Mark's practice focuses on international dispute resolution and international trade. He represents private parties and sovereign governments in US courts and before international arbitral tribunals (in commercial and investment treaty disputes, including ICSID, ICC, ICDR, and UNCITRAL arbitrations). Mark regularly handles court litigation under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), as well as arbitration-related litigation under the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Additionally, he provides advice to publicly traded and private U.S. and global enterprises on international regulatory compliance and enforcement matters involving customs, export controls, and OFAC embargo/sanctions regulations.
McKesson Corp. v. Iran – what began as an arbitration at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague in 1982 transformed into U.S. litigation of epic proportions, lasting 26 years. Obtained final judgment for $30.6 million against Iran after two bench trials, seven DC Circuit appeals, and three unsuccessful cert. petitions by Iran in precedent-setting FSIA litigation, McKesson Corp. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 672 F.3d 1066 (D.C. Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 1582 (2013).
Represented Ecuador in defense of suit by Chevron to enforce $96 million arbitral award. Ecuador’s novel defense to enforcement is jurisdictional, relying on an FSIA immunity provision applicable only if Ecuador agreed to arbitrate the dispute underlying the award. Ecuador contends it never agreed to arbitrate claims relating to an investment that ended before the US-Ecuador BIT took effect. If the Supreme grants review, the case could establish an exception to the strong pro-arbitration policy that generally results in U.S. courts deferring to the findings of international arbitrators. It also could establish new law applicable in all FSIA cases that the plaintiff, not the foreign sovereign, bears the ultimate burden of proof on sovereign immunity. Republic of Ecuador v. Chevron Corp. and Texaco Petroleum Co., 795 F.3d 200 (D.C. Cir. 2015), reh’g den. (September 28, 2015), cert. pet. pending (Mar. 1, 2016).
Orkin v. Swiss Confederation and Museum Oskar Reinhart am Stadtgarten, 770 F. Supp. 2d 612 (2011)., S.D.N.Y.), aff’d 444 F. App’x 469, 471 (2d Cir. 2011). – obtained dismissal on FSIA grounds of suit for possession of a Van Gogh drawing sold by plaintiff’s grandmother in Berlin in 1933 to a Swiss collector and eventually bequeathed to the Swiss government. Complaint alleged the drawing was a "flight asset" (sold to finance a Jewish family’s escape from Nazi-controlled Germany) for which good title could not be acquired under international law.
Collaborated with a team of partners and associates representing Ecuador in a PCA investor-state treaty arbitration. Chevron claims Ecuador should pay a $9 billion judgment against Chevron issued by Ecuadorian courts in an environmental suit, plus Chevron’s legal fees reportedly in the range of $1-2 billion. Chevron Corp. and Texaco Petroleum v. Ecuador (PCA Case No. 2009-13).
Lead appellate counsel for a U.S. investor in Ecuadorian aqua-culture business in appeal from district court judgment recognizing and enforcing ICC arbitral award rendered by sole arbitrator, Horacio Grigera-Naon. Object of appeal was remand for discovery to explore arbitrator’s failure to disclose ties to opposing party’s arbitration counsel, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver for Republic Federal Bank, N.A. v. IIG Capital LLC, No. 12-10686 (11th Cir. 2013).
Lead counsel representing the Israeli manager of Las Vegas-based real estate limited partnerships in an ICDR arbitration brought by one of Israel’s largest construction magnates. Joined case as lead counsel after sole arbitrator resigned on self-created conflict of interest following five years of arbitration. Obtained dismissal of all claims against client and award of $1 million in legal fees, which were collected. Yossi Avrahami v. Dotan Melech, Claim 50-181-T00078-08 (ICDR 2012).
- Ochoa Lizarbe v. Rivera-Rondón, 642 F. Supp. 2d 473. (D. Md. 2009), aff’d 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 19739 (4th Cir., Sept. 22, 2010) – represented survivors of a 1985 massacre in Peru’s highlands seeking damages from a former Peruvian Army officer for alleged acts of torture, extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity. Defeated motion to dismiss on FSIA immunity grounds. Defendant was deported to Peru where he was tried for crimes under Peruvian law.
Honors & Awards
Chambers Global: International Arbitration
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (International Arbitration)
Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration
Legal Media Group: Best of the Best (International Arbitration)
Washingtonian Magazine: Top Lawyer (International Law)
Super Lawyers: International Lawyer
Other Career Experience
- Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, Partner, Global Co-chair of International Arbitration Practice (2011-2016)
- Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor (2010-2016)
- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Partner, Head of International Arbitration and International Regulatory practices (1986-2011)
- Wald, Harkrader & Ross, Associate (1979-1986)
- June 2, 2016
- May 31, 2016
- May 30, 2016
- Mark Bravin Featured in GAR, Washington Business Journal, The American Lawyer, Thomson Reuters Westlaw and moreMay 19, 2016
- May 9, 2016
Events & Speaking Engagements
- October 26, 2016
- January 29, 2016
- September 10, 2015
- May 22, 2015
- District of Columbia, 1980
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1978
Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, M.P.P., 1978
University of California, Los Angeles, B.S.,1973; summa cum laude