Our Global International Arbitration Practice has repeatedly been recognized as preeminent in its field. Founded more than two decades ago, the Practice is a pioneer in international arbitration and now has more than 150 practitioners in offices worldwide.
We advise clients operating under virtually any legal system, both common and civil law, on every step of the dispute resolution process—from the drafting of dispute resolution clauses to the conduct of proceedings, through to the enforcement of arbitral awards. Based upon our direct experience, we can recommend suitably qualified arbitrators and expert witnesses. We also advise on alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation, and can provide guidance on the best dispute resolution options in any given situation.
White & Case has "depth of accumulated experience in the field that places the firm at the top" according to Legal 500, which praises our Practice for its "stellar international arbitration reputation." Chambers Global describes our Practice as "clearly the best in the business… undoubtedly pre-eminent in the field," and we are one of only two firms to be ranked in Band One globally. Global Arbitration Review 100 notes that our Practice is "first class" and a "force in the global market," and ranks us among the top two international arbitration practices globally.
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2012 International Arbitration Survey:
Current and Preferred Practices in International Arbitration
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2010 International Arbitration Survey:
Choices in International Arbitration
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Our Practice has extensive experience working with all major arbitral institutions and rules including:
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
- American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA/ICDR)
- London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
- Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC)
- UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
- Many local arbitral institutions and rules
Our experience before the ICC, the arbitral institution most frequently used to resolve international commercial disputes, is unsurpassed. Our Practice includes the Vice-President Emeritus of the ICC Court. Two members of our Practice are on the AAA's Board of Directors, and another is a Member of the SIAC Court and a recent Member of the LCIA Court. We are also consistently recognized as a leader in ICSID and other investor-state arbitrations. In addition, we appear regularly before regional and national arbitral institutions, including those located in Stockholm, Warsaw, Zurich, Cairo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and throughout Latin America.
White & Case is the only leading global law firm with large and long-established arbitration teams in London, Paris, New York, Washington, DC and Stockholm. Beyond these traditional centers, we are also prominent players in other key cities and emerging markets including Frankfurt, Warsaw, Moscow, Miami, Mexico City, Singapore and Tokyo. With this broad and cohesive coverage, Chambers Global emphasizes that White & Case is among the "farthest reaching and most evenly spread of the arbitration specialist firms."
All of our highly ranked arbitration teams work together as one integrated global team. Arbitrations are often staffed by lawyers from multiple offices, depending on the applicable law, arbitral institution, industry, language and cultural requirements. We have conducted arbitrations in Arabic, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Thai.
Our Practice has expertise across a wide range of industry sectors. We have a leading energy, mining, and oil & gas arbitration practice, and have handled some of the largest international arbitration matters involving financial services. Our construction expertise is unparalleled, and we have long been regarded as the "go-to" firm for complex, international disputes in this field.
White & Case is also one of the few firms with vast experience in investment and sovereign matters, having represented both investors and States in disputes arising under international law and investment treaties. Our lawyers have achieved success in many ICSID and other investor-state arbitrations, particularly those involving major transportation and infrastructure projects. Chambers Global and Chambers USA describe White & Case as "renowned for… its involvement in ICSID cases" and as having "a platinum investor-state practice."
In addition to the above industry sectors, we have significant experience handling international arbitrations involving these industry sectors:
- Information Technology
- Joint Ventures
- Real Estate
Select examples of our case experience include:
- Abaclat and Others v. Argentina. We represent tens of thousands of Italian holders of Argentine sovereign bonds in a US$1.3 billion ICSID claim under the Argentina-Italy BIT – the largest case against Argentina. In August 2011, the Tribunal issued a seminal "Decision on Jurisdiction and Admissibility" which established jurisdiction over the case, thereby allowing the first-ever mass claim in investment arbitration history to proceed. The decision won "Most Influential Award of the Last Decade" at the 2012 OGEMID Awards.
- Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) v. Republic of Paraguay. White & Case achieved a major victory for the Claimant, Swiss company SGS, in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Paraguay in a dispute arising out of non-payment for inspection services under the Swiss-Paraguay bilateral investment treaty. SGS's position was fully vindicated in a precedent-setting award dated February 2012, which expands the potential protection afforded to foreign investors under international law.
- CSOB v. Slovak Republic. We represented CSOB against the Slovak Republic in an ICSID arbitration relating to CSOB's restructuring. After defeating two rounds of jurisdictional objections raised by the Slovak Republic, we obtained an award of US$877 million for our client, one of the largest ICSID awards on record.
- Aguaytia Energy v. Peru. We successfully defended the Republic of Peru in a landmark ICSID case relating to an energy infrastructure project. Our client's complete victory was even more notable in the light of Peru losing a related arbitration brought under a similar contract, while being represented by a different firm.
- Plama v. Bulgaria. We obtained a complete victory for the Republic of Bulgaria in the first Energy Charter Treaty case to go to a merits award at ICSID, by persuading the Tribunal to adopt an innovative interpretation of the "Most-Favored Nation" clause. The award was selected the "Most Surprising Award of 2008" and the "Best Award of 2008" in a survey by Oil Gas Energy Mining Infrastructure and Investment Disputes.
- We achieved three significant victories for Romania in successive ICSID arbitrations. In Noble Ventures v. Romania and EDF v. Romania, all claims were dismissed in their entirety in the final awards, and in S&T v. Romania, arbitration proceedings were terminated by the Tribunal without any finding of liability.