Michelle Grando

Counsel, Washington, DC

Biography

Overview

Michelle Grando is a member of the international arbitration group. She specializes in international and cross-border disputes, with a particular focus on Brazil and Latin America.

Michelle has experience in ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL rules and arbitrations before institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). She also assisted international judges in disputes before the World Trade Organization (WTO). These cases have spanned areas such as oil & gas, construction, insurance, electricity, mining, infrastructure, financial services, pulp and paper, telecommunications, steel, gambling, customs and valuation services, and retail.

Michelle's dual training in the civil and common law traditions allows her to understand the differences between various legal systems and structure advice accordingly.  She is fluent in English, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish and has managed matters and/or worked with experts and witnesses in those languages.

Bars and Courts
District of Columbia Bar
Brazilian Bar (OAB)
New York State Bar
Education
LLM
Harvard Law School
SJD
University of Toronto
LLM
University of Toronto
LLB
Federal University of Santa Catarina
Brazil
Languages
English
Italian
Portuguese
Spanish

Experience

Brazilian company in a Portuguese-language ICC arbitration concerning an M&A dispute.

Financial services provider in disputes against Latin American state concerning alleged breach of fiduciary duties and expropriation of a business.

Toshiba in three ICC arbitrations brought by SanDisk in connection with the sale of Toshiba’s multi-billion dollar memory business.

Israeli investor in an UNCITRAL arbitration against a Latin American state concerning tax related measures.   

Mining company in insurance dispute concerning an accident that caused property damage and interruption of operations. 

Construction company against insurers in a dispute under Peruvian law concerning an accident that occurred during the construction of a hydroelectric power plant that caused damage and delay in the plant’s scheduled date of commercial operation.

Construction company in an insurance coverage dispute under Argentine law concerning accidents that occurred during the construction of a water treatment plant. 

Oil and gas company in ICSID arbitration concerning expropriatory measures taken by a Latin American state.

Energy company in UNCITRAL arbitration regarding the expropriation of shares in a local company by a Latin American state.

International inspection and valuation services provider in an ICSID arbitration against a South American state.

Brazilian retailer in ICC arbitrations arising out of a failed merger attempt.

Telecommunications company in ICC arbitration arising out of merger with a Brazilian company.

Latin American state in UNCITRAL arbitration against a mining and smelting investor involving environmental questions.

Speaking Engagements

"Frontiers of Investment Arbitration from an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Perspective: Human Rights and Mining and Energy Projects" (in Spanish), April 2022, XIII CAI Costa Rica

"Corruption in International Commercial Arbitration: Key Issues and Brazilian Specificities," April 2022: I Georgetown Brazilian Arbitration Day, Washington, DC

"The U.S. view of Latin America," March 2022: International Arbitration in Latin America: the State of Play, CAM-CCBC and the Columbia Law School International Arbitration Association

"Iura Novit Arbiter and Public Policy" (in Portuguese), September 2021: 4th Meeting of Lusophone Arbitration Practitioners," Paris, France

"Bolivia and Ecuador: Arbitration in Times of Transition" (in Spanish), September 2020: Latin American Arbitration Roundtables

"The Arbitrator's Duty to Conduct the Process in an Efficient Manner", September 2017: Conference on The Duties, Rights and Powers of International Arbitrators, Washington, DC

"The Procedure for Challenging Arbitrators", October 2016: III Pan-American Arbitration Conference, São Paulo, Brazil

"Arbitrability and Admissibility of Claims", May 2016: Joint Conference between Queen Mary University of London and the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce and the Brazilian Arbitration Council (CAM-CCBC), São Paulo, Brazil

"Claims by Dual Nationals against Countries of their Own Nationality", May 2016: ITA Young Arbitrators Initiative Talks, Washington, DC

"The Role, Duties and Powers of Arbitrators: Independence, Neutrality & Corruption", April 2016: Harvard Arbitration Discussion Series, Harvard Law School

"Arbitration in Emerging Markets", April 2016: Annual Symposium of the Stanford Journal of International Law, Stanford Law School

"Oil and Gas Disputes: the Latin America BIT Experience", March 2015: Practical Oil and Gas Issues in International Commercial Arbitration, São Paulo, Brazil

"Aspectos Fundamentais da Arbitragem Comercial Internacional" (in Portuguese), October 2014: CAMERS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

"An International Law of Privileges", May 2014: Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law Third Annual Conference, Stepping Away from the State: Universality and Cosmopolitanism in International and Comparative Law, Cambridge, United Kingdom

"The Contribution of Latin America for the International Law of Investment" (in Spanish), October 2013: Segunda Conferencia Bianual de la Red Latinoamericana de Derecho Económico Internacional, Lima, Perú

"The Use of the Most Favored Nation Clause to Avoid the Local Litigation Requirement in Bilateral Investment Treaties" (in Spanish), September 2012: VI Seminario de Arbitraje Internacional de Inversión, Bogotá, Colombia

Publications

"Desafios para a Legitimidade da Arbitragem Internacional" (in Portuguese) in 58 Revista Brasileira de Arbitragem, 2018.

"A Arbitragem no Setor de Energia: os Destaques da 4ª Conferência Anual sobre Arbitragem Internacional no Setor de Energia" (in Portuguese) in 54 Revista Brasileira de Arbitragem, 2017.

"Challenges to the Legitimacy of International Arbitration: A Report from the 29th Annual ITA Workshop", Kluwer Arbitration Blog, 2017.

O Modelo de Proteção de Investimentos do Brasil: os Novos Acordos Internacionais (Brazil's investment protection model: an overview of its new international agreements) (in Portuguese), 12:1 Pontes, 2016, (co-authored with Jonathan C. Hamilton)

The Coming of Age of Interim Relief in International Arbitration: A Report from the 28th Annual ITA Workshop, Kluwer Arbitration Blog, 2016

Brazil: Investment Promotion More than Protection, Latinvex, April 2015, (co-authored with Jonathan C. Hamilton)

Oil and Gas Investment Disputes in Latin America, Latin Arbitration Law, 2015, (co-authored with Jonathan C. Hamilton)

An International Law of Privileges, 3 Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law 666, 2014

Estado y Futuro del Derecho Económico Internacional en América Latina: I Conferencia Bianual de la Red Latinoamericana de Derecho Económico Internacional, Universidad Externado de Colombia, February 2013, (edited with José Manuel Alvarez Zárate and Holger Hestermeyer)

Evidence, Proof, and Fact-finding in WTO Dispute Settlement, Oxford University Press, February 2010

Allocating the Burden of Proof in WTO Disputes: A Critical Analysis, 9 Journal of International Economic Law 615, 2006