Described by Chambers’ Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers as “a major figure for Latin American litigation and arbitration [who] represents large U.S., European and South American corporations,” José Astigarraga focuses his practice on international arbitration and litigation.
With roots as a commercial litigator in U.S. courts and over 30 years of experience, he defends and prosecutes substantial business disputes in state and federal courts in the U.S. Results achieved include the leading case of Paramedics Electromedicina Comercial, Ltda. v. GE Medical Information Technologies, Inc., 369 F. 3d 645 (2d Cir. 2004), which upheld an anti-suit injunction barring a Brazilian distributor from pursuing litigation in Brazil in violation of an arbitral covenant. Astigarraga argued the petition before the Florida Supreme Court that opened the way for non-Florida lawyers to handle international arbitrations in Florida. He has served as an officer of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee of the Florida Bar, and has lectured extensively on U.S. litigation issues, including to foreign lawyers, such as the corporate counsel section of the Law Society of England.
He is one of only five lawyers worldwide ranked in Chambers’ top band of leading arbitration practitioners for Latin American business disputes. Astigarraga was one of 10 Americans initially appointed by the U.S. Government to advise the NAFTA Commission on international arbitration and dispute resolution.
Results achieved include a $52.6 Million award against a major shoe manufacturer arising out of a licensing dispute in the Mercosur territories, and an arbitral award on behalf of a Mexican cable network against a television content provider, which he then successfully defended in U.S. courts.
His practice extends beyond Latin American disputes. He is a Vice President of the London Court of International Arbitration, has chaired the International Bar Association’s worldwide Task Force on the Guidelines for Arbitrator Conflicts of Interest, and has lectured across the globe on arbitration topics, including in Europe and China. He serves on the Rules Advisory Committee of the International Center for Dispute Resolution and on the International Chamber of Commerce’s Latin American Arbitration Group.
With his intimate knowledge of Latin American systems, rules, and culture, he frequently handles complex business disputes that have sensitive political, criminal and regulatory ramifications. He is regularly engaged to oversee local counsel in foreign jurisdictions, devising the overall strategy in such cases. He was designated by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States as an expert at the Organization of American States’ past conference on Private International Law. As a consultant to the World Bank, Astigarraga co-authored An Assessment of Latin American Insolvency Systems.
Astigarraga has lectured abroad on a variety of topics, including the “Impact of Culture on the Resolution of Disputes.” The University of Miami School of Law’s Inter-American Law Review recently honored him for his significant contributions in the field of international law, awarding him its “Lawyer of the Americas” Award. He is featured in Best Lawyers of America. As Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Law Center for Interamerican Free Trade, he is active in efforts to promote commercial law reform and modernization in the Americas.