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International Arbitration

Arbitration has become the most widely utilized means of resolving international disputes. Mayer Brown’s global team of international arbitration lawyers has a wealth of experience representing clients in arbitration matters.

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Litigation Year in Review: Trailblazers & Innovators

GAR100 2016

Our lawyers have acted in many of the world’s largest and most complex international arbitrations, including numerous commercial and investment treaty disputes worth many billions of dollars to our clients. We have large teams based in all of the key global financial centers. We represent many of the largest corporations, partnerships, financial institutions, insurers and governmental entities before the world’s main international arbitration bodies, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, as well as in ad hoc proceedings under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and other arbitral rules.

We also advise our clients entering into cross-border transactions and investments on how best to draft international arbitration agreements both to reduce the risk of satellite litigation and to have maximum leverage in the event of a dispute.

We draw on our global resources to resolve disputes efficiently, whether through arbitration, mediation, structured negotiation or other means. In resolving both commercial and investor-state disputes, we apply our extensive experience in marshaling complex evidence, analyzing applicable law and procedures, developing and evaluating alternative strategies, and engaging in compelling written and oral advocacy.

We are ranked in Global Arbitration Review 100, a guide to global specialist arbitration law firms, and have a number of lawyers recognized in legal directories, including Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who in International Arbitration.

Our lawyers represent clients across a wide variety of industries, including construction, energy, finance, insurance, life sciences, M&A/joint venture disputes, mining, real estate, environment, IP, telecommunications, maritime and aerospace.

Construction and Engineering. We have decades of experience advising clients on construction and engineering arbitration. Our general construction and engineering practice represents industry participants in large-scale construction and engineering arbitrations arising from major engineering, infrastructure, energy and building projects around the world. Clients approach us specifically because of our deep industry experience and understanding of the construction and engineering process and the specific needs of parties participating in arbitration in this sector. We were retained to represent the Panama Canal Authority on one of the world's largest construction disputes.

Energy. We have represented clients in international disputes arising from production sharing agreements, service agreements, licenses, concessions and other host state agreements; a wide array of joint operating agreement and joint venture disputes, including the AIPN and AAPL models and a variety of bespoke JOAs; oil and gas royalty disputes, pricing, take-or-pay and other disputes under short- and long-term commodity purchase and sale agreements for oil, pipeline gas and LNG; disputes concerning drilling rigs and other vessels; conventional and renewable power industry disputes; energy-related construction disputes; and other commercial disputes in the energy sector, including cross-border M&A disputes, as well as investment treaty disputes arising from the energy sector.

Financial Services. Using our extensive experience in the financial sector, we have effectively represented many clients in arbitrations concerning financial transactions over the past year, including complicated derivatives disputes. Our lawyers have represented special purpose vehicles and financial institutions in, for example, the first arbitration involving catastrophe bonds and in connection with the divestiture of investment banking businesses located in New York, London and Hong Kong.

M&A/Joint Venture Disputes. Arbitration clauses are now a regular feature of international M&A and joint venture contracts. Our lawyers have wide experience in all types of post-M&A arbitrations, including disputes over indemnification provisions, representations and warranties, and post-closing purchase price adjustments. We also have a significant reputation for handling international joint ventures that dissolve into disputes, including joint ventures in Qatar, China, India, Lebanon and Russia. We take a surgical approach to resolving joint venture arbitrations, seeking to put maximum pressure on the recalcitrant joint venture partner to settle.

Contentious Insurance. With lawyers in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Brazil, Mayer Brown is recognized as having one of the leading insurance dispute resolution practices in the world. Our lawyers handle disputes in many different classes of insurance, including financial lines, D&O, political risk and trade credit, professional indemnity, product liability, marine, aviation, and reinsurance. In recent years, we have handled a series of large arbitrations on behalf of political risk insurers, as well as several reinsurance arbitrations.

Investor-State Disputes. Our lawyers have wide-ranging experience representing both investors (American, Danish, Dutch, Canadian, French, Indonesian, Kuwaiti and Turkish, among others) and states (Egypt, Gambia, Argentina, Ecuador and Turkmenistan, among others) in investor/state arbitration, which requires extensive knowledge of specific rules of public international law, including treaty interpretation, attribution of acts to sovereigns and international rules on the liability of states for international wrongful acts. Mayer Brown lawyers have been involved as lead counsel in approximately 30 ICSID or investor/state disputes, making our team one of the world’s key players with hands-on experience in this type of dispute.

Life Sciences. Mayer Brown has long represented pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life sciences companies in arbitrations involving complex disputes. These cases include disputes arising from co-marketing, co-distribution, co-development and joint venture agreements. In these matters, we have dealt with a wide range of life sciences technologies, as well as issues involving the quality of clinical trial evidence, methods of drug development and strategies of pharmaceutical marketing.

Intellectual Property. Mayer Brown often represents IT, pharmaceutical and other companies in license disputes involving patents, trade secrets or other forms of intellectual property. These arbitrations typically raise complex issues of IP law, such as the validity of patents, the scope of the license conferred by the agreement and the calculation of royalties. By virtue of its substantial intellectual property practice, the firm is particularly well suited to successfully represent clients in these arbitrations.

Domain Name Disputes. In Asia, our team boasts domain name panelists with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC), Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), arbitral bodies in which we have rendered in excess of 200 decisions, many as the presiding panelist in cases involving multiple languages. We have advised on new procedures, such as the Uniform Rapid Suspension Procedure (URS), and have drafted more than 400 domain name complaints (including more than 20 URS complaints). We also have extensive experience in relation to new gTLDs and post-delegation objections. Our team features an arbitrator appointed to HKIAC’s Panel of Arbitrators for Intellectual Property Disputes, which was launched in response to an increasing number of IP, technology and domain name disputes being submitted to HKIAC for arbitration in recent years across Asia.


Africa. We have extensive experience with arbitration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Having English-, French- and Portuguese-speaking lawyers at our firm, we can communicate well with local businesses in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone African jurisdictions. We have published numerous articles on Sub-Saharan Africa, including a comprehensive guide (in both English and Chinese) covering the key facts, considerations and risks concerning arbitration in the region, and our lawyers regularly speak on international arbitration at conferences in Africa.

Asia. Consistent with Mayer Brown JSM’s sizable presence in Asia, we have one of the largest and longest established international arbitration practices in Asia, with an impressive team of counsel and arbitrators. For example, we were successful in striking out a claim against the HKIAC in the High Court of Hong Kong relating to the HKIAC's handling of a challenge against two arbitrators. Arbitration lawyers in our global offices are actively involved in cases involving Korean, Japanese and Chinese conglomerates.

China. We have extensive experience representing clients in Western-Asian disputes, particularly Chinese joint venture disputes. We also announced our association with leading PRC law firm Jingtian & Gongcheng in Hong Kong. Jingtian & Gongcheng is one of the first private and independent law firm partnerships in China, and our association enables us to offer clients access to lawyers who can advise on the enforcement of arbitration awards before courts in mainland China. For example, we recently prevailed in an SIAC arbitration that awarded our client over US$40 million in damages; Jingtian & Gongcheng is leading the charge to enforce that award.

Europe. We are regularly instructed to advise on cases that are of high value, concern reputational issues and/or involve considerable legal or technical complexity. Our International Arbitration lawyers in Europe are leading on the high-profile Panama Canal ICC arbitration, one of the largest ongoing construction and engineering arbitrations in the world. We have also been involved in more than two dozen ICSID cases in the past decade.

Latin America. Our experience in arbitrating and litigating disputes in Latin America has grown out of our long-standing transactional practice. We have extensive experience of acting in substantial arbitrations across the continent, including in Panama, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. We have published a comprehensive guide (in both English and Chinese) covering the key facts, considerations and risks concerning arbitration in both Portuguese-and Spanish-speaking jurisdictions of Latin America.

Middle East. We have advised both governments and contractors in the Middle East on a large range of infrastructure, energy and building disputes. Our Middle East disputes team has worked on a substantial number of disputes in Algeria, Dubai, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and other Middle Eastern countries. We represent the Arab Republic of Egypt in an ongoing ICSID arbitration. We are also involved in various other arbitrations for Lebanese, UAE and Saudi companies. And we provide a unique, invaluable resource: Arabic-speaking arbitration lawyers in Dubai, London and Paris.

United States. Our US-based arbitration practitioners have broad experience in commercial, construction and investment disputes across a wide range of industries, including retail, energy, pharmaceuticals, construction and engineering, telecommunications, and mining and resource extraction. They work closely with their arbitration colleagues around the world, as well as Mayer Brown lawyers who focus on such areas as electronically stored information, government and global trade, to offer counsel tailored to the needs of individual cases. We regularly advise on risk management strategies and the structuring of effective dispute resolution clauses.

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