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Curtis | 3 April 2018
ISDS: The wild, wild west of international law and arbitration
by George Kahale III
Mr. Kahale, Curtis Firm’s Chairman, maintains an active practice in both international transactions and international arbitration. He has acted as lead counsel in some of the world’s largest and most publicized transactions and infrastructure projects in the international petroleum industry, representing energy ministries and national oil corporations in many oil and gas producing countries. He also has been lead counsel in several of the world’s largest international arbitrations and is the head of the Firm’s renowned international arbitration practice.
I’ll be talking about the system of investor-state dispute settlement. It’s a system I’ve been able to observe up close for more than a decade now, after spending most of my career as a corporate lawyer who dabbled in conventional litigation. I did what lawyers often do, which is to follow my clients, many of which happen to be governments. Over the last decade, their most daunting legal problems have been defending themselves against the onslaught of investment claims. I thought it would be both exciting and challenging to follow them into this new area of practice, which didn’t even exist when I graduated from law school. What I didn’t know was that I was entering the Wild Wild West of international practice.
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