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Christian Leathley


Christian is Head of the Latin American Group with a focus on international arbitration.



Christian specializes in international commercial and investment arbitration and dedicates much of his practice to our clients' interests in Latin America, based in New York and working closely with our London, Madrid and Paris offices. He acts for corporations and sovereign states across all major industry sectors, and in particular energy (oil & gas, power), technology, construction, engineering, mining, media and telecommunications. He has nearly 20 years' experience of working in all countries throughout Central and South America. 

His experience includes advising:

  • The Kingdom of Spain in various Energy Charter Treaty arbitrations under the UNCITRAL and SCC rules
  • The Republic of Costa Rica in a CAFTA-DR claim commenced under the UNCITRAL rules
  • a major Spanish infrastructure company in a number of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitrations regarding a central Asian investment
  • a major Brazilian oil company in a series of infrastructure claims
  • a South American national oil company in a US$500 million post-acquisition arbitration governed by New York law

Christian regularly appears as an advocate before international arbitral tribunals, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) as well as American Arbitration Association (ICDR) and UNCITRAL. Christian has particular experience in the practice of public international law and has worked at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Washington, DC. He also sits as arbitrator in English and Spanish language arbitrations.

  • Chambers and Partners (Latin America) describe him as "very good and very involved in the region", "he is fast becoming a prominent figure in the field" and "tipped for huge success in the sector". 
  • Legal 500 (Latin America) reports that "Christian Leathley shows 'deep technical knowledge' and 'complete dedication to his clients' matters', in addition to his 'valuable' Spanish fluency."


Christian is fluent in English and Spanish, and is qualified in both England & Wales, and New York. He is the author of International Dispute Resolution in Latin America: An Institutional Overview (Kluwer Law International), a leading text on the region. He is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law where he lectures on international arbitration.