Latham & Watkins LLP

Arbitration (International) Department

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What the team is known for Leads major global arbitrations through key teams in London, across Germany and in France. Represents corporations and states in arbitrations under a range of institutional and ad hoc rules. Key individuals in Paris have a particular focus on Latin American energy sector disputes, while the UK practice handles a broader range of commercial and investment arbitrations in the mining, energy, pharmaceutical and financial sectors. Leverages the support of key partners in the Madrid office to represent listed companies in commercial disputes and to advise on investor-state arbitrations arising in the energy sector.

Strengths"Their strengths are clearly their international mindset and their realistic approach," enthuses one source.

Peers note that the firm's network of local partnerships"works well on a cross-jurisdictional basis."

Work highlights Successfully represented Luxembourg-based renewable energy investment fund Novenergia in an SCC arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain, which concerned regulatory changes to the renewable energy tariff scheme. The claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty.

Notable practitioners

Sources note that Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is "a strong figure in the market" and has "a lot of experience and enormous knowledge in international arbitrations, especially in the energy and construction sectors." He is renowned for acting on behalf of Latin American governments and state-owned entities in commercial cases under ICSID and ICC rules.

London partner Philip Clifford handles commercial arbitrations that often involve construction and joint operating agreements in Africa and the Middle East. "His questioning is surgical and very good, and he puts in a huge amount of work behind the scenes,"notes one appreciative source.

International arbitration group co-chair Sophie Lamb QC is based in London and earns significant praise from clients and peers for her work in commercial and investment arbitrations. She advises private investors, sovereign states and corporations from the energy, automotive, mining and finance sectors on ICC and ICSID cases. "She excelled in putting together a strategy for the client that was realistic and covered all of the issues," reports one impressed source.