Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is a partner in the Paris office of Latham & Watkins and the Global Co-Chair of the International Arbitration Practice. He is acclaimed for the depth of his knowledge and experience in international arbitration representing companies, states, and state-owned entities in highly complex commercial and investor-state disputes.
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano has acted as lead counsel in arbitrations conducted under the main institutional arbitration rules (ICC, LCIA, SCC, ICDR), as well as ad hoc rules, in venues around the globe. He has in-depth experience in complex investor-state disputes, in particular under the aegis of ICSID. Mr. Mantilla-Serrano is member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration Governing Board, fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and member of the International Law Association (ILA).
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano regularly serves as tribunal chairman, sole arbitrator, and party-appointed arbitrator, and he has also served as an expert before arbitral tribunals and state courts.
He features as top-ranked lawyer in the Global-wide, Europe-wide, Latin America-wide, France, and Spain Chambers guides. Mr. Mantilla-Serrano is also featured in the Who's Who Legal 2017 as an arbitration expert.
According to clients, "Mr. Mantilla-Serrano is excellent – he is a very smart lawyer technically and on strategy." Chambers Europe / Latin America 2020
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer. The Legal 500 Latin America 2019-2020
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano is praised by his clients as being "always present and available and shows exceptional involvement in cases." The Legal 500 EMEA 2019
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano is widely regarded as "a great expert in arbitration." Sources endorse his "phenomenal practice," which comprises client representations in both commercial and investment treaty disputes. Chambers Global 2017
"Highly respected head of department Mr. Mantilla-Serrano is described by market sources as 'a great lawyer who puts up a great fight.' They continue: 'He is very personable and able,' and 'is obviously a master.'" Chambers Latin America 2017
"He is adept in the energy, construction and manufacturing sectors. He is extremely experienced in disputes arising in the USA and in Spanish-speaking jurisdictions. He is qualified to practise in Paris, New York, Colombia and Spain and forms part of the firm's Latin American practice, with notable experience of Brazil." Chambers Europe 2016
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano's significant experience as counsel includes advising:*
- The Latin-American subsidiaries of the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines in three arbitrations under the ICC Rules in Paris concerning the construction of two 114 MW wind farms (the largest in South America, outside Brazil). The dispute arises out of two EPC Contracts and one Service Contract and deals with claims of EOT, LDs, and wrongful termination of contract.
- Charanne and Construction Investments and Isolux Investments Netherlands in three arbitrations under SCC Rules against the Kingdom of Spain. The claims, which are brought under the Energy Charter Treaty, arise from tariff changes in the photovoltaic sector introduced by the State.
- A Latin American state-controlled oil company in an ICC arbitration in Paris initiated by a European oil and gas operator. The dispute arises from the acquisition of interests in oil and gas blocks in Latin America and relates to the performance of earn out provisions included in a share purchase agreement. French law applies.
- The US subsidiary of a European solar power company in an ICC arbitration in New York brought by a US consulting firm services in relation to an agreement for services relating to the construction of a power plant. New York law applies.
- A Spanish engineering services company and its Latin American subsidiary as defendants in a multi-party complex dispute. The dispute arose out of the termination by our client of a turn-key contract for the construction of a combined-cycle power plant. The amount at stake is in excess of US$800 million.
- A European oil and gas company as Respondent in an LCIA arbitration in London against a European oil and gas company. The dispute arose from a Farm-in Agreement regarding an oil and gas block in Latin America. English law applied.
- A European subsidiary of North American company in the defense industry in an arbitration under the aegis of Lisbon Commercial Association/Arbitration Centre of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry against Republic of Portugal. The dispute concerns the termination of a series of contracts related to the supply of armoured wheeled vehicules. Portuguese law applies.
- A European contractor, in an ICC arbitration in Paris, regarding the construction of a chemical industrial facility in a Latin American country. The dispute relates to claims for extensions of time and additional payment. The main claim related to delays in the piping activities (construction, welding, and assembling) and their impact under critical path analysis (CPA).
- The subsidiary of a major European oil company as Respondent in an IACAC arbitration in El Salvador against a Central American company. The dispute arose out of a contract for the supply, bottling, and storage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The law of El Salvador applied.
- SAUR International, a leading French service management company in the field of water, energy, and cleanliness, in an investor-State arbitration against the Argentine Republic (ICSID case No. ARB /04/4) regarding water concessions in the province of Mendoza. Our client obtained a full victory including an award on costs.
- France Telecom, the leading French telecommunications company, in an investor-State arbitration against the Argentine Republic (ICSID case No. ARB/04/18) on claims arising out of violations of the applicable Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). The dispute arose out of the expropriation of a concession for the supply of services in the area of telecommunications.
Mr. Mantilla-Serrano's significant experience as arbitrator includes:*
- As Chairman of the arbitral tribunal in an ICC arbitration under Argentinian law, in Zurich (Switzerland), concerning the alleged breach of share sale and purchase agreements between the parties.
- As Sole Arbitrator in a SCC arbitration under Spanish law in Stockholm, concerning price readjustment on a Share Purchase Agreement related to a company specialized in equipment for customer flow and queuing management.
- As member of the ICSID Ad Hoc Committee in the application for annulment in case no. ARB/07/2, between RSM Production Corporation v. Central African Republic.
- As Sole Arbitrator in a LCIA arbitration under Spanish law, related to transfer rights and commissions with respect to a professional soccer player.
- As Chairman of the arbitral tribunal in ICSID arbitration case no. ARB/11/11, between AHS Niger, Menzies Middle East and Africa S.A., and the Republic of Niger in a dispute concerning air transportation ground services.
- As party-appointed Arbitrator in another ICC Case under Namibian law concerning alleged breaches of contract and delay claims in connection with the construction of an airport and attendant facilities in an African country.
- Chairman in an AFA arbitration in Paris subject to French law in the naval construction industry.
- As Chairman of the arbitral tribunal in an investment dispute under the UNCITRAL Rules in Paris, administrated by the PCA (Romak v. Uzbekistan, PCA Case No. AA280), between an European Investor and an East European country, on the basis of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham