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Arbitration is often the preferred way to resolve international commercial disputes, providing benefits such as privacy, the ability to select arbitrators, flexible procedures, internationally enforceable awards and finality.

The Blakes Arbitration group can help assess your situation and develop a customized strategy to produce more favourable outcomes. Our multidisciplinary team is armed with the skills and insights required to achieve the results you want. From risk avoidance, assessment and mitigation advice to the commencement and carriage of an arbitration and serving on arbitration panels, we offer a complete range of dispute resolution services.

We act as counsel in numerous institutional international arbitrations conducted under the rules of the world’s leading international arbitration institutions, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and under United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules. Above all, we are particularly adept in selecting the right arbitrators, negotiating the appropriate procedures, articulating complicated arguments and conducting all aspects of complex arbitration.

As a Canadian law firm with global reach and language capabilities that include English, French, Arabic, German, Italian and Spanish, among others, we offer a strategic advantage for clients operating in or across North America, Europe, Asia and other international jurisdictions. We are often engaged to resolve choice of law/venue issues, take evidence in foreign proceedings and enforce foreign judgments. 

Our group includes fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and members of the arbitration panels of such institutions as the ICC and the ICDR.

We are well known and regularly sought out for our experience in domestic and international arbitrations across a wide variety of industry sectors, including:

  • Mining – Canadian and international mining companies in mine ownership, control and operations disputes.

  • Oil & Gas – Leading energy companies in disputes between companies, in the regulatory realm, and with governments regarding virtually every aspect of energy law.

  • Technology – Clients on software development and licensing, and arbitrating royalty and misuse disputes between developers and end users.

  • Insurance – Domestic and international policyholders and underwriters in complex commercial insurance disputes, including arbitrations under large property and liability insurance programs.

  • Construction/Infrastructure  Owners, developers and suppliers in some of the largest projects in the country.

  • International Trade – Clients before or involving the World Trade Organization in arbitrations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Chapter 11, at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, under the UNCITRAL Model Law rules, in courts at all levels and before administrative bodies throughout Canada.

  • Investor/State Clients with disputes under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.

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Recent Experience

Although international arbitrations and mediations are typically confidential proceedings, the following is a small but representative sample of cases in which we are able to disclose some details:

  • Counsel in investment treaty arbitrations to protect our clients' investments in foreign jurisdictions.

  • Counsel in several ICC arbitrations arising out of long-term agreements for the purchase and sale of iron ore and shipment from Northern Canada to Asian customers.

  • Counsel to a mining producer and manager in a series of ad hoc arbitrations relating to a long-term lease and royalty agreement in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Counsel to a large international hospitality company in securing control over 60 hotel properties in Canada following an expedited arbitration process.

  • Counsel on three related arbitrations seeking damages of approximately C$90-million in respect of construction projects in the Alberta oil sands.

  • Counsel to a party in an international ad hoc arbitration relating to a power infrastructure project involving hundreds of different construction sites.

  • Counsel to a party on a domestic arbitration relating to the greenhouse gas emission provisions of a power purchase agreement.

  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration and the successful settlement negotiations in a dispute between Canadian and Panamanian companies in connection with a coal mine in Colombia (Xira Investments Inc. v. Andean Coal Corporation).

  • Counsel in an arbitration and resolution of a dispute between two Canadian public companies regarding a gold mine in Spain (Glen Eagle Resources v. Kinbauri Gold Corp.).

  • Counsel in an UNCITRAL Model Law arbitration relating to failure of major equipment at a mine site involving claims in excess of C$200-million.

  • Counsel in an ad hoc UNCITRAL Model Law arbitration of software royalty and copyright infringement issues, and defence of the C$109-million award in favour of our clients in the Ontario courts (MPI Technologies v. Xerox).

  • Counsel to a group of multinational insurance companies based in Europe and North America in an international commercial arbitration with a value of over C$800-million, involving construction issues and insurance coverage issues in the oil sands.

  • Counsel to a Canadian policyholder in an arbitration with international and domestic underwriters over coverage under a global property and liability insurance program arising out of legal proceedings in Italy.

  • Counsel in an arbitration involving a major international petroleum company in the Gulf Region.

  • Member of an arbitration panel in a dispute regarding the termination of an agency agreement.

  • Sole arbitrator on a domestic ad hoc arbitration in a share valuation dispute.​

Awards & Recognition

Blakes International Dispute Resolution lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their field in the current editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada
  • Who's Who Legal: Mediation
  • Who's Who Legal: Business
  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada