He is consistently rated as one of the world’s leading international arbitration and public international lawyers by: Chambers and Partners (USA, Global and Latin America), Legal 500, Global Arbitration Review, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Public International Law, The Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Experts in Commercial Arbitration, Lawdragon, PLC Which Lawyer?, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation, Washington Super Lawyers, and The International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration Lawyers. He has also received several awards for client service and results. For example, in 2015, he was selected for Lexology’s Client Choice Awards; in 2011, he received the International Law Office’s Client Choice Award for International Arbitration (USA); and in 2001, he was decorated by the King of Bahrain with the Order of Bahrain (II) for his role in representing Bahrain in its territorial and maritime border dispute with Qatar before the International Court of Justice.
Mr. Ali has represented parties from the United States and Canada, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and across Asia in international commercial and investment arbitrations under many of the major international and regional arbitral regimes (e.g., ICC, ICSID, LCIA, UNCITRAL, ICDR, CRCICA, DIAC). He has also represented parties before inter-governmental tribunals, including the US-Iran Claims Tribunal and the United Nations Compensation Commission.
He has served as lead counsel in arbitrations covering a broad range of industries and economic activity, including foreign direct investment; privatization; the construction, operation and commercialization of thermal, nuclear, and hydro power plants; oil and gas pipeline construction and concession-related matters; mining concessions; gas pricing disputes; natural resource exploitation projects and contracts; the development and operation of tourism and hospitality projects; project finance and development agreements; contract stabilization and renegotiation issues; patents and trademarks; top-level and second-level domain names; and information technology-related disputes. A number of his cases have set important precedents and are the subject of academic commentary.
Mr. Ali frequently sits as an arbitrator and has also served as a mediator in a wide variety of international disputes, involving the governing laws of different jurisdictions and under various institutional regimes.
He is also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, where he teaches international arbitration. From 2007 to 2012 he was an honorary lecturer and member of the Global Faculty of the University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Mining and Petroleum Law and Policy. He sits on the editorial boards of publications such as the Arbitration and Mediation Review and Dispute Resolution International. He is also an advisory board member of the Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Court Competition and the International Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Investment Arbitration. In addition, he has served as an advisor to several arbitral institutions, including the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Gulf Cooperation Council Arbitration Centre, and the Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre.
Mr. Ali has taught at law faculties and spoken at more than one hundred conferences around the world on a wide variety of topics, including dispute resolution and risk management in the hydrocarbons and mineral extraction industries; power sector disputes; construction sector disputes; arbitration developments in various jurisdictions and regions of the world; substantive, procedural, and evidentiary issues in state-investor arbitration; substantive, procedural, and evidentiary issues in international commercial arbitration; enforcement of arbitral awards; information technology and Internet dispute resolution; arbitral deliberations and decision-making; globalization and international economic development; rule of law and international investment; and diversity issues and the practice of international law.
From 1993 to 1996, he was a section chief at the UN Compensation Commission, a special division of the UN Security Council, and from 2000 to 2001, he served as senior counsel at the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center.
While attending Columbia University, Mr. Ali was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in December 1986. At New York University School of Law, he was awarded the Vanderbilt Medal and was a research assistant to Professor Andreas F. Lowenfeld, a member of the Annual Review of American Law, and president of the International Law Students Association. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 1990.
Mr. Ali is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer in England and Wales. His working languages are English, Spanish, and French. He is also conversant in Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, and Portuguese.
He is an avid Manchester United fan, secret poet, determined chef, and intrepid traveler. His love for the law is only surpassed by his love for his family.
Energy, Oil and Gas
- Representing the Government of Hungary in EDF International (France) v. Republic of Hungary, PCA Case No. 2009-13.
- Representing a consortium of oil and gas companies in ICSID arbitration proceedings against a Peruvian state-owned enterprise in connection with alleged breach of contract. Pluspetrol Perú Corporation and others v. Perupetro S.A. (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/28)
- Represented Duke Energy International in defending against the Republic of Peru’s request to annul the award in Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd v. The Republic of Peru, International Centre for Settlement for Investment Disputes (ICSID) Case No. ARB/03/28. Peru’s annulment application was dismissed.
- Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd v. The Republic of Peru, ICSID Case No. ARB/03/28. Represented Duke Energy International in an ICSID arbitration concerning the alleged breach by the government of a legal stabilization investment agreement, expropriation of the investment by the government as a result of the improper assessment of various taxes, as well as the government’s unfair and discriminatory treatment of the investment in violation of international law. This was the first international arbitration to test Peru’s system of legal stability agreements and its investment laws, and resulted in favorable jurisdictional and merits awards in favor of claimant.
- Duke Energy Electroquil Partners and Electroquil S.A. v. The Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/04/19. Represented Duke Energy International in an ICSID arbitration under the US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty involving the company’s investments in the domestic energy sector. The arbitration resulted in a favorable award for our claimants on jurisdiction and merits.
- Represented UEG Araucaria Ltda., a Brazilian joint venture company, in a Paris-based ICC arbitration against Companhia Paranaense de Energia Ltda., a state-owned utility, arising out of a long-term power purchase agreement and also involving issues related to the construction of the power plant. The governing law was Brazilian. Dispute involved claims and counterclaims in excess of US$1.8 billion and was one of the first major international arbitrations involving a Brazilian mixed-capital company. The jurisdictional award in the arbitration remains today one of the major precedents in Brazilian arbitral jurisprudence.
- Represented a Bolivian company in an ICC arbitration relating to the construction of a gas pipeline. The seat of the arbitration was Montevideo, Uruguay. The language of the arbitration was Spanish and the governing law Bolivian. The dispute settled before final award.
- Represented a Houston-based energy services company in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration, under Texas law, concerning the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Brazil. The seat of the arbitration was Houston, Texas. The dispute settled before final award.
- Represented a Houston-based oil and gas company in UNCITRAL conciliation proceedings with a state-owned oil company relating to the state party’s demand for the renegotiation of the parties’ long-term production sharing agreement.
- Represented a Houston-based energy services company in a Miami-based arbitration under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules. The language of the arbitration was Spanish and the governing law was the law of Guatemala. The parties’ dispute arose out of a long-term power purchase agreement and, in particular, concerned the interpretation of the power purchase agreement’s payment clause and Guatemalan electricity sector regulations. The dispute settled before final award.
- Represented a provider of Internet-based energy metering services in a multi-million dollar arbitration under the AAA Complex Arbitration Rules arising out of a Master Product Alliance Agreement, eventually resolved through mediation. The dispute settled before final award.
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between Japanese and Qatari parties relating to the construction of an oil platform. The seat of the arbitration was Dubai; UAE and Qatari law governed.
- Party-appointed arbitrator in two related ICDR arbitrations between U.S. companies relating to the construction of a power plant. The seat of the arbitration was New York; New York law governed.
- Representing a junior silver mining company in connection with its investment protection options for an investment in a Central American country.
- Advising one of the largest mining companies in the world in a potential dispute involving a large gold and copper deposit against an Asian government and a state-owned mining company. The dispute involves claims under international investment treaties, an investment agreement, and the country’s foreign investment law.
- Advising one of the largest mining companies in the world in a potential dispute involving a large iron ore deposit against an African government and several other mining companies, arising from a mining convention and the country’s foreign investment and mining laws.
- Pac Rim Cayman LLC v. Republic of El Salvador, ICSID Case No. ARB/09/12. Representing Pacific Rim in one of the first arbitrations under the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and El Salvador’s foreign investment law. The dispute arises out of the government’s improper refusal to issue various environmental and exploitation licenses for Pacific Rim’s gold mining concession in El Salvador.
- Adel A Hamadi Al Tamimi v. Sultanate of Oman, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/33. Representing a US investor in arbitration proceedings against the Sultanate of Oman arising out of the government’s breaches of the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement. The parties’ dispute relates to Oman’s expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment of the claimant’s multi-million dollar investment in a limestone mining quarry.
- Represented one of the world’s largest precious metals mining companies in connection with potential ICSID arbitration proceedings against a Sub-Saharan African government. The representation involved significant political lobbying activities of various governments, as well of several multilateral financial institutions in an effort to resolve the dispute amicably.
Hospitality and Tourism
- H&H Enterprises Investment Inc. v. Arab Republic of Egypt, ICSID Case No. ARB/09/15. Representing a US investor in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Arab Republic of Egypt under the US-Egypt Treaty for the Protection and Promotion of Investments. The dispute relates to Egypt’s expropriation of our client’s hotel development investments in the Ain Sokhna region, denial of justice, and unfair and inequitable treatment.
- Represented a US-based multi-national hotel management company in connection with an ICC arbitration against a Dubai-based hotel owner. The dispute arose out of a hotel management agreement governed by UAE law. The seat of arbitration was London. The tribunal found in favor of our client in each of its three partial final awards, and also awarded our client the majority of its fees and costs.
- Represented Marriott International Inc. in connection with an ICC arbitration against the owner of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. The dispute arose out of the owner’s attempts to terminate the hotel management agreement. The tribunal refused to terminate the agreement. The seat of the arbitration was Dublin and Irish law governed.
- Defended a multi-national hotel management company in an ICC arbitration against a Lebanese national relating to a hotel property located in Beirut. The seat of the arbitration was Paris. Lebanese and Maryland law governed. The dispute involved the authority of an agent to act under a power-of-attorney to represent the principal in dispute resolution proceedings. The arbitration was dismissed in favor of our client.
- Representing a multi-national hotel management company in an ICC arbitration against a state-owned enterprise in connection with non-performance of a hotel management agreement. Jamaican law governs. The seat of the arbitration is London.
Intellectual Property/Information Technology
- Represented Employ Media LLC in ICC arbitration against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) relating to ICANN’s threatened termination of Employ Media’s registry agreement to operate the top-level domain. The seat of arbitration is Los Angeles, CA.
- Represented ICM Registry in the first ever full “independent review process” conducted under the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Arbitration Rules against ICANN, arising out of ICANN’s improper refusal to award the sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) to ICM Registry. The proceeding was decided in favor of ICM Registry, and the domain has been entered in to the Authoritative Root Server. This is the first decision to state that general principles of international law apply to the governance of the Internet.
- Represented a Swedish company against a US company in a Paris-based ICC arbitration relating to a series of patents.
- Represented a Houston-based medical services provider in a Houston-based arbitration against a Canadian company under the AAA/ICDR International Rules.
- Designed dispute resolution schemes for the ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy; the dispute resolution policies for the <.biz>, <.info>, <.name>, and <.aero> global top-level domains; and the dispute resolution protocols for the Application Service Provider Industry Consortium.
- Represented a US office products retailer in connection with SIAC arbitration proceedings against an Indian party. The seat of arbitration was Singapore and the governing law that of New York.
- Represented an inter-governmental international organization in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings against a South Asian company relating to procurement issues. The arbitration was seated in New York and was governed by international commercial law and general principles of law.
- Represented an Egyptian company in Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) arbitration proceedings relating to a shareholder dispute. The seat of the arbitration was Dubai. UAE law governed.
- Represented Banc of America Securities in connection with its efforts to enforce one of the first ever ICSID awards against the Government of Argentina. The representation involves coordination of court proceedings in various jurisdictions, asset search strategies, and political lobbying inside and outside of the US.
- Represented an Argentine claimant against a Chilean defendant in ICDR arbitration proceedings seated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, relating to a fee dispute governed by Argentine law.
- Chairman of the tribunal in an ICC arbitration between Korean, US, and Indian parties. The seat of the arbitration is Vienna, Austria; New York law governs.
- Chairman of the tribunal in an ICC arbitration between Indian and Brazilian parties. The seat of the arbitration is Belo Horizonte, Brazil; governing laws are English and Brazilian.