Kate Brown de Vejar

Kate Brown de Vejar

She/her/hersPartner

Global Co-Chair of International Arbitration

Deputy Managing Partner, Mexico City Office

Legal 500 Latin America testimonials describe Ms. Brown de Vejar as "outstanding … our firm finds that her focus, insight and strategic direction are best in class. Every interaction is the very definition of professionalism."

About

Kate Brown de Vejar focuses her practice on international commercial and investment arbitration. She represents private corporations, sovereign states and state-owned entities in connection with international arbitrations under the leading institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules, including those of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the American Arbitration Association’s International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Mexican Chamber of Commerce (CANACO) and the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA).  Ms. Brown de Vejar also acts as an arbitrator.

Widely recognized for her experience handling complex, high-profile disputes in the energy and infrastructure sectors, Ms. Brown de Vejar's experience also extends to general commercial, post-M&A and JV/partnership disputes, as well as disputes in the aeronautical, financial services, life sciences, mining, technology and telecommunication sectors.

Bar admissionsAustraliaNew York
Mrs. Brown de Vejar “is celebrated as ‘smart and strategic’ by observers who cite her impeccable track record in disputes across the mining, oil and gas, and construction sectors.”
— Who’s Who Legal
The firm has done a “terrific job of providing proactive advice” in an ongoing arbitration. “Particularly strong team members” are partners Kate Brown de Vejar, Kiera Gans and Kaoru Umino.
— Director of a renewable energy investor

EXPERIENCE

  • Lead counsel representing a US telehealth group in its US150+ million ICC arbitration agaisnt its Indian subsidiary, seated in chicago with Indian alw applicable.
  • Represented a US energy giant in a US$70 million, English language, New York law ICC arbitration claim arising out of a combined cycle power plant in Mexico.  The parties reached an amicable settlement in September 2022.
  • Leads the team representing the same US energy giant in a US$30 million, Spanish language, Mexican law LCIA arbitration claim against the principal contractor in a dispute arising out of the electromechanical works on a hydroelectric project in Mexico.
  • Lead counsel representing an energy sector client in an English-language US$100 million ICC arbitration arising out of a methanol plant project.  The arbitration, seated in New York, with New York law and Delaware law applicable, ended in April 2021 with a favorable settlement for our client. 
  • Secured a total victory for a retail sector client in a Spanish-language, Mexico City-seated ICC arbitration arising out of a long-term contract for the supply of hydroelectricity governed by Mexican law.
  • Lead counsel representing two investors in connection with their BIT claim against an Asian State arising out of investments in the renewable energy sector.
  • Led the team which achieved a total victory for the Republic of Lithuania in a US$300 million case brought in relation to the bankruptcy of Bankas Snoras (Fund for Protection of Investor’s Rights in Foreign States v. Republic of Lithuania, UNCITRAL Case).  The case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds and Lithuania also recovered 100% of its legal costs.
  • Represented a global leader in digital transformation in connection with a New York-seated ICDR arbitration arising out of a software development and ancillary agreements.  The parties reached an amicable settlement in mid-2022.
  • Lead counsel representing a US-based sports data software company in its English language, Tokyo-seated ICDR arbitration with a foreign licensee.  The matter ended in April 2022 with a favorable settlement.
  • Led the team that achieved a major victory for their Big Four tech sector client in an English language, San Francisco-seated ICC arbitration arising out of breach of a Delaware law confidentiality agreement.
  • One of the lead counsel in a Geneva-seated multi-billion dollar ICC arbitration for Turkmengas, Turkmenistan's State-owned gas entity, against the National Iranian Gas Company.  The arbitration resulted in a resounding victory for Turkmengas, with NIGC found liable to pay in excess of US$2 billion.
  • Member of the team which secured a comprehensive victory for the owner of a utility plant in an ICC arbitration seated in New York, with New York law the applicable substantive law.  The arbitral tribunal rejected the main contractor’s claim for payment, and awarded the plant owner millions on its counterclaims, as well as costs.
  • One of the lead counsel that secured a comprehensive victory for Turkmenistan in a US$570 million ICSID arbitration - all claims against Turkmenistan were dismissed and the claimant was ordered to pay US$1.7 million in costs. The case (Içkale Insaat Limited Sirketi v. Turkmenistan, ICSID Case No. ARB/10/24) involved 13 different civil engineering EPC contracts for facilities ranging from hotels and schools, to a man-made canal. The same team went on to defeat the claimant's request for a supplementary decision and rectification of the award in mid-2017.
  • One of the lead counsel that secured a total victory for Turkmenistan in a US$450 million ICSID arbitration involving claims arising out of 31 distinct EPC contracts for the construction of a range of facilities, including an industrial steel mill, a water treatment plant and a recycling plant (Muhammet Çap & Sehil Inşaat Endustri ve Ticaret Ltd. Sti. v. Turkmenistan, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/6). 
Education
  • LL.M., Harvard Law School, 2005
    Australian Federation of University Women Fellowship 2004–2005, International Finance
  • LL.B., University of Queensland, first class honors
    University Medal for Law
  • B.A., University of Queensland, French

Awards

  • Chamber USA ranks Kate Brown de Vejar in Band 4 Nationwide International Arbitration: Counsel (2023)
  • Kate Brown de Vejar is on the Legal 500’s Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico (2023)
  • The Legal 500 Latin America (2022) ranks Kate Brown de Vejar as a Next Generation Partner in:
    o Latin America: International Firms International Arbitration; and
    o Mexico Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
  • Who’s Who Legal (WWL) includes Ms. Brown de Vejar in the highest category of "Global Elite Thought Leader"

Seminars

  • Speaker, ROAP Workshop on Cross Examination in International Arbitration, Online Workshop, November 14, 2022
  • Speaker, "Future of Mining in Mexico (Opportunities and Challenges)," Congreso Internacional Minero in Expo Forum Hermosillo, Mexico, October 18-21, 2022
  • Speaker, "The USMCA Energy Chapter: In the eye of the storm … drawing near an unprecedented trilateral litigation scenario. Who wins and why?" ANZMEX Energy Debate Series, Mexico City, October 14, 2022
  • Speaker, "Expert Evidence in international Arbitration," V Arbitration Congress of CBMA - Brazilian Center of Mediation and Arbitration, Rio de Janeiro, August 12, 2022 
  • Panelist, "Exploring the UNCITRAL-ICSID Code of Conduct for Adjudicators," NYIAC Annual Grand Central Forum, New York, July 13, 2022
  • Presenter, JAMS and CONEXIG hybrid seminar titled Disruption, "Delay and Dilemma: Resolving Cross-Border Construction and Energy Disputes in Latin America," December 15, 2021
  • Virtual Presenter, "LatAm Mining Disputes,” Australian Center for International Commercial Arbitration, 2021
  • IA Investment Arbitration Webinar in Peru, November 24, 2021
  • Virtual Presenter, Legal 500 Webinar, "What do in-house counsel expect from external firms during the arbitral process?" September 28, 2021
  • Speaker, ITA Panel, "Commercial Arbitrations relating to regulatory changes," September 8, 2021
  • Speaker, Young ITA Roundtable – "Debate: should "double hatting" be permitted in investor state dispute settlement?" June 17, 2021
  • Panelist, ANZMEX, "The Mexican Energy Sector: Part 2 – A Pre-Electoral Discussion" May 27, 2021
  • Speaker, International Arbitration Roundtable, "Key Challenges Post-Pandemic" May 22, 2021
  • Speaker, ABA ASIL International Arbitration Skills Masterclass, May 5, 2021
  • Panelist, GAR Interactive - Women in Arbitration, February 2, 2021

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Court and Vice-President of the LCIA’s Latin American Users' Council
  • Vice Chair of the IBA’s Arbitration Committee and Co-Head of its LatAm Steering Committee
  • Co-Chair of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) ’s Working Group on Arbitrator Liability
  • Vice President of ANZMEX (the Australia, New Zealand, Mexico Business Council)
  • Board Member of CAIC (the Arbitration Center for the Construction Industry in Mexico)
  • Member of the American Arbitration Association’s ICDR-CANACO Joint Committee
  • Co-Chair of the Remote Online Advocacy Program (ROAP) for North America
  • Law 360 Editor for International Arbitration (appointed in 2022)

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