2020 New Executive Committee Members & New Roles

The Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), a division of The Center for American and International Law, announces the appointment of four new members to its prestigious Executive Committee and congratulates existing member Tom Sikora on his new role as Senior Vice Chair of the Executive Committee.

Senior Vice Chair

TOM SIKORA is Senior Counsel, International Disputes Group at Exxon Mobil Corporation. Tom manages international commercial and investment arbitration for Exxon Mobil Corporation. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, he spent ten years at El Paso Corporation managing the company’s international arbitration and complex litigation. Tom initially practiced international arbitration of energy, construction and insurance disputes at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston, Texas. Tom is a member of the Council (formerly Board of Directors) of the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, where he serves as Senior Vice Chair. Tom also serves as a Co-Chair of the Energy Arbitrators List. He is a former officer of the IBA Arbitration Committee and the ICC Commission on Arbitration. Tom graduated from Harvard with an A.B. in History and Literature and from the University of Virginia School of Law with a J.D.

Vice Chairs

JAMES CASTELLO, a lawyer who has been based in Europe for 20 of his more than 30 years in practice, is a partner in King & Spalding’s Paris office. He practices exclusively international arbitration. He has advised and represented clients in a wide range of commercial as well as investor-Sate arbitrations. Since 2001, he has served on the U.S. delegation to the Arbitration Working Groups of the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), participating actively in drafting or revising such instruments as the Model Laws on International Commercial Arbitration and on International Commercial Conciliation, the Arbitration Rules, and the Rules (and the Convention) on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitrations. Formerly a member of the London Court of International Arbitration (including on the Court’s drafting committee for the 2014 LCIA Arbitration Rules), he now serves on the LCIA’s Board of Directors and on the Advisory Board of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre. James has also worked in all three branches of the United States government, including in such senior legal positions as Deputy Counsel to President Clinton, at the White House, and Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Justice Department. He began his legal career with several clerkships, including at the U.S. Supreme Court and at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague. He holds degrees from Yale and the University of California at Berkeley, and is admitted to practice in New York, Washington, D.C., and Paris.

LUKE SOBOTA is a founding partner of Three Crowns and managing partner of the firm’s Washington, DC office. He represents private and sovereign clients in some of their largest and most important commercial, investor-state, and inter-state arbitrations. Luke also has 20 years of experience litigating international issues in U.S. courts. Luke’s practice experience spans the energy, financial, construction, and technology sectors, and includes the successful prosecution of one of the largest ICC cases in history. His investment arbitrations have involved multi-billion-dollar claims pertaining to expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, and denial of justice. He is also representing sovereign clients on vital issues of public international law. Luke is ranked by Chambers and Partners, which describes him as an “‘extraordinarily intelligent’” attorney who “draws extensive praise for his advocacy skills, with clients affirming that ‘his analysis and strategic view is outstanding.’” Who’s Who has recognized Luke as “‘a very sharp intellectual’ with broad expertise in commercial and investor-state arbitrations” and that he “‘is praised for his ‘fantastic analytical and writing abilities.’” Legal 500 writes that Luke “‘is extremely smart and a great strategic thinker’ and is an ‘excellent draftsman.’” Luke is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. He also teaches courses on international arbitration at American University and the University of Miami. Among other publications, he is the co-author of the second edition of International Arbitration: Three Salient Problems (Cambridge University Press, anticipated 2020) and General Principles of Law and International Due Process (Oxford University Press, 2017). Luke previously worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he advised and prepared formal legal opinions for executive branch officials on a range of constitutional, international, and administrative law issues. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, after which he clerked for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Practice Committee Chair

Chair, Americas Initiative

Monterrat Manzano

MONTSERRAT MANZANO is Partner in the Dispute Resolution group of Von Wobeser y Sierra, S.C. with more than 18 years of experience including her expertise in dispute resolution. She has participated in a vast number of arbitrations as party attorney, arbitrator and/or arbitral tribunal secretary, in arbitrations conducted under the rules of the ICC, AAA, UNCITRAL, PCA, ICSID, complementary mechanism of ICSID and CAM. She has solid experience in dispute resolution related to administrative law, public procurement and government contracting. Furthermore, she has participated in both commercial and investment arbitrations, in various sectors including the following: energy, construction, port, shipping and chemical involving both Mexican and foreign applicable law. Montserrat has been recognized by various leading international editorials including: Global Arbitration Review 100 (GAR 100), Who´s Who Legal Mexico, Who´s Who Arbitration, Who´s Who Legal Arbitration Future Leaders.

Strategic Committee Chairs

Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

ANN RYAN ROBERTSON, C.ARB is an International Partner with the firm of Locke Lord LLP and the Deputy President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). In 2021, she will assume the role of global President of the CIArb. Ann serves as both arbitrator and counsel in international and domestic arbitrations in a variety of complex business disputes across a number of industries. She has been named to Global Arbitration Review’s “Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration” since 2015 and to The Best Lawyers in America, International Arbitration/Govermental since 2014. A member of numerous arbitral institutions’ panels of neutrals, Ann is currently chairing the ICDR Task Force on Rules Revision. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center and for eighteen years coached the Law Center’s Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot team. Ann is a frequent speaker and author on international arbitration topics and most recently was named “Premier Woman in the Law” by the Association of Women Attorneys Foundation.