Jonathan C. Hamilton

Partner, Washington, DC


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


Jonathan C. Hamilton is Partner and Head of Latin American Arbitration with global law firm White & Case. He is a leading authority on international disputes and investment, with extensive additional experience in complex negotiations and crisis management.

Jonathan's practice is ranked at the top of its field by leading guides such as Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America and Legal 500, which describes White & Case as "the best law firm for Latin America arbitration."

Over the past two decades, Jonathan has successfully advised on some of the most critical economic and legal issues of the era in Latin America and beyond, such as the development of the new Ecuador international airport, the Peruvian energy sector, the Bolivian mining sector, the Latin America pension fund sector and the Panama Canal expansion, as well as the recuperation of the cultural patrimony of Machu Picchu. 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 seasoned 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," "Latin Arbitration Law," "Latin American Arbitral Institutions," "Truth Commissions" and "Transitional Justice."

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
US District Court for the District of Columbia
University of Virginia
University of North Carolina
Brandeis University
Oxford University


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, Miami

"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, Ottawa

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

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

"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, Richmond

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


The Intersection of Investment and Trade, Global Arbitration Review, 2014

Latin American Truth Commissions, 2013

The Latin American Arbitration Law Compendium, 2000-Present

50 Años de la Convención de Nueva York: Implicancias para América Latina, Revista Ecuatoriana de Arbitraje, 2009

Three Decades of Latin American Commercial Arbitration, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, 2009

Developments in Latin American Arbitration: 2009, Transnational Dispute Management

Survey of Trends in Latin American Arbitration, International Disputes Quarterly, 2009

Awards and 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