Young ITA

Young ITA promotes the involvement of young professionals (under 40) in the international arbitration community through programs, publications and other activities, including:

  • Young Lawyers Roundtables presented annually during the ITA Workshop in Dallas, the ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration in Houston and the ITA Americas Workshop in Latin America.
  • #YOUNGITATALKS programs and events for young practitioners in other cities in North America, South America (Spanish-speaking jurisdictions), Brazil, Mexico and Central America, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Africa and Asia.
  • The annual Young ITA Writing Competition and Award.
  • The annual Young ITA Mentorship Program teaming students and early career professionals with eminent mentors for a year of collegiality and insight.
  • The Young ITA Newsletter designed to keep us in touch, help keep you abreast of the latest developments in arbitration, and make you aware of the opportunities Young ITA has to offer.

Membership in Young ITA is free and open to all young arbitration practitioners, law students, and other professionals under 40 years old with an interest in international arbitration.

For more information about Young ITA, contact Young ITA chair Robert Landicho (Chair) and Dr. Crina Baltag (Vice Chair).

Young ITA Leadership

Robert Landicho
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Houston, TX

Young ITA Chair - Robert Reyes Landicho is a Senior Associate in Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Houston office. Rob has represented States, multinational companies, and individual clients in investor-State disputes at ICSID and under the UNCITRAL rules, as well as in commercial and construction disputes under the rules of the major international arbitral institutions. In U.S. courts, Rob has experience with the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, act of state doctrine, admiralty and maritime disputes, and questions of jurisdiction over non-U.S. domiciled parties. Prior to practicing law, Rob was a Fulbright Scholar in Amman, Jordan, and managed community assistance projects in Iraq with a UN-affiliate agency. Rob received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Crina Baltag
Vice Chair
Stockholm University
Stockholm, Sweden

Young ITA Vice Chair - Dr. Crina Baltag is Senior Lecturer in International Arbitration at Stockholm University (Sweden). Crina is the Editor of Kluwer Arbitration Blog and Co-Managing Editor of the ITA Arbitration Report, Member of the Academic Council of ITA and Vice-Chair of Young ITA. Crina regularly sits as arbitrator (ICC, LCIA, SIAC etc.) and publishes on international commercial and investment arbitration. Her latest book, Finances in International Arbitration (co-ed.), was released by Wolters Kluwer in December 2019.

Catherine Bratic
Communications Chair
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Houston, TX

Young ITA Communications Chair - Catherine Bratic is a Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells LLP in Houston, Texas, where she represents clients in the energy, construction, and media sectors, as well as states and state-owned entities. She regularly advises clients in complex, high-value disputes before international arbitral tribunals, as well as before national courts. Catherine is dual-qualified in Texas and France, and earned law degrees from Columbia University and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells’s Houston office, Catherine clerked for the Hon. Lee H. Rosenthal, Chief Judge for the Southern District of Texas, served as a legal fellow at UNESCO in Paris, and practiced in Hogan Lovells’s Paris office for three years. Catherine writes regularly on international commercial arbitration, energy law, and international trade agreements.

Karima Sauma
Mentorship Chair
Executive Director
International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (AmCham Costa Rica)
San Jose, Costa Rica

Young ITA Mentorship Chair - Karima Sauma is the Executive Director of the International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration of the American Chamber of Commerce in Costa Rica, and an adjunct professor at ULACIT University in San José. She also works as a research assistant to international arbitrator Rodrigo Oreamuno Blanco. Previously, she worked as an Advisor with the Dispute Settlement Team of the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade, where she was part of Costa Rica’s defense team in claims filed under various treaties and free trade agreements. She was also a member of the negotiating team for treaties involving investment and dispute settlement provisions. Prior to joining the Ministry of Foreign Trade, she worked with the International Arbitration Group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Washington, DC.

Thomas Innes
Thought Leadership Chair
Steptoe & Johnson UK LLP
London, United Kingdom

Young ITA Thought Leadership Chair - Thomas Innes is an Associate at Steptoe & Johnson in London.  He advises and conducts advocacy on a wide range of international and commercial disputes.  Most notably, he acts as counsel in investment treaty disputes, including matters at ICSID, at the PCA and under various other arbitration rules.  Thomas’ public international law work has also involved acting for an inter-governmental organization in international court proceedings and advising governments on investment treaty negotiations.  His work before the English Courts has included injunctions in support of arbitration and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Soledad G. O'Donnell
Senior Litigation Counsel
Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Park, IL

Young ITA North America ChairSoledad O’Donnell is Senior Litigation Counsel at Abbott, Chicago. Prior to joining Abbott in 2019, she was a Partner in Mayer Brown LLP’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution group, where she focused primarily on International Arbitration disputes in Latin America.  Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 2012, Soledad served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Richard C. Tallman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and worked for several years as a Litigation associate for a Chicago-based international law firm. Soledad is a Center for Conflict Resolution Certified Mediator and is a native Spanish speaker. Soledad also serves as the Chair of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) Midwest Arbitration Subcommittee.

Samuel Pape
Regional Chair, UK
Latham & Watkins LLP
London, United Kingdom

Young ITA UK Chair - Samuel Pape is an associate in Latham & Watkins’ London office.  His practice focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration, public international law, and complex litigation in England and overseas.  He has experience representing companies and sovereigns in disputes across a range of industry sectors including energy and natural resources, banking, private equity, telecommunications and aviation.  He has conducted commercial and investor-State arbitrations under all of the principal arbitration rules and his arbitration experience also includes acting as Tribunal Secretary.  He is a graduate of the University of Oxford where he obtained a BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, and of the College of Law at which he obtained his GDL and LPC, both with distinction.

Alexander G. Leventhal
Regional Chair, Continental Europe
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Paris, France

Young ITA Continental Europe Chair - Alexander Leventhal is Of Counsel in Quinn Emanuel’s Paris office. He has represented clients in commercial arbitrations arising out of contractual disputes and has sought recourse on behalf of clients against States for treaty breaches. Alexander helped lead a team that obtained an order from an ICSID tribunal, which, for the first time, ordered the suspension of extradition proceedings in a third-party State. Alexander acts as CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) YMG (Young Member Group)’s Global Ambassador for France and previously sat on the Steering Committee of Paris Very Young Arbitration Practitioners (PVYAP). He writes and speaks frequently on topics of arbitration in English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic.

Sylvia Sámano Beristain
Regional Chair, Mexico and Central America
Secretary General
Arbitration Center of Mexico (CAM)
Mexico City, Mexico

Young ITA Mexico and Central America Chair - Sylvia Sámano Beristain is the Secretary General at the Arbitration Center of Mexico. She holds an LL.M in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution from Hong Kong University and a law degree specialized in commercial law from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She has experience in civil, commercial, mining, natural resources and energy law.  In the academic field, she teaches arbitration at the postgraduate program at UNAM as well as in the bachelor program at Tecnológico de Monterrey. She has acted as counsel, arbitrator and Secretary of the Tribunal in commercial arbitrations, and has interned at the ICC Hong Kong office.

Vinicius Pereira
Regional Chair, Brazil
Campos Mello Advogados
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Young ITA Brazil Chair - Vinicius Pereira is a Partner at Campos Mello Advogados – in cooperation with DLA Piper’ Litigation and Arbitration practice. He has practice in civil, commercial and public laws, with emphasis in civil liability, contracts, real estate and recovery of credits, representing financial institutions and companies in energy, oil and gas, real estate and infrastructure sectors. His work includes litigation before State, Federal and Superior Courts as well as arbitrations procedures before national and international institutions. Before joining Campos Mello Advogados, Vinicius worked on firms in Rio de Janeiro and was a State Attorney of Mato Grosso do Sul State.

Andrés Talavera Cano
Regional Chair, South America Chair (Spanish-Speaking Jurisdictions)
Peruvian Young Arbitrators
Lima, Peru

Young ITA South America Chair (Spanish-Speaking Jurisdictions)Andrés Talavera Cano is a Peruvian Lawyer. He graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, with additional studies as an exchange student at the University of Wisconsin. He has been a Law Professor for more than five years at the Law School of the Universidad del Pacifico. He will continue with his career as a Law Professor in 2020. After seven years of experience at Bullard, Falla & Ezcurra Abogados, with additional experience acting as an arbitrator, and as co-founder of the first Peruvian Young Arbitrators Association, he has a very clear understanding of the current arbitration trends and practices from a young arbitration practitioner perspective.

Cameron Sim
Regional Chair, Asia
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Young ITA Asia Chair - Cameron Sim is an associate in Debevoise & Plimpton’s International Dispute Resolution Group. He is based in Hong Kong, and qualified in New York, England and Wales, and Australia. Cameron acts as counsel in commercial and investment arbitrations worldwide under all major arbitral rules, and has particular experience in the banking and finance, energy, pharmaceuticals, private equity, and telecommunications sectors. A graduate of Oxford University, he previously clerked for the President of the UK Supreme Court and in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Cameron will serve as Young ITA’s ambassador in the Asia Pacific and will organize events  throughout the region.

Dilpreet K. Dhanoa
Regional Chair, Middle East
Field Court Tax Chambers
Dubai, UAE / London, UK

Young ITA Middle East Chair - Dilpreet K. Dhanoa is an English-qualified barrister, with a diverse practice in Revenue law. She has substantial Court experience and has full rights of audience before all courts in England and Wales, and the DIFC Courts. Dilpreet handles a range of complex commercial litigation and arbitrations, and has a diverse advocacy and advisory practice which includes advising on contract obligations in international law and conflict of laws, trusts and estates, taxation, competition law, international arbitration and alternative forums for dispute. She is a Masters graduate of the University of Oxford, and regularly contributes to a variety of publications.

Demilade Isioma Elemo
Regional Chair, Africa
Folashade Alli and Associates
Lagos, Nigeria

Young ITA Africa Chair (appointed January 2019) - Demilade Isioma Elemo, MCIArb is an Arbitration Associate at Folashade Alli and Associates (formerly VATad Solicitors). She holds an LL.M in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution from Queen Mary, University of London and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2012. She has experience in commercial and investment arbitration, energy and natural resources law, commercial transactions, employment law, intellectual property law and agricultural law. Demilade is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has acted as Arbitral Tribunal Registrar in a number of commercial disputes including oil and gas, telecommunications and finance disputes.