International arbitration boutique hits the ground running following Paris launch

Partners Eduardo Silva Romero, José-Manuel García Represa and Catalina Echeverri Gallego have hit the ground running following the launch of their new conflict-free global arbitration boutique, Wordstone Dispute Resolution, at the beginning of the year.

Headquartered in Paris, the team has retained its focus on the energy, telecommunications, mining, infrastructure and pharmaceutical industries, with a series of existing and new mandates.

Wordstone’s launch follows the departure of two partners from Dechert Paris’ international arbitration practice in December. The three Wordstone partners are supported by a team of one of Counsel and nine associates, all former Dechert members with experience in working on high-value complex disputes.

Based in Paris and with a presence in London and Bogota, Wordstone operates globally with practitioners specialising in the most complex international disputes. The Wordstone partners are now working on a nimble platform with fewer conflicts, advising clients in high- value and politically sensitive international commercial arbitrations and investor-state arbitrations. Dechert and Wordstone will continue to work together.

The dedicated and experienced team are commercial and investment arbitration specialists representing sovereign States, State entities, investors and businesses; and they handle some of the most complex disputes in a wide range of industries, arbitral forums and jurisdictions. Latin America remains a key geography for the team, with nearly half of its arbitration cases originating in the region. The team has extensive experience representing various States, including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Poland.

Eduardo Silva Romero, previously Partner and Co-Chair of the international arbitration global practice at Dechert Paris for nearly 20 years, co-manages Wordstone alongside José-Manuel García Represa, previously a Dechert Partner, and Catalina Echeverri Gallego, previously a Senior Associate and now Partner.

Recognised as one of the world’s most in-demand arbitrators and having acted in over 180 investment and commercial cases under a variety of institutional rules, Eduardo specialises in investment and commercial arbitration with a historic focus on States and State-owned entities. From 2001 to 2005, Eduardo was the Deputy Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and he is the current Chair of the ICC Institute of World Business Law, as well as a member of the ICC Court.

Co-founding partner José-Manuel specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration, with particular expertise in both Europe, Africa and Latin America, and significant experience in cases involving multiple jurisdictions and procedural rules. In addition to serving as arbitrator, José-Manuel represents both States and investors, with a focus in concession contracts, oil & gas, engineering and construction, the generation and distribution of electric power (both renewable and conventional), mining and telecommunications sectors. He is the current President of the Club Español e Iberoamericano del Arbitraje in France. He teaches Damages at Sciences Po Law School, Energy & Mining Disputes at the University Paris II – Panthéon Assas, and Witness & Expert Cross-Examination at the Swiss Arbitration Academy.

With over a decade of experience, Partner Catalina Echeverri has advised numerous clients in high-profile disputes, in both investment treaty and commercial matters, actively participating in negotiations, arbitration proceedings, and post-arbitration matters across a broad range of industries. With a background in public policy from the University of Oxford, Catalina has dedicated her practice to cases involving sovereign States, State-owned entities, and State-owned companies. Her experience extends to navigating complex disputes spanning multiple jurisdictions, involving the application of public and private international law, and domestic legislation. Catalina also sits as arbitrator and currently co-teaches International Contracts at Sciences Po in Paris.

Commenting on Wordstone’s recent launch, Eduardo said: “Operating on a conflict-free platform, Wordstone has a strong starting position in the Paris and broader international markets, with a talented team that effectively navigates complex disputes at an international level. As we embark on our new journey, we are confident that minimal impact of conflicts will offer a truly client-centric experience, and provide a competitive offering for the years ahead.”

José-Manuel added: “I am excited to have the opportunity to continue working with this exceptional team and prosper in a new business structure that supports our clients globally. My expertise in the mining, oil & gas and construction sectors in both Europe, Africa and Latin America allows us to meet client demand in those sectors on a global scale.”

Catalina commented: “I am delighted to have stepped up as partner at Wordstone and to work alongside partners with a formidable reputation on high-value, complex disputes, and contributing to build the Firm’s practice.”

The three Wordstone partners are supported by a team of one of Counsel, nine associates, two paralegals and four clerks, all with experience in working on high-value, complex disputes.

This news was published in Law360 and Solicitors Journal.

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