Global law firm White & Case LLP continues to lead the field of Latin American arbitration, according to Legal 500 and Chambers Latin America. Year-on-year, White & Case remains the only firm in the world to rank tier one in both Latin American arbitration and project finance, reflecting its involvement at the intersection of investment, economic policy and dispute resolution.
White & Case is "a truly formidable beast" in Latin American arbitration, according to Legal 500. "The practice has achieved remarkable penetration into the continent. Fielding a 65-strong team (with 11 partners), the practice also has true bench-depth, permitting cases to be 'well-staffed, both in terms of head count and expertise.'" Added Legal 500, "White & Case LLP undertakes investor and sovereign representations as well as commercial cases, and ‘covers all the issues.' Its ‘truly impressive breadth of engagement’ runs from foreign investment, energy and infrastructure and construction projects, to sovereign finance, mass claims and even a case concerning cultural patrimony."
"We pioneered the field of Latin American arbitration through collaboration with our Latin American and worldwide clients," stated Jonathan C. Hamilton, partner and head of Latin American arbitration. "Our approach focuses on innovative strategies, efficient management and thought leadership, as well as a commitment to social responsibility."
According to Chambers, "White & Case is amazing. The lawyers are very smart and service-oriented." The firm ranks tier one in international arbitration in Latin America, the US and globally in Chambers. In recent years, the same publications have described the firm as "pioneering," "pre-eminent," and "a powerhouse at the forefront of Latin American international arbitration," with "profound experience" and "a genuine Latin American footprint." The Firm’s extensive footprint in the Americas extends also to the Madrid office, and its involvement in Spanish disputes and investment related to Latin America.
The publications emphasized White & Case's success in a continued string of pioneering cases and consecutive victories in Latin American arbitration, including among others:
- Convial v. Peru: Success in investment treaty case
- SGS v. Paraguay: Success in "umbrella clause" case leading to settlement
- Abaclat v. Argentina: OGEMID Decision of the Decade winner
- Caraveli v. Peru: Success in concession contract case
- Quiport v. Ecuador: Latin Lawyer Dispute of the Year winner
The publications emphasized numerous key White & Case partners in the field of Latin American arbitration:
- Paul Friedland "leads the firm's global arbitration practice. His recent Latin American caseload includes representing Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) in ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Paraguay. Peers agree that he is a 'first-rate' lawyer," says Chambers. Legal 500 describes him as an "intellectual powerhouse."
- Jonathan C. Hamilton, according to Legal 500, "'has experience of most states in the region.' 'His combination of experience, expertise, commitment and dynamism is hard to beat, especially given the team around him.'" Chambers says that sources highlight "'his combination of experience, tenacity and relationship-building,' and also cite his impressive grasp of strategy as a particular strength."
- Carolyn Lamm "has a top-tier reputation for her domestic US practice and continues to act as counsel on a number of Latin American cases."
- Andrea Menaker, says Legal 500, is "excellent on public international law and sovereign immunity."
- Rafael Llano Oddone is a Paraguayan national in Mexico City who "is one of several attorneys currently representing the Republic of Peru in multiple ICSID arbitrations, including a claim by Argentine investors relating to the Lima airport toll road," says Chambers. "Formerly at the Organization of American States (OAS), he is ‘a figure on the way up,’" adds Legal 500.
- Ank Santens is "multi-lingual" and "has 'an eye for detail and a mind for the bigger picture,'" according to Legal 500.
- Abby Cohen Smutny is highlighted as a "global practitioner" with a "bet the company" case against Venezuela.