Photo, Nicholas O. Kennedy

Nicholas O. Kennedy

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

Nick Kennedy helps clients avoid or win disputes related to international law, class actions, antitrust law, trade secrets, California Proposition 65 and general commercial issues. He focuses primarily on the consumer products and retail, software and technology, and manufacturing, infrastructure and energy industries.

In addition to domestic litigation, Nick regularly represents clients in international arbitration and actions for enforcement of foreign arbitration awards and judgments. He has litigated throughout the United States and has arbitrated cases around the world involving the rules of most major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, ICDR, ICSID, UNCITRAL, JAMS, SCC, AAA, and LCIA.

Nick graduated from Harvard University and the UCLA School of Law, where he was a member of the UCLA Law Review and was awarded Order of the Coif. He also externed for the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He maintains an active pro bono practice that has included serving as first chair in a trial to restore mental health benefits for a developmentally delayed toddler and contributing to an amicus brief at the US Supreme Court in a seminal marriage equality case.

Nick regularly writes and speaks on class actions, international law, and cross border issues including protection of the attorney/client privilege. He serves as the North American editor of Baker McKenzie's Global Arbitration News blog.

Practice Focus

Nick is admitted in Texas and California. He has acted for clients disputes related to more than 25 different countries.

Nick's international arbitration practice encompasses both investor-state and commercial disputes, including playing a key role at multiple merits hearings. He also has significant experience enforcing arbitration awards and judgments through multi-jurisdictional asset freezes and coordinated steps to identify and seize assets in the US and abroad.

Domestically, Nick defends against and helps his clients avoid consumer class actions, antitrust actions, and claims under California Proposition 65. In addition to general commercial litigation, he has extensive trade secret and non-compete experience for both plaintiffs and defendants. Nick also has experience with intellectual property disputes, including patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

Beyond litigating, Nick counsels clients on avoiding antitrust arising from standards essential patents intellectual property licensing practices. He also helps his clients to implement programs to mitigate the risk of consumer claims through class action waivers, limitations of liability and other tools. He routinely provides compliance and dispute resolution advice to companies in California facing or seeking to avoid claims under California Proposotion 65's detailed statutory warning requirements.

Representative Legal Matters

International Disputes

  • Represented Russian investor in investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Belarus relating to complex construction project. The case was administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules. Participated as third chair in merits hearing at the Hague, including primary responsibility for presentation of damages arguments at the hearing.

  • Represented Cypriot investor in judgment enforcement case against high-profile former business partner in the United States. Developed unique strategy to target assets in foreign jurisdictions that the debtor previously believed to be unavailable to satisfy the US judgment. After uncovering those assets at debtor exams and moving for a turnover order, the judgment debtor paid our client on the eve of the hearing on the turnover order motion.

  • Represented US and Luxembourg investors in investment treaty claims against the Republic of Georgia related to mining operations in arbitration to be administered by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The case was resolved upon the filing of a request for emergency interim measures.

  • Represented Singapore-based publicly traded company in multi-jurisdictional dispute with former shareholder. Developed strategy and presented argument for anti-suit injunction in US federal court seeking to halt litigation in India about the same issues that were being litigated in a parallel Singapore arbitration.

  • Represented Kazakh investor in investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Georgia related to a natural gas distribution network. The case was administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules. The case settled favorably just days before the final merits hearing.

  • Represented Hong Kong-based apparel distributor in ICC arbitration against global apparel manufacturer asserting claims under California law for unfair trade practices, fraud, and breach of contract based on failure to enter into a license agreement on commercially reasonable terms. Coordinated with co-counsel in Hong Kong regarding parallel proceedings in Hong Kong courts.

  • Represented Turkish energy company in USD 1.5 billion ICSID arbitration against Pakistan relating to unfair measures taken by the government. Advocated at 14-day merits hearing and coordinated with co-counsel in the US, the UK, and Pakistan.

  • Represented Russian national in series of coordinated proceedings enforcing under NY Convention a USD 75 million LCIA arbitration award issued in the UK against Russian national living in the US. Confirmed award in C.D. California as part of global enforcement strategy across five jurisdictions. Obtained multiple asset freezes and litigated in District Court, the Ninth Circuit, Bankruptcy Court and California State Court as well as in London, Russia, Lichtenstein and Cyprus.

  • Represented Mexican manufacturing conglomerate in post M&A dispute relating to alleged accounting, environmental, and other irregularities related to sale of our client's US subsidiary. After complex accounting arbitration, successfully settled the remaining claims for a fraction of the amount demanded.

  • Represented Canadian manufacturer of groundwater cleanup equipment in ICC arbitration brought by purchaser asserting claims of breach of contract, breach of warranty, and fraud and applying the UN CISG. Responded with a multi-million dollar counterclaim and secured a net recovery from our client.


Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association – Member
  • Institute for Transnational Arbitration-Young Arbitrator's Forum
  • Dallas Bar Association – Member, International Law Section
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers - Member

Admissions

  • California~United States (2011)
  • Texas~United States (2013)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit~United States (2011)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States (2014)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit~United States (2015)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit~United States (2017)
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California~United States (2011)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California~United States (2012)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California~United States (2015)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas~United States (2013)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas~United States (2013)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan~United States (2013)
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois~United States (2013)

Education

  • University of California at Los Angeles (J.D. Order of the Coif with a specialization in business law)
  • Harvard University (B.A. Government & Economics, Spanish minor)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Publications