John V.H. Pierce, Global Co-Chair of the International Arbitration Practice, represents a global client base from a wide variety of industries and business sectors in high-stakes, complex international arbitration, and litigation matters in venues around the world.

Mr. Pierce is a widely recognized expert in international dispute resolution, with more than 20 years of experience representing clients in institutional and ad hoc arbitrations seated in both common and civil law jurisdictions. Mr. Pierce has been involved as lead counsel or arbitrator in arbitrations pending before all major arbitral institutions and he has extensive experience with international arbitral procedure and advocacy.

He regularly guides clients through disputes, under a wide variety of procedural and substantive laws, involving joint venture and shareholder matters, post-M&A issues, IP rights, financial services, energy and chemical supply contracts, as well as commercial and corporate matters. He also advises clients on the international enforcement of arbitration awards and judgments, and on the protection of foreign investments. In addition to his counsel work, Mr. Pierce regularly serves as an arbitrator in international disputes.

Mr. Pierce is consistently recognized by clients and competitors as a leading authority in the field of international arbitration and dispute resolution. In various editions of the Chambers Global and Chambers USA guides, Mr. Pierce has been described by clients and peers as “an exceptional advocate,” a “formidable” and “very tough opponent,” “outstanding,” “very smart, strategic and knows how to handle a client,” “really excellent,” “and a “top-notch” and “very knowledgeable” practitioner with “a great ability to understand and execute complex business objectives.”

Mr. Pierce is also recognized as a Thought Leader in the field of international arbitration by Who's Who Legal, which describes him as able to "deftly appl[y] the law to complex issues in order to craft the best possible arguments" and notes that he "navigates multiple jurisdictions with ease." He is described by peers and clients in GAR's International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration as a "versatile" lawyer with an "outstanding legal mind and critical thinking skills" who "'performs brilliantly' in venues throughout the world."

In 2020, Mr. Pierce was named the recipient of the International Law Office (ILO) 2020 Client Choice Award for Arbitration in the United States. According to Client Choice’s research, clients praised Mr. Pierce as “an outstanding lawyer” and a “practical and strategic thinker,” “who is adept at legal writing and leading a large team.”  Clients specifically praised Mr. Pierce’s “excellent advocacy skills before tribunals” and noted that his “professional preparation of each submission and the hearing itself are phenomenal.”

He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2020. He is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration, a member of the Executive Committee of the New York International Arbitration Center, a founding member of the International Arbitration Club of New York, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Prior to private practice, Mr. Pierce served as a law clerk to the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was selected as a Jean Monnet fellow at the École Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France (1992-1993) and as a Young Leader of the American Council on Germany (2009-2010).

Mr. Pierce’s significant experience as counsel includes representing:

International Arbitration

  • An international consortium of industrial companies in an ICC arbitration seated in Geneva concerning claims rising under a mine exploitation agreement with a West African state
  • A leading global alternative investment manager in a SIAC arbitration, seated in Singapore, concerning claims for over $500 million in a post-M&A dispute
  • Affiliates of a major international specialty materials company in three ICDR arbitrations seated in New York concerning claims related to three industrial sites in Germany and the Netherlands*
  • A leading Chinese conglomerate in a post-M&A ICC arbitration seated in Hong Kong concerning claims for more than US$1 billion in damages arising from breaches of a share purchase agreement and fraud*
  • A leading US industrial company in an UNCITRAL arbitration, seated in Washington, D.C., concerning claims against a Caribbean government entity arising under a long-term gas supply agreement*
  • A consortium of Asian and European electronics companies in an ICDR arbitration, seated in New York, involving FRAND-related and other claims arising from royalty rates charged on high-value technology*
  • A US transportation company in ICC arbitration sited in Mexico City, with Mexico and New York law applying, against a leading Mexican railroad, with over US$500 million in dispute*
  • A European manufacturing company in ICC arbitration seated in London, with English and Japanese law applying, involving claims related to a share purchase agreement with a major Japanese industrial concern, with more than US$3 billion in dispute*
  • A US pharmaceutical company in ICC arbitration sited in Paris against a leading French pharmaceutical company, with more than US$500 million in dispute*
  • A Latin American airline in an ICDR arbitration, under Brazilian and New York law, seated in Dublin, concerning claims arising under a settlement agreement* 
  • A US consumer products company in a post-M&A arbitration, seated in Hong Kong, under the ICC Rules, against leading Chinese confectionery company involving claims of breach of a share purchase agreement*
  • A US manufacturer in ICC arbitration sited in Seoul, South Korea, with Korean law applying, involving the sale of automobile parts to a Korean manufacturer*
  • A Latin American holding company in an ICDR arbitration seated in New York, with New York law applying, against a Luxembourg-based international hotel and resort operator* 
  • An international chemicals company in ICC arbitration sited in Geneva, with Swiss law applying, against a group of related French corporations*
  • A leading European telecommunications company in three related arbitrations sited in Vienna under the Vienna Rules, with Polish and Austrian law applying*
  • An international capital goods manufacturer in ICC arbitrations sited in New York involving the sale of aircraft equipment to two Latin American airlines*
  • An international banking institution in an ICC arbitration sited in Miami, with New York law applying, against a consortium of Latin American investors*
  • A Latin American company in ICDR arbitration sited in New York and applying New York law against a Luxembourg-based international hotel operator*

Litigation and Parallel Proceedings

  • T-Mobile USA, Inc. in a US$7 billion RICO action brought by Vivendi S.A. in the Western District of Washington, and in the subsequent appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals*
  • The underwriting syndicate in a securities class action in the Southern District of New York challenging prospectus disclosures in the Refco 144A private placement and IPO of Refco stock*
  • A US insurance company in an action brought in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by a large reinsurance carrier seeking vacatur of an international arbitration award*
  • A BVI special purpose vehicle in an action in Washington, D.C. District Court to enforce a CIETAC arbitration award against a Chinese oil and gas company*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

Recent Publications

  • Global Arbitration Review’s Guide to IP Arbitration (Co-editor), 2d. ed., January 2023
  • The International Arbitration Review, 7th ed. (Contributing Editor), 2023
  • Predicting the Future: International Arbitration in the Wake of COVID-19, in New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, a publication of the Dispute Resolution Section, New York State Bar Association, Summer 2020
  • US Supreme Court Rejects "Wholly Groundless" Exception to Rule That Arbitrators Must Decide Arbitrability When Contract Delegates That Question to Arbitrators, Client Alert, January 8, 2019
  • NY Appellate Division Confirms Narrow Scope of the Manifest Disregard Doctrine, Client Alert, October 23, 2018

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • 17th ICC New York Conference, What Needs to Change in Procedural Orders and Timetables?, New York, 28 September 2022
  • International Arbitration Skills Master Class, ABA International Section, Roundtable on Making an Impact During a Hearing, New York, 24 March 2022
  • GAR Live New York 2021, Are Arbitral Institutions Agents of Change?, New York, 7 October 2021
  • FTI Consulting International Arbitration Debating Series, New York, 14 April 2021
  • The 8th Annual GAR Live New York, Co-Chair, New York, 2 October 2019
  • IBA Annual Conference, Panel on Issues in Post-M&A Arbitration, Seoul, Korean, 25 September 2019
  • Centre for Advanced Research in Dispute Resolution: Tour de Arbitration, Paris, France, 2 February 2019
  • The 7th Annual GAR Live New York, “The GAR Live Inquisition - This house believes that all awards tainted by corruption should be unenforceable,” New York, 26 September 2018
  • Practicing Law Institute: International Arbitration 2017, New York, 5 June 2017
  • The 6th Annual GAR Live New York, The Year in Review - Arbitration in the Age of Trump, New York, 12 September 2017
  • Dublin International Arbitration Day, Choice of Law – Are There Limits?, Dublin, Ireland, 18 November 2016
  • The 5th Annual GAR Live New York, Debate on Impact of Brexit, New York, 13 September 2016
  • 10th Latin American Arbitration Conference, Lima, Peru, April 28, 2016
  • “Q&A With WilmerHale’s John Pierce,” International Arbitration Law360, 7 April 2016
  • The 2015 Duff & Phelps IP Value Summit: IP Disputes in International Arbitration, Half Moon Bay, CA, 3 December 2015
  • Restatement of the US Law of International Arbitration Commercial Arbitration: A Bench-Bar Dialogue, New York, 20 October 2015
  • The 4th Annual GAR Live New York, Debate on the Length of Arbitrations, New York, 24 September 2015
  • Practising Law Institute: International Arbitration 2015, New York, 10 June 2015
  • The New York International Arbitration Center: The Grand Central Forum, New York, NY, 16 April 2015
  • Columbia Arbitration Day: Mock Argument on Umbrella Clauses in Investment Treaties, Columbia University, New York, 6 March 2015
  • The 13th Annual WilmerHale Intellectual Property Conference: Examining the Latest Developments in Intellectual Property Law, Boston, Massachusetts, 21 November 2013
  • Institute for Transnational Arbitration’s 2nd Annual ITA Winter Forum, Miami, Florida, 24-25 January 2013
  • ICSID/AAA/ICC Joint Colloquium, Debate on the Impact of Dissenting Opinions in International Arbitration, Washington, DC, 2 November 2012
  • First Annual GAR Live New York, Debate on the “Americanization” of International Arbitration, New York, 19 September 2012

Bar Qualification

  • New York


  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1996
    cum laude
  • BSFS, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, 1992
    magna cum laude
  • Certificat d’Études Politiques, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, 1991