Photo of Peter J.W. Sherwin

Peter Sherwin is a partner in the Litigation Department, head of the International Arbitration Group, head of the Commercial Real Estate Litigation Group, and a member of the Latin America Practice.

Peter counsels clients in complex cross-border commercial disputes, often involving a joint venture, a licensing or distribution relationship, or an acquisition, most of which are resolved in international arbitration and the rest in federal and state courts in the United States. He has significant experience in the pharmaceutical, lodging, real estate, and sports industries and, when necessary, regularly takes cases through evidentiary hearings.

Peter also regularly serves as an arbitrator in proceedings before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and is the U.S. member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and the Chair of the ICC U.S.A. Arbitration Committee.

Chambers USA and Chambers Global rank Peter as one of the top International Arbitration lawyers nationwide, reporting that he "is an elegant and unflappable advocate in challenging situations—he is poised, composed and very articulate" and that he "is a strategist and has the ability to keep an eye on and control the ultimate outcome" and "is amazing at formulating cohesive and well-thought-out arguments."

mining2Venezuela is taking its fight over a $1.4 billion arbitral award to the District of Columbia’s federal court of appeals.

The award capped a bitter dispute between Venezuela and Crystallex International Corporation, a Canadian mining company. The fight began in 2002, when Crystallex acquired the rights to develop the Las Cristinas gold deposits in Venezuela. Despite the mining company’s years-long efforts to obtain the necessary permit, Venezuela denied Crystallex the permit in 2008. Later that year, the country announced that it would operate and exploit Las Cristinas itself.  

oil-3A long-running dispute between Chevron and Ecuador appears to have reached its end after the Supreme Court declined to take up Ecuador’s question of whether United States courts had jurisdiction to confirm a $96 million arbitration award in favor of Chevron.

The case arose out of a decades-long contractual dispute between Ecuador and Texaco Petroleum. In the 1970s, the oil giant and the South American country entered into a contract for Texaco to develop Ecuadorian oil fields in exchange for selling oil to the Ecuadorian government at below-market rates. Texaco brought several lawsuits in the 1990s in Ecuador’s courts, alleging that Ecuador violated the terms of the agreement. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2000. Meanwhile, in 1993, Ecuador and the United States had entered into a Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”) under which Ecuador offered to arbitrate disputes with American investors involving investments that existed on or after the treaty’s effective date. 

oil-1The District Court of the Hague overturned a record $50 billion in damages awards issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”), to the former controlling shareholders of the Yukos Oil Company on the grounds that Russia had not submitted itself to the PCA’s jurisdiction.

In 2014, the PCA awarded the former Yukos Oil Company shareholders damages, unanimously finding that Russia had breached its international obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty by destroying Yukos Oil Company, expropriating its assets for political reasons and transferring its assets to the state-owned oil company Rosneft.

In a 3-2 split decision, a New York appellate court determined that a forum selection clause providing for litigation in New York courts had not been explicitly terminated and thus trumped agreements to submit to arbitration in London provided in later contracts that cancelled the previous one. Thus, the appellate panel for the First Department in New York reversed a lower court decision and directed the parties in Garthon Business, Inc., et al. v. Stein, et al., to proceed with their claims in court as opposed to arbitration in London.

LegislationThe Restoring Statutory Rights Act of 2016, sponsored by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, was sent to congressional committee on February 4, 2016 for consideration.

The bill would place restrictions on companies’ use of arbitration clauses in agreements with consumers. Mandatory arbitration clauses have become a common — and controversial — feature of many consumer contracts. In signing agreements with banks, credit card companies, and cellular service providers, consumers frequently agree that they will arbitrate disputes, rather than sue in court.