Arif Hyder Ali is the Co-chair of Dechert’s International Arbitration practice, which consists of some 30 partners and associates across the firm’s 27 offices. He splits his time between the firm’s Washington, D.C. and London offices. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, where he teaches international commercial and investment arbitration.
From 2007 to 2012 he was an Honorary Lecturer and Global Faculty Member of the University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Mining and Petroleum Law and Policy. In 2001, he was decorated with the Order of Bahrain (II) for his role in the resolution of Bahrain’s maritime and territorial boundary dispute with Qatar before the International Court of Justice.
Mr. Ali has served as lead trial counsel in international investment, commercial and construction arbitrations under many of the major international and regional arbitral regimes and covering a broad range of industries and economic activity, including foreign direct investment; privatization; the construction, operation and commercialization of thermal, nuclear, and hydro power plants; oil and gas pipeline construction and concession-related matters; mining concessions; gas pricing disputes; natural resource exploitation projects and contracts; the development and operation of tourism and hospitality projects; project finance and development agreements; contract stabilization and renegotiation issues; patents and trademarks; Internet governance and top-level domains; and information technology-related disputes.
He has represented parties from the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and across Asia. Mr. Ali is consistently rated as one of the world’s leading international arbitration and public international law specialists by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, Global Arbitration Review, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Public International Law, The Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Experts in Commercial Arbitration.
Mr. Ali frequently sits as an arbitrator in a wide variety of international commercial, construction (industrial and civil) and investor-state disputes, involving the governing laws of different jurisdictions and under various institutional regimes.
As part of his dispute resolution practice, Mr. Ali has also advised clients on risk mitigation and dispute avoidance strategies, and assisted clients in structuring resolutions to high-value and complex disputes working with bankers, insurance companies, public relations specialists, and other areas of expertise, as well as political advocacy.
He has taught at law faculties and spoken at more than a hundred conferences around the world on a wide range of topics in the fields of international arbitration, public international law, dispute avoidance and risk management, evidence in state-investor and international commercial arbitration; globalization and international economic development; rule of law and international investment; and diversity and the practice of international law.
Mr. Ali’s working languages are English, Spanish, French and Urdu. He is also conversant in Hindi, Bengali, and Portuguese. He is an avid Manchester United fan, cricket fanatic, secret poet, undeterred chef, and intrepid adventurer. His love for the law is only surpassed by his love for his family.
- Columbia University, B.A., 1986, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society
- New York University School of Law, J.D., 1990, Vanderbilt Medal, member of the Annual Review of American Law, President of the International Law Students Association
- District of Columbia
- Registered Foreign Lawyer, England and Wales
- Editorial Board, Arbitration and Mediation Review
- Editorial Board, Dispute Resolution International
- Advisory Board Member, Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Court Competition
- Users Council, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
- MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company in PCA Case No. 2014-15, an UNCITRAL arbitration brought by the Republic of Croatia to terminate shareholder and gas master agreements with MOL based on allegations of corruption. The seat of the arbitration is The Hague, the Netherlands. Croatian law governs.
- Hungary in EDF International v. Hungary (PCA Case No. 2009-13), in which claims were asserted under the Energy Charter Treaty for the unfair and inequitable treatment and expropriation of EDF’s power sector investments as result of Hungary’s measures to give effect to EU state aid rules. The seat of the arbitration is The Hague, the Netherlands.
- The investor in Duke Energy Electroquil Partners and Electroquil S.A. v. The Republic of Ecuador (ICSID Case No. ARB/04/19) under the US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty and a specifically-negotiated submission agreement in connection with claims arising out of the breach of power purchase agreements. The proceedings were held in Washington, D.C. International and Ecuadorian law governed.
- A Houston-based oil and gas company in UNCITRAL conciliation proceedings with a state-owned oil company relating to the state party’s demand for the renegotiation of the parties’ long-term production sharing agreement. The seat of the conciliation was Paris, France. French law governed.
- One of the world’s largest mining companies in a dispute against an Asian government and a state-owned mining company. The dispute involved claims under international investment treaties, an investment agreement, and the country’s foreign investment law.
- A multi-national hotel management company in ICDR arbitration against the owner of an iconic hotel in Dublin, Ireland. The dispute arose out of the owner’s attempts to terminate the hotel management agreement. The seat of the arbitration was Dublin, Ireland. Irish law governed.
- Employ Media LLC in ICC arbitration against ICANN relating to ICANN’s threatened termination of Employ Media’s registry agreement to operate the top-level domain .JOBS. The seat of arbitration was Los Angeles, California.
- An Egyptian company in Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) arbitration proceedings relating to a shareholder dispute.
- An Argentine claimant against a Chilean defendant in ICDR arbitration proceedings seated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, relating to a fee dispute governed by Argentine law.
Current Academic Research Projects:
- Analysis and review of investment law-based consents.
- Application of the principle of good faith in international commercial and investment arbitration.
- Application of the principle of adverse inferences in international commercial and investment arbitration.
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