port development project.

Representing a respondent in a UNCITRAL arbitration brought under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arising from disputed control of an oil refinery.

Representing a European energy company in an ICSID arbitration arising from its failure to receive gas under a long-term supply contract.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Representing a supplier of heavy machinery in an ICC arbitration arising from an African port development project.

Representing a respondent in a UNCITRAL arbitration brought under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arising from disputed control of an oil refinery.

Representing a European energy company in an ICSID arbitration arising from its failure to receive gas under a long-term supply contract.

Advising an international construction joint venture in arbitrations and dispute resolution board proceedings arising from construction of a high-speed rail project.

Representing a European gas company in an ICC arbitration arising from a gas price reopener [add "clause" ?]dispute with an African gas producer.

Advising an international construction engineering firm during a dispute review board proceeding on issues arising from construction of a harbor tunnel.

Representing a European commodities trader in an ad hoc arbitration arising from a breached agreement for sale and delivery of goods in the CIS.

Representing an international construction firm in a dispute concerning asphalt specifications on a road project in Africa.

Representing the claimant in an ICC arbitration arising from an aborted geophysical study project in Africa.

Representing the owner of an LNG liquefaction facility in arbitrations arising from disputes under a gas supply agreement.

Representing a European gas distributor in an ICC arbitration involving operation of a gas price readjustment clause.

Representing an international construction engineering firm in arbitrations arising from delay and disruption of a road project in East Africa.

Representing a government in an ICC arbitration arising from an attempted privatization of a state-owned power plant.

Representing the manufacturer of precision equipment for an industrial glass factory in a Vienna Rules arbitration arising from a dispute with an installation subcontractor.

Representing an international construction engineering firm in ICC arbitration arising from its work as electro-mechanical subcontractor on a hydroelectric project in Southeast Asia.

Representing western European investors in an ICC arbitration arising from a shareholders' dispute following privatization of a cement plant in eastern Europe.

Representing an international construction engineering firm in ICC arbitration arising from construction of a steel tube plant in Europe.

Credentials

B.A., Yale University

J.D., University of California-Berkeley, Order of the Coif

M.A., University of California-Berkeley

District of Columbia

New York

Paris, France

Law Clerk, William J. Brennan, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States

Law Clerk, Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court of the United States

Law Clerk, Abner J. Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Law Clerk, Howard Holtzmann, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal

English

French (proficient)

German (basic)

Construction Law


International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers, 2017

“A well-respected practitioner and incisive presenter of facts."


Chambers Global, 2016

"‘Extensive, in-depth experience’ in international arbitration.”


Chambers Global, 2016, quoting a client

An “illustrious” senior arbitrator and counsel


International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016

A "top specialist" in large infrastructure and commercial projects, especially in the energy sector.


International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016

“A ‘great brain’ and ‘one of the reasons [King & Spalding] is so good in Paris.’”


International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016, quoting a client

“A ‘talented individual’ who enjoys a ‘prestigious reputation’ in the international arbitration field.”


Who’s Who Legal France, 2015

“Notable expertise in handling large investor-state cases and disputes related to commercial issues in the energy sector.”


Chambers Global, 2015, quoting a client

“He's at the top of my list, without a doubt.”


Chambers Global, 2015, quoting a client

“‘Outstanding’ and ‘among the best worldwide’”


Global Arbitration Review 100, 2015, quoting a client

“The Paris team handles key investment and commercial oil and gas disputes in the Middle East and Asia.”


Legal 500 France, 2015, quoting clients

“Practice head Eric Schwartz and James Castello have ‘excellent reputations’ and form ‘an excellent team.’”


Legal 500 France, 2015, quoting clients

“An expert in this field.”


Chambers Europe (France), 2014

“Highly experienced in the energy sector.”


Chambers Global, 2013

“Interviewees laud his ability to readily handle technically complex issues."


Chambers Global, 2013

"Very up to speed on new technologies” says one source


Chambers Global, 2013

“Able to quickly absorb the entire history of the case, including exchanges that took place before he handled it.”


Chambers Global, 2013

“[Has] close ties with some of the European arbitration institutions.”


Chambers Global, 2010

“Praised by market commentators as an ‘absolutely open, thorough, fantastic lawyer.’”


Chambers Global, 2010, quoting sources