Catherine Amirfar is Co-Chair of Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution Group and the Public International Law Group, and a member of the firm’s ...
Read Full Biography
- Francesco Becchetti and five other Italian investors in ICSID proceedings against Albania arising out of claimants’ investments in a hydroelectric plant and a media company, winning a historic order of provisional measures suspending criminal and extradition proceedings, and resulting in a favorable award.
- The State of Qatar and Qatari entities and individuals in international claims arising out of the measures imposed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt against Qatar, including twice prevailing in proceedings on provisional measures before the International Court of Justice against the United Arab Emirates under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, obtaining a unanimous decision in Qatar’s favor in proceedings before the International Court of Justice under the Chicago Convention and the International Air Services Transit Agreement, and in investment arbitrations and claims in other international tribunals.
- The Republic of Iraq in a complete dismissal of claims for over US$650 million brought by Agility Warehousing Company relating to a telecommunications investment, substantially prevailing on jurisdictional objections and achieving a complete victory for the Republic on the merits with a full award of costs, in the first ICSID arbitration brought against the Republic. For this win, the Debevoise team was recognized as Litigators of the Week by The American Lawyer.
- Claimant MAKAE Europe SARL in a billion-dollar claim pending in ICSID arbitration against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) in asserting its privileges and immunities in connection with a putative class action filed against it in U.S. court, alleging claims based on WHO’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- The United Nations in successfully asserting its rights under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and corresponding U.S. law to obtain dismissal of a suit against it in federal district court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Oy Metsä-Botnia in its $1.3 billion greenfield investment in the Orion pulp mill project in Uruguay and the Case Concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) in the International Court of Justice, which concerns that project. Argentina commenced proceedings against Uruguay in the ICJ pursuant to a bilateral treaty concerning the River Uruguay, which forms a shared border between the two countries, claiming that Uruguay had violated the treaty by allowing construction of the mill.
- A Japanese pharmaceutical company in winning an ICC arbitration against a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company involving a co-development, licensing and supply agreement.
- American Express Corp. in an intellectual property dispute in U.S. federal court resulting in a landmark decision in favor of its trademark rights in “Blackcard.”
- A European bank in an ICSID case against the Government of Greece related to Greece’s sovereign bond restructuring.
- Macau-based Sanum Investments and Netherlands-based Lao Holdings, NV in bilateral investment treaty arbitration claims against the Government of Laos.
- Sellers’ representatives of Landis+Gyr AG in a dispute with a Japanese company related to a $2.3 billion transaction.
- Abilio Diniz, the founder of one of Brazil’s leading retail businesses, in three ICC arbitrations governed by Brazilian law and seated in São Paulo against Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA in a shareholder dispute. The dispute ended with a widely reported settlement favorable to our client that was awarded the Deal of the Year Award – Disputes by Latin Lawyer (2014).
- The Republic of Iraq in successfully defending ICSID claims brought by Itisaluna Iraq LLC and others under the OIC Agreement arising out of a dispute concerning the telecommunications sector. In the jurisdictional stage, we contended that the Parties to the dispute had not consented in writing to submit the dispute to ICSID arbitration. The tribunal dismissed all claims for lack of jurisdiction and awarded close to two-thirds of costs to the Republic.
- The Government of Mexico in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mex. v. U.S.), 2004 I.C.J. 12, in its successful claims against the United States for violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in respect of 52 Mexican nationals sentenced to death in state court proceedings in the United States. In March 2004, the ICJ held the United States liable in 51 of those cases and ordered the United States to review and reconsider the convictions and sentences.
- The petitioner in Medellin v. Texas and Medellin v. Dretke, in which the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the U.S. constitutional issues arising from the President’s and individual Mexican nationals’ efforts to enforce the ICJ judgment in Avena.
- A tire manufacturing company in successful and favorably settled ICDR and CPR arbitrations, respectively, involving a $20 million dispute over a contract to provide tires for a mining equipment manufacturer.
- A Brazilian battery manufacturing company in a successful ICC arbitration involving $25 million in damages over a contract purchase price dispute.
- A Chilean natural gas company in an ICC arbitration involving a $200 million dispute over a long-term supply agreement that settled on favorable terms.
- A sustainable forestry management firm in a suit against an oil company for environmental damages to timberlands in Argentina.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as amicus curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States, arguing that the continued detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and the procedures of the military tribunals established to try those prisoners breached the international treaty obligations of the United States.
- A group of negotiators and experts on the Chemical Weapons Convention as amici curiae in Bond v. United States, in which the U.S. Supreme Court considered a constitutional challenge to the federal statute implementing the Convention.
- NML Capital Limited in a request by Argentina to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for provisional measures against Ghana arising from the arrest in Ghana of an Argentine frigate on NML’s application.
- Bechtel Corporation, L’Oréal Inc., and Hess Corporation, among others, in successful or favorably settled arbitrations or litigation matters.
- New York University School of Law, 2000, J.D.
- Stanford University, 1995, B.A.