Nawi Ukabiala is an associate in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group and Public International Law Group. His practice focuses on international arbitration and litigation. Mr. Ukabiala has significant experience in the extractive industries and energy sectors, as well as human rights disputes. He regularly advises clients on complex issues related to jurisdiction and valuation of damages. He was recognized as a Rising Star (2020) by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR).

Mr. Ukabiala is a leader in international law professional organizations, currently serving as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), a member of the Board of Directors of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), a member of the CPR Young Attorneys in International Dispute Resolution Steering Committee (CPR Y-ADR) and Arbitration Committee, and a member of the African Arbitration Association (AfAA).

Mr. Ukabiala has broad and notable experience in international law. He has published numerous articles, regularly conducts trainings for governments and practitioners, and regularly presents at conferences on pertinent issues in the field.

Mr. Ukabiala joined Debevoise in 2015. He served as the legal officer to Judge Julia Sebutinde at the International Court of Justice and judicial law clerk to Justice Edward Mansfield at the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa. He also previously worked as a legal consultant in the Operations Policy Group of the World Bank’s legal department. Mr. Ukabiala obtained his LL.M. from NYU in 2014, where he was a transitional justice scholar and international finance and development fellow, and his J.D. from Drake University in 2011 summa cum laude and Order of the Coif. He obtained his B.A. from George Washington University.


  • New York University School of Law, 2014, LL.M.
  • Drake University Law School, 2011, J.D.
  • George Washington University, 2006, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York