Juan Felipe Merizalde Urdaneta


Juan Felipe Merizalde Urdaneta

Special Legal Consultant

Washington, D.C. | 1900 K Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States of America 20006-1110
+1 202 261 3396 | +1 202 261 3333


Juan Felipe Merizalde Urdaneta* focuses his practice on commercial law and international arbitration matters. He frequently advises on international disputes involving Spanish and Latin American parties. He has also acted in several investment arbitration cases in disputes involving the oil & gas, construction, energy, mining, and pharmaceutical industries.

Prior to joining Dechert's Washington, D.C. office, Mr. Merizalde Urdaneta worked in the firm’s Paris office for two years and previously worked in the litigation and arbitration departments of two Colombian law firms. His experience also includes serving as an intern for the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and serving as an assistant professor on International Private Law and Contracts at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota from August 2006 through May 2007.

Mr. Merizalde Urdaneta has acted as counsel and arbitrator in more than 25 cases, and is part of the Arbitrators Panel of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce (International Arbitration and List B). He is a member of the recently created Task Force of the ICC Commission on Arbitration on “Maximizing the Probative Value of Witness Evidence.

He is recognized by The Legal 500 Latin America as someone “who has a great future in international arbitration.” In 2017, he was listed as the fourth “Most Highly Regarded Non-Partners in the Americas by Who's Who Legal.

Mr. Merizalde Urdaneta is admitted to practice in New York and Colombia. He also sat for and passed the Paris Bar Examination.

  • Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, Master 1, International Law, 2006
  • Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, Master 2, Private Law, 2008
  • New York University, LL.M., International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration, 2011
  • Universidad del Rosario, Law Degree, 2007
  • *Special Legal Consultant, admitted in New York and Colombia only
  • Representing a French engineering and construction company in an ICC arbitration against a Central American State entity related to the construction of a hydroelectric plant.
  • Representing a European pharmaceutical company in an ICDR arbitration against its Latin American distributor related to the termination of a distribution agreement.
  • Representing a Caribbean State owned company in two ICC cases related to the administration of the two largest power-generation companies.
  • Representing the subsidiary of a European petroleum company in an ICC dispute against the host-State’s hydrocarbons regulator related to the termination of two exploration and production contracts.
  • Representing a South American State in three investment disputes with major foreign oil companies before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
  • Representing a South American State in an UNCITRAL arbitration related to the termination of a telecommunications concession contract.
  • Representing a French company against a South American State in a potential ICSID arbitration related to the nationalization of its investment and its negotiations.
  • Representing an Argentinean group of investors in an ICSID arbitration against a South American State related to the termination of a concession contract to design, build and operate a toll speedway for alleged construction delays.
  • Representing a South American State in five investment disputes (two before ICSID and three UNCITRAL) arising from nationalizations in the mining, telecommunications, airport and oil & gas sectors.
  • Representing a South American State in an ICSID arbitration against a Swiss company, in a dispute arising from the State’s imposition of a fine due to the wrongful modification of a contract to exploit coal.
  • Representing a South American State in an UNCITRAL arbitration against a North American mining companies, in a dispute arising from the State’s revocation of a license to explore and exploit a gold mine due to environmental reasons and the protection of indigenous communities. 
  • Acting as administrative secretary in nine arbitration proceedings.
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR (Task-Force on “Maximizing the Probative Value of Witness Evidence”)
  • Latin American Arbitration Association (ALARB)
  • ICDR Young & International
  • ICC Young Arbitrators Forum
  • Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Advisory Board
Speaking Engagements
  • Recognizing and enforcing foreign and international arbitral awards and settlement agreements — The World of Arbitration and Mediation in Latin America and the Caribbean Today, Miami (March 1, 2019)
  • VI Seminario Internacional de Arbitraje de Inversión — Instituto Peruano de Arbitraje (IPA), La Paz (September 27, 2018)
  • ICC YAF Latin American Regional Conference — Quito (August 29, 2018)
  • Bolivian ICC Arbitration Day — Santa Cruz (August 27, 2018)
  • Tendencias Actuales en el Arbitraje International — ICDR Young & International, Guatemala City (February 16, 2018)
  • Contracts with the State: Conceptual and Practical Reflections — ICC YAF, Panama City (January 29, 2018)
  • Investor-State DisputeSettlement (ISDS) Prevention and Management — APEC Workshop, Washington D.C. (October 3, 2017)
  • Arbitration in the americas: where do we stand and where are we going? — ICC YAF, Mexico City (September 6, 2017)
  • Las medidas cautelares en el arbitraje: balance y perspectivas — V Congreso Internacional del Comité Colombiano de Arbitraje, Bogota (August 9, 2017)
  • Annulment of Arbitration Awards — American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC (January 20, 2017)
  • What would you do? – Ethical dilemmas in arbitration — ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on Intl Energy Arbitration, Houston (January 12, 2017)
  • Panel IV: Caso práctico-Audiencia de interrogatorio y contra-interrogatorio de testigos y peritos — Conferencia Internacional de Arbitraje de la ICC en Bolivia, Santa Cruz (September 26, 2016)
  • Debate on “The so-called Due Process Paranoia” — Arbitration Practitioners: Should They Fear Or Dare?, São Paulo (September 21, 2016)
  • Workshop on Intellectual Property Arbitration — Asociación Interamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual (ASIPI), Cartagena (December 1, 2015)
  • Contratación Internacional con Estados de América Latina — 4ta Conferencia Internacional de ICDR y CCB sobre Arbitraje y Mediación, Bogota (October 15, 2015)
  • A Discussion of Theoretical and Practical Issues — ICC Young Arbitrators Forum, Miami, FL (November 1, 2014)
  • Awarding Damages: Proportionality, Contributory Fault, and Arbitral Tribunals' Discretion or Toss of a Coin? — Eighth Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2014)
  • Careers in International Arbitration — American Society of International Law, Washington, D.C. (March 20, 2014)
  • Arbitrators' Powers: Myths and Realities - First Panel — International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum, Bogotá (February 6, 2014)
  • How to Produce a Memorial in International Arbitration — Young ICCA Workshop, Washington, DC (November 1, 2012)
  • Global Perspectives on Local Issues — ICC Young Arbitrators Forum, Rio de Janeiro (May 8, 2012)
  • Statutes, Treaties and Rules Governing Arbitration — International Law Institute Program on Arbitration and Mediation, Washington, DC (May 2, 2012)