Ecuadorian official to analyze oil and gas investment arbitration at conference hosted by UH Law Center

Event will explore current trends in international energy disputes

Dr. Diego García Carrión, attorney general of Ecuador.

Sept. 9, 2016 – The University of Houston Law Center's Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources Center will host the Third Annual Houston Conference on Oil and Gas Investment Arbitration Sept. 16 with the attorney general of Ecuador as the keynoter.

Dr. Diego García Carrión will discuss his new book, "A Critical View of Investment Arbitration Based on Ecuadorian Experience: An Analysis of the Investor-state Dispute settlement, Its Flaws, Contradictions and Proposals for a Change." In recent years, García Carrión has been leading the representation of Ecuador in landmark international arbitration cases in the oil and gas industry.

"It is an honor having Attorney General García Carrión speak at the conference," Law Center Visiting Professor Julian Cardenas Garcia said. "He will give attendees an insider's perspective on the strategic legal defense carried out by Ecuador in landmark international arbitration cases in the oil and gas industry."

Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes will deliver opening remarks. He will be followed by Greg W. Hopper, vice president and head of Americas gas and power consulting for Wood Mackenzie, who will provide an overview of the long-term outlook for natural gas and the commercial considerations that will shape future market transactions.

The conference also will feature four panels that will address trending topics in the practice of investor-state arbitration in the oil and gas industry.

The first panel, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership – Impact on Investment Arbitrations in the Oil and Gas Sector," will discuss the implications of the TPP investment chapter on ongoing oil and gas investments in the region, as well as on future prospects. The panelists will further address whether the TPP as a whole is likely to encourage and stabilize investment flows in the region. The two panelists are Andrea Menaker, a partner at White & Case, and Teddy Baldwin, a partner at Baker & McKenzie. Lorena Perez McGill, a Law Center adjunct faculty member, and former Baker Botts attorney, will serve as moderator. 

The following panel, "Annulment in the Oil and Gas Sector," will analyze the annulment standards of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and how they are applied in the oil and gas sector. The featured panelists will be Washburn School of Law Associate Professor Freddy Sourgens and Alvaro Galindo of Dechert. Silvia Marchili, a partner at King & Spalding, will moderate.

The third panel, "Applicable Law in Environmental Counterclaims," will evaluate the question of applicable law in the context of environmental counterclaims, and the potentially applicable choice of laws in the context of treaty arbitration counterclaims. The panelists are Cardenas Garcia, and Miriam Harwood, a partner at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost. Ricardo Colmenter, director of Entra Consulting, will be the moderator.

The final panel, "Renewal Energy and Investment Arbitration," will examine the regulatory responses to the renewable energy sector in the U.S. and abroad. It will also address how changes in the regulatory environment have led to investor-state arbitration claims. Participants include Kabir Duggal, a partner at Baker & McKenzie, Tomasz Hara, an associate at Allen & Overy, and Janet Whittaker, a partner at Clifford Chance. Ian Laird of Crowell & Moring will serve as the panel's moderator.

The conference is sponsored by Crowell & Moring, Dechert and the Houston Journal of International Law. Additional organizers include the International Law Institute and Washburn University School of Law's Oil and Gas Law Center and the International Law Institute.

The conference will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 16, at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston. Attorneys who attend will earn 6.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit.

Click here to register, or contact Professor Julian Cardenas at

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; Elena Hawthorne, Multimedia Specialist, 713-743-1125,; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055,

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About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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