Jonathan C. Hamilton - White & Case LLP

Jonathan C. Hamilton

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2012

Practice Experience

Jonathan is a leading global authority on international disputes and investment, as well as complex negotiations and crisis management.

As head of Latin American arbitration, he has successfully advised on some of the most critical issues of the era in Latin America and beyond, such as the cultural patrimony of Machu Picchu, the new Ecuador international airport, the Argentine sovereign debt crisis, the development of the Peruvian energy sector and the Panama Canal expansion. Jonathan’s practice is ranked at the top of its field byChambers Global, Chambers USA and Chambers Latin America, which describes the practice as "a powerhouse at the forefront of Latin American international arbitration". Recognition of his specific recent matters includes, among others:
  • 2013 OGEMID Most Influential Arbitration Award of the Decade
  • 2012 OGEMID Best Arbitration Award
  • 2011 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year/Disputes
  • 2010 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year/Finalist Disputes
  • 2009 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year/Disputes
  • 2008 OGEMID Best Arbitration Award

Jonathan also has been individually recognized as one of the top lawyers in his field and was one of ten lawyers worldwide nominated for Global Arbitration ReviewAdvocate of the Year. Chambers and Legal 500 and clients have described him as follows:
  • "a super-lawyer-dealmaker"
  • "single-minded commitment to the client’s cause"
  • "very impressive advocacy" with "impressive grasp of strategy"
  • "great negotiator" and "true Latin American specialist"
  • "deep understanding and efficiency" and "tenacity"
  • "experience, expertise, commitment and dynamism"

Jonathan is a recognised thought leader on both Latin American policy and international investment and arbitration. He teaches international contract negotiations at the University of Miami and lectures widely at leading universities. Key publications include:

Based in Washington, DC, and Latin America, Jonathan started his career at White & Case in the New York office, spent several years in the Mexico City office and also worked as a visiting associate with a major firm in Lima. He is committed to social development and has served on the US-Mexico Foundation board, the Vance Center for International Justice board, foreign policy working groups and as an international election observer. He also worked as an assistant to legal fiction author John Grisham and a federal law clerk.

Selected examples of his experience include:
  • Foreign Investment, including success in Aguaytia v. Peru, a US$150 million case named Latin Lawyer Dispute of the Year 2009, called "a strong precedent for stability agreements as a means of protecting foreign investment." (Chambers)
  • Energy Projects, such as victories in a US$300 million Energy Charter Treaty oil and gas case named Award of the Year 2008 (OGEMID), and a case where the client "escaped a US$174 million sword of Damocles." (GAR)
  • Infrastructure/Construction Projects, including Convial v. Peru, related to a toll road concession, and PIATCO v. Philippines, a victory in a US$565 million commercial construction arbitration, GAR Win of the Year 2010 finalist.
  • Complex Negotiations, including the resolution of disputes and renegotiation of the project financing for the US$650 million Quito, Ecuador airport in "one of the most complex project disputes in Latin America's recent history" involving "myriad proceedings under contracts and treaties." (Latin LawyerAmerican Lawyer)
  • Sovereign Finance, including "the first prominent use of an investment protection treaty to challenge a sovereign government's handling of a default and restructuring" and a landmark decision described as "a wake-up call" with a result "whose effects may reverberate widely." (IAReporter)
  • Complex Procedure and Mass Claims, advising tens of thousands holders of bonds in a "novel" case "closely watched because of its importance to multi-party arbitration." Named Arbitration Decision of the Year 2011 and Most Surprising Decision of the Year 2011. (GARAmerican Lawyer)
  • Cultural Patrimony, assisting Peru on the return of artifacts removed almost a century ago from Machu Picchu with a result that sends "a message to collectors around the world." (The Economist). Latin Lawyer Dispute of the Year 2010 finalist.
  • Social Development, with a commitment to public service and pro bono work, including serving on the US-Mexico Foundation board, the Vance Center on International Justice board, foreign policy working groups and as an international election observer.

Selected Examples of Client Matters
Mr. Hamilton's experience has included, among other examples, the following matters:
  • An airport concession in Ecuador
  • A metallurgical facility in Peru
  • Sovereign bonds issued by Argentina
  • A hydroelectric project in Ecuador
  • A gold mine in Venezuela
  • A port in Peru
  • A toll road in Peru
  • Transmission lines in Peru
  • Electricity concessions in Peru
  • An oil refinery in Bulgaria
  • A real estate development in Chile
  • An airport in the Philippines
  • Public utilities in Argentina
  • A publishing enterprise in Chile
  • Diverse outbound investment from Brazil
  • A concession with Paraguay
  • A factory in El Salvador
  • An airline in Peru
  • A tunnel and hydroelectric project in Bolivia
  • An airport project in Costa Rica
  • An oil and gas and construction project in Mexico
  • A historic site and related artifacts in Peru
  • A joint venture in Brazil
  • Nuclear materials from CIS
  • A commodity sold into Mexico
  • A construction project in the Philippines
  • Energy procurement in Mexico
  • A banking dispute involving Colombia
  • Debt collection in Mexico and other markets
  • A telecommunications project in Mexico
  • An energy project in Venezuela
  • A telecommunications project in Argentina
  • Disputes before diverse courts and involving the arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission (IACAC), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as well as various local arbitral institutions
  • Advising on matters arising under treaties such as bilateral investment treaties (BITs), Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)
  • Drafting and advising on dispute resolution mechanisms and arbitration clauses at the time of contract
  • Transactions involving project financing, lending, leasing, joint ventures, dispute mechanisms, restructuring, settlements and diverse foreign investment issues

University of VirginiaJ.D. Brandeis UniversityBA University of North CarolinaMA
American Bar Association American Society of International Law Inst. for Transnational Arb.Int’l Arb. Ctr., AmCham PeruInternational Bar Association ICC Latin America Arb. Comm.Int'l Law Institute, ADR Advisory Board Latin Am. Energy Advisor, BoardLatin Arbitration LawU.S.-Mexico Foundation, Board Virginia Journal of Int'l Law, Board

Office Location

701 Thirteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-3807
United States

Practice Areas

International Arbitration - Commercial
International Arbitration - Governmental

Other Information