John Adam has a solid practice advising on investment arbitration, particularly related to the construction sector, as well as the conventional and renewable energy industries. Sources describe him as "brilliant," and "a very complete lawyer."
Chambers Latin America 2018

Counsel John Adam is a barrister noted for his fluency in Spanish and Portuguese.
Legal 500 Latin America 2017


John Adam

  • 45, rue Saint-Dominique
  • Paris 75007
  • France

John Adam is counsel in the Paris office of Latham & Watkins. He is a member of Latham's International Arbitration Practice.

Mr. Adam has extensive experience representing companies, states, and state-owned entities in high-stake, complex international commercial and investor-state arbitrations under the aegis of the principal arbitration rules, including ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, SCC, and DIAC. He regularly handles disputes under a range of bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and focuses on energy, oil and gas, and construction and technology disputes.

Legal 500 describes Mr. Adam as a “remarkable” professional “with vast arbitration knowledge.” Mr. Adam was listed by Chambers Latin America 2014 as an “associate to watch” who “earns positive feedback from market sources” and is recommended by clients as “extremely intelligent and very involved.” He was listed in the inaugural Legal Media Group’s Rising Stars 2015 guide.

Besides speaking English and Spanish as mother tongues, Mr. Adam is fluent in French and Portuguese.

John Adam’s significant recent experience as counsel includes representing:

  • Four investors in the Spanish photovoltaic sector in three arbitrations under the SCC Rules against the Kingdom of Spain. The claims, which are brought under the Energy Charter Treaty, arise from Spain’s measures leading up to the abolition of its renewable energy Feed-in-Tariff regime for photovoltaic facilities, and turn inter alia on issues of indirect expropriation and the fair and equitable treatment standard. The arbitrations are seated in Madrid and Stockholm and are being conducted in English and Spanish.
  • Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., a Cypriot energy company, as claimant in an arbitration under the SCC Rules against the Republic of Poland. The dispute arose out of the Polish Authorities’ conduct in relation to an alleged failure to keep and to establish mandatory reserves of refined products, related breaches of the fair and equitable treatment standard. The claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty and the arbitration was conducted in English.
  • A Spanish-Mexican Joint Venture in an ICC arbitration seated in Latin America concerning the construction of a large-scale, sophisticated hydrocarbons export port facility in the Caribbean. The case presents issues of wrongful termination, alterations to the original scope of the project, delay and disruption, and misapplication of performance and advance payment guarantees. The dispute was also ventilated before an Emergency Arbitrator. The arbitration is being conducted in Spanish.
  • A Latin American conglomerate as claimant in an ICC arbitration seated in Paris, against a European car manufacturer. The dispute relates to the wrongful termination of an agency agreement. The law of a Latin American country applies and the arbitration is being conducted in English.
  • A European construction conglomerate in an arbitration seated in Paris under the ICC Rules, against a state-owned oil and gas company. The dispute concerns the expansion and refurbishment of a refinery in Southern Europe under an EPCm Contract. The arbitration is being conducted in English.
  • The European subsidiary of North American company in the defense industry in an arbitration under the aegis of Commercial Arbitration Center of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, against the Republic of Portugal. The dispute concerned the termination of a series of contracts related to the supply of armoured wheeled vehicles. Portuguese law applied. The proceedings were conducted in Portuguese.
  • A Latin American construction company in an ICC arbitration seated in Latin America against the local subsidiary of a Spanish company, concerning the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in a Central American country. The dispute relates to owner-induced delays to the completion of the project, loss of productivity, and the determination of responsibility for design and scope under the FIDIC Silver Book form of contract. The language of the proceedings is Spanish.
  • A South American state-owned Company in a CAM Santiago (Chile) Arbitration concerning the interpretation of a suite of gas supply contracts. In particular, the dispute turns on whether certain contracts were terminated and, if so, the effect such termination had on the price of gas sold pursuant to a pass-through gas supply contract (the survival of which was also at issue). The language of the proceedings was Spanish.
  • A major European construction company as claimant in an ICC arbitration seated in Miami against the Latin American subsidiary of a European power conglomerate as respondent, concerning the termination of a contract for the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Central America. The arbitration is governed by New York law. At issue is whether termination of the contract was lawful. Our client seeks an extension of time and attendant prolongation costs, as well as damages and additional payment for unpaid change orders and out-of-scope work. The respondent has counterclaimed for the additional cost of completing construction. The arbitration is being conducted in English.
  • Three European chemical companies in an ICC arbitration seated in Geneva against the European subsidiaries of a large North American chemical concern. The dispute arose from a settlement agreement and confidentiality agreement in connection with a product used for the production of nylon. Swiss law applied. The proceedings were conducted in English.


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