Marinn Carlson is an international arbitration partner in the Washington, D.C. office, where she focuses her practice on investor-state arbitration and international commercial arbitration. Marinn represents both foreign investors and governments in disputes arising under investment treaties and trade agreements, and counsels clients in industries ranging from financial services to energy on the implications of international trade and investment rules. She also teaches investment treaty arbitration as an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington College of Law.
As Marinn points out, her field of investment treaty arbitration—a hybrid of public and private international law—didn’t exist more than 20 years ago. Marinn began working on investor-state arbitration cases as a second-or third-year associate, right at the inception of the field. In the years since, she has enjoyed watching investment treaty arbitration develop into a thriving practice. Marinn also notes that as the field has grown, in recent years it has become a source of political controversy such as in the debates surrounding negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
According to Marinn, Sidley’s international trade and dispute resolution practice “started when the field started” and was one of the first to start practicing in this space. Sidley’s Washington, D.C. office distinguishes itself with a large portion of its international arbitration docket dedicated to investor-state arbitration, unusual among other firms in the city with international arbitration practices.
Marinn also devotes time to pro bono matters, which she recommends to associates as a means to develop and enrich their legal careers. She is currently serving her third year on the board of directors for CAIR Coalition, a D.C.-based legal services organization focused on immigrants’ rights. Most recently, Marinn worked on a pro bono case for a gay Senegalese man under threat of deportation who obtained withholding of removal and is now appealing for asylum.
A graduate of Yale Law School, Marinn clerked for Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit prior to entering private practice.
Outside of work, Marinn is an avid baseball fan frequenting Washington Nationals games. She also stays busy keeping up with her five-year-old son. As a working mother, Marinn’s advice to other Sidley parents is to “take advantage of every resource the firm offers,” from parental leave to emergency back-up care.