GAR 100 - 15th Edition

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs

Professional notice

Another good year for the US firm saw it win a gas price review and score defence wins for Libya and a Swedish med-tech group

People in Who’s Who Legal8
People in Future Leaders4
Pending cases as counsel144
Value of pending counsel workUS$51.27 billion
Treaty cases as counsel22
Third-party funded cases2
Current arbitrator appointments24 (15 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator7

A 2014 merger between Cleveland-based Squire Sanders and Washington, DC-based Patton Boggs created this firm.

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.

Although most of the arbitration capability came from the Squire Sanders side, Patton Boggs also had a disputes practice in the Middle East.

The firm pulled off a coup in 2019 by recruiting 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 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 who 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 defending states in investment disputes. The firm maintains that no state it has represented as sole counsel has ever been held liable to pay a single dollar in an arbitral award.

Squire Patton Boggs also has a strong reputation for gas price review cases. 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 has more than 140 arbitration practitioners in 25 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. Recent hires from Curtis have also given it a presence in Milan and Ashgabat.

There are also arbitration-literate lawyers found in Budapest, Moscow, Houston, Columbus, Miami and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Who uses it?

Government clients include Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Ecuador, Gabon, Kosovo, Nigeria, Libya, Slovakia and Saudi Arabia. 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’s record of defence wins is excellent. It has helped Slovakia see off a US$1.65 billion ICSID claim over a talc mine, and defeated the first ever treaty claim against Kosovo, worth €380 million. For Turkmenistan, it saw off a third-party-funded ICSID claim worth almost US$500 million brought by Turkish construction investors.

It also helped Ecuador shave US$700 million off an ICSID award in favour of Occidental Petroleum in annulment proceedings.

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.

Recently, it helped Turkmenistan’s national gas company Turkmengaz win €1.5 billion in an ICC claim against the National Iranian Gas Company over the supply of natural gas to Iran. The award was upheld by the Swiss courts in 2021.

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 concerned a licence agreement to use location-based services software.

It also helped 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.

Recent events

There was another good result in a gas price review case, with the firm helping Italian utility Edison defeat an ICC claim worth hundreds of millions of euros brought by Qatargas under a long-term contract for the purchase of liquefied natural gas from Qatar.

Lawyers in the Frankfurt office successfully defended Swedish medical technology group Elekta against a €575 million LCIA claim brought by Germany’s Livian concerning an information system used in radiotherapy for cancer patients. The award was upheld in the English courts.

For Libya, the firm saw off a US$190 million claim by a Turkish investor over construction projects that were left incomplete because of the country’s 2011 revolution.

Partner John Branson in New York, together with Singapore firm Drew & Napier, defeated an attempt by two gaming companies to revive a pair of investment treaty claims against Laos. A Singapore court upheld awards that dismissed the claims based on evidence of corruption.  

Croatia is taking advice from the firm as it asks a Swiss court to revise an UNCITRAL award in favour of Hungarian oil and gas group MOL in the wake of a corruption verdict against a former prime minister.

It is defending Saudi Arabia against a treaty claim brought by a Qatari pharmaceutical company and its founder, who allege that their investments were destroyed by the continuing blockade of Qatar by its Arab neighbours.

Another former Curtis lawyer, Timi Balogun, joined Squire Patton Boggs as partner in London.

Client comment

A state client says that a team led by partner Stephan Adell, who splits his time between Dubai, Paris and Santo Domingo, has provided “outstanding client service”. The team worked to an agreed schedule and made sure the state could “comment and offer input during the construction of each submission”.

Adell, along with fellow partners José Feris, Raúl Mañón and Pekar, proved to be “excellent cross-examiners, with clear objectives and remarkable poise – definitely one of the best law firms we have worked with”.

A manager at an eastern energy company says the firm has “outstanding knowledge” of the energy and resources sector, “which enables us to receive one-stop service from one team”.

Partner Maximilian Rockall in London is a “diligent and responsible lawyer with a bright and cheerful personality”.

SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS is one of the largest and most well-recognized international arbitration practices in the world today. Our team includes more than 150 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.

We currently handle 145 international arbitrations worth more than US$ 50 billion in claims and counterclaims. We have represented 27 sovereign nations, together with the European Commission, in international dispute proceedings, making us one of the most active firms in the world in State-related dispute resolution. Four of our partners have been named by sovereign nations to the prestigious ICSID Panel of Arbitrators. Our natural gas and LNG team is the preeminent practice in the field, having represented clients in approximately 79 such disputes—all successfully.

We are ranked in all major publications, including GAR30, and have experience before every major international dispute resolution body in the world. Recently, Law360 named us “International Arbitration Practice of the Year” out of 800 applicants.

Over the past three years, the size of our group has expanded significantly, making us the fastest-growing international arbitration group during that time period. Our dynamic expansion spread across our entire global footprint—from the Americas, to Europe, to the Middle East, and to Asia-Pacific. During the past three years alone, we have added more than 20 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

Website: www.squirepattonboggs.com

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