Diego Cadena

International Counsel
Washington, DC
Diego Cadena is an Ecuadorian lawyer with the international arbitration and litigation group in Washington, D.C. His practice focuses on comparative law and international dispute resolution, especially in cases involving the representation of clients before the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) among other international tribunals.

Prior to joining Foley Hoag, Diego held, for ten years, high positions in Ecuador’s public sector such as the Central Bank of Ecuador, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Ecuador, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diego has advised in matters related to sovereign debt, financial restructuring, international financial litigation, public procurement, investor-State international arbitration, commercial arbitration and bilateral and multilateral agreements negotiations.


  • Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, (J.D. equivalent), 2003
  • Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, LL.B., 2003
  • Washington College of Law, LL.M., 2008

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Admitted only in Ecuador; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia


  • Spanish


As a public attorney, Diego has represented the interests of Ecuador in economic and financial areas; public procurement, electricity and hydrocarbons sectors, and international relations.

  • Highbury International AVV and Ramstein Trading Inc. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/1. Arbitration, brought by a Netherlands Antilles company under the Netherlands-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty, alleging the expropriation of mining concessions. Continued representing the client in the annulment process presented by the Claimant.
  • Gold Reserve v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/09/1. Case brought by a Canadian gold mining company over Venezuela's cancellation of gold concessions and the revocation of related environmental permits. Continued representation in the annulment process presented by the Respondent.
  • Vannessa Ventures Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)04/6. Arbitration under the ICSID Additional Facility rules, in which a Canadian mining company claimed compensation for alleged expropriation of mining rights.
  • Tenaris S.A. and Talta - Trading and Marketing Sociedade unipessoal Lda v. the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB / 11/26. Case presented before ICSID by European subsidiaries of an Argentine group under the bilateral investment treaties with Luxembourg and Portugal regarding the alleged expropriation of its subsidiary, involved in the steel industry. 
  • Tenaris S.A. and Talta v. the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/23. ICSID Arbitration based on a controversy over an alleged expropriation originated in the nationalization of the steel pipe manufacturing industry and the alleged expropriation of shares in a steel pellet production factory.
  • Murphy Exploration & Production Company-International v. The Republic of Ecuador, UNCITRAL, PCA No. AA434. Part of Ecuador's counsel in an arbitration regarding an alleged expropriation originated by the application of a law that regulates the State's participation in revenues stemming from an unforeseen increase in international prices for the sale of hydrocarbons.
  • Valores Mundiales v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/11. ICSID case referring to the nationalization of food production companies.
  • Agroinsumos Ibero-Americanos, S.L. Inica Latinoamericana, S.L., Profeya Internacional, S.L., Verica Atlántica, S.L. v. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Arbitration regarding the alleged expropriation of companies related to the food industry.
  • Consorcio GLP, Mantenimientos, Ayuda a la explotación y Servicios S.A. MAESSA, y Tesca Ingeniería del Ecuador. Representation of Ecuador in an arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules.
  • Ritika Mehta, Vinita Agarwal and Prenay Agarwal v. The Oriental Republic of Uruguay. UNCITRAL Arbitration before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (CPA). Represent Uruguay in an arbitration brought under the Uruguay - United Kingdom BIT, regarding a large-scale iron ore extraction project, which Claimants allege is valued at $ 3.47 billion.
  • Morales v. Nicaragua and INISER. Represent the Republic of Nicaragua and the state insurance company before courts of the United States.
  • Raytheon Anschultz GmbH v. Diques Astilleros Nacionales, C.A., ICC Case No. 16788/JRF. Representation of DIANCA, a Venezuelan entity, in an arbitration before the ICC initiated by a German company, related with the maintenance and reparation with Venezuelan submarines; obtained a favorable award.
  • Advised a Central American state in a dispute related to navigational rights.
  • Advised a Latin American state in a case related to the construction of pulp mills.
  • Advised a Latin American state in a case relating to aerial spraying along an international boundary.

  • Ecuador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Legal Counsel for the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, January 2007-December 2007
  • Ecuador, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Ecuador, Legal Counsel for the Office of the Attorney General of Ecuador, November 2003-December 2007
  • Ecuador, Central Bank of Ecuador, Lawyer, General Manager's Office, April 2002-October 2003
  • Office of the Legal Counsel, June 1998-March 2002