Laura Sinisterra is a member of the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group in New York. Her practice focuses on international investment and commercial arbitration, and she has extensive experience advising clients on complex issues of public international law, treaty and contract interpretation and common and civil law across diverse jurisdictions and industries.
In recognition of her work, The Legal 500 US (2020) recently named Ms. Sinisterra a “Rising Star” in the field of international law—a distinction that she alone held in that particular guide, where she was notably praised for her “tremendous capacity to assimilate huge amounts of complicated and diverse information and work tirelessly to formulate a legal argument.” Ms. Sinisterra was also recently named a “Rising Star” by The Legal 500 Latin America (2021) and was recognized as a “Future Leader” in international arbitration by Who’s Who Legal (2020 and 2021). The guide describes her as a “superb lawyer” who is “extremely talented” and a “top choice for disputes in the oil and gas and construction industries.”
Ms. Sinisterra joined Debevoise in 2014. She received an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, where she was a recipient of a Dean’s Scholar Prize and a member of the Harvard International Law Journal. Ms. Sinisterra received her Law Degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, graduating first in her class. During law school, she participated in an exchange program with Notre Dame University and received a degree, magna cum laude, in Advanced Social, Economic and Political Studies.
Prior to joining Debevoise, Ms. Sinisterra worked in the arbitration group of a large international law firm based in Paris as well as the international disputes practice of a well-known Colombian law firm.
Ms. Sinisterra is on the board of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Arbitraje (ALARB) and was the inaugural Chair of the ITA’s Young Mentorship Program. A sought-after speaker, Ms. Sinisterra has been invited to share her perspective on critical arbitration issues at conferences in the United States as well as Latin America, including Harvard’s International Arbitration Workshop; the ITA’s Annual Workshop; NYU’s IAA Conference; the ABA Section of International Law’s Fall Meeting; and the IX Latin American Arbitration Conference in La Paz, Bolivia.
Ms. Sinisterra is also an accomplished author. Her recent publications include “Tactics and procedures used in international arbitration to promote efficiency,” Experiencias y Retos del Ecuador en el Arbitraje de Inversión y Comercial (September, 2018); “Public Policy Through the Lens of Chevron v. Ecuador,” IBA Litigation Committee Newsletter (2016); “Annual ITA Workshop Report, When Justice Delayed Would Be Justice Denied: Emergency Arbitrators and Interim Measures in International Arbitration,” ITA News and Notes (2016); “Chevron v. Ecuador, The Saga Continues,” The Energy Law Advisor (2016); “A New Kind of Risk? Recent Approaches to Country Risk in the Valuation of Damages,” IBA Arbitration News (2016); “Slowly Moving Forward: Colombia and the New York Convention,” IBA Arbitration News (2012); and “Extension of the Arbitration Agreement to Non-Signatories,” Los Andes Private Law Journal (2010).
Selected representations include Perenco Ecuador Limited in its ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Ecuador arising out of the expropriation of its operations in that country and the Republic of Iraq in two ICSID proceedings related to the telecommunications sector.
Ms. Sinisterra is admitted to the Bars of New York and Colombia. She is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English, with a conversational knowledge of French.