Michelle Grando

Counsel, Washington, DC


“Michelle is a brilliant lawyer. Her readiness and hard work are impressive.” “Michelle is a very competent and efficient lawyer who understands the client’s needs.” “Excellent professional. She is detail-oriented and instils confidence.”
(Chambers & Partners)


Michelle Grando specializes in the resolution of international and cross-border disputes under local and international law. She has been involved in some of the largest and most cutting-edge international disputes related to Brazil and Latin America, and The Legal 500 and Chambers have recognized her as a "Rising Star" in Latin American arbitration and an "Up and Coming" professional in international arbitration involving Brazil, respectively.

Michelle has represented clients in transnational litigation, commercial and investor-State arbitrations under a broad variety of rules and institutions (including the ICC, PCA, ICDR, ICSID, and the WTO). She has also helped clients to successfully resolve disputes through negotiation and mediation, and navigate complex dispute scenarios involving multiple proceedings before domestic courts and authorities, and international tribunals. These cases have spanned a broad range of sectors including mining and metals, construction, insurance, oil & gas, electricity, infrastructure, financial services, pulp and paper, telecommunications, gambling, customs and valuation services, and retail.

Michelle is trained in the two most prevalent legal systems in the world (civil and common law), worked in several countries, and is fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian. This has allowed her to effectively understand, strategize, and assist clients in a variety of circumstances and provide culturally sensitive advice. She has also managed matters in all four languages, including written and oral advocacy.

Michelle is the author of several publications, including a book on international dispute resolution published by Oxford University Press, and speaks frequently at conferences. She has served in leadership positions, including currently as Co-Chair of the DC Chapter of the Harvard Law School Women's Alliance.

Bars and Courts
District of Columbia Bar
Brazilian Bar (OAB)
New York
Harvard Law School
University of Toronto
University of Toronto
Federal University of Santa Catarina


The largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world in connection with the largest group claim in English litigation history, which arose out of the collapse of a dam in Brazil.

Brazilian company in Portuguese-language ICC arbitrations concerning one of the largest ongoing M&A disputes in Brazil.

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

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.

Brazilian retailer in one the largest M&A disputes in Brazilian history, which led to multiple ICC arbitrations.

American manufacturer of slot machines and gambling technology in a dispute against an Italian company at the Milan Chamber of Arbitration.

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.

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.

Latin American state in ICSID arbitrations concerning electricity tariffs against multiple investors.

Speaking Engagements

"Practicalities in Dealing with Latin American States," January 2024, Hard Talk Washington DC on Arbitration & Infrastructure in Latin America.

"Custom and Its Interpretation in International Investment Law," September 2023, TRICI-Law and American University.

"The Wave of Investors' Claims against Brazilian Publicly Held Companies", January 2023, II Georgetown Brazilian Arbitration Day.

"International Arbitration in the Context of the Global Energy Transition" (in Spanish), September 2022, Colombia Arbitration Week.

"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


"A Homologação de Sentenças Arbitrais Estrangeiras no Brasil sob a Ótica Constitucional” (Brazil’s Constitution and the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards) (in Portuguese) in Arbitragem e Constituição, Thomson Reuters, 2023.

"Comentário aos Artigos 34 e 35" (Commentary on Articles 34 and 35 of the Brazilian Arbitration Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Awards in Brazil) (in Portuguese) in Lei de Arbitragem Comentada, Thomson Reuters, 2023.

"Desafios para a Legitimidade da Arbitragem Internacional" (Challenges to the Legitimacy of International Arbitration) (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" (Arbitration in the Energy Sector) (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. 

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.

Oil and Gas Investment Disputes in Latin America, Latin Arbitration Law, 2015.

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, 2010.

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