Skip to main content

Debunking Criticisms of Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Speaker(s): Christopher M. Ryan, Mark McNeill
Recorded on: Jul. 9, 2015
PLI Program #: 150890

Mark McNeill is a partner in the International Arbitration practice of Shearman & Sterling and heads the firm’s practice in London.

For over two decades, he has acted as an advocate representing companies, individuals and States in numerous commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, including in matters involving intellectual property, technology, nuclear construction, pharmaceuticals, business combinations, oil & gas, taxation, mining, insurance and reinsurance. He also serves as an arbitrator and lectures on international investment arbitration at Sciences Po Law School in Paris. He is admitted to practice in New York, Paris (Avocat à la Cour) and England & Whales (Solicitor-Advocate).

Before joining Shearman & Sterling, Mark was an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he represented the United States in investor-State arbitrations under the investment chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and advised on the drafting of investment treaties. 

Legal 500 notes that "Mark McNeill is absolutely top class, both in his strategic and subject matter advice, but also in his written work and advocacy". Chambers Global mentions that Mark "receives consistently positive feedback". In particular, clients have praised his advocacy skills, stating that he is "very sharp", "uses just the right tone and words" and is "very talented".  Who’s Who Legal notes that he is “an outstanding attorney” who is regularly engaged in high-stakes IP, technology and oil and gas disputes. He impresses peers with “his extensive experience in investment and commercial arbitration”.

Christopher Ryan is a partner in the International Arbitration Group at Shearman & Sterling. He has extensive experience in international arbitration and litigation, and has represented private and governmental clients in disputes before ICC, AAA, ICSID, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitral tribunals, NAFTA Chapter 19 dispute resolution panels, and U.S. federal courts. Mr. Ryan also has advised U.S. and foreign companies on various issues of public and private international law, investment and trade policy, and strategies for mitigating the risks associated with foreign investment. Mr. Ryan is a Lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches a course on international investment law and investor-State disputes. Mr. Ryan also teaches a course on international commercial arbitration at The George Washington University Law School. In 2005, Mr. Ryan was a Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School, where he researched and wrote on the calculation of damages in international arbitration.

Selected Experience

  • A North American agro-sciences company as Claimant and counterclaim respondent in AAA arbitration in Illinois against a plant breeding company regarding the alleged breach of a collaborative research and development agreement. Approximately USD 400 million was at stake. Illinois law applied.
  • A State-owned Latin American oil and gas company as Respondent in an ICC arbitration against a contractor involving the expansion of a refinery. The seat of arbitration is The Hague.
  • An international joint venture as Respondent and Counterclaimant and in an ICDR arbitration in New York initiated by a North Asian company. The dispute arises from an agreement for the construction of a chemical plant in North America. Issues include delay and defective works. New York law applies.
  • An Asian engineering and construction contractor as Claimant in an ICC arbitration in New York against a North American owner. The dispute arises from an agreement for the construction of a coal gasification facility in the United States. New York law applies.
  • The Dow Chemical Company in an ICC arbitration in London against Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) arising out of the failure of the latter to close a large joint venture transaction. English law applied. Dow was awarded more than USD 2.47 billion. PIC's challenge to the award in the High Court in London, brought under the English Arbitration Act, was rejected, as was PIC's application for leave to appeal.
Selected Publications
  • "Forum Non Conveniens Defeats Enforcement of International Arbitration Award: Figueiredo Ferraz E Engenharia de Projeto Ltda v. The Republic of Peru et al.," 665 F.3d 384 (2d Cir, 2011), 15 Int. Arb. Law Rev., Issue 2, (2012)
  • "U.S. Developments on the Enforcement of Awards Set Aside by the Courts of the Seat of Arbitration," in Stephen Bond & Frederic Bachand (eds.), International Arbitration Court Decisions (3d. 2011)


  • International Arbitration
    • Litigation


      • Mining & Metals
        • Financial Institutions


          • North America


            • Yale Law School, Visiting Scholar, 2005
            • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2000, with honors
            • Villanova University, M.A., 1993
            • Temple University, B.A., 1992, Honors Program


            • New York
            • District of Columbia


            • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
            • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
            • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
            • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
            • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
            • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
            • United States District Court for the District of Maryland
            • United States Court of International Trade
            • United States Court of Federal Claims