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Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez

Senior Associate

Daniela is a senior associate in our New York office specialising in dispute resolution in the fields of oil & gas, mining and infrastructure. 



Daniela is qualified to practice law in Ecuador and the State of New York. She speaks Spanish, English and is proficient in French. 

Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, Daniela worked as an associate in the Ecuadorian law firm Pérez Bustamante & Ponce.  She has local experience working in Latin America and dealing with clients from Europe, the U.S. and Asia looking for business opportunities in the region. Apart from acting as counsel in commercial and investment arbitrations, Daniela's practice is focused on advising clients doing business in Latin America on the protection of their investment and potential avenues to enforce its rights as foreign investors under international law.

Daniela's experience includes:

  • successfully representing an international oil company in an AAA / ICDR commercial arbitration (New York seat) relating to rights and remedies pursuant to an agreement governed by New York law to share costs and monetary awards of investment arbitration against a South American state (claim US$ 500 million)
  • representing a major construction company in an ICC arbitration seated in Paris in relation to an investment claim against Venezuela
  • successfully representing a major E&P company in an ICDR arbitration seated in New York against a drilling company under three deep-water drilling rig contracts (governed by New York law) for an indemnity claim arising out of a recently created tax in the U.S.
  • successfully representing a major oil company in its negotiations with a South-American state to settle a billion dollar tax-related dispute and avoiding recourse to international avenues
  • representing a South-American joint venture in an ICC commercial arbitration (seated in Madrid) relating to the breach of an EPC contract for the construction of an off shore regasification terminal in a South American state (claim US$ 700 million)
  • representing a Spanish oil company in an CIArb commercial arbitration (London seat) relating to the termination of a contract governed by English law regulating potential business ventures in an African state
  • successfully representing the Republic of Costa Rica in international investment arbitration proceedings David Aven and others v. Costa Rica under DR-CAFTA and UNCITRAL arbitration rules. The case involved the development of a residential project by American investors that was suspended by the environmental agency for infringements on wetlands. Herbert Smith Freehills won Latin Lawyer's Dispute of the Year Award in 2018 for this victory
  • representing the subsidiary of a major energy company in an AAA/ICDR commercial arbitration (New York seat) relating to a JV corporate dispute regarding a business venture in the methanol market in the Caribbean
  • acting for a major U.S. investment bank on the assessment of potential investment arbitration claims against a North American state under various bilateral investment treaties related to foreign investments in the tourism sector in the country




Daniela graduated summa cum laude and second of her class from San Francisco de Quito University.  She obtained an LLM from Harvard Law School in 2015.  

Daniela currently serves as Assistant Editor for Latin America for Kluwer Arbitration Blog. 

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