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James E. Berger


James is a litigation partner resident in New York and Washington. He focuses his practice on international disputes and cross-border enforcement and asset recovery, representing clients in a broad range of international and domestic conflicts before US courts and arbitral tribunals. A significant portion of his practice includes the enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign judgments against sovereign and commercial entities in the US and globally. James also has experience in multi-jurisdictional asset recovery proceedings involving allegations of fraud.

James has served as lead counsel in some of the most cutting-edge cross-border cases to be litigated in US trial and appellate courts in recent years. He has considerable experience litigating issues under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the New York Convention, the Panama Convention, ICSID, the Energy Charter Treaty, the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1782, and other treaties and statutes that have unique applicability in cross-border disputes. He has considerable experience advising not only foreign investors and parties to cross-border disputes, but also litigation funders, hedge funds and other dispute investors and financial stakeholders who play a critical role in the resolution of large commercial and investor-state disputes. 

James speaks and writes regularly on topics related to international dispute resolution and enforcement. He has been a guest lecturer at New York University School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, and Renmin University School of Law in Beijing, and cases he has handled have served as the basis for semester-long international disputes classes at NYU and Fordham Law Schools. He conceived, edited, and was a contributing author to International Aspects of U.S. Litigation (ABA, 2017), a two-volume practice treatise on the litigation of international disputes in US courts, and has published expert analyses on international disputes issues in Law360, as well as been a guest contributor on legal issues to the South China Morning Post, a leading daily newspaper in Hong Kong. James was also recently appointed an executive member of the Institute for International Economic Policy of the Elliott School for International Affairs at the George Washington University.  

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaNew YorkTexas
CourtsSupreme Court of the United StatesUnited States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Second CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States District Court for the District of ColumbiaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of New YorkUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of New YorkUnited States District Court for the Western District of New YorkUnited States District Court for the Northern District of New YorkUnited States District Court for the Southern District of Texas


James has served as the lead lawyer on the following significant matters:

  • Global lead counsel representing a Canadian mining company in multi-jurisdictional proceedings to enforce a $1.4 billion arbitration award against Venezuela
  • Global lead enforcement counsel in multi-jurisdictional proceedings to enforce a $2 billion ICSID award against Egypt
  • Represented U.S. petroleum services company in proceedings to enforce $500 million arbitration award against Mexican state-owned oil company; award was enforced in the U.S. despite being annulled by a Mexican court
  • Lead US counsel representing European investor in proceedings to enforce $500 million treaty arbitration award against Kazakhstan
  • Represents Chinese freight forwarding and shipping conglomerate in litigation and ICDR arbitration proceedings arising out of corporate governance dispute 
  • Lead US counsel for foreign government in fraud action against former prime minister
  • Advised UK-based hedge fund in connection with enforcement of arbitration award against African nation
  • Lead US counsel in proceedings to enforce "intra-EU" arbitration awards rendered under Energy Charter Treaty against Spain, Italy, and Poland
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in Paris-based ICC arbitration involving sale of industrial complex in Brazil
  • Represented European government in appellate proceedings involving recognition of foreign money judgment, including successfully arguing issue of first impression before the Supreme Court of Arizona
  • Global lead counsel representing U.S. financial services company in multi-jurisdictional proceedings to enforce arbitration award and judgment against Pakistani media conglomerate
  • Global lead counsel for Cayman Islands entity in connection with multi-jurisdictional proceedings to enforce $261 million arbitration award against Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company
  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law

  • B.A., The George Washington University


The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended, International Arbitration (2023-2024) 

Chambers USA

  • Band 1, International Arbitration: Enforcement (2024)


  • Federal court confirms 28 U.S.C. § 1782 does not apply to ICSID arbitrations following Supreme Court ruling, 30 August 2023
  • Can parties contract out of federal court subject matter jurisdiction? The Second circuit says no, but they can opt out of federal court as an inconvenient forum, 10 August 2023
  • The European Commission formally proposes to withdraw from the ECT, 21 July 2023
  • The Supreme Court Requires Automatic Stay of District Court Proceedings Pending Appeal of the Denial of a Motion to Compel Arbitration, 12 July 2023
  • Supreme Court affirms RICO liability where award debtor seeks to avoid enforcement of award in United States, 11 July 2023
  • A lightning rod of controversy: modernizing the Energy Charter Treaty, 03 May 2023
  • On what grounds may an arbitral award be vacated? Notes on the en banc decision in Corporación AIC, SA v. Hidroeléctrica Santa Rita S.A., 27 April 2023
  • The Energy Charter Treaty: What to look for from the next ad hoc Energy Charter Conference, 26 April 2023
  • Supreme Court limits the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 discovery in international arbitration, 26 June 2022
  • "Energy Cos. Must Keep Options Open Amid Treaty Turmoil," by Keith Goldberg, interview comments by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Oct. 28, 2022
    United States, "The Healthy Award," (forthcoming) Kluwer, 2022
  • Servotronics Inc v. Boeing Co. Considerations regarding section 1782 in aid of foreign commercial arbitrations and thoughts for the Brazilian arbitration scenario, Revista Brasileira de Arbitragem, by James E. Berger, Charlene C. Sun and Paula Miralles De Araujo, Mar. 30, 2020
  • "Jam Exposes International Organizations To New Litigation Risks,” Law360, by James E. Berger, Mar. 11, 2019
  • "International Aspects of U.S. Litigation: A Practitioner’s Deskbook," published by American Bar Association, edited by James E. Berger, June 5, 2018
  • "Rules of Reason: U.S. Courts Grapple with the Requirements for a Reasoned Award," Indian Journal of Arbitration Law, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, January 2017
  • "In New York, Companies Still Not Liable Under Alien Tort Statute," Law360 Expert Analysis, 2016
  • "Rift Among US Courts In Enforcing Int’l Arbitration Awards," Law360, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Aug. 20, 2015
  • "U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies How to Enforce Forum Selection Clauses," Lexology, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Jan. 8, 2014
  • "Ninth Circuit Clarifies Scope of Commercial Activity Exception to Sovereign Immunity," Lexology, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Dec. 19, 2013
  • "International Litigation Update: Developments Concerning the Alien Tort Statute and Personal Jurisdiction," Lexology, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, May 16, 2013
  • "Where Flexibility Meet Cost Efficiency in Settling Disputes," South China Morning Post, by James E. Berger, Apr. 24, 2013
  • "Second Circuit Rules that a Judgment-Creditor is Entitled to Broad Discovery Concerning Foreign State Judgment-Debtor’s Assets," Lexology, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Oct. 3, 2012
  • "Agree How to Disagree – The First Step to Dispute Resolution," South China Morning Post, by James E. Berger, Oct. 24, 2012
  • "Effective Arbitral Habit Now Spares Litigious Blushes Later," South China Morning Post, by James E. Berger, Dec. 12, 2012
  • "Emerging Issues in Alien Tort Statute Litigation," California Tort Reporter, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Feb. 2012
  • "Sovereign Immunity: A Venerable Concept in Transition?" ABA International Litigation Quarterly, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Winter/Spring 2011
  • "Corporate Liability Under the Alien Tort Statute," California Tort Reporter, 2011
  • "International Jurisdictional Standoffs and Foreign Antisuit Injunctions," ABA International Litigation Quarterly, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Spring 2010
  • "Enforcement Against Assets of State-Owned Companies (chapter), Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Against Sovereigns," JurisNet LLC, edited by R. Doak Bishop, by Christopher F. Dugan and James E. Berger, 2009
  • "The Evolution of Judicial Review Under the Federal Arbitration Act," N.Y.U. Journal of Law & Business, by James E. Berger and Charlene C. Sun, Summer 2009
  • "New York Court of Appeals Permits Extraterritorial Seizure of Assets in Aid of Judgments," Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, 2009


  • Panelist, “Exploring the Global Landscape for Enforcement of Judgments and Awards,” London International Disputes Week (LIDW) – London, June 4, 2024
  • Panelist, “Liquid Assets – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Enforcement, Intelligence Gathering and Educating Clients,” Asset Recovery CEE – Warsaw, April 18, 2024
  • Panelist, “Perspectives of Global Leaders in International Arbitration: Achmea and the Future of Intra-EU Investment Arbitration,” Fordham International Law Association – New York, April 11, 2024
  • Panelist, "Navigating Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration: Benefits, Implications and the Future," Columbia International Arbitration Association – New York, New York, March 23, 2023
  • Speaker, "Doing Business in and With China 2022," Practising Law Institute, December 13, 2022

Prior Experience

Prior to joining DLA Piper, James practiced at two international law firms.

Civic and Charitable

  • Executive Member, Institute for International Economic Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Board Member, Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York, 2011-2016

Memberships And Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • International Bar Association