José Antonio Rivas works with parties from a wide range of industries that require funding to solve their disputes through international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. He advises clients on existing and tailored-made options to fund their cases, and is based in Washington D.C. as part of the Global International Arbitration team.
His sophisticated understanding of international investment and international commercial arbitration comes from working in various capacities in international arbitration, including as counsel for private parties and sovereign clients, arbitrator in international and domestic arbitrations, lead negotiator of investment treaties, and ICSID Counsel.
Prior to joining Vannin as Managing Director, José Antonio — who is admitted to the District of Columbia, United States, and the Republic of Colombia bars — worked as senior associate at Arnold & Porter LLP. There, he represented private sector companies and sovereign States in public international law matters, litigation, and international arbitrations under the Rules of ICSID, the ICC, and UNCITRAL. He has acted as counsel for clients from Latin America, North America, Asia and Europe in arbitrations involving the energy sector, hydrocarbons, real estate ventures, environmentally sensitive projects, and infrastructure and highway concessions.
Before joining private practice, José Antonio served as Director of Foreign Investment in the Ministry of Trade of Colombia, where he headed international negotiations and concluded investment treaties with 15 countries, including those with Canada, China, India, Switzerland and the U.K.. In that position he routinely worked with the business community to attract investments and solve related disputes.
Earlier in his career he worked as ICSID Counsel analyzing cases submitted to the Centre and advising the Secretary General to register or refuse registration of those cases, and on matters involving challenges to arbitrators. He also served as Secretary of Tribunals advising Tribunal members on the applicable procedural rules.
José Antonio is adjunct professor of Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public International Law at Georgetown University Law Center, from which he holds Science Juris Doctor (SJD) and LLM degrees. He graduated as a lawyer and economist from the Los Andes University in Colombia. He is also an arbitrator of domestic and international disputes under the Rules of Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the panel of Conciliators of ICSID, and a member of the Panels of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association/International Center for Dispute Resolution, and Inter-American Commercial Arbitration. He has authored over 20 publications on investment treaty arbitration, public international and international trade law, including as co-editor of Revolution in the International Rule of Law: Essays in Honor of Don Wallace (Juris, 2014). He frequently speaks at industry conferences on international arbitration, and is trilingual in English, Spanish and French.
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