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GAR 100 - 9th Edition


18 February 2016

Now based in Barbados, Calvin Hamilton is helping develop a model arbitration law for the Caribbean

Current arbitrator appointments: 2 (of which 1 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator: 1

After 15 years working at the boutique run by Spain’s pre-eminent arbitrator Bernardo Cremades and eight years at another Madrid-based firm, Calvin Hamilton, a member of the New York and Madrid bars, felt it was time to set up on his own.

Hamilton was founded in 2008 to meet a need for “more precise expertise” in international arbitration in Spain. The firm developed a niche advising foreign law firms on arbitrations seated in Spain and enforcement of awards in Spain, along with other Spanish law matters. It has also been consulted on the drafting of international arbitration clauses.

However, the practice has lost its exclusively Spanish focus since Guyana-born and US-trained Hamilton moved back to the Caribbean. He is now based in Bridgetown, Barbados, where he is a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, which aims to become an institution of excellence for ADR in the region.

Versed in both common and civil law, Hamilton remains an arbitrator of the Madrid Arbitration Court and a member of the board of directors of the Spanish Arbitration Club.

Who uses it?

Hamilton has worked for clients from the technology, manufacturing, real estate and construction, and oil and gas sectors on disputes with a link to Spain or seated in Spain.

Currently, it mostly provides international arbitration advice to local counsel handling disputes for Caribbean clients.

Track record

Since his move to Barbados, Hamilton acted as co-counsel in two ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitrations seated in St Lucia and Grenada and advised counsel to a Caribbean state (believed to be Belize) on an arbitration-related matter before the Caribeban Court of Justice.

Combining his two geographical specialisms, he was also co-counsel to a Barbadian party in a construction dispute with a Spanish contractor that was seated in Barbados and conducted under UNCITRAL. A final award was issued in under nine months, which Hamilton is now helping to enforce in Spain.

Earlier in his career, Calvin Hamilton obtained an €85 million award against a Spanish bank following an arbitration in New York. That followed a €17 million award for a group of claimants against a Spanish car parts manufacturer. After founding his own boutique, he fended off a claim by a Spanish oil and gas company against an Italian client concerning breach of a contract for the manufacture of segments of an oil pipeline in the Maghreb, and successfully acted for a US manufacturer of construction materials in an ad hoc arbitration against a French real estate company.

Hamilton played an active role in the promulgation of the Spanish Mediation Act, which came into force in 2012, as a member of the Spanish Arbitration Club’s mediation commission. He’s now advising on the regulations for interpreting the act.

Recent events

Hamilton has been retained as an arbitrator in an ICC dispute in Trinidad and by a US company to act in recognition and enforcement proceedings in Spain.

He has also been appointed to a committee responsible for drafting model arbitration legislation for the Caribbean.

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