Meet The Legal Team

 

GUSTAVO LABORDE 

Gustavo Laborde.jpg

Founder and principal of Laborde Law. 

"Among the World's highest ranked Arbitration Lawyers" 

Future Leader in International Arbitration 2020 (Partners - France)

Who's Who Legal

Gustavo has over 12 years of professional experience practicing international arbitration at leading law firms in New York, Geneva, and Paris. All these firms are ranked as Band 1 or Band 2 in international arbitration by Chambers and Partners. Two of these firms are consistently ranked as top-30 GAR firms, and one was a top-3 GAR firm when he worked there. He served as tribunal assistant for the three of only a handful of arbitrators listed by Chambers and Partners as "star individuals" in Switzerland and France. 

Currently he works closely with an English QC from one of the most preeminent sets of barristers' chambers worldwide. In 2020, Gustavo and this QC will co-teach a summer course at the Hague Academy of International Law. 

Whether as party representative, arbitrator, or tribunal secretary or assistant, throughout his career Gustavo has been involved in more than 40 international arbitrations in a wide spectrum of jurisdictions and industries. 

He has also offered arbitration-related advice; actively participated in high-level negotiations with an arbitration component; and litigated before New York courts on a range of issues, often with an international component. 

Gustavo has particular expertise:

  • With the laws of England, France, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries;

  • With arbitrations seated in France and England; 

  • With parties from Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe;

  • In terms of industry sector: energy (oil & mining), banking & finance, entertainment & media, professional services, property & real estate, and retail & consumer products. 

Significant representations include:

  • Counsel to an Eastern European State in two UNCITRAL investment arbitrations brought by nationals from the United States and Canada. Industry sector: Movie distribution and production. Amount in dispute: In excess of USD 200 million. 

  • Counsel to a Tanzanian company in an UNCITRAL investment arbitration against an Eastern African State relating to biofuels. Amount in dispute: EUR 50 million. Sector: Renewable energies. Applicable law: BIT and Tanzanian law. Seat: Stockholm.

  • Sole international arbitrator appointed by an arbitral institution in relation to a commercial dispute in the Middle East involving a state-owned entity. Applicable law: UAE law. Seat of the arbitration: Dubai.

  • Tribunal assistant in investment dispute from Middle Eastern parties into a major South Asian State. Amount in dispute: in excess of EUR 400. Sector: Iron production sector. Seat of arbitration: London, United Kingdom. 

  • Tribunal assistant in commercial dispute over TV rights, royalties and agency issues. Amount in dispute: USD 1.5 billion. Applicable law: French law. Seat: Paris, France.

  • Representing the Republic of Venezuela in an ICSID investment arbitration brought by Dutch investors. Amount in dispute: over USD 1 billion. Applicable law: BIT and Venezuelan law.

  • Representing American multinational companies in ICC arbitrations arising from major commercial ventures in Mexico and Turkey.

  • Representing an international banking syndicate in the negotiation of a USD 4 billion loan to a major Central Asian State.

  • Representing Croatia in an ICSID investment arbitration brought by an Austrian investor.

  • Serving as tribunal assistant to world leading arbitrators in high-profile arbitrations under various rules, including ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL, NAFTA, LCIA, SCC, and the Swiss rules.

  • Representing bondholders before New York courts following the default of a sovereign State.

  • Representing pro bono clients in immigration and real estate proceedings, and also victims of a health-care fraud.

He received his legal training in the United States, Switzerland, and Argentina. 

Bar Admissions

New York; Paris; Buenos Aires 

Education

  • Columbia Law School, New York, United States (J.D. and LL.M.) 

  • Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland (MIDS)

  • Universidad Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina (LL.B.)

Languages

English, Spanish, French, and Italian (fluent); German and Russian (intermediate); Portuguese (beginner)

 MERCEDES TORRES LAGARDE

Counsel

 

Mercedes has practiced international arbitration for eight years. She has acted as counsel, tribunal secretary and case manager-in-chief. She has gained special expertise in investment arbitration representing a major African State in a series of high-value disputes covering an array of strategic sectors. Prior to joining Laborde Law, she worked for leading law firms in Mexico and Paris.

 

Mercedes has practiced law in North America, Dubai and Paris.

 

As counsel, Mercedes has worked on arbitrations covering a full gamut of industry sectors, from complex investment arbitrations to run-of-the-mill commercial transactions. She has worked on disputes relating to the sale of goods, real estate, shareholder agreements, construction and engineering, and manufacturing. In particular, her practice has focused on investment disputes with state parties revolving around major infrastructure projects.

 

As case manager-in-chief, Mercedes was tasked with administering hundreds of arbitration proceedings at a prominent arbitral institution in the Middle East. She also managed and oversaw a full team of case managers. Most notably, she was in charge of reviewing, scrutinising, providing comments and eventually approving, on a regular basis, the draft awards of arbitral tribunals operating under the auspices of this institution.

 

As tribunal secretary, Mercedes worked for renowned international arbitrators, assisting with question of substance and procedure and with the overall management of the case.

 

Mercedes regularly speaks and publishes on international arbitration. She has been invited to speak at arbitration events in France, Italy, Ireland, Costa Rica, the UAE, and Qatar, among others.

 

In terms of jurisdictions, Mercedes has regularly applied and is well-versed in the laws of France, Switzerland and the UAE.

 

Mercedes is admitted to practice in England & Wales and in Mexico. She has earned law degrees, including two Masters of Laws, from top universities in Switzerland and Mexico.

 

Early in her career, Mercedes practiced human rights litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. These cases raised important public international law questions about the right to life, freedom, slavery, torture, the right to work and access to education.

Bar Admissions

England & Wales, Mexico

 

Languages

English, Spanish, French, Arabic (beginner)

 

Education

  • University of Geneva and Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland (LL.M.)

  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City, Mexico (Post-graduate diploma)

  • Escuela Libre de Derecho, Mexico City, Mexico (LL.B.)

TONY SIO KEONG NG 吳少強

Associate

 

Sio Keong has over three years of experience in both commercial and investment arbitration. He has worked as arbitration counsel for law firms based in Paris, Vienna and Madrid. He has also gained substantial experience as case manager at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he has overseen dozens of arbitrations.

 

In particular, Sio Keong has experience working in shareholder, EPC and maritime disputes under the arbitration rules of ICSID, ICC, AIAC, VIAC, DIS, LMAA and the HKIAC.

 

Before moving into international arbitration, Sio Keong acted as legal and business manager in Hong Kong, China, gaining a solid understanding of international business and transactions. He amassed experience inter alia in the aviation, maritime and insurance sectors. He also litigated matters before Hong Kong domestic courts.

 

Further, Sio Keong is passionate about pro bono work. He founded the “Light On Charity Limited” in Hong Kong, a registered charity dedicated to relieving poverty in neglected areas. Under the aegis of this charity, he coordinated the construction of schools in Nepal. He was also involved with the Atlantic Initiative, in Sarajevo, conducting research on a variety of issues relating to Bosnia-Herzegovina and the EU. In the spring of 2016, he interviewed NGOs in Kazakhstan and presented his findings in a public forum held at the University of Hong Kong.

Bar Admission

New York

Education

  • Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas (LL.M. de droit français, européen et international des affaires)

  • University of London (Graduate Diploma in Mathematics)

  • Durham University (LLB)

  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (BSc)

Languages

English, French, and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin)