Practice co-head Pedro Martinez-Fraga is an ICSID arbitrator
|People in Who’s Who Legal||2|
|Pending cases as counsel||23|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$2.6 billion|
|Current arbitrator appointments||2 (of which 1 is as sole or chair)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||2|
Founded over 140 years ago in Missouri, the firm first established an international arbitration practice when it opened the London office in the 1980s – its first base outside the US. The practice focused primarily on commercial arbitration, but this changed after the firm was engaged by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to bring claims before the United Nations Compensation Commission for environmental damage caused by the First Gulf War in the early 1990s.
Now the practice group, led by London-based Mathew Rea and Pedro Martinez-Fraga in Miami, covers diverse work from London shipping arbitrations to Latin American investment disputes. Commercial arbitration remains a strong area, particularly in London.
The firm has 27 offices, with eight based outside the US. London remains the hub of the firm’s commercial arbitration work, and the base of operations for its CIS practice. The firm opened its Miami office in 2014, headed by former DLA Piper partners Martinez-Fraga and Ryan Reetz, with the intention of developing a Latin American practice. There are other arbitration practitioners based in Washington DC, Denver, Hamburg and Hong Kong.
Who uses it?
The firm is primarily used by corporations and high net worth individuals, linked to the CIS region. Global manufacturing and technology company Emerson is among its clients.
Bryan Cave settled a dispute over supply contracts worth US$48 billion for Rusal director Oleg Deripaska in 2014 – thought, while it lasted, to be one of the largest Russia-related disputes ever to be heard in London.
Martinez-Fraga was appointed by President Barack Obama to sit on the ICSID panel of conciliators in 2016. He was also part of an ICSID tribunal that rejected a US$300 million claim by a group of Spanish water companies against Argentina in late 2015, finding that the state had committed only a limited breach of an investment treaty.
As counsel, Martinez-Fraga and his team continue to act for Barbadian client Blue Bank in a US$400 million ICSID claim against Venezuela.
The firm convinced an English court to set aside an HKIAC award in a rare use of provisions in the English Arbitration Act that allow non-participating parties to apply for set-aside.
New York-based Emma Lindsay provided pro bono assistance to alleged victims of ethnic violence in Kenya in connection with (now withdrawn) proceedings at the International Criminal Court against the country’s incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Two partners left the London office this year. Ukrainian partner Irina Tymczyszyn moved to Chadbourne & Parke, while Ioannis Alexopoulos headed for Signature Litigation.
Angela Ford at MR Resources praised “quick turnaround times, combined with excellent levels of service and correct advice”.
Michael Keating from Emerson gave the Bryan Cave team “his highest recommendations”, describing its lawyers as “superb in both their duties as legal counsel and their practical recommendations”.