Arent Fox International Arbitration Team Follows Win With Two High Profile Claims

Arent Fox’s International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution practice made headlines this month with a win in US federal court on behalf of a Peruvian farmers’ cooperative, followed by the launch of two notable cases from opposite corners of the globe.

In September, partners Hunter T. Carter, Lee M. Caplan, Timothy J. Feighery, and associate Cesar Francia helped liberate a Peruvian farmers’ cooperative from a $2.6 million arbitration award brought by commodity trader Transmar Commodity Group. Latin Lawyer reported that a US District Court in New York ruled “that an arbitration award against Cooperative Agraria Industrial Naranjillo in February was invalid because the cooperative was unaware that an arbitration clause existed in contracts they signed with a cocoa trading house in 2012.”
Two recent arbitrations also recently hit the press, one a $500 million NAFTA claim initiated by a telecom company against Mexico and the other involving a dispute over oil pipeline taxes between the Government of Timor-Leste and Australia.
The first is the initiation of a NAFTA Chapter 11 claim against Mexico on behalf of the US investors in a Mexican telecommunications company, Tele Fácil. The dispute originated after Mexico’s Federal Institute of Telecommunications recognized Tele Facil’s investment rights, only to reverse its own rulings, thereby destroying the investment.  
Mr. Feighery, who along with Mr. Caplan is acting as counsel to the US investors in the arbitration, told Global Arbitration Review that the decisions by the IFT and the courts have “unjustifiably deprived” the company and its US investors of the “previously granted interconnection rights that were critical to the venture’s success in Mexico.”
The second concerns the Government of Timor-Leste’s challenges to Australia’s claims of exclusive jurisdiction over a subsea pipeline that transports gas from the Timor Sea to a liquefied natural gas facility. The arbitration, covered in a feature by Global Arbitration Review, was filed under the Timor Sea Treaty, a 2002 pact that provides for the joint exploitation of petroleum reserves in disputed waters between the two states, and is currently before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Timor-Leste is being represented by Arent Fox partners Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, Mr. Caplan, and Mr. Feighery, as well as associates Jeffrey R. Makin and Diane B. Roldán.
Arent Fox is a destination firm for its work representing foreign sovereigns, contracting parties, and investors in cross-border disputes. Our lawyers have significant experience in state-to-state disputes, investor-state arbitration, and international commercial arbitration involving bilateral investment treaties, free trade agreements, multilateral and regional regimes, and private contracts. The firm advises clients — both sovereigns and private entities — on international investment and trade issues, and conducts arbitrations across major industries, including energy, reinsurance, agriculture, intellectual property, telecommunications, and infrastructure.

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