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Arnold & Porter Hosts Discussion On World Bank's Arbitration Center

September 13, 2007

Washington, D.C., September 13, 2007 -- In conjunction with the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia and the Hispanic National Bar Association, Arnold & Porter, LLP hosted a luncheon event in its Washington D.C. office on September 11, 2007, focusing on the World Bank-affiliated arbitration center, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). 

Panelists included Ambassador Flavio Darío Espinal (Dominican Republic), Ambassador Mariano Fernández (Chile), José Pérez Gabilondo (Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Argentina), Juan Carlos Castrillón (Legal and Economic Advisor, Embassy of Ecuador), and Varinia Daza (Bolivian Representative before the World Bank Board of Directors).  More than 50 people attended the event, including representatives from U.S. government agencies, multilateral organizations, law firms, as well as academics from area law schools.  In addition to the speakers, representatives from the Governments of Argentina and Paraguay and other Latin American states attended the event, which was held in Spanish.

The panel discussion was prompted by Bolivia's recent withdrawal from ICSID and the current debate among sovereigns in Latin America regarding the benefits and disadvantages of utilizing the ICSID mechanisms that exist for the solution of investor-state disputes.  The panelists discussed, among other things, the concerns by Latin American countries with the ICSID arbitration system; the interplay between investment treaties and the ICSID system; and possible changes that may be implemented to improve the current ICSID dispute resolution procedures.

The panel was moderated by Arnold & Porter partners Paolo Di Rosa, David M. Orta, and Raul R. Herrera.  Arnold & Porter's recently expanded international arbitration team is led by Mr. Di Rosa, who joined the firm earlier this year, bringing a group of seven attorneys and their support staff.  The group includes several associates and two partners: Gaela Gehring Flores and Mr. Herrera, who also practices as part of the corporate and securities group.  Arnold & Porter's arbitration group is well-known in the international arbitration bar for its expertise in investor-state arbitration, including Latin America-related ICSID arbitration, with respect to which it has represented numerous sovereign governments, including those of Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, and Venezuela.

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