Laura Zimmerman

Laura R. Zimmerman

Associate
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

Laura has over a decade of experience counseling clients through complex international dispute resolution. She regularly represents clients in high-stakes international arbitration (including under ICC, AAA-ICDR, UNCITRAL, JAMS and ICSID rules), mediation and commercial litigation cases. She was selected as a co-author for the book 40 Under 40 International Arbitration 2021 and currently serves on the board of the New York International Arbitration Center as an Alternate Director, the Steering Committee for CPR Y-ADR, the Global Advisory Board for ICDR Young & International, and the AAA-ICDR’s Innovation & Technology Advisory Council.

Within the firm, Laura is the North America steering committee representative for a global forum to promote young and diverse practitioners in international arbitration, a founding ambassador of the global Arbitration Lunch Match initiative for women in international arbitration, and a member of the steering committee for the New York office’s women’s initiative. She is also actively engaged in pro bono matters, with a focus on representation of undocumented immigrants in removal proceedings.

Prior to her law career, Laura worked for several years in the international development aid sector and in EU-US economic and trade policy coordination between legislators and multinational companies. In addition to her law degree, she holds an Honors Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and a Master’s Degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Practice Focus

Laura primarily focuses on cross-border contract, investment, and business disputes. She has significant experience with energy (including renewables, oil and gas, and nuclear) and construction disputes, as well as in the banking, fashion and pharma sectors.

She also brings an in-house perspective to her client work. In 2021, she spent six months working with the litigation and compliance team of a major fashion house, where she negotiated contractual disputes and managed cross-border internal investigations. In 2016-17, she spent six months seconded to Standard Chartered Bank’s global disputes team in London, managing arbitrations, litigations and other disputes in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

An experienced advocate, Laura has taken a lead role on numerous multi-million dollar international arbitration cases from inception to final award. She also regularly litigates in New York federal and state courts, and various other US jurisdictions. She has worked in both the New York and London offices of the firm.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Acting for an oil company as Respondent in an ICC arbitration involving over 40 claims and counterclaims arising out of an EPC contract for the construction of off-shore oil platforms, including first-chairing an USD 85 million counterclaim. 

  • Acting for an oil company as Claimant in an ICC arbitration arising out of an EPC contract for the construction and integration of off-shore oil platforms. 

  • Acting for an energy company on multiple disputes arising from sales contracts for wind turbines and services contracts for the operation of wind farms.

  • Acted for a US biomedical entity in an ICC arbitration with an African state entity, involving royalty claims for a patented scientific technology, achieving early dismissal of over 95% of claimed damages.

  • Conducted a cross-border internal investigation concerning supply chain issues in Asia. 

  • Acted for a mutual insurer in several JAMS mediations and other ADR proceedings involving high-stakes coverage claims regarding nuclear power plants.

  • Acted for a UK bank in a Delaware Bankruptcy Court adversary proceeding on constructive fraudulent transfer claims, achieving a complete dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds. 

  • Achieved favorable settlements of confidential UNCITRAL arbitrations for two European clients, involving novel claims at the intersection of business and human rights.

  • Acted for a German pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration of a post-acquisition earn-out dispute over medical device sales.

  • Defended UK and African banks in a series of litigations involving enforcement of a foreign money judgment, breach of contract, and defamation claims in NY and Washington, DC courts, resulting in multiple dismissals at the trial and appellate levels.

Professional Honors

  • 40 Under 40 International Arbitration 2021

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York International Arbitration Center - Alternate Director
  • CPR Y-ADR - Steering Committee
  • AAA/ICDR Young & International - Global Advisory Board 
  • AAA/ICDR Innovation & Technology Advisory Council - Founding Member
  • CPR - Member, Arbitration Committee and Energy, Oil & Gas Committee
  • ArbitralWomen - Member
  • ICC Young Arbitrators Forum - Member
  • Rising Arbitrators Initiative - Member
  • New York City Bar Association - Member
  • American Bar Association - Member

Admissions

  • New York~United States (2012)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York~United States (2013)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York~United States (2013)

Education

  • Brooklyn Law School (J.D., cum laude) (2011)
  • American University, School of International Service (M.A. International Peace and Conflict Resolution) (2007)
  • American University, School of International Service (B.A. International Studies, honors, magna cum laude) (2005)

Languages

  • English

Publications