Ignacio Madalena

Local Partner, Madrid



Ignacio is Local Partner with the firm's International Arbitration Practice in Madrid.

Ignacio's practice has a particularly deep focus on investor-state disputes, representing clients from all over the world in claims arising from bilateral investment treaties and the Energy Charter Treaty, including proceedings under the rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) or the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Notably over the last 20 years, Ignacio has represented clients in investment disputes arising from a variety of industries and sectors, including renewable energy, electricity, infrastructure, telecommunications and banking.  

Ignacio also has extensive experience in international commercial arbitration, having appeared before a variety of international tribunals under the rules of the major arbitration institutions, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Madrid Court of Arbitration (CAM) and ad hoc arbitral tribunals, including proceedings under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Ignacio's sectors of experience in commercial cases includes, in particular, infrastructure and energy, having advised clients in disputes involving EPC contracts and other construction agreements, production sharing and operating agreements, gas balancing agreements, joint ventures and post-M&A disputes. Ignacio further serves as arbitrator in commercial cases, both as party-appointed arbitrator and chair.

Ignacio's practice includes providing advice to clients on complex international transactions and projects across a wide range of sectors, on questions such as (i) the assessment of regulatory risks, (ii) advice on investment structuring and planning to ensure adequate investment treaty protections, (iii) advise on governing law, jurisdiction and arbitration clauses and the establishment of complex dispute resolution mechanisms, and (iv) advise on public international law issues affecting cross-border transactions and projects.

Ignacio teaches international investment law and arbitration at Instituto de Empresa (IE) and the Instituto de Estudios Bursátiles in Madrid.

Bars and Courts
Spain (Abogado)
New York
England and Wales
Special Legal Consultant in District of Columbia
Georgetown University Law Center
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
JD (equivalent)
Universidad San Pablo CEU


Some representative examples of Ignacio's experience includes:

International arbitration 

Acting for the concessionaire in a dispute with the EPC contractor in an ICC arbitration in Geneva, in a dispute under Slovakian law arising out of road construction project in Bratislava.

Representing a Japanese investor in an ICSID arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty involving investment in the Spanish renewable sector.

Acting for a Belgium industrial group as claimant in a post-M&A dispute against a Spanish company, brought under a Share Purchase Agreement in the Madrid Court of Arbitration. 

Representing a Spanish telecommunications company in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Colombia pursuant to the Spain-Colombia BIT, in a dispute relating to a concession agreement for mobile telephone services.

Representing a Spanish energy company in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Argentina pursuant to the Spain-Argentina BIT, in a dispute relating to measures affecting the claimant's investments in the power-generation sector.

Representing a sovereign state in proceedings before the Madrid High Court, defending the validity of an award on jurisdiction rendered in an UNCITRAL arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty.

Acting for an infrastructure fund based on London in an ICC arbitration under Spanish law arising from a joint venture dispute over a photovoltaic project in Mexico.

Advising a group of international lenders, on the management and implications of a dispute between the borrower and a Latin American State, as a result of various legal, regulatory and judicial measures affecting a project for the development and operation of an airport.*

Acting for an energy company based in Argentina, the respondent in an ICC arbitration in London, concerning a dispute under a joint operating agreement and a gas balancing agreement governed by English law, relating to a natural gas exploitation and production project in Argentina.*

Representing and advising multiple infrastructure funds and multinational corporations that had invested in solar and wind-power generation projects in Spain, in multiple ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings involving claims against the Kingdom of Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), as a result of Spain's changes to the regulatory regime for renewable energy projects.*

Representing a US energy company and its Dutch subsidiary in multiple claims against the Republic of Kazakhstan under a bilateral investment treaty, the ECT and Kazakhstan's foreign investment law, arising out of a series of actions including fines and tariff restrictions imposed by Kazakh competition authorities and affecting the claimants' investments in a number of power-generation facilities and trading companies that held rights under long-term concessions with the Government.*

Advising a liquefied natural gas (LNG) producing company based in the Middle East in a dispute with a Spanish energy company regarding the price review provisions of a 25-year sales purchase agreement of LNG.*

Representing a Spanish contractor in claims against Honduras under a public works contract, in proceedings under the ICSID Convention.*

Advisory work

Negotiations of direct agreements between investors and host states (covering specific standards of protection for the investor such as stabilization clauses, standards of treatment, sovereign immunity waivers and access to international arbitration).

Advice to an energy company on the status of an exploration and production agreement with a state facing rival governments.

Drafting and negotiation of a headquarters agreement between a publicly-owned financial institution and a host state.

Advising a group of lenders on a financed project affected by disruption and regulatory risks, on the application of the lenders' step-in rights under the relevant credit agreements and overseeing the borrower's and the sponsors' dispute resolution strategy.

(*) Experience prior to joining White & Case LLP


Co-author: "Arbitraje de inversión y proceso judicial: puntos de fricción y cooperación", in Libro homenaje a Miguel Ángel Fernández-Ballesteros, Club Español e Iberoamericano del Arbitraje (forthcoming 2023).

Co-author: "Spanish Constitutional Court Limits the Scope of Review of Awards in Actions to Set Aside," W&C publication, 15 March 2021.

Co-author: "Managing Contractual Performance in Times of Sanitary Crisis: The Spanish Law Perspective, W&C publication, 14 May 2020.

Co-author: "Función y deberes del árbitro", in Flores Sentíes, H. (ed.), Retos Contemporáneos del Arbitraje Internacional (Tirant Lo Blanch, Mexico City, 2018).

Co-author: "Increased enforcement risk in intra-EU investment treaty arbitration," Legal & Regulatory Risk Note, A&O Publication (May 2018).

Co-author: "Spain" in The International Arbitration Review, 8th ed. (2017).

Author: "Medidas regulatorias y expropiación: tratamiento en la práctica arbitral", Lima Arbitration – Revista del Círculo Peruano de Arbitraje, núm. 7, 2016-2017.

Author: "Concession Agreements and Investment Treaty Claims," GAR's Arbitration Review of the Americas 2018 (2017).

Author: "Trans-Pacific Partnership," GAR's Arbitration Review of the Americas 2017 (2016).

Author: "Ethics in International Arbitration: the Role of the Arbitral Tribunal," International Arbitration Law Review (Dec. 2012).

Co-author, "Human Rights and Investment Treaty Arbitration," A&O Publication (2012).

Co-author, "Dispute Avoidance and Management in Construction and Engineering Projects," in EPC Contracts and Major Projects: A Guide to Construction and Other Project Contracts, Nigel Pritchard and John Scriven (eds.) (2011).

Co-Author, "Advocacy from the Perspective of a Civil Law Arbitrator," in The Art of Advocacy in International Arbitration, 2nd Edition, R. Doak Bishop (Ed.) (2010).

Co-Author, "Parallel Proceedings in International Arbitration," Arbitration International, vol. 24, no. 4 (2008).

Co-Author, "The ICC Dispute Board Rules," International Arbitration Law Review, vol. 8 (2005) "The U.S. Model BIT," International Arbitration Law Review, vol. 7, Issue 3 (June 2004).

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