GAR 100 - 14th Edition

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs

Professional notice

Scored two big wins for Turkmenistan and its national gas company

People in Who’s Who Legal5
People in Future Leaders5
Pending cases as counsel125
Value of pending counsel workUS$44.9 billion
Treaty cases as counsel24
Third-party funded cases2
Current arbitrator appointments16 (9 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator6

This US firm is the product of a 2014 merger between Cleveland-based Squire Sanders and Washington, DC-based Patton Boggs.

Partner George von Mehren, who divides his time between Cleveland and London, built the Squire Sanders arbitration team in the 2000s and has led the international dispute resolution practice for two decades.

Two other figures have led much of the firm’s investment arbitration work: Stephen Anway and Rostislav Pekar. Anway –who divides his time between New York and Washington, DC – joined Squire Sanders in 2004 and is now global co-chair of the merged firm’s disputes practice alongside von Mehren. Pekar, who is based in Prague, began his career at Squire Sanders in 2001, working on the Saluka v Czech Republic case.

While most of the arbitration capability came from the Squire Sanders side, Patton Boggs had been working in the Middle East for over 30 years, and developed a disputes practice led by Doha-based construction disputes specialist Tom Wilson and Dubai-based Alain Farhad (who joined from Freshfields).

The firm scored a coup in 2019 with the recruitment of a nine-strong team from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle, including partner Miriam Harwood in New York, who now co-heads the investment arbitration practice alongside Pekar. The contingent from Curtis also included partner Ali Gursel and his entire team in Ashgabat.

Another name to know in New York is Luka Misetic, a US lawyer of Croatian origin who joined the merged firm in 2015 and has acted in cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

As of 2021, the Singapore office is home to renowned advocate Rodman Bundy, former head of public international law and co-head of arbitration at Eversheds Sutherland.

The merged practice is best known for its work on behalf of states in investment disputes and buyers in gas price review arbitrations. It reckons to have concluded more than 40 gas pricing disputes in Europe or Asia with wins or settlements negotiated prior to the commencement of arbitration, for clients including Gas Natural and Edison.

Network

The practice reckons it has more than 135 arbitration practitioners in more than 24 offices. The key US and European offices are London, Paris, Frankfurt, Prague, New York and Washington, DC. Middle East work is handled from Dubai and Doha.

In 2020, the firm opened in Milan with the hire of another Curtis partner, Galileo Pozzoli, who had led his old firm’s office in the city for a decade. The recent arrivals from Curtis have given it a presence in Ashgabat for the first time.

There are also arbitration-literate lawyers found in Budapest, Moscow, Houston, Columbus, Miami and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The wider firm has 46 offices spanning 21 countries.

Who uses it?

Recent state clients include Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Ecuador, Gabon, Kosovo, Libya, Slovakia and Saudi Arabia. The arrival of the team from Curtis brought several active cases for Turkmenistan.

The firm has had a long relationship with the Czech Republic – since legacy firm Squire Sanders gained a win for the state in the Nagel case in 2003.

In the energy sector, clients include Spain’s Naturgy (formerly Gas Natural), Guangdong Dapeng LNG, Edison, Engie, Enelk and state entities KazMunaiGas of Kazakhstan and PDVSA of Venezuela.

It has also acted for New Doha International Airport and Hitachi.

Track record

The firm has done stellar work for Slovakia. In 2017, it helped the state to defeat a US$1.65 billion ICSID claim brought by investors in a talc mine.

There was a win in 2018 for Kosovo in its first-ever investment treaty case – a €380 million claim brought by German private equity group ACP Axos Capital over a thwarted telecoms privatisation deal. Kosovo defeated the claim and was awarded US$2 million in costs.

It also secured the dismissal of a treaty claim against Slovakia by Dutch insurer Achmea on jurisdictional grounds and an award of costs for the client.

Together with Dechert, Squire Patton Boggs helped Ecuador convince an ICSID annulment committee to shave US$700 million off an award in favour of Occidental Petroleum in 2015. Ecuador paid US$980 million to satisfy the award in the following year.

Legacy firm Squire Sanders helped the Czech Republic prevail in three cases brought by Phoenix Action, EEE Projecktmanagement International and InterTrade Holding. It also acted in the state’s dispute with Japanese bank Nomura, which settled 2008.

In gas price reviews, the firm says it has been unbeaten since 2004 when it represented a Spanish buyer in the first case spawned by the EU liberalisation of national gas markets, helping to establish key principles in the area. It helped an Italian energy company win two ICC awards against different counterparties, for US$580 million and US$395 million.

A team led by Anway secured Dutch technology developer GeoSolutions a US$126 million Netherlands Arbitration Institute award against Beijing-based Sina Corporation, the company behind one of China’s largest social media websites. The dispute had concerned a breach of a licence agreement to use location-based service software.

Recent events

Working alongside Curtis and Pestalozzi, the firm helped Turkmenistan’s national gas company Turkmengaz win €1.5 billion in an ICC claim against the National Iranian Gas Company over payments for the supply of natural gas to Iran. The award was upheld by the Swiss courts in 2021.

The firm also helped Turkmenistan to defeat a third-party funded ICSID claim worth almost US$500 million brought by Turkish construction investors.

There was a good result for long-term client Slovakia. The state was held liable in a claim brought by a Polish mineral water producer but did not have to pay any of the €128 million in damages sought.

On the commercial side, the firm worked alongside Morgan Lewis & Bockius to help Sweden’s Elektra defeat an LCIA worth over €500 million brought by a German medical technology supplier over an alleged failure to promote its products. Elekta is understood to have been awarded almost €10 million in costs.

It teamed up with Stikeman Elliott to help a Canadian contractor defeat a US$227 million claim lodged by a subsidiary of Ukraine’s State Space Agency. The dispute concerned a satellite launch project disrupted by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a scandal over missing funds.

With barristers from 3 Verulam Buildings, the firm is defending Saudi Arabia in a treaty claim brought by a Qatari pharmaceutical company and its founder, who allege their investments were destroyed by the continuing blockade of Qatar by its Arab neighbours.

Besides welcoming Rodman Bundy in Singapore, the firm added three new partners in Paris. John Adam, who defended Latin American states in several treaty cases, joined from Latham & Watkins, while Sabrina Aïnouz and Jérôme Lehucher arrived from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle.

Michelle Glassman Bock joined the partnership in Brussels and Washington, DC after she left WilmerHale.

Other partner hires were Ravinder Bhullar in Dubai, Chris Swart and Katie Pritchard in London and Galileo Pozzoli in Milan.

Partners Robert Hager, Michael Guiffré and Meagan Bachman were part of a group who left the firm to join Crowell & Moring. Energy disputes specialist Ben Holland also left to join K&L Gates in London.

Client comment

Paul Myers, head of legal at Luxembourg fund Redline Capital Management, says he “cannot recommend the arbitration team highly enough” and will continue to use them for all future matters.

Another client describes the firm as reliable with highly qualified and dedicated practitioners. Raúl Mañón in the Miami office is praised for his expansive knowledge of international law.

SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS has the fastest growing international arbitration group in the world. Named “International Arbitration Group of the Year” by Law360 in 2020, our team is made up of 140 lawyers across 25 offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

We act as counsel and as arbitrators in many of the largest international disputes around the globe, specializing in major international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, and State v. State dispute resolution. In particular, we are a preeminent firm in investor-state, energy (including gas pricing), and construction disputes

We currently handle more than 125 international arbitrations worth US$ 45 billion in claims and represent 12 different sovereign nations in international proceedings. We are ranked in all major publications and have experience before every major international dispute resolution body in the world.

Our dynamic expansion in 2020 and 2021 spread across our entire global footprint – from the Americas, to Europe, to the Middle East, and to Asia. During the past two years alone, we have added 21 partners to our international arbitration team.

Squire Patton Boggs is one of the world’s largest integrated law firms with more than 1,500 lawyers in 45 offices across more than 20 countries. For more information, visit www.squirepattonboggs.com

George von Mehren
Global Co-Chair of International Dispute Resolution
[email protected]

Stephen Anway
Global Co-Chair of International Dispute Resolution
[email protected]

Website: www.squirepattonboggs.com

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