Innovative Solutions for Complex International Arbitrations and Disputes

Sullivan & Cromwell's International Arbitration and Global Dispute Resolution Practice has earned a reputation as one of the world's leading practices in this field. When disputes cross borders, especially in complex and noteworthy matters, clients rely on us to direct global strategy and work with local counsel to achieve commercial solutions. We are experienced in arbitrations, litigations, restructurings and government investigations, and we have a long history representing clients in disputes involving Latin America. Our experience covers both commercial and investor-state disputes, and we have particular expertise handling disputes arising from joint ventures and large-scale projects in mining, energy and infrastructure.

We have handled arbitrations administered by all of the major arbitral institutions, including the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC). We also have substantial experience in arbitrations governed by foreign law and our team includes lawyers trained and qualified in both civil and common law jurisdictions.

We also advise on international transactions, identifying litigation risks before they arise and crafting arbitration clause solutions.

"The degree of excellence is almost unparalleled. They are always able to put the right lawyer on the right case. Their bench is very deep.”

Chambers USA 2021

Recent Representations
  • Republic of Argentina: We are advising the government in litigation over sovereign debt and YPF nationalization.
  • Banco Santander (Brasil): We represented the client in litigation with American Airlines concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a co-brand credit card/frequent flyer program, defeating American Airlines' motion to dismiss, which resulted in a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Bayer AG: We prevailed in an ICC arbitration seated in Germany against claims by BASF that it overpaid for assets that it bought from Bayer in 2018.
  • Government of Belize: We advised the nation in a groundbreaking debt-for- nature swap that restructured all of its $550 million of debt, saving $250 million. Belize will invest a portion of the savings in an independent conservation fund.
  • Centerra Gold: Using a novel bankruptcy strategy and international arbitration, we enabled the Canadian mining company to reach a favorable settlement with the Kyrgyz Republic and its state-owned gold refining company in a multijurisdictional dispute over the government's attempted seizure of the company's Kumtor mine.
  • CODELCO: We are advising the Chilean copper mining company in ICSID and ICC arbitrations arising from a copper mining project.
  • FIFA Investigations: We are advising a major global financial institution in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice's FIFA corruption investigation.
  • First Quantum Minerals: We helped the Canadian-based international mining company resolve an ICSID arbitration with the Government of Zambia and the Zambia Revenue Authority involving copper projects in that country.
  • Sempra Energy: We represented the company's Mexican subsidiary in a victory in an ICC arbitration seated in Toronto that rejected a bid by Shell and Gazprom to terminate agreements for the use of an LNG storage facility in Mexico.
  • Stellantis and Volkswagen: We have advised both companies in litigation and disputes over their diesel emission issues in the United States and othe countries.
  • The Interim Government of Venezuela: We are advising the government led by President Juan Guaidó in a number of actions seeking to enforce ICSD arbitral awards totaling almost $1 billion.

Recent Podcasts and Publications


Some of Sullivan & Cromwell’s recent international commercial arbitrations include representations of:
  • Anheuser-Busch Companies, in an UNCITRAL arbitration with Grupo Modelo that threatened Anheuser-Busch’s $60+ billion acquisition by InBev, defeating, in their entirety, Modelo’s claims for damages of $2.5 billion.
  • A major life sciences company, in a multi-billion dollar ICC arbitration.
  • A communications software patent-pool administrator, in HKIAC arbitration to collect license fees against a Chinese manufacturer.
  • An Australia-based food and beverage manufacturer, in an ICDR arbitration arising from supply agreements.
  • Gildan Activewear, in an arbitration pertaining to an indemnity provision in a business acquisition agreement resulting in an award in favor of Gildan. In 2019, the federal district court denied a motion to vacate the award, and granted Gildan's motion to confirm the award.
  • A Latin American LNG facility, in an ICC arbitration involving hundreds of millions of dollars in payments due under customer contracts.
  • A major Japanese pharmaceutical company, in an ICC arbitration against the former owner of a Mexican pharmaceutical business arising from a post-closing working capital adjustment required under the parties’ purchase and sale agreement.
  • A U.S.-based medical device company, in an ICC arbitration arising out of an M&A transaction.
  • A Brazilian investor, in a multi-jurisdictional dispute with a joint venture partner in an oil drillship venture. S&C obtained an interim award in ICC arbitration in New York barring the consummation of the proposed restructuring plan in the adversary’s Brazilian bankruptcy proceeding.
Some of S&C’s recent investor-state, investment treaty and sovereign arbitration matters include representations of:
  • Centerra Gold, in an UNCITRAL arbitration against the Kyrgyz Republic and a state-owned gold refining company relating to the May 2021 seizure of one of the largest gold mines in Central Asia, in violation of investment agreements.
  • A major mining company, in ICC and ICSID arbitrations against a Latin American sovereign and the state-owned mining company arising from one of the largest copper mining projects in the world.
  • A U.S. owner of significant mining assets in Venezuela, in connection with actions by the Venezuelan government inconsistent with Venezuela’s grant of the mining concession, including with respect to potential arbitration claims against Venezuela and potential political-risk insurance claims.
  • A cross-border investor, in an ad hoc, local-law arbitration with a Latin American sovereign arising out of a dispute relating to tariffs on an electric transmission facility. The arbitration was conducted by local outside counsel, in Spanish, under local law. S&C helped develop the strategy that got the parties into arbitration and guided the client in developing the procedures for an expeditious and ultimately successful arbitration.
  • Interim Government of President Juan Guaidó of Venezuela, in multiple actions seeking to enforce multimillion dollar ICSID arbitral awards and writs of attachment fieri facias against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (“PDVSA”), for alleged expropriation.
  • Republic of Poland, in an investment arbitration dispute referred to by the Swedish Supreme Court to the EU Court of Justice (Grand Chamber).