Arbitration & International Disputes in Latin America


    • Occidental Petroleum Company and Occidental Exploration and Production Company (“Occidental”) in an ICSID arbitration, winning one of the largest ever BIT awards, $1.1 billion ($1.4 billion including interest). The filing of the claim was made two days after Ecuador terminated all of Occidental’s exploration and production rights and seized all of its assets in the country. Ecuador and Occidental have arranged for payment of this award.
    • Occidental Exploration and Petroleum Company against the Republic of Ecuador in an ad hoc arbitration brought under the provisions of the U.S. - Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) using UNCITRAL Rules, involving a dispute over Ecuador's refusal to refund value-added tax (VAT) paid by Occidental on its Ecuadorian investments. The Tribunal issued a unanimous decision awarding Occidental approximately $130 million. The award has been fully paid.
    • Perenco in claiming more than $1 billion in damages in an ICSID arbitration for an illegal expropriation by Ecuador and in defending against environmental counterclaims by Ecuador.
    • Perenco Ecuador, prevailing on novel jurisdictional and merits issues in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the Republic of Ecuador’s unilateral increase of its participation to 99% of all revenues from oil sales above a fixed “reference price” and its declaration that Perenco’s contracts had come to an end. Perenco is now entitled to approximately US$435 million, net of cost recovery and other factors, which is the largest compensation amount that any investment tribunal has awarded against Ecuador for its imposition of Law 42.
    • Petrolera Ameriven (a joint venture owned by PdVSA of Venezuela, Phillips Conoco and Chevron Texaco) in five ICC arbitrations involving a petrochemical “upgrader” facility in Venezuela, with over $900 million at stake.
    • Two investment funds in a series of disputes relating to an investment in a restructured Brazilian consumer products business. The representation includes an ICC arbitration seated in Saõ Paulo and coordination of litigation proceedings in Brazil and elsewhere.
    • Holcim and its subsidiaries, Holderfin B.V. and Caricement B.V., against Venezuela in proceedings before ICSID under the Switzerland-Venezuela BIT and the Netherlands-Venezuela BIT, asserting claims that Venezuela’s nationalization of Holcim Venezuela constituted unlawful expropriation and discrimination. After Holcim filed its statement of claim, the parties agreed on a settlement providing for compensation of $650 million.
    • Verizon Communications and its subsidiary in the sale of shares in Compañía Anónima Nacional Teléfonos de Venezuela (“CANTV”), the largest telephone company in Venezuela, to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela after the Government announced that it intended to assume control of CANTV.
    • EM Limited in obtaining payment in full of an $849 million judgment against the Republic of Argentina arising from Argentina’s default on its sovereign debt, recognized as the 2016 Global Dispute of the Year by The American Lawyer.
    • Autopista Concesionada de Venezuela, C.A. (“Aucoven”) in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Venezuela, where the tribunal issued a final award finding liability and damages against Venezuela involving claims arising from the breach of a concession agreement for a toll road in Venezuela.
    • 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.
    • 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.