Zachary S. O’Dell’s practice focuses on litigation and international arbitration, including commercial arbitration and transnational litigation and enforcement matters across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.

Zachary regularly acts as counsel to both claimants and respondents in a wide variety of commercial, post-M&A, construction, and energy arbitrations before and under the rules of the leading global arbitral institutions.  He has also advised clients in connection with regulatory enforcement actions and white-collar criminal investigations.

Zachary joined the firm in 2014. From 2014 to 2016, he was resident in the New York office.

Prior to joining Cleary Gottlieb, Zachary served as an extern in residence at the International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Office of the Prosecutor, in The Hague, Netherlands.  From 2012 to 2014, he served as a Senior Editor on the drafting committee working to reform the evidence law of the United Republic of Tanzania.  Zachary also served as an extern to the Honorable James F. Holderman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and as law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

Notable Experiences

International Arbitration

  • Italian company in an ICC arbitration with Paris seat under English law relating to an oil and gas construction engineering project.

  • Italian company in an arbitration under Swiss Rules (SCAI) with Zurich seat pursuant to Swiss and Italian law relating to a sale and purchase agreement.

  • Russian oil and gas corporation in SCC arbitration proceedings seated in Stockholm relating to a dispute arising out of alleged breaches of contract and related tort and statutory-based claims under Greek law.

  • Italian oil and gas company in ICC proceedings arising out of procurement contracts subject to English and Algerian laws for the design and construction of an oil and gas pipeline in the Middle East.

  • Asian company in an ICC arbitration in London under English law relating to a sale and purchase agreement.

  • Middle Eastern state petroleum company in an ICC arbitration seated in Geneva relating to a construction engineering project.

  • European natural gas company in an ICC arbitration with Vienna seat in connection with long-term gas transportation contracts.

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  • Citigroup in connection with investigations and civil litigation involving financial benchmarks, including foreign exchange trading (FX), conducted by the DOJ, CFTC, SEC and other regulators around the world.

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Selected Activities

  • Guest Lecturer, “German & International Arbitration,” Institute for Law and Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Summer 2018


U.S. Discovery in German Arbitrations and State Court Litigations After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in ‘ZF Automotive US, Inc. v. Luxshare, Ltd.’ and ‘AlixPartners, LLC v. Fund for Protection of Investors’ Rights in Foreign States,’” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, June 27, 2022.

An Examination of the 2020 Revision of the IBA Rules of Evidence” in SchiedsVZ (German arbitration journal) 2021, Issue 6, p. 315 et seq., co-author with Till Hackstein and Harry Nettlau.

Dubai Enacts Sweeping Decree Reforming and Modernizing the Framework for Arbitration in the Emirate,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, November 2, 2021.

The Changing Landscape of Arbitration in Switzerland: Advent of the Swiss Arbitration Centre and the 2021 Swiss Rules Revision,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, June 17, 2021.

2020 Revision of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, February 17, 2021.

Why Arbitrate International IP Disputes?” GAR: The Guide to IP Arbitration - First Edition, February 9, 2021

The Revised Swiss International Arbitration Act – Key Changes and Developments,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, January 14, 2021 

International Arbitration in the Time of COVID-19: Navigating the Evolving Procedural Features and Practices of Leading Arbitral Institutions,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, July 10, 2020

U.S. District Court Denies Section 1782 Discovery for Use in DIS Arbitration, Highlighting Deepening Circuit Split on Statute’s Applicability to Private Commercial Arbitrations,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, April 3, 2020 

“The Prague Rules and the Myth of a Civil Law Panacea,” New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Spring 2019, co-author with Ferdinando Emanuele, Carlo Santoro, and Ari D. MacKinnon

U.S. Discovery in German Litigation – an Underestimated Option,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, February 19, 2019

The New United Arab Emirates Arbitration Law: A Step Toward Modernization with Continuing Uncertainties,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, June 4, 2018

“The New York Convention and Insolvency,” Revista de Arbitragem e Mediação (Brazil), June 2016, co-author with Richard Kreindler and Nicole Rothe