Michael Ostrove is the Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper's International Arbitration group. He is also a Vice President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, a Member of the World Bank Sanctions Board, and an adjunct professor of international arbitration at the University of Paris-Panthéon-Assas.
Michael has 30 years' experience handling international commercial arbitrations, investment arbitrations and other public international law disputes. He also handles French court litigation, primarily related to enforcement and annulment of arbitral awards.
Michael routinely acts as lead counsel in investment disputes on behalf of both Sovereign States and investors. He has advised on issues under a wide array of bilateral investment treaties (BITs), the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and national investment laws. Michael has extensive experience with ad hoc arbitrations pursuant to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, as well as with institutional arbitrations administered by the ICC, ICSID and the LCIA. Michael also has extensive litigation experience before French, United States and other national and regional courts, such as OHADA’s Cour commune de justice et d’arbitrage (CCJA) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), as well as in corruption investigations on behalf of multinational corporations and state authorities.
Michael also sits as an arbitrator.
Widely recognized in the field, Michael speaks and publishes frequently on international arbitration and investment law. He is one of the editors of Choice of Venue in International Arbitration (OUP, 2014).
Public International Law
- Representing the Republic of Guinea in its investigation of corruption in the acquisition of rights to one of the world’s most important iron ore deposits, and defense of parallel multi-billion dollar ICSID arbitrations and subsequent annulment proceedings brought by the investor alleging expropriation of a mining concession and related rights (BSG Resources Limited, BSG Resources (Guinea) Limited and BSG Resources (Guinea) SÀRL v. Republic of Guinea (ICSID Case No. ARB/14/22)).
- Representing INTERPOL in PCA arbitration proceedings relating to a public international law claim brought following the arrest in China of INTERPOL’s former President (Ge Gao, Hongwei Meng, Zihong Meng and Ziheng Meng (China) v INTERPOL, PCA Case No. 2019-19).
- Representing an Azerbaijani investor, Mr. Nasib Hasanov, in a multi-million dollar ICSID arbitration against Georgia relating to an investment in the textile telecoms sector (ICSID Case No. ARB/20/44).
- Representing Hungary in ICSID proceedings relating to an investment in the waste management sector (Christopher Jock Murdoch Mackenzie v. Hungary, ICSID Case No. ARB/21/66).
- Representing Messrs. De Sutter and (DS)2 S.A. in a multi-million dollar ICSID arbitration and subsequent annulment proceedings against the Republic of Madagascar relating to an investment in the textile manufacturing sector ((DS)2, S.A., Peter de Sutter and Kristof De Sutter v. Republic of Madagascar (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/18)).
- Representing the Republic of Moldova in an annulment action in the Paris Court of Appeal in connection with a USD 48 million arbitral award obtained pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty, as well as in prejudicial question proceedings brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union (Moldova v. Komstroy (Case C-741/19)).
- Representing OTP Bank in an ICSID arbitration against Croatia relating to the conversion of Swiss Franc loans to Euros (OTP Bank Plc v. Republic of Croatia (ICSID Case No. ARB/20/43)).
- Representing Hungary in a multi-million dollar ICSID arbitration brought by British investors, Magyar Farming Company Ltd, with respect to an investment in the agricultural sector (Magyar Farming Company Ltd, Kintyre Kft and Inicia Zrt v. Hungary (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/27)).
- Representing Hungary an ICSID arbitration brought by an investor in the hotel sector (Mazen Al Ramahi v. Hungary (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/45)).
- Representing Hungary in annulment proceedings relating to an ICSID award (UP and C.D. Holding Internationale v. Hungary (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/35)).
- Representing Hungary in annulment and revision proceedings relating to an ICSID award (Edenred S.A. v. Hungary (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/21)) .
- Representing Hungary in annulment and revision proceedings relating to an ICSID award (Dan Cake (Portugal) S.A. v. Hungary (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/9)).
- Representing the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an annulment action before the Paris Court of Appeal against an investment fund seeking to enforce over USD 200 million in sovereign debt.
- Representing the Republic of Moldova in an ICSID arbitration brought pursuant to the France-Moldova BIT relating to an investment in duty free stores in Moldova (Franck Charles Arif v. Republic of Moldova (ICSID Case No. ARB/11/23)).
- Representing the Government of Ghana in an UNCITRAL Rules, PCA-administered BIT arbitration relating to the operation of Ghana Telecom (Telekom Malaysia Berhad v. Republic of Ghana, PCA Case No. 2003-03).
- Representing a French pharmaceutical company in a USD 200+ million, London seated, New York law ICC arbitration with a bio-tech company relating to rights under a license agreement.
- Representing a leading aircraft manufacturer in an English language, Paris seated, French law ICC arbitration relating to liability for failed parts leading to aircraft damage. The case involved questions of validity of a contract clause under French law worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Representing a major telecommunications company in a French language, ad hoc OHADA arbitration and post-award CCJA proceedings regarding management of an operational subsidiary.
- Representing a German agricultural company in an English language, Paris seated, German law USD 60+ million ICC arbitration against its former distributor in Saudi Arabia.
- Representing a State in a USD 40 million, Paris seated, French language, French law ICC arbitration relating to the procurement of military equipment.
- Representing a multi-national food services company in a multi-million dollar, Paris seated, French language, French law ICC arbitration relating to a post-acquisition price adjustment.
- Representing a major French consumer products company in a multi-hundred million post-M&A dispute subject to ICC arbitration.
- Representing a German multinational company in ICC arbitration and related emergency arbitration proceedings.
- Representing Technip France SA in a Geneva seated, French language, Algerian law ICC arbitration against Sonatrach, regarding the termination of an EPC contract for the expansion and upgrading of the Algiers refinery, with an amount in controversy of over USD 2 billion USD.
- Representing a European contractor against a state-owned energy company in a Paris seated ICC arbitration relating to a contract for the design and construction of a gas compression unit.
- Advising a global energy contractor on issues including force majeure arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the costs and delay impact on a construction project in West Africa.
- Representing a Japanese contractor in a USD 75 million LCIA arbitration regarding construction of a coal-fired power plant in South-East Asia.
- University of California at Berkeley, J.D. Order of the Coif, 1993
- Yale University, B.A. magna cum laude, 1989
- University of Paris-Panthéon-Assas, auditor, Public International Law, 1995
- Chambers Global - Band 2 - International Arbitration – 2023
- Legal 500 – Dispute Resolution: International arbitration - Tier 3 – Leading Individual – 2023
- Best Lawyers – International Arbitration; Litigation – 2022-2024
- Chambers Global 2022: Global Practice Leaders for Arbitration (International) (one of 75 lawyers ranked globally)
- Chambers Global 2022: Dispute Resolution, Africa Wide – ranked in Band 1: “Michael Ostrove has a flourishing practice representing high-profile mining and telecoms clients in investment treaty disputes in Africa. He has notable experience handling commercial cases and those relating to allegations of corruption, as well as annulment proceedings. Based in Paris, he serves as global co-chair of DLA Piper's international arbitration practice. ‘He is smart, considerate, thoughtful, and has African expertise.’ ‘Michael has a proper Africa practice and is really outstanding.’”
- Chambers Global 2022: International Arbitration, France – ranked in Band 2: “Michael Ostrove is adept at handling investor-state arbitrations, where he often acts for European and African sovereign states. One source lauds: ‘I really rate Michael Ostrove. He is courteous, constructive and very able.’” “He is a mine of information on international arbitration. He is also a very diplomatic and modest person.”
- Chambers Global 2022: Arbitration (International), Europe-Wide – ranked in Band 4: “Michael Ostrove earns praise from market commentators for his success in growing the European arbitration practice at DLA Piper. He is best known for his handling of investor-state cases on behalf of European states or private individuals.”
- Legal 500: Private Practice Powerlist 2021: Africa Specialists
- Global Arbitration Review – GAR 30 2022: “Ostrove is praised for his strategic thinking, calm under pressure and leadership.”
- Jeune Afrique’s Top Business Lawyers in Francophone Africa – Ranked for the 6th time – 2022
“Michael Ostrove is excellent; he is a very talented lawyer and advocate, but also an unfailingly courteous and considerate opponent.” “Michael Ostrove is an utmost professional.”
“The outstanding Michael Ostrove provides extremely thorough analysis and his writings are to the point and clear.”
- Who's Who Legal – Thought Leader – International arbitration – 2020, 2021: “Michael is deemed a great advocate and that he is praised for his measured and strikingly accurate advice to clients.”
- Best Lawyers – International Arbitration – 2020-22
- Acritas Star™ Lawyer – Litigation & Regulatory – 2021
Michael Ostrove frequently publishes on topics relating to international arbitration and international investment law. Recent publications include:
- “Towards New international Procedures for Investment Protection? A Practitioner’s View”, Revue Générale de Droit International Public (forthcoming 2023).
- “Organisations internationales et personnes privées: Quels recours, pour quels différends?” 126(3) Revue Générale de Droit International Public 477 (2022).
- “Séréna Salem appointed new member of IBA Arb 40, 11 August 2022”
- “Reduction of French solar tariffs – how can investors protect their rights, 10 March 2022”
- “France Investment Treaty Arbitration, 16 December 2021”
- “Awards: Challenges”, published in GAR’s The Guide to Challenging and Enforcing Arbitration Awards, 2nd edition, 2021.
- “Western Europe – Overview” in The International Comparative Legal Guide to International Arbitration 2019.
- “Awards: Challenges”, published in GAR’s The Guide to Challenging and Enforcing Arbitration Awards, 2019.
- “Developments in African Arbitration”, published in GAR's Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review 2018.
- “L’exécution des mesures conservatoires prononcées par les tribunaux arbitraux” 121 Revue Générale de Droit International Public 197 (2017).
- Choice of Venue in International Arbitration, editor, Oxford University Press, 2014.
Since 2014, Michael Ostrove has taught a course on international arbitration in the International Business Law Masters 2 program at the University of Paris-Panthéon-Assas (formerly the University of Paris II). He routinely provides guest lectures for other programs.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences, the most recent are:
- Presenter, “The Growth of Mediation in Commercial and Investment Disputes”, Seoul ADR Festival, 8 November 2022
- Panelist, “Sectoral Stocktaking of African Disputes”, African Arbitration Association 2nd Annual Conference, 5 November 2022
- Moderator, “Experience with the Use of Damages Experts in Investment Arbitration”, 12th Prague International Treaty Arbitration Conference, 20 October 2022
- Keynote, “Challenges Facing Arbitration Institutions Over the Next Decade”, Copenhagen Arbitration Day, 15 September 2022
- Moderator, “Let’s discuss African mining concessions:
How a balanced deal delivers an enduring relationship”, Africa Down Under, 2 September 2022
- Panelist, “Pre-trial considerations”, Prague Arbitration Day, 7 April 2022
- Panelist, “L'efficacité des Instruments Internationaux”, OECD/IHEI conference, 11 March 2022
- Presenter, “Korean companies in the global market - best practice to protect your foreign investments”, Seoul ADR Festival, 5 November 2021
- Presenter, “Treaty Planning and Key Threshold Issues”, Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration, 7 October 2021
- Moderator, “The Future of ISDS in Africa”, Paris Arbitration Week, 6 July 2020
- Presenter, “La médiation investisseur-État et ses implications pour le Continent africain”, 6th SOAS Arbitration in Africa Conference, 12 March 2020
- Panelist, “Litiges africains devant des tribunaux arbitraux CCI: types and problématiques”, ICC Dakar Conference, 7 February 2020
- Moderator, “Counterclaims in Investment Treaty Arbitration”, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Investment Treaty Forum, 6 November 2019
Before he joined DLA Piper, Michael Ostrove worked in an international firm in New York and in Paris. He started his career as a law clerk with the Honorable Eugene H. Nickerson of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Michael regularly advises international organizations, governments and others on a pro bono basis, including delivering training on advocacy and access to justice projects.
Memberships And Affiliations
- Executive Committee, Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy
- Advisory Committee, Wayne State University Program for International Legal Studies
- Comité français de l’arbitrage
- Institut d’arbitrage international
- International Bar Association (Arbitration Committee; Former co-chair of State Mediation Subcommittee of the Mediation Committee)
- African Arbitration Association
- African Society of International Law
- American Bar Association (Section of International Law, Section of Dispute Resolution)
- Paris – The Home of International Arbitration / Paris Place d’Arbitrage (Executive Board, 2009-2016)
- American Society of International Law
Vice President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration
Member of the World Bank Sanctions Board
Adjunct Professor, Université de Paris- Panthéon-Assas
My latest insights
Michael Ostrove recognised in Jeune Afrique's Top 100 lawyers in francophone Africa
12 June 2022 .1 minute read