Derek C. Smith, Ph.D.

Partner - Washington, D.C.

Derek Smith
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Contact Information

202.261.7330

202.785.6687

dcsmith@foleyhoag.com Download vCard

Dr. Derek Smith practices in the areas of international dispute resolution, international boundaries, public international law and petroleum law. He represents governments and state entities in international arbitration and litigation, including cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea as well as arbitration proceedings under the ICSID Convention, the ICC Rules, the UNCITRAL rules, and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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Education:

  • University of Seville, Ph.D., magna cum laude, 1998
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif, 1988
  • University of Virginia, B.A., 1984

Languages:

Spanish, French

Representative Experience

Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Commercial Arbitration

  • Ritika Mehta, Vinita Agarwal, and Prenay Agarwal v. the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (PCA Case No. 2018-04). Represented Uruguay in its complete victory in this UNCITRAL arbitration brought by UK nationals under the Uruguay-UK bilateral investment treaty. The dispute involved a large-scale iron ore mining project, which the Claimants allege to be worth $3.47 billion.
  • Latin American Regional Aviation Holding S. de R.L. v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay (ICSID Case No. ARB/19/16). Represents the Republic of Uruguay in this ICSID arbitration under the Panama-Uruguay BIT involving a failed public-private partnership of Uruguay’s national airline in which the company took majority ownership of the airline, but then failed to meet its obligations and drove the airline deeper into debt, until the government took back control and was forced to liquidate it. 
  • Represents an Asian State in two international arbitrations against major international oil companies in multi-billion-dollar disputes regarding the decommissioning of large natural gas production facilities.  
  • Niko Exploration (Block 9) Ltd. v. People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Oil Gas and Mineral Corporation (ICSID Case No. ARB/19/18). Represents the Bangladeshi State and its State-owned oil and gas company in a contract-based ICSID arbitration proceeding against it by Niko Exploration (Block 9) Ltd.
  • NEPC Consortium Power Limited v. Bangladesh Power Development Board (ICSID Case No. ARB/18/15). Represents a Bangladeshi state-owned entity in an international arbitration case against an energy company before ICSID arising from a contract concerning an electric power generation project.
  • Niko Resources (Bangladesh) Ltd. v. Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Company Limited ("Bapex") and Bangladesh Oil Gas & Mineral Corporation ("Petrobangla") (ICSID Case Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18): Represents Bangladesh against a foreign oil and gas company in two ICSID arbitrations regarding contracts for the development of natural gas deposits
  • Represents several state-owned entities of an Asian State in commercial arbitration proceedings in the renewable energy and oil and gas.  
  • The Lopez-Goyne Family Trust and others v. Republic of Nicaragua (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/44). Represents Nicaragua in this ICSID arbitration brought by U.S. nationals under CAFTA-DR, relating to a hydrocarbons concession.
  • Hydro S.r.l. and others v. Republic of Albania (ICSID No. ARB/15/28). Represented the Republic of Albania in annulment proceedings before ICSID in regard to an award concerning the alleged expropriation of media properties that was rendered under the Albania-Italy bilateral investment treaty.
  • Pac Rim Cayman LLC v. Republic of El Salvador (ICSID Case No. ARB/09/12). Represented El Salvador in its complete victory against a foreign mining company in an ICSID arbitration regarding a gold mining concession 
  • Enel Green Power S.p.A. v. Republic of El Salvador (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/18). Represented El Salvador against a foreign power company in an ICSID Arbitration related to a concession for the development of geothermal power in which a favorable settlement was reached.
  • Commerce Group Corp. and San Sebastian Gold Mines, Inc. v. Republic of El Salvador (ICSID Case No. ARB/09/17). Represented El Salvador in its complete victory against a foreign mining company in an ICSID arbitration regarding a gold mining concession. 
  • Rusoro Mining Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/12/5). Successfully represented Venezuela against a foreign mining company in an arbitration under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules concerning a gold mining concession and subsequent annulment proceedings.
  • Ron Fuchs v. Georgia (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/15). Represented Georgia in annulment and revision proceedings in an arbitration regarding an oil and gas pipeline project in a which a favorable settlement was achieved.
  • Ioannis Kardassopoulos v. Georgia (ICSID Case No. ARB/05/18): Represented Georgia in annulment and revision proceedings in an arbitration regarding an oil and gas pipeline project in which a favorable settlement was achieved.
     

Oil and Gas Transactions and Legislation

  • Advised Equatorial Guinea and its national oil and gas companies in a broad range of oil and gas transactions and dispute resolution matters related to oil and gas contracts and concessions involving major international oil companies
  • Advised the Dominican Republic on drafting oil and gas laws regulation and model contracts 
  • Advised Equatorial Guinea in the drafting of a new hydrocarbons law and model production sharing contract
  • Advised São Tomé and Príncipe in the drafting of a new hydrocarbons law and model production sharing contract 

Foreign Sovereign States in United States Courts

  • Represents the Kingdom of Spain in opposition to the requests for recognition and enforcement of the Award rendered in the arbitration procedure presented by Foresight et al before the Supreme Court of New York.
  • Represents the Kingdom of Spain in opposition to the requests for recognition and enforcement of the Award rendered in the arbitration procedure presented by Masdar Solar & Wind Cooperatief before the Federal Court of the District of Columbia.
  • Represents the Kingdom of Spain in opposition to the requests for recognition and enforcement of the Award rendered in the arbitration procedure presented by Antin Infrastructure Services Luxembourg S.àr.r.l. and Antin Energia Termosolar B.V. before the Federal Court of the District of Columbia.Represents the Kingdom of Spain in opposition to the requests for recognition and enforcement of the Award, opinion in the arbitration procedure before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the publication of Novenergia II- Energy and Environment (SCA), before the Court of District of the United States for the District of Columbia.

State-to-State dispute settlement, land and maritime boundaries and public international law 

  • Land and Maritime Delimitation and Sovereignty over Islands (Gabon/Equatorial Guinea). Represents Equatorial Guinea before the International Court of Justice in a case concerning the delimitation of the land and maritime boundaries and an island sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.  
  • Guyana v. Venezuela (Case Concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899). Represents Guyana before the International Court of Justice in a case brought to confirm the international boundary between the two States as determined by an arbitral award whose validity Venezuela has challenged. 
  • The Swiss Confederation v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (Case No. 27). Represented of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the proceedings commenced by Switzerland before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) seeking provisional measures during the interval before the formation of an arbitral tribunal under Annex VII of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea intervening). Represented Equatorial Guinea in its intervention before the International Court of Justice
  • Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia). Represented Ecuador before the International Court of Justice 
  • Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire).  Advised regarding maritime boundary dispute with Côte d'Ivoire
  • Advised Saudi Arabia in a range of international boundary and public international law matters
  • Advised Spain on a matter in public international law
  • Advised Mexico in negotiations with the United States regarding a treaty concerning transboundary oil and gas deposit
  • Advised Equatorial Guinea in the negotiation of a maritime boundary treaty with Nigeria and the subsequent unitization of a transboundary oil field
  • Advised Equatorial Guinea in the negotiation of a maritime boundary treaty with São Tomé and Príncipe 
  • Advised Equatorial Guinea in a United Nations-sponsored mediation of a dispute involving island sovereignty, land and maritime boundaries and joint development of oil and gas resources
     
  • International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU) at Durham University (UK): lectures regularly (since 2005) at IBRU conferences and workshops on boundary delimitation
  • The International Maritime Law Institute of the International Maritime Organization at the University of Malta: lectures annually (since 2014) on maritime boundary delimitation for the Masters in International Maritime Law
  • Dispute Resolution in the International Oil & Gas Business Conference: lectures annually (since 2006) on boundary disputes resolution at a conference sponsored by the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and a partner organization at different locations around the world, including Dubai, Paris and Houston
  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) & International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD): lectured at the Workshop on International Investment Treaties and Dispute Settlement, Lusaka, Zambia, March 2013
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: lectured on maritime boundary delimitation at 12th African Oil, Gas and Minerals, Trade and Finance Conference, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, November 2008
  • The Catholic University of Peru: lectured at the VII International Congress of Arbitration, September 2013
  • Inter-American Bar Association: panelist at conference on Environmental Issues in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, October 2015
  • Lectured frequently at oil gas conferences sponsored by Platt's, IQPC and Global Pacific Partners