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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Arias SLP

17 February 2016

Home to the new co-chair of the IBA’s arbitration committee

People in Who’s Who Legal 1
Pending cases as counsel 5
Value of pending counsel work US$740 million
Treaty cases 1
Current arbitrator appointments 12 (of which 6 are
as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 1

David Arias spent 15 years with Spanish law firm Pérez-Llorca, where he built up and led a 30-strong disputes team, before breaking away to set up Arias SLP in Madrid in 2013. Since then he has been practising as arbitrator and counsel while recruiting an entirely new team, including Dámaso Riaño, who became the firm’s second partner in 2014.

In 2015, Arias became co-chair of the International Bar Association’s arbitration committee. He has played a key role in the revisions to the IBA’s guidelines on conflicts of interest, as well as in the drafting of its 2010 rules on the taking of evidence. He’s also a co-chair of the Spanish Arbitration Club.

Who uses it?

Clients so far have hailed mainly from western Europe, operating in the construction, real estate, energy and utilities, and IT sectors. These include Gas Natural and Abengoa from Spain; engineering group Maire Tecnimont and manufacturer Danieli in Italy; French real estate firm Altarea Cogedim; and Hewlett-Packard.

Commercial cases make up most of the firm’s workload, though it is also handling some investment treaty matters. These include an Energy Charter Treaty claim brought on behalf of a Luxembourg company against Spain.

Track record

In 2015, the firm helped Maire Tecnimont obtain a favourable settlement in a billion-dollar ICC dispute over the construction of a power plant in Chile. The client received a US$125 million payout from Endesa Chile, which had brought the case in 2012.

Arias also achieved some success for an Italian party in a €27 million dispute with a Spanish-owned steel manufacturer over the construction of a furnace. Arias helped the client obtain interim measures from the Madrid courts, followed by a favourable arbitral award in 2014.

Recent events

The firm added counsel Antonio Perdices, professor at the University of Madrid and formerly of Uría Menéndez, to its ranks.

Arias SLP also achieved a positive jurisdictional award in a US$63 million claim brought on behalf of a leading Spanish energy group against the country’s main natural gas carrier.

Client comment

Abengoa has been using Arias SLP on some significant cases. The company’s general secretary, Daniel Alaminos Echarri, says the firm’s “availability, commitment and quality of service have been consistently extraordinary”, and their value for money is “absolutely top-notch”. In particular, he says David Arias is “one of those lawyers who understand the big picture as well as the details, and the business as well as the law”. Arias is “one of the best in Spain”.

Maire Tecnimont senior counsel Giovanni Pagnacco describes Arias SLP as “very helpful, clear, straightforward and pragmatic”. He says the firm offers “competence, responsiveness and value for money”, and is a particularly good choice for arbitrations in Spanish or involving South America.



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