International Arbitration Veteran Joins Squire Patton Boggs (1)

March 4, 2019, 5:46 PMUpdated: March 4, 2019, 7:48 PM

International arbitration lawyer Miriam Harwood is joining Squire Patton Boggs in New York as a partner in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution practice group and as co-head of Investment Arbitration, bringing with her years of experience working with sovereign state clients.

Harwood joins the firm from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, an AmLaw 200 firm where she practiced for more than 25 years, specializing in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration.

Harwood will be working with Squire partners Luka Misetic and Stephen Anway in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution group in New York. The group, which handles international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, has a total of 30 partners.

Among Harwood’s notable cases are arbitrations between Venezuela and major oil companies ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil that involved $30 billion and $16 billion, respectively. She has also worked to resolve disputes involving construction and infrastructure projects, renewable energy regulations, telecommunications and oil and gas projects around the world.

Harwood said in a statement that she joined Squire Patton Boggs because the “global platform, resources and reputation of the firm, with its deep expertise and proven track record in international arbitration, provide an extraordinary opportunity for growth and continued success.”

The move comes shortly after Squire Patton Boggs lost three partners and its office managing partner in London to Crowell & Moring, which is expanding in the British capital.

Global firm HFW has also announced that it has grabbed two Squire Patton Boggs attorneys to launch a transactional practice in China, to be based in Shanghai.

Sovereign States

Harwood has represented a number of countries, including Albania, Romania, Spain, Kuwait, Libya, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Venezuela.

“Squire is positioning itself as the firm representing sovereign states,” Harwood told Bloomberg Law. “It has a good solid base in central and Eastern Europe and does work in the Middle East, including Libya, and I’m bringing in Central Asia to Squire’s geographical reach.”

In her new role at Squire Patton Boggs, she will continue to defend Turkmenistan in five cases at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. These include a $750 million claim brought against the Central Asian country by Mobile TeleSystems, a Russian telecoms company; and a dispute with the administrator of an insolvent German construction company; as well as three claims involving Turkish construction companies.

While at her previous firm, she represented Venezuela in the ICSID in cases brought by ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. She also represented Venezuela’s national oil and gas company PDVSA in two International Chamber of Commerce arbitrations brought by ConocoPhillips.

In 2012, she helped Turkmenistan settle a $800 million ICSID claim and three parallel ICC arbitrations in a prior dispute with Mobile TeleSystems.

More recently, she has been representing Spain in its efforts to annul a €128 million Energy Charter Treaty award in favor of a British investor affected by reforms to the country’s renewable energy subsidy regime.

(Added quote from Harwood in paragraph 9.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson in Washington at egolson1@gmail.com.
To contact the editor on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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