Laura Sinisterra

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Laura Sinisterra is a member of the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group and is based in New York. Her practice focuses on international investment and commercial arbitration, and she has advised clients in a variety of jurisdictions on issues of public international law, treaty and contract interpretation, common and civil law. Ms. Sinisterra joined Debevoise in 2014. She received an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, where she was a recipient of a Dean’s Scholar Prize and a member of the Harvard International Law Journal.

Ms. Sinisterra received her Law Degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, graduating first in her class. During law school, she participated in an exchange program with Notre Dame University and received a degree, magna cum laude, in Advanced Social, Economic and Political Studies.

Prior to joining Debevoise, Ms. Sinisterra worked in the arbitration group of a large international law firm based in Paris as well as the international disputes practice of a well-known Colombian law firm.

Ms. Sinisterra currently serves as ITA’s Young Mentorship Chair. Her recent publications include “Tactics and procedures used in international arbitration to promote efficiency,” Experiencias y Retos del Ecuador en el Arbitraje de Inversión y Comercial (September, 2018); “Public Policy Through the Lens of Chevron v. Ecuador,” IBA Litigation Committee Newsletter (2016), “Annual ITA Workshop Report, When Justice Delayed Would Be Justice Denied: Emergency Arbitrators and Interim Measures in International Arbitration,” ITA News and Notes(2016), “Chevron v. Ecuador, The Saga Continues,” The Energy Law Advisor (2016); “A New Kind of Risk? Recent Approaches to Country Risk in the Valuation of Damages,” IBA Arbitration News (2016); “Slowly Moving Forward: Colombia and the New York Convention,” IBA Arbitration News (2012); and “Extension of the Arbitration Agreement to Non-Signatories,” Los Andes Private Law Journal (2010).

Ms. Sinisterra’s speaking engagements include the ABA Fall Meeting (2017), the IX Latin American Arbitration Conference (2017), the Harvard Law School International Arbitration Conference (2017), the IBA Annual Conference in Boston (2013); and several ICC Conferences in Mexico, Colombia, República Dominicana, and Bolivia (2013-2017).

Selected representations include Perenco Ecuador Limited in its ICSID proceedings against the Republic of Ecuador arising out of the expropriation of its operations in that country, and the Republic of Iraq in two ICSID proceedings related to the telecommunications sector.

Ms. Sinisterra is admitted to the Bars of New York and Colombia. She is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English, with a conversational knowledge of French.


  • An international mining company in a potential dispute against a Latin American state under the terms of a Free Trade Agreement, worth over US$900 million. The dispute arises out of litigations before local courts regarding royalty payments.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An engineering and commissioning contractor in an AUS$2 billion ICC Singapore arbitration concerning the disputed termination of an EPC subcontract to build a captive Combined Cycle power station on an LNG facility.
  • The Republic of Iraq in two ICSID proceedings related to the telecommunications sector.


  • Harvard Law School, 2014, Master of Laws
  • Universidad de Los Andes, 2008, Law Degree

Bar Admissions:

  • Colombia
  • New York


Rate : $$$

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