John Adam is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution (IDR) Practice Group. John’s practice focuses exclusively on international arbitration. He has acted as counsel in more than 100 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 sovereign 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 routinely represents sovereign States and investors in high-stakes commercial and investment arbitrations. He has acted for investors against Spain, Poland and Argentina. John has also acted as counsel for Panama, Latvia, Peru, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
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 International Criminal Court arbitration against China National Petroleum Corporation International regarding a joint venture for the modernisation of the only refinery in Costa Rica.
John has a strong construction arbitration practice and acts for owners and contractors in relation to a wide array of structures, including airports, port facilities, roads, refineries, floating production storage and offloading (FPSO), concentrated solar power plants, photovoltaic 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).
In addition, John regularly represents household names in the energy sector in disputes typically involving industry-specific contractual instruments, such as joint operating agreements (JOA), unitization and operating agreements and production sharing agreements.
John’s experience also spans international arbitrations in other sectors, such as intellectual property, pharma, automotive, defence, agency and business combinations (joint venture and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) disputes).
Experience Involving Sovereign States
Experience as Arbitrator