Benjamin W. Graham is an associate at Williams & Connolly and focuses his practice on international arbitration and complex commercial litigation. Outside the firm, Ben is also a Visiting Clinical Lecturer at Yale Law School, where he teaches a seminar on Advocacy in International Arbitration.
Ben has significant experience in trials, arbitrations, and complex motions practice. He has argued dispositive motions in both state and federal court; examined witnesses before judges, juries, and arbitrators; and presented opening statements in international arbitrations. Ben has handled investment-treaty disputes before ICSID and diverse commercial disputes before the leading arbitral institutions (ICC, LCIA, SCC, HKIAC, etc.). His clients include sovereign states, multinational corporations, and AmLaw-100 law firms.
Ben has received recognition from several leading publications: In 2023 and 2022, The Legal 500 named him a Rising Star in International Litigation. In 2021, CPR selected him as a Rising Star in international arbitration. On three occasions, Who’s Who Legal has recognized him as a Future Leader in Commercial Litigation (in 2022, 2021, 2020). According to that publication, it identifies “the foremost practitioners in the litigation community aged 45 and under.” On each occasion, Ben was one of only three attorneys in the United States to receive the honor in the non-partner category.
Originally from Missouri, Ben earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis. He spent a year on an academic fellowship in Berlin, Germany, before attending Yale Law School, where he won the school’s top prize for trial advocacy.
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Ben’s experience includes:
International Arbitration Matters
- Winning a complete defense award as second-chair trial counsel for a major private equity firm in an UNCITRAL arbitration seated in New York.
- Winning a complete defense award as trial counsel for a global project-finance company in an ICC arbitration seated in Madrid, in which the claimant sought more than $450 million in damages.
- Securing dismissal of a petition to enforce an arbitral award in the District of Columbia against a foreign sovereign.
- Representing a foreign auto manufacturer on merits briefing in the United States Supreme Court concerning the interpretation of Section 1782 as applied to international commercial arbitrations.
- Representing a foreign sovereign in several pending arbitral award enforcement actions in the District of Columbia.
- Representing a foreign sovereign in five pending investment-treaty arbitrations in the energy, commercial development, and telecommunication sectors.
- Representing a foreign sovereign in a state-to-state arbitration under the auspices of a bilateral, natural-resource treaty.
- Representing an American technology company in an onging arbitration against a Hong Kong technology company, involving a demand for indemnification and the scope of patent licenses.
- Representing a Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer as trial counsel against a Japanese biotechnology company in an ongoing ICC arbitration seated in Tokyo concerning a royalty dispute.
- Representing a Hong Kong subcontractor as trial cousnel in an HKIAC construction arbitration against an Australian developer.
- Representing an American medical device manufacturer as trial counsel in an SCC arbitration seated in Sweden, concerning allegations of trademark infringement.
Complex Civil Litigation Matters
- Winning a complete defense verdict as trial counsel for an AmLaw-100 law firm in a legal malpractice action and successfully defending the verdict on appeal.
- Securing a preliminary injunction and settlement as lead counsel in a trademark and trade secret case on behalf of a New York entertainment business.
- Securing dismissals in several actions against one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical benefits managers, including qui tam actions seeking more than $200 million in damages in the federal courts of Delaware and New Jersey.
- Securing dismissals in several actions against one of the nation’s largest healthcare companies, including a putative class action alleging ERISA claims in California federal court and a qui tam alleging False Claims Act violations in Pennsylvania federal court.
- Representing a Fortune 100 company in an ongoing $75 million commercial contract dispute concerning a renewable energy project.
- Representing a Costa Rican company seeking enforcement of a foreign money judgment of $100 million against a Fortune 20 company
- Representing several AmLaw-100 law firms, for example: in litigation seeking $90 million in damages arising out of a Ponzi scheme, in negotiation and resolution of alleged $85 million malpractice claim arising out of corporate restructuring, and in a sensitive dispute with a departing partner.