Ricardo is a registered international arbitrator and litigation counsel. In his practice as counsel, he represents clients in a wide variety of high-profile international and cross-border disputes, including investor-State, commercial and State-State arbitration, as well as litigation in matters pertaining to securities, international trade, international human rights and international proceedings before INTERPOL.
He has handled disputes under numerous international investment and trade agreements, including bilateral investment treaties, free trade agreements and multilateral investment agreements such as the Energy Charter Treaty and the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). As part of his professional and academic research, he also regularly publishes on topics such as international investment agreements, the New York Convention, the ICSID Convention and the U.S. Federal Arbitration Act.
His experience includes a wide range of industries, including agriculture, construction, hospitality, health care, internet and technology (including ICANN disputes), oil and gas, electricity and heat generation, textiles, steel manufacturing and transportation. He also has assisted clients in civil and criminal investigations related to the procurement of public contracts.
Ricardo has advised clients and clerked for international tribunals in proceedings in various languages and under various arbitration rules, including ICSID, UNCITRAL, DIAC, ICC, DR-CAFTA, HMAA, the AHLA and the ICDR, conducted at the Permanent Court of Arbitration/International Court of Justice (PCA/ICJ) and the facilities of the World Bank Group in Washington, DC. Additionally, he has advised clients in litigation before U.S. courts involving foreign parties and transactions overseas. The matters he has handled at Shook and previous law firms include:
- Advise a Bermudan telecommunications infrastructure company in the development of a payment mechanism that is in compliance with Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions lists and general licenses issued by the U.S. Treasury.
- Represent a U.S. investor in tax fraud investigations and plea negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Advise two U.S. investors in compliance with regulatory reporting requirements set by the U.S. Department of Commerce with respect to investments overseas.
- Omega Engineering LLC v. Republic of Panama, No. ARB/16/42 (ICSID). Represent claimants, a U.S. construction company and its CEO, as lead co-counsel in a multimillion-dollar investment dispute arbitration under ICID rules.
- Represent European and South American hospitality investors as lead counsel in a multimillion UNCITRAL investment treaty dispute against a North American state (proceedings and pleadings entirely in Spanish).
- Represented a North American investor as lead counsel in proceedings before INTERPOL, resulting in the deletion of two Red Notices.
- Advised a U.S. health care provider in proceedings before state and federal courts, as well as a panel constituted under the arbitration rules of the American Health Lawyers Association.
- Pluspetrol Perú Corp. v. Perupetro S.A., No. ARB/12/28 (ICSID). Represented a consortium of energy companies from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America in ICSID proceedings in Washington, DC, against a South American state-owned enterprise in a natural gas dispute; proceedings and pleadings entirely in Spanish.
- EDF International S.A. v. Republic of Hungary. Represented Hungary in UNCITRAL proceedings under the Energy Charter Treaty in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in an investment dispute against a European multinational company over energy and heat co-generation.
- MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Co. PLC v. Republic of Croatia, No. ARB/13/32 (ICSID) and No. 2014-15 (UNCITRAL). Represented an investor in parallel proceedings in Washington, DC, and Paris against a European state in a dispute over energy investments and allegations of corruption.
- Advised a South American hydrocarbon transport company in a cross-border contractual dispute with a North American distributor under the Rules of Arbitration of the Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association.
- DCA Trust v. ICANN (.AFRICA). Represented an African internet trust against ICANN in an ICDR dispute in Washington, DC, over the registration of domain name extensions.
- Dot Registry, LLC v. ICANN (.INC/.LLC/.LLP). Represented a U.S. internet company against ICANN in an ICDR dispute in Washington, DC, over registration of domain name extensions.
- Represented a North American investor as lead counsel in proceedings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
- Advised a retail entrepreneur on cross-border formation, trademark and banking operations issues; drafted operational agreement in Spanish with other company members from the U.S. and Latin America.
Ricardo has lectured on international commercial arbitration at Georgetown Law, and is co-founder of the Georgetown International Arbitration Alumni group.
Before joining Shook, Ricardo was the principal of International Dispute Resources, LLC, where he represented clients in international investment treaty and commercial arbitrations. He also represented investors and sovereign states as part of the international arbitration and trade group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Washington, DC.
During law school, he served on the executive board of the American University International Law Review and was the editor of the Human Rights Academy and Humanitarian Law Book. He also was an intern at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Presentations and Publications
Document Production Requests in Investment Treaty Arbitration: Considerations for Parties and Practitioners, 40 Under 40 International Arbitration 2021.
Panelist, Trade and Foreign Investment in the United States: Key Points for Cross Border Businesses During COVID-19, Swiss Chinese Law Association (SCLA) Global Leaders Forum, July 31, 2020.
Contributor, Virtual Hearings in International Arbitration: A Checklist, COVID-19 Primer, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, April 13, 2020.
Protection of Businesses Overseas from Foreign Government Conduct, Webinar, December 2019.
Special Report: International Dispute Resolution, Financier Worldwide, December 2019.
Panelist, Chinese Foreign Investment in Latin America, Free Trade and Protectionism Recent Developments on International Trade and Investments, AIJA (International Association of Young Lawyers/Association International des Jeunes Avocats) Half-Year October Conference, Miami, November 2, 2019.
Transfer Controls in Investment Agreements, Transnational Dispute Management (2016).
Investment Treaty Protection of Commercial Arbitration Awards: Lessons from the Jurisprudence, 26 Am. Rev. Int’l Arb. 4, 553 (2015).
Contributor, The Energy Charter Treaty (with Arif Ali and Alexandre de Gramont) (2015).
Panelist, International Arbitration Practice: The Associate Perspective, Georgetown Law, Washington, DC, February 2014.
Contributor, Spain’s Nexus to Investment Disputes, Spain Arbitration Review (with Arif Ali) (2013).
Contributor, Equity-Based Decision-Making & FET, The Journal of World Investment and Trade (with Srilal Pereira) (2012).
Contributor, The relationship between the U.N. and the International Criminal Court, War Crimes Research Office (2009).