John Adam is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution (IDR) Practice Group. John’s practice focuses exclusively on international arbitration. John has acted as counsel in more than 75 international arbitrations, and is widely considered by his peers and specialised publications to be one of the leading lawyers of his generation in the Latin American region and beyond.
John is dually trained and completely bicultural across the common-civil law divide (being qualified as an English barrister and a Spanish abogado). Besides speaking English and Spanish as mother tongues, he is fluent in French and Portuguese, and regularly works in all four languages.
John’s practice is split evenly between commercial and investment arbitration. He has a solid cross-disciplinary practice and has acted as an advocate representing companies and states in numerous commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, including in matters involving construction, energy, oil and gas, mining (and, more generally, extractive sectors), business combinations and taxation.
John’s recent high-profile successes include securing a near-total victory against Spain in Novenergia II – Energy & Environment (SCA) SICAR v. Kingdom of Spain (SCC Case 063/2015), in a case regarding Spain’s changes to the renewable energy sector. Novenergia is the only Spanish renewables case to date in which the investor has recovered nearly all damages claimed. John also helped RECOPE, the Costa Rican state-owned refining company, secure a favourable award in a politically sensitive ICC arbitration against CNPCI regarding a joint venture for the modernisation of the only refinery in Costa Rica.
In the investor-state and ICSID field, John has acted as counsel for Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. John has also acted for investors against the Kingdom of Spain, Argentina and Poland.
In the construction field, John has acted for owners and contractors in relation to a wide array of structures, including airports, port facilities, roads, refineries, FPSOs, CSP plants, PV plants, hydroelectric plants, wind farms, nuclear facilities, combined-cycle plants and industrial process plants. He has successfully dealt with the entire gamut of claims (for example, delay and disruption, loss of productivity, defects, variations and quantification of damages).
John also regularly represents household names in the energy sector in disputes typically involving industry-specific contractual instruments, such as JOAs, UOAs and PSAs.
John’s experience also spans international arbitrations in other sectors, such as intellectual property, pharma, automotive, defence, agency and business combinations (joint venture and M&A disputes).
Experience as Arbitrator