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MSK’s international disputes practice gives emphasis to international arbitration, cross-border litigation, and international trade matters. We represent private parties and sovereign governments in US courts and before international arbitral tribunals (ICSID, ICC, ICDR, and UNCITRAL) in high-stakes complex matters. Our team of experts also provide advice and counsel in the area of international regulatory compliance and enforcement matters involving customs, export controls, and sanctions.

investor-state arbitration

Representation of both investors and states in arbitration arising out of bilateral investment treaties (BITs), multilateral investment treaties (such as NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, and the Energy Charter Treaty), investment agreements, and domestic investment laws.

international commercial arbitration

We have successfully represented corporate clients and individuals in a wide array of industries, and involving the substantive laws of numerous jurisdictions.

international litigation

We have extensive experience successfully litigating cross-border disputes in federal court. This includes lawsuits involving sovereign governments under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; actions to confirm and enforce arbitration awards under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, and, in collaboration with foreign counsel, disputes involving failed investments, ruptured transactions, and other business disputes arising in foreign jurisdictions.

Spotlight

The profiles of many cases cited in the practice area of international arbitration and cross-border litigation can read like a Tom Clancy novel or Hollywood script. Sovereign nations, multi-national conglomerates, international treaties, high-ranking government officials.......they figure prominently in many of the pleadings and briefs in these cases. By outsiders it’s often viewed as glamorous work. But while the narrative may sound sensational and full of intrigue, the reality is that winning these cases for our clients often involves years, sometimes decades, of pain-staking effort and creative lawyering.

Achieving positive results for our international clientele involves navigating the complexities of national and international courts and arbitral jurisdictions with expertise that blends advocacy skills, alternative dispute resolution techniques, substantive knowledge of foreign and international law, and cultural understanding.

Cases

Cases

  • 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).

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