International Investment Law Center - About Us:
Mission and History Leadership
Faculty Program Administrators
Research Fellows & Interns  




The ILI’s International Investment Law Center (IILC) was founded in 2012 to focus on providing training programs, research, publishing and conferences in the field of investor State arbitration and international investment agreements. At the outset, the core activity of the center was to organize an annual two-week training seminar in the field of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). This program grew out of a 2007-2008 training program on ISDS designed for the APEC economies by current co-Directors Mr. Ian Laird and Dr. Borzu Sabahi, in collaboration with the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Directors Laird and Sabahi are also Adjunct Professors at Georgetown University Law Center. Since 2008, we have updated and used this program to train hundreds of government officials from around the world mainly in Washington, D.C. but also in other countries. The program has also attracted a number of private practitioners. We have a large number of dedicated faculty (see Faculty) consisting of practitioners in major law firms and other institutions that teach in the programs, sharing their real-life experiences with the participants, and contribute to development of new and updated content.

In addition, we have organized several conferences in collaboration with Juris Publishing, manage the Brill Research Perspectives on International Investment Law and Arbitration, and published several other books on investor state arbitration, and participate in a number of activities relating to latest developments in the field of Investor State arbitration.

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Prof. Don Wallace, Jr.

Chairman, ILI
Professor of Law, GULC
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Don Wallace Jr. is chairman of the International Law Institute and professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. He is counsel to the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, LLP. Professor Wallace specializes in the fields of international law and foreign affairs. He has taught a number of courses on various aspects of international economic law, including international trade and investment. He currently teaches a seminar on investor-state arbitration and one on foreign affairs and the constitutional law of the United States. Professor Wallace has authored and edited a number of books, book chapters, and articles, including one of the earliest guides on negotiating investments for the developing world. He has been on the roster of World Trade Organization (WTO) panelists, served as arbitrator and expert in a number of ICSID, UNCITRAL, and AAA proceedings. He has also acted as counsel in various arbitrations. Professor Wallace was the Regional Legal Advisor for the Middle East and Deputy Assistant General Counsel to AID in the Department of State from 1962-1966, a founding board member of the International Development Law Organization in Rome, and has been the head of the International Law Institute since 1970. He chaired the Advisory Committee on World Trade and Technology to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress from 1976–79, and is currently a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, a U.S. Delegate to UNCITRAL (including UNCITRAL Working Group III on Reform of the ISDS), and a correspondent of UNIDROIT and the vice president of the UNIDROIT Foundation in Rome. He has also been chair of the Section of International Law and Practice of the American Bar Association and a member of the ABA House of Delegates. He received an LL.B. from Harvard (1957 cum laude) and a bachelor’s degree from Yale (1953 with high honors). He was a Fulbright Fellow in Turkey (1967); a Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford (1973–74); and an Eisenhower Exchange Fellow (1976).



Ian Laird

Co-Director - IILC
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Ian A. Laird is co-chair of the International Dispute Resolution Group at Crowell & Moring LLP. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center. He represents a range of clients in international arbitration proceedings involving disputes between corporations and foreign sovereign governments. For 20 years, Ian has counselled parties in investment arbitrations under the provisions of NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), and other international investment agreements, typically applying the arbitration rules of ICSID or UNCITRAL. Ian's experience includes working on the earliest NAFTA investor-state arbitrations involving each of the three NAFTA state parties, and most recently has handled high profile gold and uranium mining arbitrations under the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules. Ian is the co-founder, chair of the Editorial Advisory Board, and former editor-in-chief of InvestmentClaims.com (published by Oxford University Press), a leading resource in the field of investment arbitration. Ian is a D.C.-licensed Special Legal Consultant based in the firm's Washington office.



Dr. Borzu Sabahi

Co-Director - IILC
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Dr. Sabahi is a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle LLP and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He has acted as counsel and expert in a number of complex disputes, particularly on behalf of states, under various bilateral investment treaties, Energy Charter Treaty, NAFTA, Organization of Islamic Conference Investment Agreement, and under major arbitral rules such as ICC, ICSID, Additional Facility, LCIA and UNCITRAL. His industry experience includes energy (oil & gas and power projects), mining, construction, royalty agreements, taxation, and banking. He has widely published and his writings have been cited by international tribunals as well as the United States and Switzerland Supreme Courts. He is Co-Editor in Chief of the BRILL Research Perspectives on International Investment Law & Arbitration, an Editor of Oxford’s Investment Claims and an Associate Editor of the Transnational Disputes Management Journal (TDM).


JA Rivas

Dr. Jose Antonio Rivas

Course Advisor

  Dr. José Antonio Rivas is the managing director of Vannin Capital where he focuses on representation of sovereign States and private sector companies in international arbitration, litigation and public international law matters. Currently, he represents a sovereign State in DR-CAFTA disputes; and a Turkish energy company in an ICSID dispute. His professional experience includes acting as counsel in international arbitrations under the Rules of ICSID, the ICC, and UNCITRAL. He has advised sovereign States on model investment treaties, and matters concerning the law of the sea, and protection of cultural heritage. He is a former ICSID counsel, and an experienced treaty negotiator as a result of his services as head of investment treaty negotiations for Colombia with over 12 countries. There, he also headed the drafting and updating of the New Colombian Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) Model and the investment dispute prevention policy. He is currently adjunct professor of the seminar Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public International Law at Georgetown University Law Center, from which he graduated as an SJD.




Mr. Jeff Ziarnik, JD

Mr. Carlos Davila, LLM, LLB

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David Attanasio, Dechert

David L. Attanasio is an associate in the International Arbitration Group of Dechert LLP. He has experience in handling dispute resolutions in the energy, oil and gas, mining, gambling, Internet, and construction sectors, in central Europe and Latin America. Prior to joining Dechert, he received a Fulbright Fellowship following law school to conduct research in Bogotá on remedies for human rights violations, research that was carried out while also holding a visiting professorship at the Universidad de los Andes. He also taught law at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano and worked as an intern with the Comisión Colombiana de Juristas and Dejusticia in Bogotá, Colombia. University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D., 2015. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, his M.A. from University of California, and his B.A. from Tufts University.


David Baron, Crowell & Moring

David Baron is a Partner at Crowell & Moring where he focuses his practice on international dispute resolution and public international law issues. He frequently represents foreign sovereigns and state-owned entities in international litigation and arbitration proceedings. His international dispute resolution experience includes involvement in multiple cases before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), international and U.S. arbitral tribunals, as well as international issues before U.S. federal district and appellate courts. He has been lead counsel in a number of investment disputes before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on behalf of both claimants and respondent states. He is an adjunct professor of international law at American University's Washington College of Law, where he teaches advanced seminars in international law and international dispute resolution.


Perry Bechky, Berliner Corcoran & Rowe

Perry Bechky has over twenty years of experience as an international lawyer. He is a partner at Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP in Washington, DC and a visiting scholar at Seattle University School of Law. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bechky practiced law at two global law firms and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, taught at two law schools, and started his own boutique international law firm. Mr. Bechky frequently writes and lectures about investment arbitration. He graduated from Stanford University and Columbia Law School.


Katie Connolly, Norton Rose Fulbright

Katie Connolly joined Norton Rose Fulbright's Washington, D.C. office in 2016 where she is an associate in the Arbitration group. Her practice has focused on international arbitration and civil litigation in both state and federal courts. She has represented corporate clients from a diverse range of industries including aerospace, technology, energy and finance. She has experience in multiple stages of litigation including drafting pleadings and dispositive motions, managing large-scale discovery, and preparing for and participating in depositions, mediation, trial and merits hearings. She is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia, as well as the Southern, Northern, Central and Eastern districts of California and the District Court for the District of Columbia.


Kabir Duggal, Arnold & Porter

Kabir Duggal is a senior associate in Arnold & Porter’s International Arbitration Practice Group at New York. He is a Lecturer-in-Law at the Columbia Law School, teaching “International Investment Law and Arbitration” and a Consultant at the United Nations (UN-OHRLLS). He regularly writes and speaks on international arbitration issues. Mr. Duggal is a graduate of the University of Mumbai (University Medal), University of Oxford (Oxford Law Faculty Scholar and DHL-Times of India Scholar) and NYU School of Law (Hauser Global Scholar and Transitional Justice Fellow). He is admitted to practice law in New York, England and Wales (Solicitor) and India.


David Earnest, Shearman & Sterling

David Earnest is a senior associate in the International Arbitration practice at Sherman & Sterling. He has broad experience in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration, where he has acted for and advised private clients and governments on disputes before the ICC, AAA/ICDR, LCIA, Cepani and ICSID, as well as ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the English Arbitration Act. He represents clients across a variety of industries, including energy and natural resources, telecommunications and technology, construction and infrastructure, finance, maritime, beverages and pharmaceutical sectors.


Juan Felipe Merizalde Urdaneta, Dechert LLP

Juan Felipe Merizalde is a Special Legal Consultant of Dechert LLP in its Washington D.C. office. He frequently advises on international disputes involving Spanish and Latin American parties. He has acted in several investment arbitration cases in disputes involving the oil & gas, construction, energy, mining, and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining Dechert’s Washington, D.C. office in 2011, Mr. Merizalde Urdaneta worked in the firm’s Paris office for two years and previously worked in the litigation and arbitration departments of two Colombian law firms. His experience also includes serving as an intern for the ICC International Court of Arbitration.
Mr. Merizalde Urdaneta has acted as counsel and arbitrator in more than 30 cases, and is part of the Arbitrators Panel of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce (International Arbitration and List B). He is a member of the recently created Task Force of the ICC Commission on Arbitration on “Maximizing the Probative Value of Witness Evidence.” Mr. Merizalde Urdaneta is admitted to practice in New York and Colombia. He also sat for and passed the Paris Bar Examination. New York University, LL.M., International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration, 2011. Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II), Master 2, Private Law, 2008. Universidad del Rosario, Law Degree, 2007. Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II), Master 1, International Law, 2006.


Sasha Filippova, Shearman & Sterling


Claudia Frutos-Peterson, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt, & Mosle

Dr. Frutos-Peterson is managing partner of the Washington D.C. office of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Formerly, Dr. Frutos-Peterson was counsel at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) from 2001 to 2009. At ICSID, she served as Secretary of Tribunals in numerous arbitral proceedings brought under the ICSID Convention and the ICSID Additional Facility Mechanism, based on the bilateral and multilateral investment treaties. She focuses her practice on arbitration, international law and international investment law and works with multiple governments and state entities. She has represented foreign states in investor-state arbitrations under the Arbitration Rules of ICSID and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Dr. Frutos-Peterson is an Adjunct Professor at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington D.C. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars in the United States and abroad. She authored the book L’émergence de l’arbitrage commercial international en Amérique latine: l’efficacité de son droit, published by L’Harmattan. Dr. Frutos-Peterson has a Master of Laws in International Legal Studies with Honors from Georgetown University and a Doctorate in Law, summa cum laude, from the Université de Paris-Panthéon-Sorbonne I.


Justin Jacinto, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt, & Mosle

Justin Jacinto is a Partner at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt, & Mosle. His practice focuses on investment treaty arbitration, international commercial arbitration, and public international law disputes. Mr. Jacinto also has experience with project finance and development matters. He has served as counsel to States, national oil corporations, sovereign wealth funds and other state-owned entities, and private companies in arbitrations under institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules, including those of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). He is additionally an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center teaching an international investment law course.


Matt Kirtland, Norton Rose Fulbright

Matthew Kirtland is the Co-Partner-in-Charge and Co-Head of Disputes of the Washington, D.C. office of Norton Rose Fulbright. Since joining Norton Rose Fulbright in 1997, he has focused his practice on dispute resolution, with an emphasis on international arbitration, complex commercial litigation and arbitration and white collar defense. He leads the Washington office international arbitration practice and transnational litigation practice. He has represented corporate and individual clients from a diverse range of business sectors.

Mr. Kirtland has first and second-chair experience in international and domestic arbitration, and federal and state court, both at the trial and appellate level. In the field of international arbitration, he has handled proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). He also has handled ad hoc proceedings using the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules, as well as other, more specialized rules of procedure. He has extensive experience in arbitration-related litigation, including recognition and enforcement proceedings, including proceedings involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.


Mercedes Kurowski, ICSID

Mercedes Cordido-Freytes de Kurowski is Legal Counsel on one of the Case Management Teams. She joined ICSID in October 2004 and she previously worked as legal counsel with the international department of Banco Latino in Caracas, Venezuela (1983 – 1986) and as an attorney with the law firm of Cordido-Freytes & Asociados in Caracas, Venezuela (1986 – 2004). She holds degrees from Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M.) and Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (LL.B.) and is admitted to practice law in Venezuela.


Eduardo Mathison, Crowell & Moring

Eduardo Mathison is an international associate in Crowell & Moring’s International Dispute Resolution Group and is based in the Washington, D.C. office. He focuses his practice on international arbitration and has experience representing clients in international investment and commercial disputes before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as well as ad hoc arbitrations conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. He earned his law degree from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, and his LL.M. in international business and economic law with a certificate in international arbitration and dispute resolution from Georgetown University Law Center.


Jennifer Haworth McCandless, Sidley Austin 

Jennifer Haworth McCandless is a Partner at Sidley Austin. She has experience in handling complex international arbitration cases with a focus on investment treaty arbitration. She has advised and represented private and sovereign clients in proceedings before ICSID and its Additional Facility, the ICC and other arbitral institutions, as well as in ad hoc arbitration such as under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. She has also advised and represented private parties and governments in WTO disputes. In addition, she counsels clients on the implications of investment rules for their global operations.

She has served for a number of years as the chair of the Joint Swearing-In Ceremony for the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sponsored by the International Law Section of the ABA. She also served as the chair of Sidley’s D.C. Committee on the Promotion and Retention of Women from 2012 to 2017. She currently serves as the chair of Sidley’s D.C. Committee on Training & Development.


Hernando Otero, American University Washington College of Law

Hernando Otero is a Fellow and a lecturer at the American University Washington College of Law Center on International Commercial Arbitration where he teaches international arbitration and mediation. He is the Center’s lead lecturer in its annual course on mediation theory and practice offered jointly with JAMS. He also serves as a peer-reviewed mediator with the District of Columbia’s Superior Court.

He has served as an arbitrator before the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and has been appointed as an arbitrator by the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Court of Arbitration, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce Arbitration and Conciliation Center’s (CAC) Court of Arbitration and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA. He has appeared as counsel of record in proceedings under the ICSID Convention, the ICSID Additional Facility and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules pursuant to multilateral and bilateral trade and investment treaties (FTAs and BITs) and commercial agreements. He is also on the London Court of International Arbitration’s (LCIA) database of arbitrators and on the panel of international arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SHIAC) and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA).


Joe Profaizer, Paul Hastings

Joseph R. Profaizer is a partner at Paul Hastings LLP, the head of Paul Hastings’ international arbitration practice, and a vice-chair of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Profaizer, a U.S.- qualified attorney and English-qualified Solicitor, has served as counsel in threatened or actual litigation or arbitration in over 45 countries and under the rules of all major international arbitral institutions. An adjunct professor of international arbitration and litigation at Georgetown University Law School, he has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Legal 500 (United States), Global Arbitration Review, and Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration as a leading attorney in international arbitration. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and an L.L.M. from the London School of Economics.


Celeste Salinas Quero, ICSID 

Celeste E. Salinas Quero is Legal Counsel on one of the Case Management Teams at ICSID. She joined ICSID in September 2017 and she previously worked as legal counsel at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (2012-2017) and was visiting lecturer at the Law Department of Stockholm University (2012-2013). She holds degrees from Stockholm University (LL.M.) and Universidad de Chile (LL.B.) and is admitted to practice law in Chile.


Leah Ratcliff, BHP Billiton


Christopher Ryan, Shearman and Sterling LLP 

Christopher Ryan is a partner in the International Arbitration Group at Shearman & Sterling. His practice focuses on commercial and investment disputes, with a particular emphasis on construction, energy, mining, infrastructure, and petrochemical sectors. He regularly advises governments and private clients on issues of public and private international law, investment policy, and strategies for mitigating the risks associated with foreign investment. He is a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law and the George Washington University School of Law, where he teaches courses on international investment arbitration and international commercial arbitration.


Marat Umerov, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt, & Mosle

Marat Umerov represents clients in international dispute resolution and international trade matters related to metals and mining, energy, manufacturing, telecommunications and other sectors. Dr. Umerov specializes on international arbitrations under the rules of various dispute resolution fora. In international trade, he represents companies and governments in countervailing duty investigations and in court proceedings related to agencies’ determinations. Dr. Umerov served as secretary of arbitral tribunals and assisted tribunal secretaries at ICSID in disputes arising under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, contracts, and host countries’ investment laws. Dr. Umerov has given lectures on substantive and procedural subjects of international arbitration at the International Law Institute.


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SJD Candidates and Fellows

Research Assistants and Externs

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