Cleary Gottlieb’s globally renowned lawyers are skilled at handling an extraordinarily wide range of international arbitrations for multinational, foreign and domestic corporations, States, and State-owned entities.

Our Practice

We are consistently recognized as one of the top arbitration groups in the world. Our lawyers have extensive experience in commercial, investor-State, and inter-State disputes, as well as disputes involving international organizations. We represent clients before international arbitral tribunals constituted under all major arbitral rules and institutions.

Our international focus and established practices in Europe, the United States, Asia, Latin America, MENA, and numerous emerging markets make us the firm of choice for clients who look for lawyers they can trust to manage their most sensitive and business‑critical matters.

We have a distinguished track record in achieving successful outcomes for our clients, including enforcing or setting aside arbitration awards and foreign judgments in all leading jurisdictions.

Our lawyers work seamlessly between our 16 offices around the world and in tandem with local law firms and in-house counsel to obtain the best possible results for our clients. Our team frequently conducts cases in different languages, including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Italian. We are the go-to firm in the regions where our clients are based and where they do business.

What Sets Us Apart

We are uniquely positioned to handle the most high-stakes and complex commercial arbitrations, drawing on our leading corporate practice, industry expertise, and history of managing the most complicated disputes. Our lawyers regularly handle complex matters in industries such as Energy, Natural Resources, Sustainability, and Pharmaceuticals and coordinate closely with colleagues in related practices such as M&A, Private Equity, and Intellectual Property

Our lawyers also serve as arbitrators in major international cases, are experienced in drafting arbitration clauses for complex international transactions, and regularly work with our corporate colleagues on technical commercial and post-M&A arbitrations.

Notable Experiences

Energy, Mining, Oil and Gas

  • Pluspetrol Peru Corporation S.A., Pluspetrol Block 56 S.A., Tecpetrol Block 56 S.A.C., and Sonatrach Peru Corporation S.A. in a complex ICC arbitration derived from an ICSID arbitration against the Peruvian State related to claims against a Peruvian buyer of gas, successfully obtaining a final award and securing payment of over $133 million arising from additional amounts owed on invoices due for hydrocarbons exports.

  • Six Peruvian companies in two ICC arbitrations, governed by New York law and consolidated into one arbitration proceeding, claiming additional payments for payments due for hydrocarbon exports.

  • A major energy company in ICC arbitration proceedings concerning the supply of solar power modules to the U.S. and the applicable jurisdiction provisions under various supply agreements.

  • An international oil and gas company in the defense of an ongoing Spanish-language, Peruvian law-governed ICC arbitration relating to liabilities allegedly arising from the wrongful termination of an oil concession agreement.

  • The Republic of Iraq in an ICC arbitration commenced against another sovereign under inter-State agreements governing the use and operation of oil pipelines.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration brought by Unión Fenosa Gas, S.A. under the Spain-Egypt bilateral investment treaty concerning an investment in a liquefied gas plant.

  • Vale, one of the largest mining and metals companies in the world, in an LCIA arbitration in London against its former joint venture partner BSG Resources for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, and frustration, seeking damages of approximately $1.2 billion.

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Post-M&A and Other Commercial Disputes

  • A Latin American glass manufacturer in winning a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration award for breach of contract, including successfully obtaining injunctive relief in ICC emergency arbitration proceedings.

  • A European retailer in a merger-related ICC arbitration seated in São Paulo and governed by Brazilian law, winning a finding of liability on the merits before successfully settling with the adversary as to the amount of damages owed.

  • BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Personal Finance in their successful defense against Galeries Lafayette’s challenge of an ICC arbitral award relating to the sale by Galeries Lafayette to BNP Paribas Personal Finance of the shares of their joint-venture LaSer, owner of consumer credit group Laser-Cofinoga.

  • Assicurazioni Generali in arbitration proceedings relating to the alleged breach of representations, warranties, and covenants in a $1.6 billion share purchase agreement.

  • The Agfa-Gevaert Group in defending a series of related ICC arbitrations under German law alleging over €1 billion in damages related to the sale of the company’s former consumer imaging division.

  • SanDisk (subsidiary of Western Digital) in an ICC arbitration seeking to enjoin Toshiba Corp. from wrongfully transferring its share of three NAND flash memory joint ventures without SanDisk’s consent.

  • A leading global technology company in an ICC arbitration seated in Paris regarding an alleged breach of contract over a gas project in Tunisia.

  • TRG-I in a JAMS arbitration as well as related court proceedings, defending against direct and shareholder derivative claims filed by Muhammad Ziaullah Khan Chishti (Zia Chishti) arising from a Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement and various alleged violations of Pakistani and Bermudan laws.

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Investment Treaty and Public International Law

  • The Hellenic Republic in two different ICSID arbitrations brought by Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd. and Bank of Cyprus under the Cyprus-Hellenic Republic bilateral investment treaty arising out of measures taken to address the Hellenic Republic’s financial and sovereign debt crisis.

  • The Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration commenced by Poštová banka a.s., a Slovak bank that alleged to have purchased Greek sovereign bonds in 2010, and its Cypriot shareholder, Istrokapital SE., under the Hellenic Republic-Slovak Republic and the Hellenic Republic-Cyprus bilateral investment treaties, challenging measures taken by the Hellenic Republic in 2012 to address its financial crisis.

  • Investors in securing favorable awards in confidential UNCITRAL arbitrations against state related to seizure of refinery.

  • The French Republic in an ICSID arbitration commenced by a Turkish investor alleging violations of the French Republic-Turkey bilateral investment treaty.

  • DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under a concession agreement for the development and operation of the South Pier of the Port of Callao, Peru’s largest commercial port, and the UK-Peru bilateral investment treaty.

  • The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in an ICSID arbitration brought by Wise Solutions CDI, SA, arising out of a dispute related to a 15-year concession contract for waste management services.

  • The Republic of Austria in an ICSID arbitration commenced under the Austria-Malta bilateral investment treaty concerning criminal investigations and regulatory measures against an Austrian bank and its management.

  • The Argentine Republic in an ICSID arbitration brought under the Argentina-Italy bilateral investment treaty by holders of interests under multiple Argentine bonds. This case was the first attempt to pursue a mass claim in an ICSID arbitration and resulted in a successful negotiation settlement.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in its application to annul an award before an ICSID Annulment Committee and in its defense against enforcement in the UK and Washington, D.C. 

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  • The Federal Republic of Nigeria in an ICSID arbitration brought by Shell under the Netherlands-Nigeria BIT in connection with an oil spill in the Niger Delta.

  • A Latin American oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration related to alleged breaches of representations and warranties regarding environmental issues in an asset sale agreement.

  • A Peruvian oil and gas company in the successful prosecution of a Spanish-language, Peruvian law-governed IACAC arbitration relating to alleged breaches of an oil concession agreement, which included claims and arguments relating to contractual, regulatory, environmental, and pipeline management issues.

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Construction and Infrastructure

  • Maire Tecnimont, a leading Italian multinational construction and engineering company, in ICC arbitration proceedings seated in London and subject to English law regarding an EPC agreement.

  • Major European energy company in an ICC arbitration seated in London arising out of EPC agreement related to the construction of a power plant in Brazil.

  • Nexans in settling an ICC arbitration brought by Madeco, a Chilean cable manufacturer, regarding the post-closing purchase price adjustment for Nexans’ purchase of Madeco’s South American cable and wire business.

  • Saipem, an Italian oil and gas company, in ICC proceedings seated in London, arising out of procurement contracts subject to English and Algerian laws for the design and construction of an oil and gas pipeline in Algeria.

  • DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under a concession agreement for the development and operation of the South Pier of the Port of Callao, Peru’s largest commercial port, and the UK-Peru bilateral investment treaty.

  • Andrade Gutierrez, a leading Brazilian construction company, in various pre-arbitral and arbitral disputes related to road and tunnel construction in the Middle East, ICC arbitration in Paris and the U.S., and related litigation.

  • Ahlstrom, a major Finnish specialized manufacturer, in an ICC arbitration with Foster Wheeler Corporation, concerning liabilities arising from a power plant construction project in Poland.

  • ArcelorMittal Ostrava in the successful dismissal of all claims in an ICC arbitration brought by U.S. construction and engineering firms Kaiser Group International and Kaiser Engineers, Inc.

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Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

  • Sanofi in winning the dismissal of €1.6 billion in claims in an ad hoc arbitration brought by Rhodia SA and successfully defending against subsequent set aside proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeals and the French Supreme Court.

  • A global pharmaceutical company in an LCIA arbitration based on claims arising out of distribution agreement concerning sale of products in Kuwait.

  • A European health sciences company in the successful settlement, after substantial litigation of interim and merits issues, of an SIAC arbitration in Singapore concerning a joint venture with an Indian entity, including parallel proceedings in the Indian courts.

  • Universal Biosensors Inc. in the potential arbitration and successful mediation of claims under a collaboration agreement with Siemens Healthcare involving the commercialization of medical devices.

  • Aventis in winning the dismissal of arbitration claims worth $26 million brought by Cadila Pharmaceutical.

  • Aventis in defeating an injunction before an arbitral tribunal in Paris against the $40 billion merger of Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst to create Aventis.

  • Selex Galileo, Inc, a U.S. subsidiary of the global aerospace and defense company Leonardo, in winning an ICDR arbitration and securing the dismissal of all counterclaims alleged against Nomir Medical Technologies, Inc. for the wrongful termination of the parties’ development contract.

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Banking and Finance

  • BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Personal Finance in their successful defense against Galeries Lafayette’s challenge of an ICC arbitral award.

  • A privately owned bank in the United Arab Emirates against claims brought in an LCIA arbitration relating to the liquidation of a performance bond and a retention bond for construction of the Abu Dhabi International Midfield Terminal Building.

  • A Spanish multinational financial services company in an ICC arbitration in defending against a claim for indemnification arising out of a sale of its subsidiary.

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Telecommunications and Media

  • Telecom Italia Finance S.A. and Telecom Italia S.p.A. in an ICC arbitration in Paris brought by various parties in the Opportunity group of companies.

  • Etisalat in successfully winning an ICC arbitration against Planor Afrique in relation to an investment in Burkina Faso and in related court proceedings in its acquisition of Atlantique Telecom.

  • SKY in an ICC arbitration seated in Milan in connection with a dispute relating to the exploitation of certain media rights under Italian and EU antitrust laws.

  • Idemia on disputes arising from a $100 million project to supply ID cards to the Bangladesh Election Commission, including an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration seated in Singapore and a Bangladesh-seated arbitration governed by the Bangladesh Arbitration Act.

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