Laura Sinisterra is a partner in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group in New York. Her practice focuses on international arbitration and international litigation, concentrating in the mining and energy sectors, in which she regularly handles complex disputes arising out of Latin America.
Ms. Sinisterra is recognized within the legal community as a Rising Star in her generation. Specifically, in recognition of her work, Chambers USA (2023) has named her an Up and Coming attorney, noting that she is “extremely intelligent, “very eloquent,” and has “very strong analytical skills.” The Legal 500 US (2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023), which recommends Ms. Sinisterra in the field of international law, highlights her commitment and focus. The guide praised her “tremendous capacity to assimilate huge amounts of complicated and diverse information and work tirelessly to formulate a legal argument.” In Chambers Latin America (2024), which recognizes her as an Up and Coming partner, she is said to be “skilled and fierce in cross-examination.” The Legal 500 Latin America (2019, 2021 and 2022) similarly named Ms. Sinisterra a Rising Star in the field of international arbitration and she is named a Next Generation Partner in the 2023 and 2024 editions of the guide, which has noted that she is “an elegantly passionate advocator,” “a brilliant lawyer, incredibly talented, always prepared, and an excellent interrogator of witnesses and experts.” She is also said to be “an excellent lawyer, with great knowledge, depth of analysis and speed of response.” Who’s Who Legal (2020, 2021 and 2022) has also recognized her as a Future Leader in international arbitration. The guide describes her as a “superb lawyer” who is “extremely talented,” “poised, hardworking and very dependable” in sophisticated investment disputes, and a “top choice for disputes in the oil and gas and construction industries.”
Ms. Sinisterra is on the board of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Arbitraje (ALARB), is Vice Chair of the International Arbitration Committee of the ABA’s International Law Section, is Vice Chair of the ITA’s Communication Committee 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 at the IBA Annual Conference, the Annual ITA Workshop, the ABA International Law Section’s Fall Meeting, New York Arbitration Week, the IX Latin American Arbitration Conference, the IX ICC Arbitration Forum, Harvard’s International Arbitration Workshop and NYU’s IAA Conference.
Ms. Sinisterra is also an accomplished author. Her recent publications include: “The Impact of Article VII of the New York Convention,” International Commercial Arbitration: A Study of the New York Convention; “Introducing Foreign Clients to U.S. Civil Litigation,” International Practitioner’s Deskbook Series: International Litigation Strategies and Practice; “A New Kind of Risk? Recent Approaches to Country Risk in the Valuation of Damages,” IBA Arbitration News; “Annual ITA Workshop Report, When Justice Delayed Would Be Justice Denied: Emergency Arbitrators and Interim Measures in International Arbitration,” ITA News and Notes; “Public Policy Through the Lens of Chevron v. Ecuador,” IBA Litigation Committee Newsletter; “Chevron v. Ecuador, The Saga Continues,” Energy Law Advisor; and “Tactics and Procedures in International Arbitration to Promote Efficiency,” Experiencias y Retos del Ecuador en el Arbitraje de Inversión y Comercial.
Select 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; Freeport-McMoRan and Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Republic of Peru under the United States–Peru Free Trade Agreement; SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands B.V. in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Republic of Peru under the Netherlands–Peru BIT; and the Republic of Iraq in two ICSID proceedings related to the telecommunications sector.
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 specialized 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 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.