Transnational Arbitration

4th ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration


Houston, Texas, USA

Past Event

MCLE Credit available

Hyatt Regency Houston/Galleria
2626 Sage Rd.
Houston, TX 77056

Registrar: +1.972.244.3404
ITA: +1.972.244.3414
IEL: +1.972.244.3421
Fax: +1.972.244.3401
E-Mail: or


Presented by The Institute for Transnational Arbitration and The Institute for Energy Law of The Center for American and International Law and The ICC International Court of Arbitration.

Co-Sponsored by the Houston International Arbitration Club, Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy.

Conference Co-Chairs

Suzana M. Blades
ConocoPhillips Company
Houston, Texas
Juliet Blanch
Juliet Blanch Arbitration
London, United Kingdom
James E. Tancula
Mayer Brown LLP
Chicago, Illinois

The ITA, IEL and ICC combine again to present their 4th annual review of the year past and the year ahead in the arbitration of international disputes in the energy industry. Led by co-chairs Suzana Blades (ConocoPhillips, Houston), Juliet Blanch (Juliet Blanch Arbitration, London) and Jim Tancula (Mayer Brown, Chicago), the conference will begin on Thursday afternoon with a review of recurring ethical issues led by leading ethics scholar Prof. Catherine Rogers followed by an examination of the growing development of specialized arbitral institutions and arbitrators for energy disputes. The evening’s social activities include a Welcome Reception and a Conference Dinner for all registrants and speakers.

The next day will begin with the conference keynote – Global Geopolitics and Energy in 2017 – presented in the form of an interview of Sarah Ladislaw (Director, Energy and National Security Program of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington) by Alan Crain, Sr. VP and Chief Legal and Governance Officer, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Houston). Next, a panel of highly esteemed experts will review conflicting approaches in recent investor-state decisions to account for expropriation risk in determining compensation for expropriated projects, followed by an equally esteemed panel on the current challenges to enforcing arbitration awards around the world. The conference luncheon will feature an interview with immediate past LCIA president Rusty Park by Catherine Rogers, the latest in a series of interviews organized by the ITA Academic Council to record the evolution of modern international arbitration in the words of those who have led it.

By popular demand, the 2016 Energy Arbitration Year in Review will be presented again by Larry Shore (Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP, New York). Later sessions will include four major industry General Counsels – Marcia Backus (VP and GC, Occidental Petroleum, Houston), Janet Langford Carrig (Sr. VP and GC, ConocoPhillips, Houston), Alan Crain, Sr. VP and Chief Legal and Governance Officer, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Houston) and Hewitt Pate (VP and GC, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon) – on dealing with the current low price/high disputes environment. The program will conclude with a panel of experts sharing their experience with tips and tools for managing the arbitral tribunals.

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

Schedule and Faculty

Thursday, January 12

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Suzana M. Blades, Managing Counsel, Arbitration, ConocoPhillips, Houston
  • Juliet Blanch, Juliet Blanch Arbitration, London
  • James E. Tancula, Mayer Brown LLP, Chicago

2:30 pm


3:00 pm


  • Lawrence P. Simon, Jr., IEL Chair, Liskow & Lewis, Lafayette
  • Abby Cohen Smutny, ITA Chair, White & Case LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Rocío Digón, Managing Director and Counsel, ICC International Court of Arbitration, SICANA, Inc., New York

Young Lawyers Roundtable

Presented by
ICC Young Arbitrators Forum
IEL Young Energy Professionals
ITA Young Arbitrators Initiative

3:05 pm

Welcome to the Roundtable

Roundtable Co-Chairs:

  • Montserrat Manzano, ITA YAI Chair, von Wobeser y Sierra, S.C., Mexico City
  • Teresa Garcia-Reyes, ICC YAF North America Chapter Representative, Senior Counsel, Litigation, GE Oil & Gas, Houston
  • Jamie Miller, IEL YEP Representative, King & Spalding LLP, Houston

3:10 pm

What Would You Do? - Ethical Dilemmas in Arbitration

Panelists will be presented with various real-world ethical scenarios faced by arbitrators, counsel, and experts, and will debate the ethical implications arising from such scenarios. At the end of each segment, the audience will be invited to weigh in on the likely outcome of the issue.


  • Prof. Catherine A. Rogers, Penn State Law, State College, Pennsylvania, and Queen Mary University of London, London


  • Torsten Lörcher, Global Head of Dispute Resolution Group, CMS Hasche Sigle, Cologne
  • Pablo D. López Zadicoff, Compass Lexecon, Washington, D.C.
  • Elina Mereminskaya, Bofill Mir & Álvarez Jana, Santiago de Chile
  • Juan Felipe Merizalde, Dechert, Washington, D.C.

4:00 pm

The Call for Specialized Arbitrators, Forums and Procedures in Energy Arbitration

Energy disputes comprise a significant portion of investment and commercial arbitrations. Panelists will discuss the benefits and risks of tailoring arbitration for such disputes, including the use of specialized fora, arbitrator lists, and procedural rules.


  • Tomas Vail, White &Case, London


  • Prof. Peter Cameron, Co-Director, International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA), and Director, University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy (CEPMLP), Edinburgh
  • Ginny Castelan, King & Spalding, Houston
  • Lauren Friedman, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York
  • Aaron Rofkahr, Senior Counsel – Litigation, Chevron Upstream, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., San Ramon

5:00 - 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Joint Conference Dinner at Tango & Malbec Argentinian Steakhouse

Optional for all Joint Conference registrants, faculty and sponsors
Please indicate on the registration form if you wish to attend – ticket price: $115 per person

Friday, January 13

8:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am

Welcome Back

  • Conference Co-Chairs

9:05 am

Keynote Presentation: Global Geopolitics and Energy in 2017

  • Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington, D.C.

interviewed by

  • Alan R. Crain, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Governance Officer, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Houston

9:40 am

Expropriation Risk in DCF Determinations of Fair Market Value: Should it Affect Compensation and if so How?

This panel will discuss the varied and conflicting approaches to accounting for expropriation risk in determining compensation for expropriated projects in recent investor-state decisions. Should expropriation risk be taken into account in discounted cash flow determinations of fair market value in expropriation cases? Could the answer affect the behavior of host governments and/or investors one way or another? If it is to be considered, at what point should it be measured: at the time of investing? at inflection points in probabilities? at the time of the announcement of potential expropriation? at the time of the expropriation itself? How can expropriation risk be distinguished from other aspects of country risk that should or should not be taken into consideration? How should variations in the timing of assessing expropriation risk interact with other changes in projected cash flows over the life of the project? Does it matter whether the expropriation was deemed lawful or unlawful?


  • William Knull, Independent Arbitrator, Houston


  • Miguel López Forastier, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.
  • Diego Gosis, GST LLP, Miami
  • Dr. Michel Léonard, CEO & Chief Data Scientist, MaKro LLC, New York
  • M. Alexis Maniatis, The Brattle Group, Washington, D.C.

10:40 am

Coffee Break

11:00 pm

How Good is an Award if You Can't Enforce It? The Challenges of Enforcing Arbitration Awards Around the World

Join us for practical, solutions-oriented session covering war stories on enforcement challenges and how parties are developing creative strategies to enforce arbitration awards in light of the low price environment. We will also discuss the impact of defaulting on a final award on a country’s credit rating and new trends related to recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.


  • Juliet Blanch, Juliet Blanch Arbitration, London


  • Andrea Carlevaris, Secretary General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, and Director of Dispute Resolution Services of the ICC, Paris
  • Michael Kim, Kobre & Kim, New York/Seoul/London
  • Mark Lowes, Vice-President – Litigation, KBR, Houston
  • Wendy Miles, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, London

12:00 pm


A Conversation with

Prof. William (Rusty) W. Park
Past President of the London Court of International Arbitration
General Editor of Arbitration International
R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law
Boston University School of Law

Interviewed by

Prof. Catherine A. Rogers
Penn State Law
Director, Institute for Ethics, Regulation & The Rule of Law,
Queen Mary University of London

This interview is the latest in a series organized by the ITA Academic Council to record the evolution of modern international arbitration in the words of those who have led it.

2:00 pm

How to Deal with Increasing Number of Disputes in Light of Low Oil Price Environment?

Corporate counsel will share experiences on how to survive in a low price environment given the increasing number of disputes. Specifically, panelists will address how they are dealing with staff, budget and approval issues. They will also discuss the types of disputes they have seen as a result of the price environment and how they are trying to resolve these disputes in a cost effective manner.


  • Suzana M. Blades, Managing Counsel, Arbitration, ConocoPhillips, Houston


  • Marcia E. Backus, Vice President and General Counsel, Occidental Petroleum, Houston
  • Janet Langford Carrig, Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, ConocoPhillips, Houston
  • Alan R. Crain, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Governance Officer, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Houston
  • Hewitt Pate, Vice President and General Counsel, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon

3:00 pm

Coffee Break

3:20 pm

2016 Year in Review: The Top 10 Developments in International Energy Arbitration

This presentation will consider both investor-state and contractual disputes in the energy sector. It will cast an eye over the wide range of matters that have come before arbitral tribunals in 2016, and will attempt to identify the ten special rulings and industry trends that will have the most important influence on energy arbitration in 2017 and beyond.

  • Laurence Shore, Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP, New York

4:00 pm

Tools for Managing the Arbitral Tribunal: Tips from Counsel, Arbitrators and Institutions

Arbitration practitioners, arbitrators and institutions will share tips on how to manage the arbitral tribunal, including a discussion on how to manage busy schedules, arbitrator resignations and abuse of process by counsel. They will also suggest creative solutions to ensure that the arbitration process is being handled in an efficient and cost effective manner.


  • James E. Tancula, Mayer Brown LLP, Chicago


  • Rocío Digón, Managing Director and Counsel, ICC International Court of Arbitration, SICANA, Inc., New York
  • Mark Kantor, Independent Arbitrator, Washington, D.C.
  • Clyde W. Lea, Reed Smith LLP, Houston
  • Dietmar W. Prager, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York

5:00 pm

Closing Remarks

5:15 - 6:30 pm

Young Lawyers Networking Reception

For members of the ITA Young Arbitrators Initiative (YAI), the IEL Young Energy Professionals (YEP), the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) and other young lawyers interested in international energy arbitration.

CLE Credit

MCLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for 8.0 hours, including .75 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 901365040. Credit hours for other states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

For this conference, ITA & IEL will directly apply (if requested) for course accreditation in the following states: California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Some of these states may not approve a program for credit hours before the program occurs. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. ITA & IEL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.

Hotel Information

The cost of housing is not included in tuition. However, rooms (in limited number) have been reserved at the Hyatt Regency Houston/Galleria, 2626 Sage Road, Houston, TX 77056. Registrants should call 1.888.421.1442 and advise them of room block "ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference" to receive a reduced room rate of $129 + applicable taxes/night.  The last day to obtain this special rate is December 16 , 2016.


Other Information

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The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.

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