Described by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business as “a major figure for Latin American litigation and arbitration [who] represents large US, European and South American corporations”, José Astigarraga focuses his practice on international arbitration and litigation.
In the course of more than 30 years of practice, Astigarraga has handled a broad array of international business disputes. His experience includes representing companies in disputes stemming from joint ventures, distribution agreements, licensing arrangements, shareholder agreements, corporate acquisitions, supply agreements, power projects, EPC and other construction contracts, credit, investment and other financial contracts, telecommunications agreements, utility/public service tariffs, insurance coverage, performance bonds and foreign judgments.
Fully fluent in both English and Spanish, Astigarraga has handled cases emanating from virtually every country in Latin America. By virtue of his knowledge of the norms, practices and culture in the region, clients call on him for strategic advice and to manage and direct substantial business disputes in Latin America.
Astigarraga has held a variety of leadership positions in the field of international arbitration. He was one of 10 Americans initially appointed by the US government to advise the NAFTA Commission on the development and promotion of international arbitration and dispute resolution. He is a member of the ICC’s Commission on Arbitration and co-chairs its task force on witness testimony. He served as vice president of the London Court of International Arbitration and was one of the court’s 35 members worldwide for 10 years. He has chaired the International Bar Association’s worldwide task force on the guidelines for arbitrator conflicts of interest. He is the past chair of the Americas Initiative of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, which seeks to promote the use of international arbitration in the Americas through education and training. Astigarraga was a leader of the effort to have the Florida Bar authorise non-Florida lawyers to handle international arbitrations in Florida and personally argued the petition before the Florida Supreme Court. He is also a founder and director of the Latin American Arbitration Association.
He has lectured across the globe on arbitration topics, including in Europe, Latin America, China and elsewhere in Asia. Astigarraga has served as arbitrator, co-arbitrator and chair before the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of Arbitration and the American Arbitration Association, among others. He was recently named “Lawyer of the Year” in Best Lawyers 2017 for arbitration in Miami.
With roots as a commercial litigator in US courts and over 30 years of experience, Astigarraga defends and prosecutes substantial business disputes in state and federal courts in the US. He is listed in Best Lawyers of America for commercial litigation. He has served as an officer of the civil procedure rules committee of the Florida Bar and has lectured extensively on US litigation issues, including to foreign lawyers, such as the corporate counsel section of the Law Society of England.
The US Department of State designated him to represent the United States as an expert at the Organization of American States’ conference on private international law. The World Bank engaged him to conduct an assessment of Latin American insolvency systems, which he co-authored and the World Bank published. Astigarraga has been active in promoting commercial law reform and modernisation in the Americas, including through his service for years as vice chair of the board of the National Law Center for Interamerican Free Trade. He was given the "Lawyer of the Americas" award by the University of Miami School of Law Interamerican Law Review.
WWL says: José Astigarraga boasts over 30 years of experience handling substantial business disputes in the US state and federal courts, receiving praise for his “close attention to detail”.
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Litigation which can be purchased from our Shop.