Houston as the Crossroads between the Middle East and the Americas

  • Location: Houston, Texas, USA
  • Date: 08/04/2013 - 09/04/2013
  • Event Type: Conference
  • Language: English

Houston is a strategic location for U.S. companies doing business in Latin America and the Middle East, particularly in the energy and construction sectors. The ICC Conference will be the opportinity to discuss and debate on international arbitration as a technic for the resolution of disputes, with a focus on Houston as an arbitration gateway.


The First Annual ICC Houston Conference on International Arbitration shines a spotlight on Houston as a gateway for U.S. companies doing business in Latin America and the Middle East. Given Houston's strategic location and large energy and construction sectors, it is an ideal location for bringing together corporate counsel, outside counsel and business persons from various sectors that involve the U.S., the Middle East and Latin America. We will focus on new developments in energy and infrastructure disputes, as well as recent developments, hot topics and enforcement issues in the Middle East and Latin America. We will conclude with a roundtable of corporate counsel representing orporate interests based in Houston discussing their perspectives on international arbitration. Join scholars, practitioners, and corporate counsel from Houston, Latin America and the Middle East as they discuss and debate international arbitration practices with a focus on Houston as an arbitration gateway.

Who should attend

Arbitrators, legal practitioners, in-house counsel, and academics who wish to know more about international arbitration.

Monday 8 April 2013

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Welcome Cocktail Reception
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
700 Louisiana, Suite 1600
Houston, TX 77002

Tuesday 9 April 2013

8:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:30 a.m.
Welcome & Introduction

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
New Developments in Energy and Infrastructure Disputes
Energy and infrastructure are key components of the business landscape in Houston. This panel will address new developments in energy and infrastructure disputes, with a particular emphasis on disputes involving Middle Eastern and Latin American business interests.


11:00-11:15 a.m.
Coffee Break

11:15 a.m. -12:45 p.m.
Regional Focus: Hot Topics in International Arbitration in the Middle East
This panel will address emerging and hot-button issues in international arbitration in the Middle East, including new developments in the arbitration laws of various jurisdictions, such as Saudi Arabia, and how the implementation of those laws will affect cross-border business disputes, as well as enforcement of awards in the Middle East and common misperceptions about Sharia law in international arbitration.


12:45- 2:15 p.m.

2:15-3:45 p.m.
Regional Focus: Latin America - Enforcement of Awards
The speakers will address a variety of issues that parties should consider when seeking enforcement or vacatur of an arbitration award in Latin America, including the impact of the seat of arbitration, the status of the enforcing countries’ adhesion to the New York Convention, the unique enforcement procedures and requirements for local courts in a sampling of jurisdictions, and the foreign investment consequences of Latin American countries renouncing the ICSID Convention, among other topics.


3:45-4:00 p.m.
Coffee Break

4:00-6:00 p.m.
Corporate Counsel Roundtable Discussion
This panel will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the international arbitration process from the perspective of ICC corporate users with ties to the Houston region. The corporate counsel panelists will also discuss their “wish list” from the standpoint of their relationships with outside counsel and their expectations of the arbitral tribunal.


6:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

  • Roberto Aguirre Luzi, Partner, King & Spalding LLP, Houston
  • Arif H. Ali, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Oliver Armas, Partner, Chadbourne & Parke LLP, New York
  • C. Mark Baker, Partner, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Houston
  • Francisco Balduzzi, Senior Legal Counsel, Latin America, Wood Group Management Services Inc., Houston
  • John Beechey, President, International Court of Arbitration®, Paris
  • Suzana Blades, Senior Counsel, ConocoPhilips, Houston
  • Ricardo Colmenter, Regional General Counsel, Latin America, Weatherford, Houston
  • Alan Crain, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Houston
  • Veronica Foley, Associate General Counsel, Americas, Precision Drilling, Houston
  • Grant Hanessian, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP, New York
  • Sami Houerbi, Director for the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa Dispute Resolution Services, International Court of Arbitration®, Tunisia
  • Yasmine Lahlou, Counsel, Chaffetz Lindsey LLP, New York
  • Alexander Lütgendorf, Senior Counsel, Amereller Legal Consultants, Dubai
  • Daniel J. McDonald, Partner, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP, Calgary
  • Caline Mouawad, Partner, King & Spalding LLP, New York
  • Ann Ryan Robertson, International Partner, Locke Lord LLP, Houston
  • Ben H. Sheppard, Jr., Independent Arbitrator and Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center, University of Houston, Houston
  • Josefa Sicard-Mirabal, Director, Arbitration & ADR North America, International Court of Arbitration®, New York
  • Tom Sikora, Counsel, International Disputes Group, ExxonMobil, Houston
  • Jonathan Sutcliffe, Partner, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Houston


Fulbright & Jaworski LLP
1301 McKinney Street
Houston, Texas 77010

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Registration fee:

Until 8 March 2013: “Early bird special”: US $350

After 8 March 2013: For USCIB members: US $450; For non-members: US $550
Registration Fee for Academics, Corporate Counsel, Sole Practitioners and Government Representatives: US $275

The fee includes working papers, continental breakfast refreshments, lunch and reception.

Travel and hotel expenses are not included. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations.

Cancellation charge:
50% of the contribution to costs will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received in writing before March 21, 2013. Cancellations after this date are not refundable. However, registration may be transferred to another person from the same company or organization at no extra charge, provided that notice is sent to aay@iccwbo.org prior to the conference.

How to register:
Please complete and return the registration form which can be downloaded under "Register Now" indicating method of payment to:

Email: aay@iccwbo.org
Post: ICC North America
c/o United States Council for International Business
1212 Avenue of the Americas, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10036
Tel: +1 212 703 5044
Fax: +1 212 575 0327
Website: www.iccnorthamerica.org

Registration will be confirmed upon receipt of regis tration form and payment.