Partner

Gustavo Topalian

T. + 54 11 3986 8202
M. + 54 911 3906 8400
gtopalian@dechampslaw.com

Overview

Gustavo is the partner in charge of our Buenos Aires office. He has broad experience in institutional and ad hoc international arbitrations, with a particular focus in the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors.

He worked in the Energy and Arbitration department of Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez de Hoz (Jr.) in Buenos Aires between 2004 and 2011. In 2012 he joined the international arbitration group of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Washington D.C., where he was promoted to senior associate in 2015. In early 2019 he joined Dechamps International Law. He has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2021 as a “Future Leader” in international arbitration.

While studying for his LL.M at New York University, Gustavo was research assistant to Prof. José Álvarez on investment arbitration matters. He is a frequent speaker on arbitration topics and has published several articles on energy and arbitration, including two award-winning monographic studies focused on commercial arbitration issues. Gustavo is a visiting professor of the Practical Seminar on International Arbitration at the Austral University (Buenos Aires).

Selection of experience:

  • Representing The Lopez-Goyne Family Trust and others in an ICSID arbitration against Nicaragua (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/44) under the DR-CAFTA. Claim related to measures taken by Nicaragua that affected the claimants’ rights under an oil concession agreement. The amount in dispute is confidential. The arbitration is ongoing.
  • Representing Latin American Regional Aviation Holding S. de R.L. in an ICSID arbitration against Uruguay (ICSID Case No. ARB/19/16) under the Panama-Uruguay BIT. Claim related to measures taken by Uruguay that affected the claimant’s investment in Pluna Líneas Aéreas Uruguayas S.A., a local airline company. The amount in dispute is over US$800 million. The arbitration is ongoing.
  • Representing Diamante Trading Investments Ltd. and others in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Venezuela (PCA Case No. 2019-49) under the Barbados-Venezuela and Spain-Venezuela BITs. Claim related to measures taken by Venezuela that affected the claimants’ investments in the food distribution sector. The amount in dispute is over US$100 million. The arbitration is ongoing.
  • Representing an Argentine company in an UNCITRAL arbitration under the ICC Rules against a Dutch company concerning disputes related to fraudulent behaviour within the framework of a share sale and purchase agreement (New York law). The arbitration is ongoing.
  • Representing Glencore International A.G., C.I. Prodeco S.A. and Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Nuevo S.A. in an ICSID arbitration against Colombia (ICSID Case No. ARB/19/22) under the Colombia-Switzerland BIT. Claim related to several measures taken by Colombia’s executive branch that affected the claimant’s investments in the infrastructure sector. The amount in dispute is confidential. The arbitration is ongoing.
  • Representing EcuadorTLC, Cayman International and Teikoku Oil Ecuador in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Ecuador, an Ecuadorian state entity and a state-owned company. Claim related to the early termination of two oil contracts (Ecuadorian law). The arbitral tribunal rendered an award in favour of the claimants for over US$500 million.
  • Representing Repsol and Repsol Butano in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/38) under the Spain-Argentina BIT. Claim related to Argentina’s expropriation of YPF, the largest energy company in the country. The dispute was successfully settled for an amount of over US$5 billion.
  • Representing Rusoro Mining Ltd. in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/12/5) under the Canada-Venezuela BIT. Claim related to measures taken by Venezuela that affected the claimant’s investments in the mining sector. The arbitral tribunal rendered an award of around US$1.2 billion in favour of the investor.
  • Representing Glencore International A.G. and C.I. Prodeco S.A. in an ICSID arbitration against Colombia (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/6) under the Colombia-Switzerland BIT. Claim related to measures taken by Colombia that affected the claimant’s investments in the mining sector. The arbitral tribunal rendered an award of approximately US$19 million in favour of the investors.
  • Representing four subsidiaries of a Swiss multinational in a multi-party ICC arbitration regarding disputes arising from two long-term contracts for the transportation of coal by rail (Colombian law). The amount in dispute is over US$1 billion. The result of the arbitration is confidential.

Publications

  • The Paradoxical Argentina Cases, World Arbitration and Mediation Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2012, co-authored with José E. Álvarez.
  • Incentives for Renewable Energy Projects: A Comparative Analysis, Comparative Energy Law, Oil, Gas & Energy Law 2, 2011, co-authored with Pablo Rueda.
  • Análisis sobre el Marco Regulatorio de los Biocombustibles en la República Argentina, Revista Jurídica La Ley, November 2010, and Revista del Colegio de Abogados de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, December 2010, co-authored with Tomás Lanardonne.
  • Arbitraje y medidas cautelares, El Dial.com, Edición Especial sobre Derecho Internacional Privado, November 2009.
  • Una reforma legislativa necesaria: cuando la falta de compromiso (arbitral) es positiva, Revista del Colegio de Abogados de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, July 2009, co-authored with Ignacio Zapiola.
  • El compromiso arbitral a la luz de los tratados internacionales de los que la Argentina es parte, El Dial.com, Edición Especial sobre Derecho Internacional Privado, October 2008, co-authored with Ignacio Zapiola.