This west coast Canadian firm became a name to know in international arbitration thanks to arbitrator Henri Alvarez QC.
- People in Who’s Who:
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Value of pending counsel work:
- US$4 billion
- Treaty cases:
- No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
A background in labour arbitration, a combination of language skills, experience in common and civil law and (he says) some luck have led him to be a popular choice as wingman or chairman.
When he was taking counsel work, Alvarez was arguably the leading authority on Canada’s national arbitration law, following his role in various seminal cases, including United Mexican States v Metalclad, where he successfully defended a NAFTA award against Mexico, which had expropriated a hazardous waste facility. In Canada, the firm is home to a number of other QCs who’ve handled international arbitrations and has worked on several treaty cases. In 2006, members of the firm helped a Cypriot investor win some US$46 million in damages from Hungary in an ICSID case over the expropriation of Budapest’s international airport.
More recently the firm has extended into Continental Europe, buying the Parisian boutique, Gravel Leclerc & Partners, in September 2009 and making some lateral hires from Dewey & LeBoeuf. Those steps brought in three partners with experience in arbitrations arising out of mining and similar sectors in francophone Africa. The firm also has an office in London where some arbitration work takes place, usually for energy clients.
Who’s Who nominee
- Henri Alvarez QC