MARINN CARLSON, co-leader of the firm’s Global Arbitration, Trade and Advocacy practice, focuses her practice in international investment disputes, with an emphasis on investor-state arbitration. She represents both cross-border investors as well as respondent governments in ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitrations under investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements, including NAFTA. She counsels clients in sectors ranging from financial services to energy to infrastructure development on the implications of international trade and investment rules for their global operations. She also represents corporate clients from around the world in a wide range of institutional and ad hoc international commercial arbitrations, including under ICC and SCC rules among others, and has represented clients in U.S. litigation with international ramifications before the United States Supreme Court and various courts of appeal.
Marinn’s representations of investors and sovereigns in investment treaty arbitrations include:
- Representing a European private equity fund in a highly politicized, multi-billion dollar BIT dispute with an Asian government over regulatory obstacles and adverse tax measures related to liquidating its financial sector and real estate investments.
- Defending a Latin American government against claims by a Canadian junior mining company over a silver mining project that was the subject of widespread, intense social unrest by affected indigenous communities.
- Representing a multi-national energy services company in investment treaty and commercial arbitrations against an Eastern European government arising from a 15-year public utilities (heating and electricity) lease agreement in the capital city.
- Defending a European government in separate BIT claims by Dutch and U.S. investors related to power plant projects that were proposed, but never completed, during a period of power sector regulatory reforms.
- Representing a French water services company in one of the first, and longest-running, modern-era BIT arbitrations in claims against a Latin American government relating to a prematurely terminated public service concession.
Marinn has been consistently recognized for her work and experience. A recent academic analysis of the investment treaty arbitration community placed her in the top 25 most experienced ISDS counsel in the world, among the “core of lawyers who dominate the caseload.” (Journal of Int’l Economic Law 2017) She is named as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark, and as one of Latin America’s Top 100 Female Lawyers in Arbitration and Litigation by Latinvex. In Chambers USA 2019, she was described as “brilliant in cross-examination” and “immensely talented as an attorney.”
Marinn is ranked in Chambers USA for International Arbitration and has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation in Washington, D.C. (2014–2020) and as a “National Practice Area Star” (2015–2019). Additionally, The Best Lawyers in America has listed Marinn as a “Best Lawyer” in International Arbitration–Commercial and International Arbitration–Governmental every year since 2012. Marinn has been named a “Future Leader” for Arbitration in the 2017 and 2018 editions of Who’s Who Legal.
Marinn is an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University Law School and the American University’s Washington College of Law teaching investment treaty arbitration, and has spoken at conferences and taught workshops and seminars on a wide range of topics, including investor-state arbitration case law and practice as well as arbitration advocacy skills. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA) and a Vice President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and she serves on the Board of Directors of the CAIR Coalition, a Washington, D.C. legal services organization focused on immigrants’ rights.
Before entering private practice, Marinn worked in several organizations with a focus on international trade and its intersections with environmental policy.