International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

Orrick’s international arbitration practice is led by eight partners located in five cities in Europe, North America and Asia.

Our focus is on representing our clients in complex high-value cross-border disputes, involving both private and sovereign parties, with recent cases seated in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Switzerland and Japan.

We have appeared for clients before all major arbitral institutions and acted under all leading sets of rules, as well as in significant national court proceedings relating to those arbitrations. In addition, members of our group routinely sit as arbitrators, giving us the perspective of the decision-maker to use when we act as counsel. Global Arbitration Review ranks our practice in the top 30 in the world in 2017 and Chambers Global 2016 ranks three of our litigators for International Arbitration.

Recent significant examples of our cross-border representations include the following:

Natural Resources

  • A claim on behalf of the holders of a mining concession against the Republic of Mali for expropriation.
  • The Republic of Guinea in an ICSID proceeding seated in Paris in a dispute over rights to an iron ore mining concession obtained through corruption.
  • A major natural resources company in an UNCITRAL case seated in Stockholm against a Russian state-owned entity regarding contractual rights in an offshore drilling platform.
  • A major European energy company, in a multi-billion dollar dispute with its gas supplier over natural gas pricing.
  • U.S. manufacturer in a proceeding under the ICDR Rules seated in Texas over the repurposing of a LNG facility to allow exports of U.S.-sourced gas.

Energy & Infrastructure

  • A construction dispute under the ICC Rules seated in the Persian Gulf on behalf of a major subcontractor on a new international airport.
  • An ICC dispute over the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Germany.
  • An investor in alternative energy facilities in an LCIA proceeding brought to establish its exclusive ownership of two European wind farms.
  • Commercial and Corporate Disputes

    • We represented Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company, in five UNCITRAL arbitrations, two in New York, two in Geneva, and one in London, arising from governance disputes over three separate but related joint ventures with Alfa Group, the investment vehicle of several of Russia’s oligarchs holding telecommunications assets in the former Soviet Union. We also successfully represented Telenor in related court proceedings in New York and BVI. In the New York proceedings, the court granted an anti-suit injunction and twice held the Alfa parties in contempt; in the contempt proceedings, the court imposed an escalating fine beginning at USD 100,000 per day. Financial Times cited our work for Telenor in its Innovative Lawyers report.
    • A major European manufacturer of auto parts in an ICC dispute arising under the indemnification clause of an asset purchase agreement for a French manufacturing business, to determine responsibility for over 1,000 post-acquisition claims asserting asbestos-based liability.
    • A well-known Japanese manufacturer of semiconductors in an ICC case seated in Tokyo over the validity and scope of a patent license. We also appeared in related litigation in a U.S. federal court, and successfully appeared for a stay in favor of arbitration.
    • A major U.S. software provider in a dispute seated in Hong Kong and governed by New York law with its joint venture partner, an Asian manufacturer of high-tech products.
    • A Cayman-based hedge fund in an ICDR proceeding brought to enforce a put option for its shares in a financial services business in India. In that case, we obtained an anti-suit injunction halting litigation brought in the Indian courts in violation of the arbitration agreement.
    • A major U.S. forest products company in a dispute before the ICC over a multi-year “take or pay” contract for the supply of raw materials.
    • A tobacco manufacturer in an ICC dispute with its joint venture partner in Mexico over the proper pricing of the venture’s product.

    Disputes Involving Sovereigns

    • A European telecommunications company in an ICSID proceeding against a South American country for expropriation of its investment.
    • Representation in an ad hoc proceeding for the U.S. owner of the electric generation and distribution system in a Caribbean country for revocation of its exclusive license.
    • Representation of a European telecommunications company in an ICSID case against Poland for expropriation.
    • Representation of the Republic of Guinea in a dispute under the ICSID Rules brought by a soft drink bottler claiming expropriation, dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

    In all of our cases, we remain aware that our clients have business and not legal problems, and that a fair resolution short of an award is often the best outcome.  Although our track record for cases tried to an award is exceptional, we settle a majority of our cases, often after a favorable early ruling, and have experience in all of the jurisdictions where we practice in the use of mediation and other ADR techniques meant to promote settlement.