Katia Yannaca-Small brings three decades of experience in major public international organizations and the private sector spanning public international law, international investment policy, law and arbitration, commercial arbitration, anti-corruption, ESG and Business and Human Rights. She has experience advising States and State entities, finding common ground and solutions and in the negotiation of major international agreements and representing them in high stakes disputes.
Most recently, she served as lead counsel in a major law firm in international investment and commercial arbitrations under the ICSID and ICC Rules. She represented Venezuela in several ICSID cases (construction, chemical and agricultural sectors) and an Algerian State enterprise in ICC cases (construction and real estate sectors).
Prior to private practice, Ms. Yannaca-Small had a long and distinguished career in major international organizations. In the OECD, she founded and led its analytical work on international investment agreements and arbitration since the early 2000s and initiated a dialogue among OECD and non-OECD governments, practitioners, academics, and civil society that led to common understandings and concrete improvements in the investor-state dispute settlement system. The results of this work, published by the OECD, have been widely cited as pioneer work in this field. She was a leading expert in the ground-breaking OECD work on anti-corruption and led this work up to the negotiation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. She managed the OECD’s work on Responsible Business Conduct and oversaw one of the reviews and amendments of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – one of main international instruments to enhance RBC—to include new chapters on bribery and corruption, environmental and labor standard provisions and supply chain management. In the OECD, Ms. Yannaca-Small also led examinations of foreign direct investment policies and laws of Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine and issued recommendations for the improvement of their investment climate in order to enhance foreign direct investment, which were accepted by these governments and concerned OECD committees.
Ms. Yannaca-Small was also Senior Counsel at ICSID, where she served as Secretary to several Tribunals and effectively administered high-profile, multimillion/billion-dollar disputes under BITs and NAFTA. While at ICSID, she led the development of ICSID’s outreach and training program.
Ms. Yannaca-Small currently teaches International Investment law and Arbitration and Business and Human Rights at the USC Gould School of Law. She has been a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School, Georgetown Law Centre, University of Virginia and University of Athens Law School and has trained numerous government officials around the world on investment arbitration. She regularly appears as speaker in conferences and has written extensively on issues of investment arbitration, including editing and co-authoring one of the first and most widely cited treatises in the field, Arbitration under International Investment Agreements: A Guide to the Key Issues, published by Oxford University Press in two editions (2010, 2018).
- Certificate (Executive Education), ESG and Sustainable Capitalism, Berkeley Law School
- Master, Public Administration, Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA)
- Master (DEA), International Economic Law, University of Paris 1-Pantheon Sorbonne
- Master (DEA), Public International Law and International Organizations, University of Paris (Panthéon -Sorbonne)
- JD Equivalent, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Law, honors
- District of Columbia (Special Legal Consultant)
- Paris, France
- Athens, Greece
- Member, Board of the International Arbitration Committee ICC Hellas
- Member, ICC Commission
- Member, ICC Task Force on Corruption in Arbitration
- Member, International Law Association (ILA) Committee on the Rule of Law and International Investment Law
- Member, International Arbitration Institute (IAI)
- Member, Oxford University Press Investment Claims Advisory Board (2018)
- Member, World Bank Advisory Committee on Doing Business (2008–2009)
- ProBono international law advisory work with the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) on issues related to human rights and conflict situations