Icon close

Close

People

James Castello has advised and represented clients (and has arbitrated disputes) in a wide range of commercial and investor-state proceedings under multiple arbitral rules. Based in Europe for 22 of his 35 years in practice, James now serves as both counsel and arbitrator.  According to Chambers Global, he is “praised by market commentators as an ‘absolutely open, thorough, fantastic lawyer,’” and is "highly praised by clients for his ‘extensive, in-depth experience’ in international arbitration."

James represents European, Middle Eastern, African and Asian clients, especially in energy disputes (e.g., contested control of a refinery, privatization of a power plant, gas price readjustments, conflicts on upstream development) and large infrastructure cases (road, tunnel, rail, industrial facilities). He and a K&S team recently won a $2+ billion award against Egypt for curtailing long-term gas supply. According to Who's Who of International Commercial Arbitration, James "has a ‘great brain’ and is ‘one of the reasons [King & Spalding] is so good in Paris.’” 

As a U.S. delegate to UNCITRAL’s Arbitration Working Groups since 2001, James has assisted in drafting or revising each arbitration and mediation instrument adopted by the UN. James has written Commentaries on UNCITRAL's Arbitration Rules for books published by Oxford, Kluwer, and Juris.

James helped draft the LCIA’s Arbitration Rules of 2014 as a member of the London Court, and he now serves on both the LCIA’s Board of Directors and the International Advisory Board of Vienna’s International Arbitral Centre; he also co-chairs CILS' biennial Salzburg Arbitration Symposium and is Executive Committee Vice-Chair of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration.

For six years during the Clinton Administration, James held such senior legal positions as Deputy Counsel to the President at the White House and Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Justice Department, where his portfolio included immigration, hate crimes, and human rights. He began his legal career with clerkships at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. and at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Order of the Coif

M.A. in Economics, University of California, Berkeley

B.A., Yale University

District of Columbia

New York

Paris

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

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

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

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

English

French

"James Castello ... 'charms arbitration tribunals' and is 'well known ...and widely recommended,' according to clients."


International Who's Who Construction Lawyers (2019)

“[One client] describes partners Doak Bishop and James Castello as “the very best the company has ever worked with.”


Global Arbitration Review - "GAR 30 (2019)"

In Paris, the "‘excellent’ practice head James Castello ... has ‘very strong forensic skills and is detail-oriented.'"


Legal 500 EMEA (2019)

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

Icon close

Close

Recognition

"James Castello ... 'charms arbitration tribunals' and is 'well known ...and widely recommended,' according to clients."


International Who's Who Construction Lawyers (2019)

“[One client] describes partners Doak Bishop and James Castello as “the very best the company has ever worked with.”


Global Arbitration Review - "GAR 30 (2019)"

In Paris, the "‘excellent’ practice head James Castello ... has ‘very strong forensic skills and is detail-oriented.'"


Legal 500 EMEA (2019)

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.

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 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 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

J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Order of the Coif

M.A. in Economics, University of California, Berkeley

B.A., Yale University

District of Columbia

New York

Paris

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

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

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

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

English

French

"James Castello ... 'charms arbitration tribunals' and is 'well known ...and widely recommended,' according to clients."


International Who's Who Construction Lawyers (2019)

“[One client] describes partners Doak Bishop and James Castello as “the very best the company has ever worked with.”


Global Arbitration Review - "GAR 30 (2019)"

In Paris, the "‘excellent’ practice head James Castello ... has ‘very strong forensic skills and is detail-oriented.'"


Legal 500 EMEA (2019)

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

Icon close

Close

Recognition

"James Castello ... 'charms arbitration tribunals' and is 'well known ...and widely recommended,' according to clients."


International Who's Who Construction Lawyers (2019)

“[One client] describes partners Doak Bishop and James Castello as “the very best the company has ever worked with.”


Global Arbitration Review - "GAR 30 (2019)"

In Paris, the "‘excellent’ practice head James Castello ... has ‘very strong forensic skills and is detail-oriented.'"


Legal 500 EMEA (2019)

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