Luis M. O’Naghten, based in Miami, Florida is a noted authority on international arbitration and complex commercial litigation. He is consistently sought to serve as both party counsel and arbitrator throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Annually ranked among the world’s leading international arbitration practitioners, he travels extensively throughout the world to present scholarly lectures to peers and corporate counsel.
Luis is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration, the ICC Task Force for the Revision of the ICC Rules, chair of the US Council for International Business’ Florida Arbitration Sub-Committee, and a fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He regularly teaches courses in arbitration at the University of Miami School of Law and Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City and Guadalajara. He possesses native fluency in Spanish and handles arbitrations in both Spanish and English with equal agility.
Luis has more than 30 years of experience in international arbitration and commercial litigation, with emphasis on disputes involving Latin America. His practice focuses on international financial frauds, energy, construction, telecommunication, and corporate commercial disputes. Luis increasingly represents foreign sovereigns and parties adverse to foreign sovereigns, and provides advice to major international banks, United States and foreign multinational corporations, energy companies, and companies involved in maritime disputes. He represents parties in disputes before United States courts and before international arbitration panels (under ICC, AAA/ICDR, ICSID, and UNCITRAL rules) in a wide range of disputes, including matters in the United States, and several countries in Latin America and Europe.
Representative Legal Matters
- Represented a leading port and cargo provider in an ICC arbitration against a Mexican contractor involving the breach of a construction contract of a major port in southwestern Mexico.
- Represented a Peruvian state entity in a Spanish-language arbitration under IACAC/CIAC rules involving the remediation of Peru's largest oil and gas field.
- Represented the government of Canada in an action to confirm an UNCITRAL award rendered in an investor-state dispute in DC Federal Court.
- Represented a contractor against the Republic of Panama involving the construction and rehabilitation of four asphalt plants in an ICSID claim.
- Represented a multinational integrated project developer in two separate Spanish ICC arbitrations involving over USD 100 million in dispute against the Republic of Panama regarding the construction and financing of a series of healthcare public works projects in that country.
- Represented and acted as lead counsel to a prominent Venezuelan businessman and several companies against Russia-based companies in a multijurisdictional dispute involving over USD 90 million in claims with cases filed in the London High Court, Geneva, Switzerland and Miami, Florida.
- Represented an Australian company in a proceeding against the shareholders of an Ecuadorian company it acquired involving allegations of fraud and violations of public corruption laws in an AAA arbitration.
- Served as arbitrator in an ICC arbitration involving allegations of breach of contract, defamation, and other business torts regarding the construction of an energy plant in Colombia.
- Represented a foreign affiliate of a Fortune 100 company and defense contractor against an agency of a sovereign state that alleged USD 155 million in damages with respect to a contract for the repair of two submarines in a Spanish-language ICC arbitration in Madrid, Spain.
- Represented a gas company in an ICDR arbitration against a Brazilian promoter claiming USD 20 million resulting from the termination of development and power purchase agreements in Miami, Florida.
- Recommended in International Litigation and International Arbitration, Legal 500 United States, 2017
- Recognized in the category of "Leaders in their Field" for International Arbitration (Latin America-wide), Chambers Global, 2014-2017
- Recognized for International Arbitration (Foreign Expertise) - USA (Latin America-wide), Chambers Global, 2017
- Ranked in International Arbitration (Latin America-wide), Chambers Latin America, 2014-2017
- Who's Who Legal: Arbitration, 2016-2017
- Winner, Most Effective Lawyer in Arbitration and Mediation, Daily Business Review, 2013
Professional Associations and Memberships
- International Chamber of Commerce - Commission on Arbitration
- International Chamber of Commerce, Task Force on the "Revision of the ICC Rules"- Member
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Tutor and Assessor
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Fellow
- United States Council for International Business, Florida Sub-Committee - Chair
- Institute for Transnational Arbitration - Advisory Board
- American Bar Association, Section of International Litigation - Member
- International Bar Association, Sections on International Litigation and International Arbitration - Member
- University of Miami School of Law - Adjunct Professor
- University of Miami School of Law, Spanish Language Moot Arbitration Team - Coach
- Universidad Panamericana, Master of Law Program, International Arbitration - Adjunct Professor
- Belen Jesuit Prep School - Board of Advisors
- Order of Malta, Cuban Association - Board member
- Florida~United States (1986)
- Columbia University School of Law (JD) (1986)
- Georgetown University (BSFS International Economics) (1983)