John Adam (Partner)


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John Adam is a partner 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.” According to Chambers Latin America 2019, Mr. Adam is “active advising on notable investor-state and commercial arbitration matters throughout the region. One pleased interviewee states: ‘I really like John, he’s a great lawyer,’ with another describing him as ‘very dedicated and accessible.’”

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


Mr. Adam’s significant recent experience includes representing:
Investment arbitration

  • The Republic of Colombia in three ICSID arbitrations brought respectively by Eco Oro Minerals Corp, Red Eagle Exploration Ltd. and Galway Gold Inc., under Chapter 8 of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The disputes relate to the adoption of certain regulatory measures in the gold mining sector, intended to protect páramo (moorland) ecosystems.
  • Novenergia in an arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), seated in Stockholm, concerning changes to the feed-in tariff scheme. In addition to awarding Novenergia compensation of €53.3 million (close to the total damages claimed), the arbitral tribunal also ordered the Kingdom of Spain to pay Novenergia’s arbitration costs.
  • A State in an ICSID arbitration regarding a gold and mining concern located in Latin America.
  • A Latin American State in an UNCITRAL arbitration brought by an investor concerning the alleged elimination of tax benefits in the oil & gas mid-stream industry and the alleged violation of the FET standard and Stability clauses in an investment contract for the construction and operation of an oil pipeline.

Commercial arbitration

  • A State-owned company, as the respondent in an ICC arbitration seated in London brought by a subsidiary of an Asian State-owned oil and gas company. The dispute concerns a joint venture to modernize and expand a refinery in Latin America.
  • A consortium of six entities electromechanical suppliers in ICC proceedings in Sao Paulo, under Brazilian law and arbitrated in Portuguese, in a substantial construction arbitration against the owner of a major hydroelectric project and the main contractor.
  • A NOC as the respondent in two LCIA arbitrations seated in London, brought by a South American oil and gas company. The disputes involve complex claims under a Joint Operating Agreement regarding inter alia the allegedly grossly negligent operation of an offshore facility.
  • The affiliates of a major European engineering services and construction management company as claimants in an ICC arbitration seated in Paris against a European oil and gas company. The dispute concerned an EPCm contract regarding the construction of a refinery in Europe. The tribunal rendered an award granting our client extensive damages and ordering the respondent to defray the entirety of our client’s costs in the arbitration.
  • A European construction company as claimant in an ICC arbitration venued in Miami under New York law concerning a breach of contract for the construction of a major hydroelectric project.

Arbitrator appointments

  • Sole arbitrator in dispute relating the termination of a hospitality services contract. Seat of arbitration: Madrid. Language of the arbitration: Spanish.

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