Head, Latin American Desk
Eliza is passionate about building bridges between businesses in Latin America and Asia. Having grown up in Panama, Eliza leverages her Spanish language skills, her understanding of the Latin American and Chinese cultures, and her experience in commercial and trade law to identify, create, and foster commercial linkages and opportunities between Latin America and Asia Pacific for SMEs. She and her associates can assist SMEs on all the commercial and legal aspects of market entry, marketing, and promotion of their goods and services, on structuring of commercial arrangements and frameworks, on managing risks arising from trade and investments in both regions, and on managing any disputes should they arise.
Specialist in International Arbitration
Eliza has +10 years of expertise in international arbitration with a focus in institutional arbitration (SIAC, ICC, HKIAC) and ad-hoc arbitration involving Canadian, Latin American, and Chinese companies across a range of industries including oil & gas, manufacturing, and M&A.
She has advised Latin American clients in the resolution of their disputes with Chinese counterparts by leveraging on her understanding of Latin America (having grown up in Panama), and on her Spanish language skills. She is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Spanish, and English, with a working knowledge of French. Her background and experience places her in the unique position to serve Chinese clients with operations/business dealings in Latin America and vice-versa.
Having managed more than 200 international arbitration cases at the Secretariat of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (“ICC”) International Court of Arbitration as a Deputy Counsel, Eliza has practical experience and unique insight on all aspects of the arbitral process from constitution of the arbitral tribunal to scrutiny of arbitral awards.
Prior to Singapore, she practiced at the Hong Kong office of a pre-eminent Chinese law firm representing clients in oil & gas field development, pharmaceutical distribution, investment funds, and appliance manufacturing.
Whilst she was practicing at a top-tier Canadian firm in Toronto she also represented (among others) Canadian resource companies with operations in Latin America on commercial litigation, internal investigations, international trade law matters, investment treaty disputes, as well as international arbitration.
Notable examples of Eliza’s experience include:
- • Representing the limited partner of an investment fund in a USD180 million complex tripartite arbitration involving multiple jurisdictional objections, procedural complexities, and legal issues involving laws of multiple jurisdictions on agency, trust, and fund structure, proceeds distribution and dissolution.
- • Representing a pharmaceutical conglomerate in an RMB 400 million/USD 57 million arbitration administered by the HKIAC in relation to a dispute arising from invalid termination of a complex distribution agreement with respect to distribution of pharmaceutical products in the PRC and the appropriate pricing mechanism of these products in the context of the PRC regulatory regimes.
- • Acting for a Brazilian manufacturing conglomerate of appliances against a PRC party on a dispute arising from misrepresentation of warranties in an M&A transaction, and from related intellectual property issues.
- • Representing a foreign investor in a complex and high value oil & gas ad-hoc (UNCITRAL) arbitration against a large Chinese State-Owned Entity with respect to gas field development project in China on allegations of project mismanagement and breach of contract. This dispute involved dealing with highly technical infrastructure management issues, and with operatorship of oil & gas field development issues in relation to a suite of oil & gas project investment, operating, and sales contractual arrangements. It also involved procedural complexities in selection of the seat, negotiation of a multi-tier confidentiality agreement to address state secret concerns, and highly contentious document production process in light of the state secrecy issues.
- • Acting for a U.S. offshore wind project developer, in its NAFTA investment claim against the Government of Canada in connection with Ontario’s moratorium on offshore wind development.
- • Acting for an international fast food restaurant franchise in a defamation suit against a former franchisee resulting in the highest non-jury defamation award in Ontario’s history.
- • Acting for a Canadian mining company in an internal investigation of alleged corruption involving a Colombian subsidiary.
- • Acting for a Canadian exploration company with mineral properties in Central and South America in its ICSID arbitral claim against the Republic of Costa Rica, under the Canada-Costa Rica Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), concerning the expropriation of a gold mining project.