Abby Cohen Smutny is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in international arbitration.
She represents clients in international commercial arbitration, in investment treaty arbitration, and in international disputes before U.S. courts, and counsels clients as to a wide variety of claims.
She has represented and counseled clients in disputes involving numerous industries, including banking, financial services, oil & gas, mining, electric power, real estate development, water supply, retail, pharmaceuticals, construction, tobacco, railroads, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
Ms. Smutny represents clients in arbitrations before all major arbitral forums including ICSID, the ICC, the Vienna International Arbitral Centre, the LCIA, as well as ad hoc arbitrations, such as under the UNCITRAL Rules, and handles disputes arising under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), the Energy Charter Treaty, the NAFTA, the DR-CAFTA, and the ASEAN treaty.
She has been described over the years by Chambers and other guides to the profession as "a real star," who is "especially knowledgeable on investment protections and treaty-based claims," as "a major force in treaty arbitrations," who is "smart, practical and manages to be both aggressive and diplomatic," as having "immense integrity," as being "renowned for her thorough and technical preparation, as well as her vigorous and energetic advocacy," that "you can’t go to a better practitioner, especially on cutting-edge cases," as "a motivational powerhouse," who has "virtually unrivalled knowledge of state responsibility and investment treaty protection," and as being "excellent" and "the best."
Other Court Admissions
- US District Court for the District of Columbia
- In Ceskoslovenská obchodní banka, a. s. v. Slovak Republic, representing one of the leading banks in the Czech Republic in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute with the Slovak Republic in which our client was awarded US$877 million;
- In Gold Reserve Inc. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, representing Gold Reserve Inc. in an arbitration before ICSID of claims arising under the Canadian-Venezuelan bilateral investment treaty relating to one of the largest undeveloped gold/copper deposits in the world;
- In Plama Consortium Limited v. Bulgaria, representing the Republic of Bulgaria in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under the Energy Charter Treaty and bilateral investment treaties involving the operation of an oil refinery in which claims of the investor were dismissed in their entirety and our client obtained a sizable cost award;
- In EDF (Services) Ltd v. Romania, representing Romania in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under a bilateral investment treaty relating to a concession to provide duty free and other retail services at Romanian airports in which claims of investor were dismissed in their entirety and Romania obtained a sizable cost award;
- In Accession Eastern European Capital AB and Mezzanine Management Sweden AB v. Bulgaria and in Novera A.D. et al. v. Bulgaria, representing Bulgaria in claims presented under bilateral investment treaties relating to the termination of the concession for waste collection and street cleaning by the municipality of Sofia;
- In PSEG Global Inc. and Konya Ilgin Elektrik Üretim ve Ticaret Limited Sirketiv v. Republic of Turkey, representing a US electric power developer in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute with the Republic of Turkey arising under a bilateral investment treaty in which our client obtained an award granting it the return of its project development costs with interest plus legal fees and costs;
- In Noble Ventures, Inc. v. Romania, representing Romania in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under a bilateral investment treaty relating to the privatization of steel facilities in which claims of investor were dismissed in their entirety and Romania obtained a sizable cost award;
- In Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide v. Republic of the Philippines, representing the Philippines in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under the German-Philippines bilateral investment treaty relating to investments in a company granted a concession to construct and operate a passenger airport in Manila in which claims of the investor were dismissed in their entirety;
- Representing a consortium of investors in a dispute with a municipality regarding the implementation of a water concession contract before the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and obtaining a favorable award of over US$100 million;
- In Aguaytia Energy, LLC v. Republic of Peru, representing Peru in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute involving electricity transmission and legal stability agreements in Peru in which the claims of the investor were dismissed in their entirety;
- In Trans-Global Petroleum Inc. v. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, representing Jordan in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under the U.S.-Jordan bilateral investment treaty relating to a oil production sharing agreement defending against claims of US$1 billion that were released in their entirety in a favorable consent award;
- In Abaclat and others v. Argentine Republic, representing over tens of thousands of Claimants in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute totaling over US$1 billion arising under the Italy-Argentina bilateral investment treaty relating to Argentina's default on the payment of sovereign bonds;
- In S&T Oil Equipment and Machinery v. Romania, representing Romania in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under a bilateral investment treaty relating to the privatization of several companies, which was terminated without any finding of liability for Romania;
- In Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc. v. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines representing the Republic of the Philippines in an ICC arbitration involving claims of over US$1 billion arising out of a concession contract to construct and operate an airport terminal;
- In CEMEX Asia Holdings Ltd v. Republic of Indonesia, representing the Republic of Indonesia in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute relating to investments in a cement facility arising under contracts and the ASEAN treaty, which was settled on terms favorable to Indonesia;
- In MTD Equity Sdn. Bhd. and MTD Chile S.A. v. Republic of Chile, representing the Republic of Chile in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under a bilateral investment treaty relating to a real estate development project;
- In AES Summit Generation Ltd v. Republic of Hungary, representing the Republic of Hungary in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute arising under the Energy Charter Treaty and a bilateral investment treaty relating to power purchase agreements, which was settled on terms favorable to Hungary;
- In TECO Guatemala Holdings v. Guatemala, representing TECO Guatemala Holdings in an ICSID arbitration of an investment treaty dispute with Guatemala under the Central America – United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) arising out of TECO’s investment in an electricity distribution company;
- In Mondev International Ltd. v. United States of America, representing a major Canadian real estate developer in an arbitration before ICSID's Additional Facility of a dispute with the United States of America arising under NAFTA's Chapter 11;
- In Compañía del Desarrollo de Santa Elena S.A. v. Republic of Costa Rica, representing the Republic of Costa Rica in an ICSID arbitration of a dispute relating to the expropriation of real property for purposes of environmental conservation;
- In Eudoro A. Olguín v. Republic of Paraguay, representing a Peruvian national in the jurisdictional phase of an ICSID arbitration of disputes against the Republic of Paraguay arising under a bilateral investment treaty;
- In Electricidad Argentina S.A. and EDF International S.A. v. Argentine Republic, representing EDF in relation to an ICSID arbitration brought against Argentina under the provisions of the France-Argentina bilateral investment treaty relating to investments in the electricity sector;
- Representing a US company in an ICC arbitration against the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding military procurement contracts;
- Representing a US company in an ICC arbitration of disputes with a North African State and its national oil company involving oil concession contracts and Production Sharing Agreements;
- In Amco Asia Corporation and others v. Republic of Indonesia, representing the Republic of Indonesia against claims of expropriation in ICSID arbitration including in annulment proceedings;
- In Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company v. Arab Republic of Egypt and General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, representing Manufactures Hanover Trust Company in an ICSID arbitration claiming expropriation of its investment through abusive tax regulation;
- Representing a State in an ICC arbitration of a dispute arising out of the privatization of a telcommunications company;
- Representing private companies presenting claims of indirect expropriation under policies of political risk insurance arising from investments in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America;
- Representing a State in an ICC arbitration of a dispute relating to a chemical manufacturing facility;
- Representing a Belgian corporation seeking to enforce an ICC arbitral award of over US$30 million against the Republic of Yemen in US courts;
- Representing a State in regard to judicial enforcement proceedings relating to an ICC award;
- Preparing over US$1 billion of claims for submission to the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) in Geneva on behalf of nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kuwait, Turkey and the United States; and
- Serving as sole arbitrator in various ICC arbitrations involving distributorship agreements and licensing agreements.