Quinn Smith is GST LLP Managing Partner based in the firm’s Miami office. He has appeared as counsel and arbitrator before more than 45 arbitral tribunals and ad-hoc committees under the rules of the ICC, ICDR, ICSID, UNCITRAL and others. The vast majority of these claims involved amounts over USD 100 million. He has advised clients in Asia, Europe, South and Central America, Africa and the United States on a broad range of international disputes totaling over 10 billion USD.
Smith maintains an active practice in state and federal courts in the United States as lead counsel in cases from New York to California. He was lead counsel in the first cases staying the enforcement of ICSID awards, despite ad-hoc committees having permitted enforcement. Other areas in which he has acted as counsel include issues of foreign relations law, international private law, numerous treaties, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and innovative applications of 28 USC 1782 regarding assistance to foreign and international tribunals and to litigants before such tribunals.
Significant cases in which he has played a role include a dispute for more than USD 8.5 billion brought against Pakistan regarding a failed mining project, an ad-hoc arbitration regarding a claim of USD 500 million in damages related to the repair, maintenance and operation of an offshore drilling rig, a USD 5 billion claim regarding an agri-business venture and an ICSID revision and annulment proceeding related to a USD 1.2 billion claim against Pakistan.
Recipient of the Emerging Philanthropist Award presented by The Miami Foundation, Smith is a recognized community leader. His board appointments include the Community Justice Project, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation and O, Miami Poetry Festival. Smith is an in-demand speaker and author of over two dozen publications related to international disputes. He is a member of Miami International Arbitration Society, Court of Arbitration for Art (CAfA), International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC-YAF) and ICDR Young & International (ICDR-Y&I).
Energoalians TOB v. Republic of Moldova, This investor-state dispute relates to shareholding claims in an electricity production company arising out of an arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty. GST LLP is representing Moldova.
Confidential, Represented various directors and relief defendants in two enforcement proceedings in Massachusetts related to a multi-level marketing business.
Confidential, Represented an American equipment dealer in an arbitration with a large Brazilian contractor regarding importation and tax issues. The case resulted in a confidential settlement.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian agricultural cooperative in a dispute regarding access to certain agricultural products.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian wind power company in a dispute with a Dutch company regarding transfer of technology and related proceedings where we successfully halted the execution on a letter of credit in Switzerland.
Confidential, Advised Brazilian group in an arbitration regarding a share purchase agreement.
Confidential, Representing a consortium in an ICC arbitration against a large contractor in a dispute arising out of the breach of an EPC contract for the construction of port facilities in Colombia.
Confidential, Counsel to executives named in a high value arbitration of corporate law issues for a major Brazilian construction company.
Investment bank v. an African country, Represented the bank in a proceeding related to claims for expropriation based on actions taken by the State.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian distributor of heavy equipment in an arbitration with a US manufacturer pursuant to the ICDR Rules.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian purchaser of debt in a Portuguese-language arbitration brought by a large Brazilian bank regarding claims under the purchase and sale agreement, administered by the ICC, amounts confidential.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian construction company in an arbitration regarding damages claimed under a consulting contract.
Confidential, Represented a US uniform provider in numerous domestic arbitrations regarding the purchaser and sale of uniform services.
Confidential, Representing state-owned telecommunications company in an arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules against a Florida company under the auspices of the ICC.
Tethyan Copper Company Pty Ltd. v. Government of Balochistan, Representing Balochistan in a case brought by a joint venture owned by Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals regarding alleged breach of contract in denial of a mining lease.
Confidential, Advised Ecuadorian company in an arbitration with a Swiss company under the Rules of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce.
Koch Minerals Sarl and Koch Nitrogen International Sarl v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Counsel to Venezuela in an annulment proceeding in a dispute that arose out of the alleged expropriation of the interests of the investor in a nitrogen-based fertilizer producer company.
Jindal Steel Bolivia S.A. v. Empresa Siderurgica del Mutun, Represented a Bolivian instrumentality and the State in a dispute in two related ICC arbitrations with an Indian mining company regarding rights related to a mining concession in Bolivia. After successfully defending the instrumentality's decision to execute one of the guarantees, we advised on the successful set aside of the portion of the award that invalidated the execution of the other guarantee.
Longreef Investments A.V.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Representating Venezuela in an annulment proceeding in a dispute that arose out of the alleged expropriation of a coffee company.
Spence International Investments et. al. v. Republic of Costa Rica, Representing certain claimant investors against Costa Rica in both the arbitration and judicial proceedings seeking vacatur of an interim award, relating to the expropriation of coastal real-property investments. Hired after the issuance of an interim award, we successfully obtained reconsideration of the award, resulting in millions of dollars in recovery for our clients. This is also one of the few, if only, cases to find that the time for service can be tolled under the Federal Arbitration Act.
Confidential, Represented Brazilian operator of a gas power plant against a US-based contractor regarding the installation of a turbine under a EPC contract.
Confidential, Counsel for Argentinean investor in securities related arbitration regarding the management of a portfolio of securities.
Triangulo Pisos e Paineis, Ltda. v. BR-111 Imports & Exports, Inc., Representation of a hardwood flooring manufacturer in a dispute with its distributor regarding unpaid invoices, warranty claims, and ownership of a trademark. We prevailed in the arbitration then successfully confirmed the award in a decision that recognized the absence of a motion to vacate under the Panama Convention. Later, we successfully pierced the corporate veil and held one successor entity liable, as well as one of the two shareholders.
Eco Tech Engenharia Ltda. v. Pothole Killers, LLC, Represented Brazilian lessee of heavy equipment in a dispute regarding a leasing contract. In related court proceedings, we successfully argued that interim awards are subject to the New York and Panama Conventions, one of the first such decisions.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian shareholder of a closely held corporation in regarding the distribution of perfumes and related products.
Confidential, Represented a Brazilian manufacturer in an arbitration with a large US buyer of white line appliances.
Tethyan Copper Company Pty Ltd. v. Pakistan, Counsel to Pakistan in a claim brought by a joint venture owned by Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals regarding the denial of a mining lease application in Pakistan.
Agroinsumos v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Representing Venezuela in a claim brought by an allegedly foreign investor for supposed investments in the food sector.
Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S. v. Pakistan, Counsel to Pakistan in annulment, revision, and enforcement proceedings related to one of the largest ICSID awards. After filing the first, successful second request for revision, the case settled with Pakistan paying no monetary compensation. The result saved Pakistan over USD 1.2 billion. We also achieved a stay of enforcement in the US courts, despite the ad-hoc Committee lifting the stay of enforcement, as well as discovery from the claimant's law firm pursuant to section 1782.
Fabrica de Vidrios Los Andes, C.A. and Owens-Illinois de Venezuela, C.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Counsel to Venezuela in a case regarding the expropriation of glass manufacturing plants in Los Guayos and Valera. This is the first and only decision that found that Venezuela revoked its consent to arbitrate upon giving notice pursuant to Article 71. The case was dismissed in its entirety, resulting in a savings of more than USD 1 billion.
PDVSA Servicios S.A. v. Petrosaudi International Ltd., Counsel to an affiliate of the Venezuelan State-owned hydrocarbons company regarding a claim for damages related to the repair, maintenance, and operation of an offshore gas drilling rig.
Quiborax S.A. et. al. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia, Counsel to Bolivia regarding a mining concession in the Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia. The award in this case is often cited as the first example of successfully convincing an ICSID tribunal that it has the power to reconsider prior findings.
Manuel Garcia Armas, et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Represented Venezuela in proceedings regarding an alleged Spanish investment in the food sector in Venezuela. We obtained one of the first orders for a funded claimant to post a security for costs. The Tribunal later dismissed the claims in their entirety.
Blue Bank International Trust (Barbados) Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Represented Venezuela in a dispute brought by a Barbadian trust in relation to a hotel development in Venezuela. We obtained dismissed by the Tribunal with costs to Venezuela. This case was one of the first to analyze the requirements for a trustee to bring a claim under the ICSID Convention.
Flughafen Zurich et. al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Counsel to Venezuela regarding the construction of the Isla Margarita Airport in Venezuela.
Saint Patrick Properties Corporation v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Representing Venezuela in a dispute arising out of the alleged nationalization of companies that provided oil support services.
Valle Verde Sociedad Financiera S.L. c. Rep. Bolivariana de Venezuela, Counsel to Venezuela regarding the alleged expropriation of a bank in Venezuela. The case was ultimately dismissed with no liability for our client.
Luis Garcia Armas, et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Represented Venezuela in proceedings regarding an alleged Spanish investment in the food sector in Venezuela. We obtained one of the first orders for a funded claimant to post a security for costs.
Vestey Group Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Represented Venezuela regarding the expropriation of a cattle farming operation. We discovered a flaw in the underlying asset that led to the claimant receiving over 20% less than offered on the date of expropriation.
Tenaris and Talta v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Tenaris II), Representing Venezuela in an ICSID annulment proceeding regarding the expropriation of an iron-processing plant.
Confidential, Represented Brazilian distributor of automotive products in an ICC arbitration related to a joint venture agreement, amount claimed confidential.
Various, Enforcement of various foreign judgments in Florida courts to collect on millions of dollars that had been hidden by the debtors.
U.S. property owner v. Libya, Represented a United States property owner in litigation against Libya for expropriation of land without compensation by the Gaddafi Regime.
Various, Various applications pursuant to 28 USC § 1782 seeking documents and testimony for use in foreign proceedings in Germany, Argentina, Bolivia, Pakistan, and Brazil. We have won such orders in New York, DC, Florida, and other states.
Comparelli, et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Representing the Republic in relation to the alleged expropriation of a petrochemical plant in Venezuela.
Enerset Electric Ltd. v. Petroleos De Venezuela, S.A., et al., Representing Venezuelan State-owned hydrocarbons company and its subsidiary in a contract dispute in the Southern District of Texas.
BRFibra Inc. v. BRFibra Telecommunications LLC, et al., Represented the plaintiff in a case for civil theft, fraud, and corporate governance issues arising from the telecommunications sector, including a parallel proceeding in Federal court in regards to certain intellectual property.
Impact Fluid Solutions LP v. Bariven S.A., et al., Representing subsidiaries of the Venezuelan State-owned hydrocarbons company in a contract dispute in the Southern District of Texas.
CLA Direct, Inc. v. Bariven S.A., et al, Representing subsidiaries of the Venezuelan State-owned hydrocarbons company in a contract dispute in the Southern District of Texas.
Environmental Solutions do Brasil v. RLC Technologies, Inc., Dispute regarding the purchase and sale of a specialized environmental remediation machine.
JAMA Software, Inc. v. QA Systems GmbH, Dispute regarding payment of commissions for the sale of software licenses in Europe.
Denarii Systems, LLC v. Arab, et al., Representation of two individual defendants in a claim initiated by a former employer related to theft of trade secrets and violation of federal laws regarding access to servers, counterclaims included unauthorized recordings (invasion of privacy) and whistleblower claims.
Rodolfo Enrique Jimenez, et al v. Luisa Palacios, et al., Represented members of the boards of directors of the CITGO companies in proceedings before the Delaware courts.
In re Bandagro Bonds Litigation, Representing Venezuela in relation to the attempted enforcement of certain fraudulent bonds. We prevailed on a request for the bonds to be destroyed as fraudulent, leading to a multi-billion dollar savings for our client.
Contributor, The Res Judicata Effect of International Arbitration Awards, 2017, International Arbitration in the United States, Kluwer Law International.
Author, “La Muerte Importante y Oportuna de las Normas Extraestatutarias de Revisión en los Estados Unidos” in Pasado, Presente y Futuro del Arbitraje Internacional: libro homenaje a Yves Derains and Bernardo Cremades., 2013, Instituto Peruano de Arbitraje.
Co-author, The Arbitration Review of the Americas 2021, Chapter: "Concession Contracts in Times of Crisis". Co-authors Quinn Smith, Diego Brian Gosis, and Ignacio Torterola, 2020.
Co-author, International Arbitration Laws and Regulations 2021, Chapter: "Concession Contracts in Times of Crisis". Co-authors Quinn Smith, Diego Brian Gosis, and Ignacio Torterola, 2021.
Co-Author, “The Guide to Infrastructure and Energy Investment” 3rd ed., 2018, Latin Lawyer.
Co-Author, “Investment Treaty Arbitration”, 2016, Latin Lawyer Guide to Infrastructure and Energy Investment.
Co-Editor, “Latin America, Transnational Dispute Management” (two volume special ed)., 2016, Transnational Dispute Management.
Co-Author, “Salir de Pesca, Sólo en Vacaciones: La Base Adecuada para Laudos sobre Daños”, 2014, Revista de Arbitraje de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú No. 4.
Co-Author, Discovery y Discovery en la Litigación y el Arbitraje Internacional., 2013, Buenos Aires Arbitration Review.
Author, “Mechanisms of Control on the Circulation of Foreign Capital, Products, and People in Brazil”, 44:2 Inter-American Law 219, 2013.
Author, “Brazil Update”, 2012, International Law Quarterly of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar.
Author, “The Future of Ethics in International Arbitration: A Review of Prominent Sources of Rules and Next Steps for the Profession”, 1, 2012, Revista Académica do Grupo de Estudos em Arbitragem.
Author, “Responsabilidade Civil em Contrato Internacional”, 2011, Valor Online.
Author, “The Importance and Timely Demise of Extra-Statutory Standards of Review”, 2011, Lima Arbitration Review.
Author, “Reviewing the History and Application of Article 7” in the CISG-Brasil Database. Republished in Transnational Dispute Management., vol. 1, 2011.
Author, “O Brasil na Arbitragem Internacional”, 2010, Valor Online.
Co-Author, “Brazil in the Context of International Arbitration” in Infrastructure Law of Brazil, Justen Filho, Marcal & Pereira, Cesar A.G., Eleven International Publishing, Boom Uitgevers Den Haag, (eds. 2010 & 2016).
Author, “A Possível Alteração do Cenário Arbitral nos Estados Unidos e seus Efeitos na Arbitragem Internacional” in Arbitragem e Poder Publico, Cesar Augusto Guimaraes Pereira & Eduardo Talamini eds., 2010.
Author, “Sotomayor’s Position on Arbitration: A Survey of Past Cases and a View to the Future” in Transnational Dispute Management. Adapted and republished in New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer., vol. 2, no. 2, 2009.
Author, “Redefining International Arbitration Proceedings Located in the United States”, no. 4, 2009, Spain Arbitration Review.
Author, “The Extent of the Arbitral Tribunal’s Power to Manage Discovery in the United States of America” in Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance 20. Republished in 22(6) Revista de Arbitragem e Mediação, no. 156, 2009.
Author, “Revista: International Commercial Arbitration, United States Doctrinal Developments and American Style Discovery”, vol. 20, 2009, Revista Brasileira de Arbitragem.
Author, “Addressing the New York Convention’s Latest Challenge: Enforcing Arbitral Awards in United States Courts after Chromalloy and TermoRio” in Mealeys’ Executive Summary. Republished in Revista de Arbitragem e Mediação., vol. 6, no. 21, 2008.
Author, “Arbitrating at the Crossroads of East and West: An Overview of Prominent Arab National Arbitration Laws”, vol. 24, no. 3, 2008, International Litigation Quarterly.
Author, “On Dangerous Footing: The Non-Statutory Standards for Reviewing an Arbitral Award”, vol. 18, no. 122, 2008, The American Review of International Arbitration.
Texas Tech University, B.A.
University of Miami School of Law, J.D.