Language

José Antonio Rivas focuses on dispute resolution and representation of sovereign States and private sector companies in international arbitration, litigation, and public international law matters. Mr. Rivas represents a sovereign State in DR-CAFTA disputes and a Turkish energy company in an ICSID dispute against Pakistan. His professional experience includes acting as counsel in international arbitrations under the Rules of the ICC, ICSID, and UNCITRAL. He has represented the Republic of Colombia and won dismissal of all claims in the US$17 billion litigation before US federal courts, involving a Spanish Galleon that sank off the coast of Colombia in 1708. He has also advised sovereign States on model investment treaties, and matters concerning the law of the sea, territorial disputes, and protection of cultural heritage. He is fluent in Spanish, English and French, and has reading ability in Portuguese.

Mr. Rivas is an experienced treaty negotiator as result of his services as Foreign Investment Director at the Colombian Ministry of Trade. Earlier in his career, he served as legal counsel at ICSID.

Mr. Rivas is adjunct professor of Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public International Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He frequently speaks at industry conferences on investment dispute prevention and arbitration.

Experience

  • Corona Materials LLC v. Dominican Republic (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/14/3) Subject matter: Mining project and the environment. Counsel to Respondent from July 2014 to present.
  • Michael Ballantine et al v. Dominican Republic (ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration) Subject matter: Real estate projects and the environment. Counsel to Respondent from July 2014 to present.
  • Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S. v. Islamic Republic of Pakistan (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/1) Subject matter: Power generation ships. Counsel to Claimant from January 2013 to present.
  • Sea Search Armada v. Republic of Colombia (US federal court litigation): Counsel to the Republic of Colombia before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit; US$17 billion claim involving the San José, a Spanish Galleon that sank off the coast of Colombia in 1708. All claims against Colombia were dismissed by the DC District Court.
  • Railroad Development Corporation v. Republic of Guatemala (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/23) Subject matter: railroad concession. Counsel to Respondent.

  • International College of IT and Management (USA) v. Troy State University (USA) Case 16,892/VRO Subject matter: Education services. Counsel to Claimant.
  • Concesionaria Dominicana De Autopistas y Carreteras, S.A. v. República Dominicana Case No. 15689/JRF Subject matter: Highway concession. Counsel to Respondent.
  • Served as ICSID Counsel working on investor-state arbitration treaty cases including cases under NAFTA Chapter 11; and bilateral investment agreements between Argentina and Germany, Canada and Venezuela, Chile and Argentina; and France and Argentina.
  • Among other cases, World Duty Free Company Limited v. Republic of Kenya (ICSID Case No. ARB/00/7) Subject matter: Duty free concession. Secretary of the Tribunal from July 2004 until May 2005.

Perspectives

State Respondents at ICSID: Legal Defenses
International Investment Treaties and Investor-State Arbitration Course, International Law Institute, Washington, DC
Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment
International Investment Treaties and Investor-State Arbitration Course, International Law Institute, Washington, DC
Introduction to International Investment Agreements
International Investment Treaties and Investor-State Arbitration Course, International Law Institute, Washington, DC
Implementation of Investment Agreements
International Investment Treaties and Investor-State Arbitration Course, International Law Institute, Washington, DC
International Contracting with States in Latin America
The 4th ICDR & CCB International Arbitration & Mediation Conference: The Future of International Commercial Arbitration, Bogota, Colombia
More

Recognition

The Legal 500 Latin America
International Trade – "[R]ecommended ... José Antonio Rivas [for] hav[ing] established a reputation for [his] role in high-level arbitration matters in Latin America." (2014)

International Arbitration (2013)

"With a postgraduate qualification in international law, associate José Antonio Rivas 'has a bright future'. A Colombian national and former director of foreign investment at the Colombian Ministry for Trade, he was responsible for the drafting and updating of the new Colombian Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) Model during his tenure." (2012)

Credentials

Education
  • Doctor of Juridical Science, Georgetown University Law Center, 2005, with distinction
  • Master of Laws, International Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center, 2000
  • Abogado (law degree), Los Andes University, 1996
  • Bachelor of Economics, Los Andes University, 1998
  • Baccalauréat International de Genève, United World College of the Atlantic, 1990
Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Republic of Colombia
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Activities
  • Member, ICSID Panels of Conciliators

  • Member, Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá Panels of Arbitrators

  • Member, IACAC Panels of Arbitrators

  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center, Investment Treaty Arbitration, Public International Law, and Landmark Judgments of the ICJ

  • Lecturer and Academic Advisor at the International Law Institute (ILI) of the course International Investment Agreements and Investor-State Arbitration

  • Fulbright Scholar

  • Advisor, International Investment Law Center (IILC)

  • Former Fellow, Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL), Georgetown University Law Center

Languages
  • Spanish
  • French
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