Investment Disputes & International Arbitration

Complex International Investment Environment

Direct foreign investment by American enterprises in the developing world continues to rise. With this growth, there has been an accompanying expansion in the complexity of the regimes that govern, and therefore drive, investment decisions. Investing abroad today presents a range of issues, risks, problems, and opportunities.

Today's international investment environment requires investors to consider the relative benefits available under substantive and procedural provisions of U.S. bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements (FTAs), the FTAs and BITs of other countries, other investment agreements, or multilateral and regional frameworks. Investments also need contingent exit strategies, which means being aware of the various mechanisms for resolving disputes or responding to laws or practices of host governments that could cripple or confiscate their investments.

Valuable Combination of Experience

Complementing its experience in international trade and litigation, Miller & Chevalier represents clients in investment matters and disputes, with particular emphasis on disputes involving foreign governments, regulatory or confiscatory measures taken by foreign governments, and disputes raising public policy issues.

In helping clients identify and capitalize on international investment opportunities, our international trade policy practice draws on the experience of our trade remedy, trade policy, international tax, and government affairs practices. Lawyers and other professionals in these practices have years of senior government and private practice experience, and their diverse backgrounds provide real value when advising clients on tailored solutions to accomplish their business objectives.

Our practice includes experience in the following areas:

  • Counseling clients on available rights and remedies under bilateral investment treaties, concession and other agreements, investment chapters of trade agreements, and international law;
  • Assisting with the drafting of dispute resolution clauses, including submissions to arbitration;
  • Assessing the viability of claims against host governments or other parties in connection with investment disputes, including claims for expropriation, denial of national treatment, most favored nation treatment, and the minimum standard of treatment;
  • Advising clients on the pros and cons of alternate remedies;
  • Advising clients on the interface of trade and investment issues;
  • Assisting with arbitrator selection;
  • Assisting with political risk insurance;
  • Representing clients before arbitral tribunals and in related proceedings;
  • Representing clients in the recognition and enforcement of awards; and
  • Pursuing claims with political risk insurers, including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

International Arbitration

Our practice has experience with ad hoc arbitrations, as well as a wide variety of international arbitration institutions, including the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the American Arbitration Association (AAA). With regard to ad hoc arbitrations, we have represented clients in arbitrations under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules, before specialized claims settlement tribunals, such as the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, and others.

We have been involved in cases concerning both direct and indirect expropriations, legislative measures (including taxation measures at both a national and provincial level), administrative measures, breaches of contract, and others. Our deep experience in trade agreements enables us to add particular value in disputes having cross-over trade and investment issues.

Representative Engagements|View All
  • Representation of a U.S. multinational that brought a claim against Mexico in the largest tax-based investment claim ever filed under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11. The firm’s parallel strategy was to bring pressure on the Mexican Government by persuading the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to bring a World Trade Organizations (WTO) case against Mexico on the same issue and assisting in that case’s litigation strategy.
  • Successful prosecution of an expropriation claim that raised novel issues of both expropriation and valuation before the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in the face of intense legal and political opposition by the government of Venezuela.
  • Representation of a U.S. corporation before the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal in a case involving novel issues of jurisdiction, valuation, and questionable payments.
  • Counseling of a U.S. multinational regarding available remedies for an investment dispute under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement. The dispute has since been settled.
  • Advising clients with respect to expropriation claims against the government of Cuba and under the provisions of Chapter 11 of the NAFTA.
Government Experience
  • General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs, Executive Office of the President
  • Chief Counsel, U.S. Customs Service (now Customs and Border Protection)
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers Global: International Trade (United States), 2005 - 2015
  • Chambers USA: International Trade (National), 2005 - 2014
  • Latinvex: Latin America's Top 10 FCPA & Fraud Firm, 2015
  • Legal 500: Dispute Resolution: International Trade (US), 2011, 2013 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms":  International Trade and Finance Law (National), 2011 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms":  International Trade and Finance Law (District of Columbia), 2011 - 2016