Transnational Arbitration

ITA-ALARB Americas Workshop

Environmental vs Investment Protection: Are They Mutually Exclusive?


Virtual Conference

Past Event

Log-in information will be emailed to all registrants shortly before the conference begins.

Presented in English and Spanish

Registrar: +1.972.244.3403
ITA: +1.972.244.3414
Fax: +1.972.244.3401


Presented by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) and the Latin American Arbitration Association (ALARB).

The Workshop will provide an overview of the tension between the protections provided in investment treaties and restrictions to those protections in the interests of achieving environmental objectives and protecting States’ right to regulate, with a particular emphasis on Latin-America investment arbitration cases and how they have interpreted environmental carve-outs. It will also address how ESG commitments adopted by States and corporate actors may shape environmental regulation, and interpretation in potential disputes.

Conference Co-Chairs

Gabriela Álvarez Ávila
DLA Piper Mexico, S.C.
Mexico City

Miguel López Forastier
Covington & Burling LLP
Washington, D.C.

Schedule and Faculty

Thursday, September 8, 2022

10:00 – 10:10 am (Central) Welcome to the Americas Workshop

  • ITA Chair Tom Sikora, Senior Counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, USA
  • ALARB President Claus Von Wobeser, Partner, Von Wobeser y Sierra, Mexico City, Mexico
  • ITA Americas Initiative Chair, Elina Mereminskaya, Partner, Wagemann Abogados & Ingenieros, Santiago, Chile

10:10 – 10:15 am (Central) Introduction to the Program

Americas Workshop Co-Chairs:

  • Gabriela Álvarez Ávila, Partner, DLA Piper, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Miguel López Forastier, Partner, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., USA

10:15 – 10:45 am (Central) Keynote address

  • Angela Amos, Head of Commercial Innovation & Strategy, AES Clean Energy, Houston, USA

10:45 – 10:55 am (Central) Break

10:55 – 11:55 am (Central) What have we learned from recent investment cases in which environmental issues were at the center stage?

The panelists will address recent mainly LATAM investment arbitration cases in the environmental field and highlight how tribunals have balanced the protections granted to investors under investment treaties against environmental policies of States. Among other issues, panelists will discuss how environmental carve-outs may impact or even bar investor claims and whether there are lessons to be learned from the Latin American experience.

Moderator: Sebastian Wuschka, Of Counsel, Luther, Hamburg, Germany


  • John A. Terry, Partner, Tory’s, Toronto, Canada
  • Ana María Ordoñez, Head of the International Investment Disputes at the National Legal Defense Agency of the State, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Abby Cohen Smutny, Partner, White & Case, Washington, D.C., USA

11:55 am – 12:05 pm (Central) Break

12:05 – 13:05 pm (Central) What are the challenges ahead from both a policy perspective and investment protections?

The panelists will address the challenges that both States and investors face in light of the environmental policies that are being implemented. In particular, in-house counsel can provide insight as to how companies are facing environmental regulation in the host State when planning their investments, while policy makers can discuss regulatory policies that are being implemented in this field.

Moderator: Attila Massimiliano Tanzi, Associate Member, 3VB Chambers, London, United Kingdom


  • Mairée Uran-Bidegain, Foreign Affairs Ministry of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Bernardo de la Garza, Independent Consultant, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Mónica Jiménez, Chief Strategy, Sustainability and Legal Office, GeoPark, Bogotá, Colombia

Friday, September 9

10:00 – 10:10 am (Central) Welcome back

Americas Workshop Co-Chairs:

  • Gabriela Álvarez Ávila, DLA Piper, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Miguel López Forastier, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., USA

10:10 – 10:25 am (Central) Rule of Law Presentation: Latin America as the Crucible for Developing a Customary International Law on State Responsibility to Aliens

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of The Center for American and International Law

  • Santiago Montt, Chief Operations Officer, Los Andes Cooper and President Minera Vizcachitas, Santiago, Chile

Historically, colonialism served as the medium for foreign investment. Under colonial rule, there was no need for international law because one could use the instruments of colonialism to protect overseas investment.

However, a confluence of circumstances in Latin America during the 19th century created the opening for development of a customary international law on state responsibility for injuries to aliens.

First, there was the early escape of Latin America from colonial domination. Second, an accumulation of capital in developed states, advances in communication and transportation, and a liberalization of immigration policies all drew large amounts of North American and European capital and individuals to Latin America. Third, this occurred during a transitional period characterized by frequent and intense civil disturbances in Latin America. There were frequent and violent changes in administration. Aliens often suffered injuries.

Unable to deploy the coercive instruments of colonial domination, capital-exporting states responded by developing a customary international law on state responsibility for injuries to aliens, at times enforced through diplomacy, forcible intervention, and arbitration.

10:25 - 10:30 am (Central) Break

10:30 – 11:25 am (Central) YOUNG LAWYERS ROUNDTABLE: Extract or not to extract? Legitimate expectations and environmental protections in Latin America

This session will explore the tensions between governmental decisions concerning the extraction of fossil fuels, minerals, and tourism, on the one hand, and the foreign investors’ rights under international law, on the other. The panelists will discuss the doctrine of legitimate expectations in environmental disputes, the standard of compensation, the role of national courts, and the interaction between international investment law and general public international law.

Roundtable Co-Chairs/Moderators:

  • Karima Sauma, Young ITA
  • Sebastian Briceño, ALARB Siguiente Generación


  • Daniela Páez, Associate Attorney, Hebert Smith Freehills, New York, USA
  • Diego Rueda, Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, New York, USA
  • Sylvia Sámano, Associate Attorney, Hogan Lovells, Mexico City, Mexico

11:25 – 11:35 am (Central) Break

11:35 am – 12:35 pm (Central) ITAFOR FORUM: "Actual Threats and Opportunities for Arbitration in Latinoamérica"

The Forum is an informal special opportunity for colleagues in international arbitration to discuss current issues and share concerns off-the-record with our peers. The agenda for this open discussion is determined by the participants who are invited to submit their suggestions in advance and at the Forum itself.


  • Francisco González de Cossío, Partner, GCA, Mexico City, Mexico
  • María Inés Corrá, Buenos Aires, Argentina

12:35 – 12:45 pm (Central) Closing Remarks

  • Americas Workshop Co-Chair, Gabriela Álvarez Ávila, DLA Piper, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Americas Workshop Co-Chair, Miguel López Forastier, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., USA

1:00 – 2:45 pm (Central) ITA Americas Initiative Committee Meeting

Sponsorship Opportunities

Gold Sponsor - US $2,500

  • Exposure to thousands of ITA and ALARB constituents
  • Recognition as Gold Sponsor at the conference itself, on the conference website, in e-marketing and on social media
  • Express recognition in the introductory remarks at the beginning of each day
  • 5 complimentary conference registrations
  • Name/logo on the conference website with link to company webpage or company video clip
  • Post-conference recognition

Silver Sponsor - US $1,000

  • Exposure to thousands of ITA and ALARB constituents
  • Recognition as a Silver Sponsor on the conference website, in e-marketing and on social media
  • 2 complimentary conference registrations
  • Name/logo on the conference website with link to company webpage or company video clip
  • Post-conference recognition

Bronze Sponsor - US $700

  • Exposure to thousands of ITA and and ALARB constituents
  • Recognition as a Bronze Sponsor on the conference website, in e-marketing and on social media
  • 1 complimentary conference registration
  • Name/logo on the conference website with link to company webpage
  • Post-conference recognition
For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Lilly Hogarth, ITA Sponsorship Director, or Andrea Santacoloma, ALARB Executive Director.

TX CLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 3.25 hours, of which no credit hours will apply to ethics/professional responsibility credit. Course ID Number: 174170905.

MCLE credit will not be requested in any other jurisdiction, but attendees may be able to obtain credit in other jurisdictions by self-applying for credit or through reciprocity rules. ITA in-person conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states, but MCLE rules, including rules governing online programs, vary in each jurisdiction. Certain programs, subjects, and formats may not receive credit in certain jurisdictions and there may be specific rules regarding who may earn credit or the maximum number of credit hours that may be earned with specific formats. Please review the MCLE regulations and rules of your jurisdiction and contact your regulatory entity if you have specific questions about the jurisdiction’s MCLE rules.

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