Jonathan C. Hamilton | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Jonathan Hamilton
Jonathan Hamilton

Jonathan C. Hamilton

Partner, Washington, DC

“A brilliant strategist and leader,” “a great negotiator” and “a dynamic driving force” with “single-minded commitment”

Chambers Latin America


Jonathan is a leading global authority on international disputes and investment, and particular experience in complex negotiations and crisis management.

As the Firm's head of Latin American arbitration, he has successfully advised on some of the most critical issues of the era in Latin America and beyond, including the cultural patrimony of Machu Picchu, the new Ecuador international airport, the Argentine sovereign debt crisis, the development of the Peruvian energy sector and the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Jonathan's practice is ranked at the top of its field by Chambers Global, Chambers USA and Chambers Latin America. Recognition for his recent matters includes the 2013 OGEMID Most Influential Arbitration Award of the Decade; 2012 OGEMID Best Arbitration Award; 2011 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year/Disputes; 2010 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year/Finalist Disputes; 2009 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year/Disputes and 2008 OGEMID Best Arbitration Award.

Individually recognized as one of the top lawyers in his field in the world, Jonathan was one of ten lawyers worldwide nominated as Global Arbitration Review Advocate of the Year. He has been described by clients and in Chambers and The Legal 500 as "a super-lawyer-dealmaker" with a "single-minded commitment to the client’s' cause", "very impressive advocacy" with an "impressive grasp of strategy", a "great negotiator" and a "true Latin American specialist", with "deep understanding and efficiency" and "experience, expertise, commitment and dynamism."

Jonathan is a recognised thought leader on international development and disputes. He teaches international investment and negotiations at the University of Miami and lectures widely at leading universities. Key publications include "Latin American Investment Protections: Comparative Perspectives on Laws, Treaties and Disputes for Investors, States and Counsel", "Latin Arbitration Law", "Latin American Arbitral Institutions" and "Latin American Truth Commissions."

Based in Washington, DC, and Latin America, Jonathan started his career at White & Case in the New York office, spent several years in the Mexico City office and also worked as a visiting foreign associate in Lima. He also worked as an assistant to legal fiction author John Grisham and as a federal law clerk.He has served on the boards of the US-Mexico Foundation, the Vance Center for International Justice, the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and on foreign policy and international election working groups, reflecting his deep experience in public affairs.

Bars and Courts

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • New York State Bar


  • JD, University of Virginia
  • MA, University of North Carolina
  • BA, Brandeis University
  • Program, Oxford University


  • English
  • Spanish


Machu Picchu

Representation in a dispute relating to the repatriation of artifacts to Peru, the result of which was described by The Economist as sending "a message to collectors around the world."

Infrastructure development

Representation in a dispute concerning The Quito international airport project, which was described by Latin Lawyer as "one of the most complex project disputes in Latin America's recent history."

Sovereign debt

Representation in a mass claim relating to Argentine Sovereign debt, which was described by IA Reporter as "the first prominent use of an investment protection treaty to challenge a sovereign government's handling of a default and restructuring", and as "a wake-up call", the effects of which "may reverberate widely."

Panama canal

Representation in the negotiation of an agreement and related dispute undertakings, facilitating the continuation of the Canal expansion project.

Multilateral institutions

Representation in the first case by a Latin American state registered at the World Bank arbitration center, relating to the development of the Peruvian energy sector.

Investment protections

Representation in major international cases concerning legal stability protections, which Chambers noted as having established "a strong precedent for stability agreements as a means of protecting foreign investment."

World Trade Organization

Representation in a state-to-state dispute concerning the relationship between free trade agreements and the world trade system.

Social development

Contributions included serving on the US-Mexico Foundation board, on the Vance Center for International Justice board, on foreign policy working groups, and as an international election observer.

Speaking Engagements

"Complex Negotiations and Crisis Management in Latin America: International Development and Dispute Resolution", 2014: Harvard Law School, Cambridge

"Legados Míticos: The Legends of Latin American Arbitration" , 2014: ICCA Congress,

"Latin American Investment Arbitration and Negotiation" , 2014: University of Miami School of Law

"The Rule of Law and Investment Arbitration" , 2014: University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville

"Contract and Treaty Rights and Claims" , 2013: AmCham,
Lima, Peru

"The Intersection of Investment and Human Rights Regimes" , 2013: CCIL Annual Conference,

The Public Perspective: Transparency in International Disputes" , 2013: ICC Annual Miami Conference on International Arbitration in Latin America,

"Peruvian Investment Arbitration", 2013: Simposio Internacional de Arbitraje, Cámara de Comercio de Lima/Universidad del Pacífico,

"Latin American International Arbitration: Which Latin American Seat?", 2013: GAR Live Conference,
New York

"The Importance of Latin American Investment Arbitration" , 2013: University of Richmond,

"Clashing Paradigms for Resolving International Investment Disputes", 2013: Yale Institute of International Arbitration,


Awards & Recognition

Notable Practitioner, Chambers Latin America 2014

International Arbitration – Latin America-wide

Leading Lawyer: Chambers Global 2014

International Arbitration – Latin America-wide

Recommended Lawyer: The Legal 500 2014, 2014

International Arbitration – Latin America

Recommended Lawyer: Who's Who Legal 2014

Commercial Arbitration

Best Lawyer, Best Lawyers 2015

International Arbitration – Commercial/ Governmental

Latin Lawyer

The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration

Global Arbitration Review