Ina Popova

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 

Ina C. Popova is a Partner in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group who focuses on international arbitration and litigation and public international law. Ms. Popova is admitted to practice in Paris and New York and holds advanced degrees in English law. Ms. Popova is recognized within the legal community as one of the top international lawyers of her generation.

She sits as arbitrator and serves as counsel in a broad range of international matters, and has particular experience in the energy, mining, and technology, media, and telecommunications sectors. Fluent in several languages, Ms. Popova leads matters in French and Spanish and regularly handles disputes arising out of Africa and Latin America. She is a member of the ICC Court of Arbitration.

Ms. Popova is recommended for International Arbitration by Chambers Global (2019) and Chambers USA (2018), in which clients describe her as “a rising star,” and note that “her demeanor in an arbitration is phenomenal.” She is also listed in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration (main edition), is named as one of the top 40 up-and-coming lawyers nationwide by the American Bar Association, as a “Future Star” and member of the “Under 40 Hot List” by Benchmark Litigation, as “Best in Commercial Arbitration” by Euromoney Americas Rising Stars, and is one of only seven international arbitration “Next Generation Lawyers” recommended by The Legal 500 (2018). Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration— Future Leaders describes Ms. Popova as “very bright, impressively efficient and extremely well liked in the community.”

She represents individuals, corporations and States and has broad experience under the rules of the major arbitral institutions and several regional institutions. She also advises parties in international litigations involving proceedings in foreign and domestic courts, and has represented parties before the federal and state courts in the United States, including the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Popova serves in a number of leadership positions, including as a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Court of the Casablanca International Mediation and Arbitration Center (CIMAC). She is a past Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law.

She has also served on the 2018 ICCA Program Committee, Advisory Board member of the Institute for Energy Law, and rapporteur for the ASIL-ICCA Joint Task Force on Issue Conflicts in Investor-State Arbitration. She is also a member of the IBA International Commercial Arbitration Case Law Subcommittee and the IBA Working Group on the UNIDROIT Principles (2016). She has taught law at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and is a Fellow of the Société de Législation Comparée. She speaks and writes regularly on arbitration-related issues.

Ms. Popova maintains an active pro bono practice, most recently involving clemency and asylum matters. She was recognized by the New York State Bar Association’s “The Good We Do” campaign for her pro bono representation of a family facing eviction.

In addition to graduate degrees from Harvard Law School and from the University of Cambridge, Ms. Popova received her B.A. (Hons.)(Cantab.) with First Class Honours in Law (Double Maîtrise) from the University of Cambridge, Trinity College, and her Maîtrise en droit comparé, mention droits anglais et français with high honors from the Université de Paris II Panthéon-Assas. She is a Senior Scholar of Trinity College and was a Hollond Fund Scholar at Harvard Law School.

Ms. Popova speaks French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Bulgarian. She is a member of the Bar in Paris and in New York and is admitted to appear before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.


  • Investment Arbitration and Public International Law
    • Perenco Ecuador, prevailing on novel jurisdictional and merits issues in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the Republic of Ecuador’s unilateral increase of its participation to 99% of all revenues from oil sales above a fixed “reference price” and its declaration that Perenco’s contracts had come to an end. A decision on Perenco’s claims for more than $1 billion in damages is currently pending.
    • Pueblo Viejo Dominicana, a joint venture between Barrick Gold and Goldcorp, in a dispute with the Government of the Dominican Republic regarding the Pueblo Viejo gold, silver and copper mine, which is reported to be the largest foreign investment in the Dominican Republic.
    • Holcim and its subsidiaries, Holderfin B.V. and Caricement B.V., against Venezuela in proceedings before ICSID under the Switzerland-Venezuela BIT and the Netherlands-Venezuela BIT, asserting claims that Venezuela’s nationalization of Holcim Venezuela constituted unlawful expropriation and discrimination. After Holcim filed its statement of claim, the parties agreed on a settlement providing for compensation of $650 million.
    • A North American investment company in a dispute against the Republic of Peru under the terms of a Free Trade Agreement, worth over US$590 million.
    • A major publicly-listed mining company in a dispute with an African government regarding a mining project.
    • Francesco Becchetti and five other Italian investors in ICSID proceedings against Albania arising out of claimants’ investments in a hydroelectric plant and a media company, winning a historic order of provisional measures suspending criminal and extradition proceedings.
    • Albaniabeg Ambient and Costruzioni in ICSID proceedings against Albania arising out of claimants’ investments in a waste management and renewable energy production plant.
    • The U.K. Government as amicus curiae in litigation before U.S. federal courts and the United States Supreme Court.
    • A publicly-listed mining company in socio-environmental matters relating to a mine in Latin America.
  • Commercial Arbitration and International Litigation
    • A leading steel company in the Americas in a dispute arising from an acquisition and related supply agreements.
    • Hyundai Heavy Industries in an ICC arbitration involving disputes between the shareholders of Hyundai Oilbank Ltd. (HDO), South Korea’s fourth largest oil refining and marketing company, winning the largest ICC award issued at the time and Global Arbitration Review’s “Arbitration Win of the Year” (2010).
    • Norilsk Nickel and Interros International Investments in a dispute with United Company Rusal, including LCIA arbitration proceedings and related court litigation in the United States, England, Russia, Switzerland, St. Kitts & Nevis and The Netherlands.
    • General Electric in resolving disputes with multiple customers whose contracts involving sanctioned countries were cancelled when GE acquired a subsidiary.
    • Some of the disputes led to arbitration or domestic litigation, and many others were resolved amicably.
    • An Asian solar cell manufacturer in a dispute under the LCIA Rules involving claims for breach of contract and under the CISG for over $200 million, leading to a successful settlement.
    • A leading telecommunications and digital media company in an LCIA arbitration of a contractual dispute arising out of the purchase of assets in multiple jurisdictions, winning a complete victory on indemnification claims of over €139 million, defeating counterclaims of over €84 million, and obtaining a substantial costs award.
    • A publicly-listed sporting goods company in a dispute arising out of a distribution agreement, winning dismissal of all claims for over €30 million in addition to an award of attorney’s fees.
    • A Swiss company in ad hoc arbitration proceedings relating to payments for a commodities transaction, winning complete dismissal of claims.
    • A European equipment manufacturer in an SCC arbitration arising out of the termination of a supply contract requiring performance in a country subject to trade restrictions, including emergency relief.
    • An investor in an African mining project in a dispute arising from an electrical power supply agreement with the national electric company.


  • Harvard Law School, 2007, LL.M.
  • Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, 2006, Maîtrise en droit
  • University of Cambridge, 2006, B.A.

Bar Admissions:

  • New York
  • Paris


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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP  can handle cases related to laws concerning Litigation, International Law, Telecommunications, Energy Utilities & Environmental. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
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