Paolo Di Rosa heads the firm's global International Arbitration group, and has long been recognized as one of the world's leading practitioners of international arbitration. Clients and publications such as Chambers and Legal 500 describe Mr. Di Rosa as a “brilliant” and “masterful” attorney with a “first-class reputation” who is “frequently retained to handle high-value arbitrations across the globe.” “One impressed interviewee commented: 'He is, without any doubt in my mind, one of the top players in the world in his field of practice.’” Another client noted, “Fully bilingual [English-Spanish] with an outstanding analytical mind, he is, quite simply, as good as it gets.” He is recognized in particular as a “formidable force in investment treaty arbitration”. “He is the first person I would call if I had an investor-state arbitration in Latin America.” “Sources consider Paolo Di Rosa to be ‘terrific in hearings doing the opening statements or cross-examining a key witness.’” Clients also highlight his “profound abilities of persuasion and incredible capacity to react to surprises in tribunals”. “Sources revere his work” and “are quick to praise his client-handling skills,” stressing that he is “highly personable” and “a pleasure to work with."

He has been recognized in a wide variety of publications, including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, The Legal 500 US, The Legal 500 Latin America, Best Lawyers in America, "Best of the Best" USA Experts Guide, The Who's Who Legal, Super Lawyers, and Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Experts, amongst others. Notably, he has been ranked in Band 1 of the last five editions of Chambers Global (Latin America), and been selected by Legal 500 US as one of the "Leading Lawyers" in its last 12 editions (in the last four of which he has been chosen as one of select few "Hall of Fame" lawyers). He has also been designated by the Legal 500 Latin America as one of the "Leading Lawyers" in International Arbitration in the last seven editions, and has been ranked as a specialist in Public International Law in the last seven editions of Chambers Global.

Mr. Di Rosa's practice centers on representation of sovereign-States and private sector companies in complex and high-stakes international arbitration, litigation, and public international law matters, including in particular disputes between investors and States under investment treaties. He has successfully represented clients in disputes worldwide, and in a wide variety of industries and economic sectors, including power, renewable resources oil and gas, mining, banking and finance, transportation, fisheries, real estate, and media. Mr. Di Rosa has had an exceptional track record of success: over the course of a 30-year legal career, he has suffered no defeat in the final outcome of any litigation or international arbitration in which he was involved as counsel from the beginning of the case.

Although his practice spans all geographic regions of the globe, he has especially extensive experience in legal matters relating to Latin America (acquired both in the private sector and the US federal government), along with a fully bilingual (Spanish-English) and bicultural background.

Mr. Di Rosa also serves as an arbitrator, and on February 23, 2016, President Barack Obama designated him as one of the four United States members of the ICSID Roster of Arbitrators. See White House Press Release available here. Further, Mr. Di Rosa is a frequent speaker at international conferences.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Di Rosa was a senior-level US Government lawyer and a member of the Senior Executive Service of the US Government. As Assistant Legal Adviser for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US State Department during the Clinton Administration, he headed the office responsible for legal matters pertaining to Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Canada. During his tenure at the US State Department, Mr. Di Rosa was awarded a Superior Honor Award as well as a Meritorious Honor Award.

Experience

Concluded Cases

Mr. Di Rosa has successfully represented the following sovereign States in investment arbitrations:

  • Czech Republic in six separate investment arbitrations in the photovoltaic renewable energy sector, filed under bilateral investment treaties and the Energy Charter Treaty, five under the UNCITRAL rules and one ad hoc, by claimants Antaris Solar GMBH and Dr. Michal Göde, Jürgen Wirtgen, Stefan Wirtgen, Gisela Wirtgen and JSW Solar (zwei) GmbH & Co.KG, Photovoltaik Knopf Betriebs GmbH, Voltaic Network GmbH, WA Investments–Europa Nova Ltd., and I.C.W. Europe Investments Limited, respectively. All claims against our client were fully dismissed, and in addition our client was awarded partial arbitral costs and legal fees in five of the six cases.
  • Republic of Chile in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by Carlos Ríos and Francisco Ríos under the Colombia - Chile Free Trade Agreement, involving a dispute in the transportation sector and claims of more than US$300 million. Tribunal fully dismissed the single claim against our client, and our client was awarded 100% of its arbitration costs and 40% of legal fees and expenses.
  • Republic of Bulgaria in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of the Sultanate of Oman under a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the banking sector and claims of US$88 million. All claims against our client were fully dismissed, and our client was awarded 100% of its arbitral costs and 100% of its legal fees and expenses.
  • Republic of Costa Rica in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by the Canadian mining company Infinito Industries pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the gold mining sector and claims of US$400 million. Complete dismissal of all but one claims. The tribunal did not award any compensation to the claimant.
  • Republic of Costa Rica in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID arbitration filed by the Spanish company Supervisión y Control S.A. pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the transportation sector and claims of US$345 million. All claims against our client were fully dismissed.
  • Dominican Republic in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by US claimant Corona Materials Inc. pursuant to the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), involving a dispute in the mining sector and claims of US$100 million. All claims against our client were fully dismissed.
  • Republic of Chile in the longest-running investment arbitration of all time, filed at ICSID by Victor Pey Casado and the President Allende Foundation pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the media sector and initial claims of over US$500million. After 22 years of proceedings (of which Mr. Di Rosa was involved in the final 18), the claimants were ultimately awarded zero damages, thereby yielding a successful result for our client.
  • Republic of Chile in a UNCITRAL rules investment arbitration filed by the President Allende Foundation, Victor Pey Casado, and Coral Pey Grebe pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the media sector and claims of US$467 million. All claims against our client were fully dismissed, and our client was awarded 100% of its arbitration costs and 80% of its legal fees and expenses.
  • Republic of Chile in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by the Spanish fishing company Sociedad Anónima Eduardo Vieira pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the fisheries sector and claims of US$25 million. All claims against our client were fully dismissed.
  • Republic of Colombia in an UNCITRAL rules investment treaty arbitration filed by Alberto, Felipe, and Enrique Carrizosa Gelzis pursuant to the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, involving a dispute in the financial sector and claims of US$320 million. All claims against our clients fully dismissed, and our client was awarded 100% of its arbitration costs and almost 100% of its legal fees and expenses.
  • Republic of Colombia in a separate investment arbitration related to the one above, filed at ICSID by Astrida Benita Carrizosa pursuant to the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and the Colombia-Switzerland bilateral investment treaty. All claims against our client were fully dismissed, and our client was awarded 100% of its arbitration costs and 50% of its legal fees and expenses.
  • Dominican Republic in an UNCITRAL Rules investment arbitration filed by Michael and Lisa Ballantine pursuant to the DR-CAFTA, involving a dispute in the real estate sector and claims of over US$40 million. All claims against our client were fully dismissed.
  • Slovak Republic in an UNCITRAL rules investment arbitration filed by US Steel Global Holdings I B.V. pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the steel sector and claims of US$300 million. The claims were ultimately withdrawn.
  • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by the Dutch company I&I Beheer pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the financial sector and claims of US$300 million. The proceeding was discontinued following the withdrawal of claimant's counsel after the first round of written submissions on the merits.

Ongoing Cases

  • Republic of Korea in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID under bilateral investment treaties by subsidiaries of U.S. private equity fund Lone Star (LSF-KEB Holdings SCA et al.), involving a dispute in the banking sector and claims of US$4.4 billion.
  • Kingdom of Thailand in an UNCITRAL rules investment treaty arbitration filed by Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd., involving a dispute in the mining sector.
  • Republic of Turkey in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by Afkel Commodities Pte. Ltd. and I-Systems Global B.V. pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the natural gas and electric power sector.
  • Republic of Peru in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by subsidiaries of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the oil and gas sector and claims of US$1.2 billion.
  • Republic of Peru in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by Worth Capital Holdings 27 LLC pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the oil and gas sector and claims of more than US$590 million.
  • Republic of Peru in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by Spanish energy company ENAGÁS S.A. pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty, involving a dispute in the oil and gas sector and claims of more than US$500 million.
  • Republic of Peru in an UNCITRAL rules investment treaty arbitration by Panamericana Televisión, pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty arbitration, involving a dispute in the telecommunications sector and claims of more than US$450 million.
  • Republic of Peru in a contract-based arbitration filed at ICSID by Hydrika 1 SAC, involving a dispute in the renewable energy sector (hydroelectric).
  • Republic of Peru in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by Lupaka Gold Corp. pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty arbitration, involving a dispute in the mining sector and claims of over US$100 million.
  • Republic of Peru in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by Latam Hydro LLC and Mamacocha S.R.L. under a contract as well as the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement involving a dispute in the electricity sector.
  • Republic of Bulgaria in an investment arbitration filed at ICSID by the Czech energy company ČEZ pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty, involving a dispute in the power sector.
  • Czech Republic in an UNCITRAL rules investment arbitration pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty, filed by claimant Natland N.V., G.I.H.G. Limited, Natland Group Ltd., and Radiance Energy Holding, involving a dispute in the renewable energy sector (solar).
  • Czech Republic in ad hoc investment arbitration filed under a bilateral investment treaty by DiagHuman, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration and involving a dispute in the health sector.
  • An African sovereign State in a confidential UNCITRAL rules investment treaty arbitration filed by a Middle Eastern entity.
  • A Latin American sovereign State in a potential investment arbitration threatened by a South Korean company and an involving a claim of over US$1 billion, and a dispute in the petrochemical sector.
  • A Latin American sovereign State in a potential investment arbitration threatened by a Peruvian entity, involving a dispute In the hydrocarbon sector.

Perspectives

Challenges for Counsel in the Representation of States and State-Owned Entities in International Arbitration: A Practitioner's Perspective
Evolution and Adaption: The Future of International Arbitration, ICCA Congress Series No. 20
Representing States and State Entities
Panelist, 35th Annual Joint Symposium of Arbitrators, Queen Mary University of London School of International Arbitration and ICC Institute of World Business Law, London, UK
Chess and the Art of State Representation: Experiences in the Defense of States in Investment Arbitration
Lecture, Columbia Law School Speaker Series 2019, New York, NY, USA
Set Aside and/or Annulment Proceedings
Panel Chair, 8th Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference, Prague, Czech Republic
Hiring Counsel for Treaty Cases—Are Governments Getting the Process Right?
Panelist, 5th Annual GAR Live BITs Conference, Washington, DC, USA
More

Recognition

Chambers Latin America 2021
International Arbitration (2022)
Best Lawyers
International Arbitration - Commercial (2022)
“Lawyers of the Year” – International Arbitration - Governmental (2022)
The Legal 500 US 2021
International Arbitration
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1991, cum laude
  • Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Law School, Harvard Human Rights Law Journal
  • BA, Harvard University, 1987, magna cum laude
Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Activities
  • Member, ICSID Panel of Arbitrators (appointed by the United States)
  • Member, Users Council, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
  • Member, ICC Task Force on Arbitration Involving States and State Entities
  • Member, London Court of International Arbitration
  • Member, International Arbitration Institute (IAI), Paris, France
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Law Institute
  • Member, Advisory Board, The Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA)
  • Member, Investment Committee, Latin American Arbitration Association
  • Member, Permanent Committee, Latin American Arbitration Conference (CLA)
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Society of International Law
  • Member, Inter-American Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, International Law Association
  • Chilean American Chamber of Commerce (President, 2005-2008; Vice-President, 2003-2005; Member, Board of Directors, 2005-2011)
  • International Human Rights Law Group (Washington, DC), “Pro bono Lawyer of the Year” Award
Overview

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