Chadbourne & Parke, Washington, DC
Why international arbitration?
It is litigation with a special flavour. It requires flexibility to deal with different legal cultures and the ability to understand different industries and type of transactions. I have learnt a lot, for example, about nuclear plants, oil industry (upstream and downstream), geothermal plants, hydros, mining, construction in general, film distribution, water and sanitary concessions, airports, etc.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Having the chance to serve my country in the Procuración del Tesoro de la Nación [the Argentine state body that handles ICSID matters] as lead counsel in more than 15 international cases between 2000 and 2004. It was an inmense privilege, a great honour and an incredible experience.
Who do you consider your mentor?
I consider John Beechey, Audley Sheppard, Jason Fry, Jose Antonio Cainzos, David Lindsey and James Hosking exemplary colleagues and working with them has been a great honour. My current colleagues Oliver Armas and Luis Enrique Graham have been extraordinarily supportive too.
What other career might you have chosen?
Do you sit as an arbitrator?
Institutions and parties have asked me to sit in the recent past in several occasions but conflicts got in the way.
What are the biggest challenges facing arbitration?
Getting rid of arbitrators who like to “split the baby”.
If you could change one thing about the system...?
The New York Convention. A great achievement in 1958, but it needs to be updated.
What’s your favourite city to arbitrate in?
None in particular. There is no such thing as the perfect seat for arbitrations.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Tamarindo in Guatemala City.