Finizio_Steven

Steven P. Finizio

Steven Finizio's practice focuses on international dispute resolution. Mr. Finizio also serves as an arbitrator. He has particular experience with oil and gas, financial services, shareholder, joint venture and M&A, and manufacturing issues. He has advised clients regarding disputes under the rules of most of the well-recognized international arbitration institutions and governed by the laws of jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US, as well as under bilateral and regional investment treaties. His pro bono work has included assisting a Central European government to draft new arbitration legislation and he was part of a team that won a landmark decision in the first freedom of expression case in the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Issa Loha Konaté v Burkina Faso.

Professional Activities

Mr. Finizio regularly teaches classes on arbitration at law schools, and taught International Commercial Arbitration as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University Law School in London for a number of years. He is a founding member of the International Dispute Resolution Academy (IDRA) and is on the faculty at the Cologne Academy of Arbitration and for the Africa International Legal Awareness (AILA) annual International Treaty Law and Arbitration Programme. He also has been on the faculty for the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA). 

He speaks regularly on international arbitration at conferences and seminars, including at events sponsored by the ICC, LCIA, ICSID, AAA, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), German Arbitration Institute (DIS), Swedish Arbitration Association, Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), SOAS, the Georgia International Arbitration Centre (GIAC), CIETAC Hong Kong, Beijing Arbitration Commission, the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA), Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), Harvard Business School, the London Shipping Law Centre/University College London, the University of Belgrade, the Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Centre (NPAC), the State Chancellery of Latvia, and Humboldt University.  Mr. Finizio also recently designed and led three-day seminars in international arbitration for oil and gas executives in Malaysia and UAE.

Mr. Finizio is a member of the Global Arbitration Review Editorial Board, the Lexis®PSL Arbitration Consulting Editorial Board, and the arbitration.ru Editorial Board, as well as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA).  Mr. Finizio has served as a UK representative on several ICC task forces, and is a member of a number of arbitration and international law institutions and related associations, including the International Bar Association (IBA), Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), American Society of International Law (ASIL), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA).  Mr. Finizio is also a Member of the Board of Trustees for the Media Defence Legal Initiative.

Publications

Mr. Finizio publishes extensively on issues relating to international dispute resolution. He is the author, with Duncan Speller, of "A Practical Guide to International Commercial Arbitration: Assessment, Planning and Strategy," (Sweet & Maxwell 2010) (second edition forthcoming), and "International Commercial Arbitration," in The Law of Transnational Business Transactions (Nanda, ed. Thomson Reuters updated 2018). See “Publications” under “Insights & News” for a full list of Mr. Finizio’s publications and articles.

  • Significant Judgment Achieved in Freedom of Expression and Private Life Rights Case

    The International Arbitration Practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, acting alongside the Media Legal Defence Initiative, obtained a significant judgment from the European Court of Human Rights in Khadija Ismayilova v. Azerbaijan.

    January 16, 2019
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  • GAR Live Moscow

    WilmerHale Partner Steven Finizio will co-chair GAR Live Moscow. He will provide opening and closing remarks to the audience and serve as moderator during "Session Two: The GAR Live Question Time: Investor-State Disputes."

    March 21, 2019
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  • Environmental Dispute Resolution and Small States

    Representatives of Small States, practitioners, government officials, members of environmental/climate change NGOs and academics gathered at the London office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP for the third Centre for Small States and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr Annual Small States Conference.

    September 24, 2018
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Experience

  • Representation of a number of clients in gas price revision disputes relating to long-term gas and LNG supply contracts, including in a number of ad hoc arbitrations and in arbitrations under the ICC, SCC and UNCITRAL rules, sited in New York, Stockholm, London, Geneva and Lugano.
  • Representation of an Eastern European manufacturing company in an investment treaty claim against an Eastern European state.
  • Representation of a European telecommunications services company in an ICC arbitration against a Swiss customer, sited in Zurich.
  • Representation of a Japanese manufacturing company in an ICC arbitration against a Korean company, sited in New York.
  • Representation of a European construction company in an ICSID arbitration against a Middle Eastern state.
  • Representation of a multinational clean energy company in multiple ICC and ad hoc arbitrations against an Indian company relating wind power projects in India, sited in London and New Delhi.
  • Representation of US and UK financial services companies in an LCIA arbitration, sited in London, relating to a services agreement and a fraud.
  • Representation of a UK agribusiness in an investment treaty claim against an East African state.
  • Representation of an international computer company in an HKIAC arbitration, sited in Hong Kong, relating to a purchase agreement.
  • Representation of a European oil and gas company in an ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules, sited in New York, relating to a revenue sharing agreement in an LNG supply contract.
  • Representation of an international electronics company in an ICC arbitration, sited in Zurich, relating to an IP licensing agreement.
  • Representation of a number of matters involving US and UK energy and oil field services companies in ICC arbitrations, all sited in London, relating to claims of illegality with regard to a services agreement in a number of African countries.
  • Representation of a European manufacturing company in a DIS arbitration, sited in Zurich, relating to a share and purchase agreement concerning manufacturing facilities in China.
  • Representation of a global financial services company in two ICC arbitrations, sited in London, relating to franchise agreement disputes.
  • Representation of a European telecommunications company in an ICC arbitration, sited in Geneva, concerning shareholder and ownership rights.
  • Representation of a European energy company in consolidated ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL rules, sited in New York, concerning the interpretation of a gas sales and purchase agreement and requested price revisions.
  • Representation of a US financial services company in an ICC arbitration, sited in Paris, concerning an M&A dispute relating to the sale and purchase of an insurance company.
  • Representation of three multinational energy companies in an expert determination and related proceedings, sited in Washington DC, concerning a gas purchase and sales agreement with a state-owned gas company in Asia.
  • Recent matters as an arbitrator include serving as the presiding arbitrator, the sole arbitrator, and a party-appointed arbitrator in cases under the ICC and LCIA rules, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations.

Recognition

  • Award Text

    Recognized as a Thought Leader

    Who's Who Legal: Arbitration

    2019

  • Award Text

    Selected for Inclusion in the Hall of Fame for Dispute Resolution

    The Legal 500 UK

    2018

  • Award Text

    Recognized Among the Best Lawyers for International Arbitration

    Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom

    2018

Mr. Finizio has been ranked among the leading international arbitration lawyers in Legal 500 UK, Chambers UK, Chambers Europe and Chambers Global for a number of years. Chambers UK 2018 and Chambers Europe 2017 say "his performance as an advocate is 'impressive'" and he is "exceptionally knowledgeable and caring" and "very thorough, clever and focused"; he was inducted into The Legal 500 UK Hall of Fame in 2018 for dispute resolution: international arbitration (London) and the 2016-2018 editions of The Legal 500 UK recommends him as a "Leading lawyer" for international arbitration and dispute resolution; Chambers UK 2016 states he "attracts praise from sources for his 'excellent knowledge of the law' and 'amazing understanding of the impact a case has on a client'"; Chambers Global 2015 says he is "highly regarded for his dedicated arbitration practice," and commended him for being "creative and ruthless in his approach.

He also is listed in a number of other rankings based on peer and client review, including Best Lawyers in the United KingdomGlobal Arbitration Review's Who's Who in International Arbitration, PLC Cross Border Dispute Resolution Handbook, the Euromoney Guide to the World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration, Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best, Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Arbitration Lawyers.

Insights & News

Credentials

  • Education

    • JD, University of Chicago Law School, 1992

      with honors Order of the Coif; Associate Articles Editor, University of Chicago Law Review
    • AB, Georgetown University, 1988

      magna cum laude
  • Admissions

    • California

    • District of Columbia

    • England and Wales, Registered Foreign Lawyer

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1992 - 1993

Credentials