Mr. John V.H. Pierce is the head of the firm’s International Arbitration practice in the New York office. Recognized by the Chambersguides as “a crucial figure in the firm’s global arbitration practice,” Mr. Pierce represents clients in international arbitration matters in venues around the world, under both civil and common law regimes, and under the rules of all major arbitral institutions. He also represents clients in international civil litigation matters in United States courts.
Mr. Pierce’s practice is focused on the resolution of international disputes, often involving multi-jurisdictional elements and parallel proceedings. He has extensive experience handling arbitration and litigation matters valued in the billions of dollars and involving highly complex issues of law and fact.
Most recently, Mr. Pierce has represented a European manufacturing company in an ICC arbitration sited in London, under English and Japanese law, involving claims in excess of $3 billion.
He has also recently represented a major European telecommunications company in three related arbitrations sited in Vienna, and related litigation proceedings in the United States, involving issues of Polish, Austrian and US law, and claims in excess of $2 billion.
Mr. Pierce has represented European, US, Latin American and other companies, in a wide range of industries and sectors, in arbitrations sited in Latin America, the US, Europe and Asia. He has particular experience in international joint venture, M&A, shareholder, pharmaceutical, electronics, telecommunications, transportation, financial services and agency disputes.
Mr. Pierce also has experience advising clients with respect to potential claims under bilateral investment treaties. In addition to his work as counsel, Mr. Pierce sits as an arbitrator in international disputes.
Mr. Pierce has been recognized as a leader in the field of international arbitration by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration, Legal Media Group’s The Best of the Best, New York Super Lawyers and other publications.
Mr. Pierce was also named an exclusive recipient of the International Law Office 2016 Client Choice Award for Arbitration in the United States. He is described by competitors and clients in the Chambers guides as a “top-notch” and “very knowledgeable” practitioner with “a great ability to understand and execute complex business objectives.” He is also praised for his “very effective” and “persuasive” advocacy “both in writing and in the arbitration chamber.”
In addition to his arbitration practice, Mr. Pierce represents clients in complex international civil litigation matters in US courts, including efforts to enforce, or resist enforcement of, international arbitral awards. Most recently, Mr. Pierce successfully represented a European company in a RICO action in federal court in Seattle, Washington involving claims in excess of $7 billion.
Mr. Pierce achieved the dismissal of that action on grounds of forum non conveniens and then successfully argued for affirmation of that judgment in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Pierce is also committed to pro bono representation and public service. He serves as Chair of the Public Service Committee in the firm’s New York office.
In addition to his international dispute resolution practice, Mr. Pierce has a long-standing interest in, and engagement with, issues of international relations, with a particular focus on the trans-Atlantic relationship.
Mr. Pierce is a Board Member and member of the Programs Committee of the New York International Arbitration Center; a founding member of the International Arbitration Club of New York; a former member of the International Dispute Resolution Committee and Committee on International Security Affairs at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; a member of the Federal Bar Council and a member of various international arbitration associations around the world, the Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage, the Section of International Law and Practice of the American Bar Association and the International Arbitration Association in Paris). Mr. Pierce is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Young Leader of the American Council on Germany.
- a major European telecommunications company in three related arbitrations sited in Vienna under the Vienna Rules, with Polish and Austrian law applying, as well as parallel litigation proceedings in US district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (amount in dispute over $7 billion);
- a leading European manufacturing company in an ICC arbitration sited in London, with English and Japanese law applying, involving claims related to a share purchase agreement with a major Japanese industrial concern (amount in dispute over $3 billion);
- a leading international transportation company in an ICC arbitration sited in Mexico City, with Mexican and New York law applying, against a leading Mexican railroad (amount in dispute over $500 million);
- a leading international logistics company in an ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules sited in London with English law applying;
- a major international chemicals company in an ICC arbitration sited in Geneva, with Swiss law applying, against a group of related French corporations;
- a leading international banking institution in an ICC arbitration sited in Miami, with New York law applying, against a consortium of Latin American investors;
- JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1996
- École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, 1993
- BSFS, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, 1992
- Certificat d’Études Politiques, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, Paris, France, 1991
ADMISSIONS : New York
CLERKSHIPS : The Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1998 – 1999
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