"The hard-working John Adams knows all the details of a case."


The Legal 500 EMEA 2020

John Adam

Paris | Madrid
  • 45, rue Saint-Dominique
  • Paris 75007
  • France

John Adam is a partner in the Paris and Madrid offices of Latham & Watkins. He is a member of Latham's International Arbitration Practice. Mr. Adam has extensive experience representing companies, states, and state-owned entities in high-stakes, complex international commercial and investor-state arbitrations under the aegis of the principal arbitration rules, including ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, SCC, and DIAC. He regularly handles disputes under a range of bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and focuses on energy, oil and gas, and construction and technology disputes.

Besides speaking English and Spanish as mother tongues, Mr. Adam is fluent in French and Portuguese.

Recognition Highlights

Mr. Adam has been recognized as a Next Generation Lawyer. The Legal 500 Latin America 2019-2020

Mr. Adam is “a true class act” who stands out as “one of the brightest and most hard-working lawyers in the field”. One source notes, “He is among the sharpest and most technically proficient lawyers I have ever had the opportunity to work with.” Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration 2019: Future Leaders

The Legal 500 describes Mr. Adam as a “remarkable” professional “with vast arbitration knowledge.”

According to Chambers Latin America 2019, Mr. Adam is “active advising on notable investor-state and commercial arbitration matters throughout the region. One pleased interviewee states: ‘I really like John, he's a great lawyer,’ with another describing him as ‘very dedicated and accessible.’”

According to Chambers Latin America 2018, "John Adam has a solid practice advising on investment arbitration, particularly related to the construction sector, as well as the conventional and renewable energy industries. Sources describe him as 'brilliant,' and 'a very complete lawyer.'"

Mr. Adam’s significant recent experience includes representing: 

Investment arbitration
  • Novenergia in an arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), seated in Stockholm, concerning changes to Spain’s sweeping changes to its regulation of the renewables sector; in addition to awarding Novenergia compensation of €53.3 million (close to the total damages claimed), the arbitral tribunal also ordered the Kingdom of Spain to pay Novenergia’s arbitration costs
  • The Republic of Colombia in three ICSID arbitrations brought respectively by Eco Oro Minerals Corp, Red Eagle Exploration Ltd. and Galway Gold Inc., under Chapter 8 of the Canada-Colombia FTA relating to the adoption of certain regulatory measures in the mining sector for the protection of unique, high-altitude páramo (moorland) ecosystems
  • The Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration commenced by Gran Colombia Gold Corp. under the Canada-Colombia FTA regarding a Colombian mining concern
  • A Latin American State in an UNCITRAL arbitration brought by an investor concerning the alleged elimination of tax benefits in the oil and gas mid-stream industry and the alleged violation of the FET standard and Stability clauses in an investment contract for the construction and operation of an oil pipeline
Commercial arbitration
  • A state-owned company, as the respondent in an ICC arbitration seated in London brought by a subsidiary of an Asian state-owned oil and gas company. The dispute concerns a joint venture to modernize and expand a refinery in Latin America.
  • A consortium of six electromechanical suppliers in ICC proceedings in Sao Paulo, under Brazilian law and arbitrated in Portuguese, in a substantial construction arbitration against the owner of a major hydroelectric project and the main contractor
  • A NOC as the respondent in two LCIA arbitrations seated in London, brought by a South American oil and gas company, involving complex claims under a Joint Operating Agreement regarding an incident in an FPSO and an aborted offshore well workover operation
  • The affiliates of a major European engineering services and construction management company as claimants in an ICC arbitration seated in Paris against a European oil and gas company concerning an EPCM contract regarding the construction of a refinery in Europe; the tribunal rendered an award granting the client extensive damages and ordering the respondent to defray the entirety of the client’s costs in the arbitration
  • Two Spanish engineering and construction companies in an ICC arbitration seated in New York and governed by New York law, against a Costa Rican energy corporation and a series of related project companies in connection with several turnkey EPC contracts for the construction of wind-powered electrical generation facilities in Costa Rica
Arbitrator appointments
  • Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration regarding an agency contract for the sale of vehicles in an African country; Seat of arbitration: London; Language of the arbitration: English
  • Sole arbitrator in dispute relating the termination of a hospitality services contract; Seat of arbitration: Madrid; Applicable law: Spanish; Language of the arbitration: Spanish

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