Williams & Connolly’s international disputes practice brings together the firm’s highly respected litigation practice with our extensive arbitration work on behalf of U.S. and international clients. Our modern, global approach recognizes the impact of litigation in an increasingly interconnected world.
With an “office” anywhere there is an airport, we litigate claims that arise around the world. Click here to see the scope of our reach.
International Arbitration Practice
Our experienced litigators and trial lawyers bring to international arbitration the outstanding written and oral advocacy skills that have forged Williams & Connolly’s hard-earned reputation for court-room excellence.
Our lawyers are known for:
- Guiding clients through complex, high stakes commercial arbitration proceedings.
- Presenting complex and challenging legal issues and technical matters clearly and persuasively in the fields of intellectual property, engineering, technology, products liability, and other disciplines.
- Representing individuals, companies, states, and state-entities in disputes arising out of international contracts for intellectual property, patent licensing, construction, energy, oil & gas, power plants, telecommunications, medical devices, securities, hotel management, and professional services.
- Reputations for close cooperation with local lawyers and experts to ensure correct application of governing substantive and procedural laws. In this regard, our lawyers have represented clients in arbitrations governed by a wide and diverse range of jurisdictional law, both common and civil.
- Providing thought leadership in international arbitration. Our lawyers often lecture at international conferences and teach advocacy in international arbitration.
In handling these matters, our lawyers appear before the leading international arbitral institutions and have handled disputes under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”); the International Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (“CPR”); the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) and its international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (“ICDR”); and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”), as well as under the UNCITRAL Arbitral Rules and other rules in ad hoc arbitrations.
International Litigation Practice
Litigation does not stop at country borders and neither does our litigation practice. Our lawyers manage all aspects of cases that often involve multinational, multi-agency investigations and prosecutions and collateral civil litigation to ensure vigorous advocacy and a unified, consistent approach.
Our litigators bring:
- Extensive experience representing U.S. and foreign corporations, foreign governments, high-ranking government officials, non-governmental organizations, and other individuals in criminal and civil litigation whether they arise from activities in foreign jurisdictions or in cases ongoing or threatened in more than one country.
- Capabilities in litigating issues of foreign sovereign immunity and enforcement of foreign country judgments.
- Wide-ranging knowledge related to investigating and defending matters relating to the fields of fraud and corruption, money laundering, financial services and securities regulation, import-export, environmental regulation, extradition, and taxation.
- Cross-border know-how with experience in disputes involving common law and civil law systems throughout the world.
- Coordination when appropriate with local counsel in foreign jurisdictions to advise on foreign trials that have potential U.S. repercussions.
Though all cases vary and none are predictive, the firm’s recent representative International Arbitration matters include:
- A global pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration involving alleged breaches of a patent-licensing agreement governing the marketing of a drug in the U.S. The claims were rejected in their entirety.
- A global medical device company in an ICDR arbitration concerning the interpretation of a merger agreement executed in connection with the acquisition of another medical devices company. The claims were rejected in their entirety.
- A global science and technology company in an ad hoc Swedish arbitration covering the term, scope, and method of calculation of royalties pursuant to a patent licensing agreement.
- A global technology company in an ICC arbitration concerning the price that was required to pay to extend a license agreement covering products with billions of dollars in revenue.
- The Claimant in an ICC arbitration involving the sale of one of Brazil’s largest electronics retailers to one of Brazil’s largest consumer products retailers. The arbitration resulted in an award in our client’s favor on all claims and damages in excess of $100 million.
- A global company in an ICC arbitration concerning a sub-contracting dispute concerning construction of a government project in the Middle East.
- A U.S.-based private equity firm in an ICC arbitration involving a significant investment by a Mauritius company to acquire a minority shareholding in an Indian cellular communications company. The tribunal issued an award in our client’s favor, upholding the validity and enforceability of the shareholder and purchase agreement, and finding the opposing party liable for multiple breaches of the agreements.
- An ICC arbitration concerning the sale of power plants in Thailand. The tribunal awarded the firm’s client (the respondent and counter-claimant) $4.2 million in damages as well as attorneys’ fees and costs and rejected the $50 million claim brought by the opposing parties.
- Two European companies in an ICC arbitration involving a joint venture to own and operate an oil refinery in Germany. The arbitration was seated in Montreal, with hearings in London and Hamburg, and was governed by New York law, as well as presenting issues of German law. After an award was entered in our client’s favor, our lawyers were admitted as foreign counsel in Quebec and directly participated in successful proceedings in the national courts to defend the arbitral award.
- A Kuwaiti logistics company in an ICC arbitration with a U.S. company involving a multi-billion-dollar contract with the U.S. Government to provide food and logistics services to military personnel in the Middle East. An award was rendered that rejected the opposing parties’ claims and granted the firm’s client a complete victory.
- A U.S. medical device manufacturer in an arbitration under the HKIAC Rules, seated in Hong Kong, involving a Chinese medical device manufacturer. The arbitration ended with a highly favorable settlement in favor of our client.
- A major U.S. law firm in an ICC arbitration involving provision of legal services to a German client. The arbitration was seated in Zurich and governed by German law. The matter resulted in a highly favorable settlement for our client.
- An engineering and construction firm in an ICC arbitration involving the construction of a 105 MW power plant in Afghanistan funded by the U.S. Government. The prime contractor brought claims against our client for over $40 million in damages, but the tribunal issued an award rejecting that claim outright, and instead awarding damages and costs to our client on its counterclaim.
Though all cases vary and none are predictive, the firm’s recent representative International Litigation matters include:
- CoStar Group in copyright and unfair competition litigation against a competitor in federal court in Missouri, and coordinated related copyright lawsuits against the competitor’s agents in the Philippines and India.
- A complete defense victory on behalf of clients former Bolivian President and Minister of Defense following a jury trial in federal court.
- A major law firm in connection with legal malpractice claims brought by a large international manufacturing company.
- A major international law firm in a malpractice suit arising from the firm’s handling of stock underwriting.
- A Central American business owner in multi-national enterprises in proceedings before the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
- A Fortune 20 global corporation against The Federal Republic of Nigeria in a dispute over facilities and investments the corporation had made in that country.
- A major international conglomerate in a multibillion-dollar mass tort case brought successively in four separate jurisdictions. The firm was counsel of record in all U.S. actions, each of which was dismissed. The firm successfully coordinated the client’s defense in the Central American jurisdiction in which the controversy ultimately was litigated, resulting in numerous favorable rulings from the Central American trial court.
- A Fortune 1000 company in a high-profile Department of Justice, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation relating to alleged payments by one of its foreign subsidiaries. The firm’s work in this matter involved a review of the company’s compliance programs at subsidiaries on multiple continents. Our attorneys interviewed witnesses and reviewed documents in, among other places, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, Russia, Colombia, and India.
- A Latin America country in litigation in the U.S. against a foreign entity.
- An international project development company in a dispute over delays at three construction projects in Nigeria, including serving as lead counsel at an evidentiary hearing at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London.
- An international liquor manufacturer in the defense of a civil RICO action brought in the U.S. by a foreign government.
- Defeating a request for extradition by the Government of Italy and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami).
- Keeping foreign government officials from being indicted in the U.S. for conspiracy to commit espionage and obstruction of justice.
- Keeping foreign agricultural client from being charged in a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigation.
- A U.S. company sued in Israel with the preparation of U.S. witnesses and support of Israeli counsel at trial in the successful defense of a theft of trade secrets case.
- Obtaining return of children to a foreign client whose spouse had kidnapped the children and brought them to the U.S.
- Obtaining dismissal of litigation for a Saudi Arabian banker in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York brought by families of 9/11 victims on grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction.
John Buckley Authors "Procedural and Jurisdictional Aspects of Enforcing Foreign Arbitral Awards in the United States"
The article details the statutory and common law rules that govern enforcement of foreign arbitral awards as compared to foreign money judgments and offers analysis of recent court decisions.
Global Arbitration Review Features Win by Partners Jonathan Landy and Charles Davant
In a May 24, 2018 article, Global Arbitration Review discussed Williams & Connolly’s successful defense of Valeant Pharmaceuticals in a license dispute.