Transnational Arbitration

1st ITA Conference on International Arbitration in the Mining Sector


Toronto, Canada

Past Event

Wednesday, March 8
Arbitration Place Toronto
Bay Adelaide Centre West
333 Bay Street, Suite 900

Thursday, March 9
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building, 255 Front St W, Toronto
Level 200 West (street level)
General Session - Room 201
For further directions, click here.

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


Join us in Toronto for the inaugural edition of the ITA Conference on International Arbitration in the Mining Sector, taking place immediately after the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference, the mining industry’s preeminent annual event. The program is designed for mining company executives, in-house counsel, arbitrators and arbitration practitioners interested in the key issues that arise in mining sector arbitrations.

Highlights include an extraordinary faculty of global experts in the field, focusing on, inter alia:

  • Key contractual clauses and other protections in mining industry contracts
  • Everything a mining company needs to know about investment treaty protections
  • Preparing for and navigating an arbitration case
  • Quantifying damages in mining arbitrations
  • Addressing ESG issues
  • Environmental issues in mining arbitrations
  • Debate on the role of international rights and remedies in promoting cross-border investment
  • Young ITA Roundtable sessions on excellence in cross-examination and oral argument
  • Welcome Reception at Arbitration Place
  • Conference Dinner at Pink Sky
Supported by:
Arbitration Place
ICC Canada Arbitration Committee
Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society (TCAS)
Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society (WCCAS)
Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)

Conference Co-Chairs

Nigel A. Blackaby
Partner, Co-Head of Latin America Practice
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP
Washington, DC

Kathryn Khamsi
Three Crowns LLP

Myriam M. Seers

Schedule and Faculty

Wednesday, March 8

Arbitration Place Toronto
Bay Adelaide Centre West, 333 Bay Street, Suite 900

2:00-2:30 pm - Networking Coffee & Registration

2:30-2:40 pm - Welcome

  • Tom Sikora, ITA Chair, Senior Counsel - International Disputes Group, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston

2:40-2:50 pm - Introduction to the Conference

  • Myriam Seers, Conference Co-Chair, Agora, Toronto


Presented by Young ITA

Hosted by Arbitration Place

2:50-3:00 pm - Introduction to the Roundtable

  • Ciara Ros, Roundtable Co-Chair, Vinson & Elkins LLP, London
  • Hugh A. Meighen, Roundtable Co-Chair, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto

3:00-4:00 pm - “Take the Witness”: Excellence in Cross-Examination

This session will focus on making the most of cross-examination in international arbitration, including practical tips, strategic considerations, and common pitfalls. The panel will draw upon the extensive experience of the panelists both as arbitrators and advocates.

  • D. Brian King, Independent Arbitrator, New York
  • Christina L. Beharry, Foley Hoag, Washington, D.C.

4:00-5:00 pm - “Take the Tribunal”: Excellence in Oral Argument

This session will focus on how to influence the tribunal and express your case in the most persuasive manner possible. The panelists will describe what makes oral argument in international arbitration unique and what advocates need to know in order to bring the tribunal to their side.

  • Julie Bédard, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York
  • Michael Kotrly, One Essex Court, London

5:00 pm - Closing Remarks

  • Kathryn Khamsi, Conference Co-Chair, Three Crowns LLP, Paris

5:00-6:15 pm - Welcome Reception

7:00-8:30 pm - Conference Dinner

The conference dinner is sold out. If you would like to participate in a different dinner, please contact Myriam Seers who will assist in coordinating alternative arrangements if there is sufficient interest.

Thursday, March 9

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building
255 Front St W, Toronto
Level 200 West (street level)
General Session - Room 201
For further directions, click here.

8:00-9:00 am - Networking Breakfast & Registration

9:00-9:15 am - Welcome Back

  • Nigel Blackaby KC, Conference Co-Chair, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Washington D.C.

9:15-10:30 am - “Political Risk” Vs. Regulatory Flexibility: Key Contractual Clauses (E.G. Stabilization Clauses) And Other Protections (Including Investment Treaties)

Moderator: Myriam M. Seers, Agora, Toronto


  • Nils Engelstad, General Counsel, Alamos Gold Inc., Toronto
  • Ana María Ordoñez, ANDJE, Bogotá
  • Yousef Rehman, Vice President & General Counsel, Centera Gold Inc., Toronto
  • Liz Snodgrass, Three Crowns LLP, Washington, D.C.

10:30-10:50 am - Networking Break

10:50-12:05 pm - Everything A Mining Company Needs To Know About Investment Treaty Protections (Structuring The Investment, Strategic Notifications, Leveraging The Protections In Negotiations, Navigating A Case)

Moderator: John Terry, Torys LLP, Toronto


  • Abby Cohen Smutny, White & Case LLP, Washington, DC
  • Mélida Hodgson, Partner, Arnold & Porter, New York
  • Amanda Fullerton, Vice President, Legal & Corporate Secretary, Denarius Metals, Toronto

12:05-1:35 pm - Networking Luncheon

1:35-2:50 pm - Workshop Option 1: Quantifying Damages In Arbitrations Involving Mining Projects

Moderator: Junior Sirivar, McCarthy Tétrault, Toronto


  • Carla Chavich, Compass Lexecon, New York
  • Elliot Luke, Clifford Chance LLP, Perth
  • Howard Rosen, Secretariat, Toronto

1:35-2:50 pm - Workshop Option 2: Addressing Social And Governance Obligations (Social License; Anticorruption; Indigenous Rights), And Their Impact On Arbitrations

Moderator: Caroline Richard, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Washington, DC


  • Stephen Crozier, Vice President, Sustainability, Ring of Fire Metals, Toronto
  • Cedric Soule, King & Spalding, New York
  • Diana Suarez, General Counsel, Cerro Matoso, Córdoba, Colombia

2:50-3:10 pm - Networking Break

3:10-4:25 pm - Environmental Issues In Mining Arbitration: Standards, Claims And Advocacy

At all levels – global, national and regional – environmental protections are being tightened. Against that backdrop, this panel will consider the corresponding evolution in arbitration standards (including investment treaty standards), as well as allegations to which they give rise: claims, defences and counterclaims. Looking beyond allegations, the panel will also consider how advocacy must evolve to be effective, including in light of the increasingly sophisticated tools available to track and measure environmental impact.

Moderator: Kathryn Khamsi, Three Crowns LLP, Paris


  • Francisco Balduzzi, Womble Bond Dickinson, Houston
  • Gino Bianchi Mosquera, Vice President, GSI Environmental Inc., Irvine
  • Mark A. Luz, General Counsel, Trade Law Bureau (JLT), Ottawa
  • Jose V. Zapata, Holland and Knight, Bogotá

4:25-5:15 pm - Debate: “Investment Treaties Limit the Critical Right of States to Preserve the Environment and Protect Community Rights in a Mining Context”

Against: Nigel Blackaby KC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Washington, DC

For: Kenneth Juan Figueroa, Foley Hoag LLP, Washington, DC

5:15 pm - Closing Remarks

  • Tom Sikora, ITA Chair, Senior Counsel - International Disputes Group, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston

Hotel Information

Hilton Toronto
145 Richmond Street W
Toronto, ON

  • Standard 1 King Room $349+ CAD/night
  • Booking cutoff: Feb 10
  • Call 1-800-HILTONS and give the group code "CAIL23" to book a reservation

Book Your Hotel

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