Crowell & Moring
Acting for Alberta in a billion-dollar claim over the Keystone XL pipeline
|People in Who’s Who Legal||2|
|Pending cases as counsel||7|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$6.1 billion|
|Treaty cases as counsel||2|
|Third-party funded cases||0|
|Current arbitrator appointments||3 (0 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||1|
Crowell & Moring launched in 1979 when a large contingent from Jones Day split off to form a new firm in Washington, DC. The international arbitration practice was set up in 2005 and really took off two years later with the hire of a ready-made team from Fulbright & Jaworski, earning the firm its first appearance in the GAR 100 in 2008.
Canadian Ian Laird was part of that team and has co-chaired the dispute resolution group since 2012. He is especially visible on the firm’s investment treaty work. The other co-chair is Laurence Winston in London, who joined in 2019 from Squire Patton Boggs, where he was head of UK litigation.
A further 13 lawyers joined from Winston’s old firm in 2020, including partners Robert Hager, Michael Guiffré and Meagan Bachman in Washington, DC and a nine-strong team in Doha led by partner Charbel Maakaron. That team focuses on infrastructure projects and disputes in Qatar, including representing the Qatari government in contentious work linked to the development of the US$15 billion Hamad International Airport.
Most of the international arbitration team is based in Washington, DC, with others in New York, London and Doha. The wider firm is found in several other US cities as well as Brussels and Shanghai. It also has an associated firm in Singapore.
Who uses it?
Kuwaiti logistics group KGL and the Canadian province of Alberta have turned to the firm for investment treaty claims, as have Canadian mining companies Khan Resources and Pacific Rim and US motorbike maker Vento.
Booking.com and VistaPrint have used the firm in domain disputes before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the California-based internet regulator, International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
Other big-name clients are AT&T, Dana Incorporated and General Motors.
The firm secured a US$500 million award for a KGL-led consortium against an Egyptian port authority in a long-running dispute over a cancelled project for a container terminal. It also brought an ICSID claim on behalf of KGL, before the port authority agreed to pay US$260 million to settle the cases.
For Khan Resources, the firm won a US$100 million Energy Charter Treaty award against Mongolia in 2015 over the cancellation of uranium mining licences. After Khan sought enforcement in the US, Mongolia paid US$70 million in 2016 to settle the case.
Stuart Newberger secured an award worth more than US$28 million in a politically sensitive case against Pakistan in 2018. The client was an asset recovery firm hired to track down the assets of Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The award was paid in 2020 after the client succeeded in attaching funds held in London by the Pakistan High Commission.
The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission retained the firm to bring a NAFTA claim against the United States over its decision to revoke the permit for the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline. The client is seeking US$1 billion.
The firm’s Russian client Marsha Lazareva lost her US$150 million treaty claim against Kuwait, after a divided tribunal found she did not qualify as an investor. Lazareva – who has been taking refuge in the Russian embassy in Kuwait City after being convicted of embezzlement – is now trying to have the treaty award overturned in the French courts.
Werner Eyskens, a board member at Belgian arbitral institution CEPANI, joined the firm as partner in Brussels from Allen & Overy. In Washington, DC, the firm hired Lisa Henneberry, former chair of Squire Patton Boggs’ energy and natural resources group.
Alejandro Lara of brokerage house and investment bank Interacciones Casa de Bolsa is using Crowell & Moring for a potential investment treaty claim against Venezuela. He commends Laird and counsel Eduardo Mathison for their “loyalty and perseverance” and for keeping the case alive “in the face of very trying circumstances” for cases related to the country.
Another client who used the firm to win an expropriation claim and enforce against a state says the firm is “very easy to deal with, very client oriented and very competent”. He also praises Laird as well as DC-based counsel Ashley Riveira for being “very hard working”.
Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Crowell & Moring’s International Dispute Resolution (IDR) Group delivers end-to-end advice on the full range of business and governmental disputes worldwide. Together with its affiliate firm, C&M International (CMI) – an international policy and regulatory affairs consulting firm – and the firm’s International Trade Group, the IDR Group provides pre-dispute counseling on investment decisions and dispute resolution clauses, pre-arbitration assistance on potential geopolitical approaches to resolving disputes, representation in international commercial and investment arbitrations and in court litigation, and enforcement of international arbitral awards and court judgments.
With dozens of lawyers practicing from our offices in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Doha and Brussels we represent clients from a wide range of industries and geographic regions in disputes under international and bilateral trade agreements and treaties. In 2020, we increased our footprint in Doha expanding the firm’s global infrastructure, international dispute resolution and litigation capabilities.
We continue to grow our ranks. This year, IDR attorneys Randa Adra in New York, Joshua Lindsay in Washington, DC, and Gordon McAllister in London were promoted to the partnership. The trio are among 13 firmwide partner promotions that took effect at the start of the year. Eduardo Mathison in DC has also been promoted to international counsel.
We have handled commercial and geopolitical disputes involving business operations, transactions, projects and strategic alliances across the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and Asia. Lawyers in our IDR practice work in a diverse range of languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew and Spanish. We regularly represent private parties, publicly held companies, sovereign governments and state‐owned enterprises.