Acting in a US$285 million ICSID claim against Peru
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This Peruvian boutique was founded in 2000 by arbitrator Alfredo Bullard and former Shearman & Sterling lawyer Huáscar Ezcurra, offering expertise in both arbitration and competition law, provided by lawyers with experience at the Peruvian Antitrust Agency. Bullard is one of the most recognisable names in Peruvian arbitration and led the commission that drafted Peru’s 2017 arbitration law.
It practises both commercial and investment arbitration, advising Peruvian and international clients.
Who uses it?
The firm represented Argentina’s Pluspetrol in a pair of arbitrations in relation to an oil block in Peru. Other high-profile clients include Peruvian conglomerate Intercorp and a subsidiary of Italian energy company Enel.
Outside Latin America, the China International Water & Electric Corporation has instructed Bullard Falla Ezcurra for an ad hoc arbitration against a Peruvian regional government.
In 2015, the firm helped an Enel subsidiary to defeat the bulk of a US$10 million claim by Electroperú, the Peruvian national energy company, over a power purchase agreement.
For Peru’s NG Education Holdings Corp, the firm defeated a US$75 million claim over an alleged breach of a stock purchase agreement. The tribunal granted the client all of its counterclaims.
In 2019, the firm won a pair of favourable awards for Pluspetrol Norte against the Peruvian National Oil Company. First, in a complex US$250 million UNCITRAL arbitration, it obtained an award that confirmed its client’s position and granted its costs; separately, the firm secured a favourable award in a US$300 million dispute over a licence agreement for an oil block before the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission.
It also helped Brazilian-owned La Virgen secure a favourable award in an US$80 million ICC dispute over a hydroelectric power plant in Peru.
Alongside King & Spalding, the firm continues to advise Argentine–Peruvian consortium Kuntur Wasi in a US$285 million ICSID claim against Peru over a concession to build and operate an airport for tourists travelling to Machu Picchu. It is also providing counsel to engineering company Sicim Perú in an emergency arbitration connected to the termination of a gas transportation system. The firm has advised Sicim on similar pre-arbitration negotiations against a Peruvian company, winning a US$40 million settlement and averting planned proceedings before the Lima Chamber of Commerce.
As an arbitrator, Bullard is chairing a claim brought against Mexico by a UK investor in its maritime transport sector. He also appeared as a Peruvian law expert witness for Gramercy Investments in its US$1.7 billion UNCITRAL arbitration against Peru over land bonds.
The firm’s members have continued to contribute to international thought leadership in arbitration. Bullard is vice chairing a commission established by the Madrid International Arbitration Centre to determine when and how to define an arbitration as international; he and Ezcurra acted as two of Peru’s national rapporteurs for an IBA toolkit on the insolvencies of parties to arbitration.
A company using the firm for various arbitrations praised the “moral quality” of the lawyers, saying that they “know how to work as a team and achieve the desired results”.
Bullard Falla Ezcurra + is an Arbitration Boutique seated in Perú and Madrid, with activity across Latin America and Europe. Our international arbitration practice is led by Alfredo Bullard, who is in charge of the Madrid Office, and Huáscar Ezcurra, who is in charge of the Lima Office. Alfredo has been identified as “an amazing counsel” (WWL Arbitration 2022) and “probably one of the ten best arbitrators in the world” (Chambers & Partnerts 2022) and Huáscar as “one of the best arbitration counsels you can find” (Chambers & Partnerts 2022). Moreover, clients and peers have recognized them as Leading Individuals in Latin America (WWL Arbitration 2022).
We have more than 21 years in the market. In the last six years our grasp towards international arbitration across Latin America has increased significantly, and this year we have opened our second office in Madrid, to continue consolidating that work and expand to the Spanish and European market. This work has led us to be certified as one of the best arbitration firms in the world by GAR 100. According to our clients: “they are among the best, if not the best, arbitration outfit in Latin America. They are really distinguished in international arbitration, like a US or UK firm” (Chambers & Partners).
Our firm constantly represent clients in complex controversies, in both commercial and investment arbitrations, under the ICSID, ICC, and Uncitral Rules, among others. As counsels, we have experience representing clients from USA, Argentina, China, Colombia, Brasil, Italy, EL Salvador, among others, in controversies regarding investments, construction, energy, transport, oil & gas, etc. Our current portfolio including activity as counsels, arbitrators, and legal experts, exceeds USD 3 Billions in claims. Furthermore, our partners and senior associates also act constantly as arbitrators or legal experts both in international commercial and investments arbitrations. Senior partner Alfredo Bullard regularly acts as arbitrator in major international arbitrations.
We try to break paradigms in our international arbitration practice. Our team includes economists and we have also worked with theater directors to improve our performance in hearings. We focus very much on details to provide our clients multidisciplinary yet precise solutions. We have a team of 13 lawyers and two economists with experience working in Law firms from Latin America and the USA. We are able to provide our clients a deep and sophisticated legal analysis, but also a cultural understanding of their controversies. As our clients explain: “[they] stand out for their ability to analyse and prepare arguments. In the hearings, you can tell there is a marked difference between their advice and preparation, and that of other firms.” (Chambers & Partnerts 2022).
Alongside King & Spalding, the firm is acting for Argentine-Peruvian consortium Kuntur Wasi in an US$285 million ICSID claim against Peru over a concession to build and operate an airport for tourists travelling to Machu Picchu.
The firm represents the General Prosecutor of El Salvador (before FOMILENIO II and Entidad del Milenio) in several construction disputes being resolved through: (i) arbitrations administered by the ICC and the El Salvador Chamber of Commerce; and, (ii) FIDIC Dispute Adjudication Boards.
The firm also represents an important mall management and development Chilean company, in a dispute against a leading retail Chilean company in a force majeure claim related to the pandemic of Covid-19.
As an arbitrator, Alfredo Bullard is chairing: (i) a claim brought against Mexico by a UK investor in its maritime transport sector; (ii) a claim under the Energy Charter administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration brought against the Czech Republic by investors from Netherlands, Cyprus and Luxembourg; and, (iii) a multicontract claim under two agreements regarding the development of a mining project administered by the International Chamber of Commerce brought against Ecuador and an Ecuadorian public corporation by a Chilean public corporation.
He also is acting as a Peruvian law expert witness for: (i) the American and Dutch investors of an important mining company in two ICSID investment arbitrations against Peru; and, (ii) two leading concessions companies in two commercial arbitrations against the Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima.
The firm’s members have continued to contribute to international thought leadership in arbitration. Alfredo Bullard continues his word as vice-chair of a commission established by the Madrid International Arbitration Centre to determine when and how to define an arbitration as international; Huascar Ezcurra is a member of the Court of Arbitration of the Lima Chamber of Commerce’s Arbitration