Louis B. Kimmelman
BENNO KIMMELMAN is co-leader of the firm’s global International Arbitration practice. He acts as lead counsel in complex commercial and investment treaty disputes under all the major international arbitration rules and serves as an arbitrator in international and domestic disputes. He also represents parties involved in litigation in aid of the arbitration process, such as compelling parties to arbitrate and enforcing arbitration awards.
Benno is an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School and Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches International Commercial Arbitration, as well as an Adviser to the American Law Institute project on the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. He served as chair of the International Commercial Disputes Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Benno is listed as a leading practitioner of international arbitration in The Legal 500 United States, The Legal 500 Latin America, Chambers USA and Chambers Latin America, where clients and peers note that he is “excellent in terms of his analysis and understanding of the situation.” Additionally, Benno is recognized as a Litigation Star in the United States in the 2014 and 2017 editions of Benchmark Litigation and the 2016 Alternative Dispute Resolution Champion by The National Law Journal.
- Lead counsel for a national oil company in two arbitrations (ICC and LCIA) relating to a failed joint venture to construct and operate a gas-to-liquids project in the Caribbean. Both arbitrations resulted in unanimous awards in favor of our client.
- Lead counsel for a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase and another financial institution in an ICC international arbitration against the Republic of Uruguay. A unanimous tribunal rendered an award in favor of our clients for USD100m in damages plus interest and attorneys’ fees. We successfully secured judicial confirmation of this award in federal court in New York.
- Lead counsel for a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase in an ICC international arbitration against the Republic of Uruguay involving claims for more than USD 700m. The tribunal rendered a unanimous award in favor of our client, dismissing all of the Republic’s claims. We successfully secured judicial confirmation of this award in federal court in New York.
- Lead counsel for the Republic of Peru in an investment treaty arbitration under the Peru-China Bilateral Investment Treaty before ICSID. We successfully challenged three of the four claims asserted on jurisdictional grounds. As to the remaining claim, the tribunal awarded the investor a small fraction of the damages sought.
- Lead counsel for a U.S. hotel builder and operator in two parallel arbitrations relating to significant delays and cost overruns on an international hotel project in Panama. The principal arbitration involved the design and construction of the project. After a two week evidentiary hearing at which 31 fact and expert witnesses testified, the arbitral tribunal rejected all of the claims and concluded that our client had fulfilled all its contractual obligations and was not liable for any of the delays or cost overruns.
- Lead counsel for a LNG producer in a series of contract sales price arbitrations with purchasers in Europe that resolved pricing issues under long term contracts.
- Lead counsel for a Far East oil company in two arbitrations relating to disputes concerning a joint venture to search for oil in Siberia.
- Counsel for a European life sciences company in the acquisition of a life sciences company in the United States and in the arbitrations and litigations that followed.
- Lead counsel for the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC and sole arbitrator in a lawsuit brought by the losing party to an international arbitration. We successfully obtained an order dismissing the case and imposing sanctions.
- Lead counsel for the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC in a lawsuit brought by a party to an ICC arbitration. We successfully obtained a dismissal of this case based on the ICC Rules of Arbitration.
- Lead counsel for Bank of America in a joint venture dispute pending in federal court in New York in connection with a project in Mexico. This dispute was resolved after mediation.
- Counsel for Unocal Corporation in a lawsuit alleging human rights violations arising from the construction of a natural gas pipeline in Myanmar. This case was resolved after mediation.
*Some of the above matters were handled by Benno prior to joining Sidley.
- “Warranties,” Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts (Robert L. Haig, ed., 4th ed. 2015).
- Co-author, “Arbitration of International Commercial Disputes,” Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel (Robert L. Haig, ed. 2015).
- Co-author, “Document Production in the United States,” Document Production in International Arbitration (ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, 2006).
- Co-author, “Litigating International Disputes in Federal Courts,” Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (Robert L. Haig, ed., 3d ed. 2011).
Benno serves as a Director of SICANA, Inc. (the U.S. affiliate of the ICC International Court of Arbitration) and the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC). He is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ICC Latin American Arbitration Group. Benno also is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. He is former chair of the International Commercial Disputes Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and of the Arbitration Committee of the United States Council for International Business (the ICC National Committee for the United States).
- Panelist, “Caribbean Public Policy as a Defense to Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards,” Caribbean Academy for Law and Court Administration (St. Maarten, October 2016).
- Panelist, “Ethical Issues in Selecting Arbitrators,” MCLE Mini Marathon 2016, Sidley Austin LLP (Chicago, June 2016).
- Moderator, “Revisiting Chromalloy: Enforcing Vacated Awards Under the New York Convention,” Sidley Austin LLP (New York, March 2016).
- Moderator, “The Supreme Court and Arbitral Tribunals: Class Actions and Multiple Claimants in Arbitration,” Sidley Austin LLP (New York, January 2015).