Julie Bédard

Julie Bédard

Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration; Latin America
Julie Bédard is head of Skadden’s International Litigation and Arbitration Group for the Americas. She is a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm’s governing body. Fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese, Ms. Bédard practices in four languages in complex international litigation and arbitration matters.

Bio

View in: French | Portuguese | Spanish

Trained in both civil and common law, Ms. Bédard has a doctorate in conflict of laws and represents clients in connection with litigation and arbitration proceedings throughout the world, raising disputes on governing law, jurisdiction, the enforcement of arbitration agreements, extraterritoriality and international judgment enforcement.

She represents clients in federal and state courts in the United States and has served as counsel in international arbitration proceedings held under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). She regularly advises clients on protecting their global investments under international treaties and provides strategic advice on drafting dispute resolution clauses in international commercial contracts.

Ms. Bédard frequently counsels management and supervisory boards in corporate governance, internal investigations and U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters. Together with members of the securities litigation practice, she regularly assists Latin American companies in U.S. securities class actions. Under the auspices of the corporate investigations practice, she has assisted with internal investigations and related corporate governance advice, including remedial measures and the implementation of corporate compliance programs.

In 2020, Ms. Bédard was named as an arbitrator for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s dispute settlement mechanism. She is a member of the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. Additionally, Ms. Bédard is the immediate past co-chair of the Arbitration Committee of the International Bar Association and is a member of its task force on “Addressing Issues of Corruption in International Arbitration.” As well, she serves as program chair for the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and as an affiliate member of the New York City Bar Association’s International Commercial Disputes Committee.

She repeatedly has been listed in Chambers USA ("Exceptional" and "very thoughtful in giving her advice ... [she] takes time to really get to know a file," 2020 edition, and an "extremely talented lawyer," 2019 edition), Chambers Global ("fair-minded and effective advocate who provides practical, strategic advice and top-notch client service," 2019 edition), Global Arbitration Review’s International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, Chambers Latin America ("She is a great team leader, does commercial and investor-state cases and is a very impressive practitioner,” 2021 edition; “one of the most impressive external lawyers we’ve come across," who "has profound technical knowledge of arbitration, [and is] also very insightful and strategic. She commands respect and stature among the community. She really is the whole package and it makes you feel extraordinarily confident with her representing you," 2020 edition) and The Best Lawyers in America. She also has been recognized in Euromoney’s Expert Guides: Best of the Best Global 2019 and Women in Business Law 2019 Expert Guide, as well as its Best of the Best USA 2017 and 2013 for Commercial Arbitration (Top 30 Practitioners), Global Arbitration Review’s Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Arbitration 2020 and 2019. Who’s Who Legal Future Leaders: Arbitration 45 under 45 (2021 edition; a "great example to all aspiring practitioners," 2017 edition; and 2011 edition), and Euromoney’s "Guide to the World’s Leading Commercial Arbitration Experts" (2011). Ms. Bédard has repeatedly been named by Latinvex as one of Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers for Arbitration and Litigation (2017-20) and as one of Latin America’s Top Female Lawyers (2015-21). She also was named as one of Benchmark Litigation’s 2019 Top 250 Women in Litigation and was cited in as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 U.S. in 2019.

Ms. Bédard also received the Best in Commercial Arbitration Euromoney Women in Business Law Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2020. In addition, Ms. Bédard was selected by Harvard Law School as an honoree for its second annual International Women’s Day Exhibition in 2015. She was named by the World Economic Forum to the 2013 Young Global Leaders and was selected among the Inspiring Women in Law by Latin Lawyer (November 2013). She is a member of the firm’s International Litigation and Arbitration Group, which was named one of Law360’s Practice Groups of the Year in 2016 and 2017, and was part of the Skadden team that was named the 2013 Law Firm of the Year: Dispute Resolution by Chambers Global.

Past and current representative clients include Air France/KLM; AEI; Argos USA; Banco Bradesco BBI S.A.; Banco BTG; Banco do Brasil Securities LLC; Banco Itau; Banco Votorantim S.A.; BB Securities Ltd.; BRF S.A.; Capgemini S.A.; Cinepolis; Citigroup; CEMEX, SAB de CV; CF Industries, Inc.; The Clorox Company; Deutsche Bank AG; Embraer S.A.; Empresas Polar S.A.; Encana Corporation; Enka Insaat ve Sanayi A.S.; Exxon Mobil Corporation; First Solar, Inc.; Gerdau S.A.; Grupo Proeza; HSBC Securities (USA), Inc.; Inversiones Cordillera S.A.; Itaú BBA USA Securities, Inc.; Liberty Mutual Insurance Corporation; Netshoes (Cayman) Limited; Materis SAS; MetLife, Inc.; NextEra Energy, Inc.; NSP Maritime Link Inc.; Philip Morris International Inc.; The Travelers Companies, Inc.; Ultrapar Participaçoes S.A.; Vale S.A.; Votorantim Participações S.A.; Walmart Inc.; and The WhiteWave Foods Company.

In cases, she represented or is representing:

  • a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer in a dispute against a U.S. aircraft manufacturer involving the termination of a multibillion-dollar merger agreement and the termination of a large joint venture agreement;
  • a Turkish construction company in a French-language, Swiss law-governed dispute with a sovereign;
  • a French company in a dispute concerning a Brazilian investment;
  • a French company in a potential dispute involving a complex joint venture agreement governed by New York law;
  • a Canadian subsidiary of a French company in an ICDR arbitration against a U.S. company concerning a supply agreement;
  • a U.S. company in an ICC arbitration involving a post-acquisition dispute with a French company subject to an ICC arbitration in London and governed by New York law;
  • a European bank in a post-acquisition dispute involving Mexico;
  • a Brazilian internet company in a U.S. securities class action;
  • a Brazilian food company in a U.S. securities class action;
  • a U.S. energy company in investments in Argentina, Brazil, Guyana and Mexico;
  • a Canadian energy services company in connection with several construction disputes;
  • a Canadian energy company in a dispute concerning a Latin American investment;
  • The Republic of Argentina in New York litigation involving the expropriation of YPF S.A.;
  • an Irish company in a dispute with an airline manufacturer governed by Swiss law;
  • an Asian agriculture company in a dispute concerning a Latin American investment;
  • a Brazilian company in various potential litigation and arbitration aspects of a regulatory investigation;
  • Brazilian individuals in a post-acquisition dispute with a U.S. company;
  • a Brazilian aerospace company in a federal shareholder class action involving claims of alleged violations of federal securities law;
  • a syndicate of underwriters in Re Petrobras Securities litigation before the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, presided by Judge Jed Rakoff;
  • a Brazilian company in a dispute concerning a mining project in Brazil;
  • a Brazilian company in an internal investigation and a related U.S. litigation;
  • a Brazilian subsidiary of a U.S. company in an internal investigation under the U.S. FCPA;
  • a multinational oil drilling and services company in various disputes spanning three continents and coordinating a cohesive litigation/arbitration strategy;
  • a Chilean company in an internal investigation;
  • a Hong Kong-based shipping company in an ICDR arbitration and in obtaining a preliminary injunction in aid of arbitration;
  • a U.S. company and its Peruvian affiliate, advising on the termination of an engineering and procurement contract;
  • a U.S. company in an investigation of post-acquisition indemnification claims subject to an ICC arbitration in New York;
  • a Swiss company in the termination of a distribution agreement subject to an ICC arbitration in Paris and involving Egyptian and Swiss law;
  • a multinational oil company, advising on investment protections, in various international investments;
  • Brazilian companies, giving advice on dispute resolution mechanisms in nondisclosure agreements and share purchase agreements;
  • Brazilian, Uruguayan and U.S. companies in an ICC arbitration venued in Miami, and various litigation suits in Brazil arising from joint venture disputes;
  • a Brazilian company and its U.S. subsidiary in a Florida state court litigation in connection with a dispute involving 12 Latin American defendants;
  • Chilean companies in a post-acquisition dispute arbitrated under ICC rules in New York;
  • a Barbadian entity in connection with the 2010 expropriation of a group of fertilizer companies based in Venezuela in which the Barbadian entity held a 10% ownership stake;
  • a U.S. company, providing arbitration advice in connection with the potential acquisition of a Brazilian company;
  • a Brazilian company, advising on potential litigation against a U.S. company to attach assets and enforce a judgment against its Brazilian subsidiary;
  • a Brazilian company, advising on a prospective ICDR arbitration against a Brazilian company arising out of a share purchase agreement;
  • a U.S. company in an ICDR arbitration against a Cyprus company concerning licensing of products in the People’s Republic of China, litigation proceedings to vacate a partial award in the U.S. and related litigation in Hong Kong;
  • a limited partner in a Delaware partnership in an ICDR arbitration venued in New York, including defending against a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction sought by the respondent general partner to prevent his removal;
  • a Delaware investor in a Mauritius real estate fund in connection with the removal of the fund management company;
  • a U.S. company seeking to protect a large investment in Venezuela against expropriation;
  • Spanish and Netherlands companies faced with the nationalization of their Venezuelan subsidiary;
  • a U.S. company seeking to prevent an asset seizure under federal maritime law;
  • a Mexican company’s subsidiary experiencing discriminatory and unfair treatment in Colombia;
  • a former chief executive officer in a securities class action involving a restatement of financial statements;
  • a Brazilian company seeking injunctive relief in aid of an ICC arbitration venued in New York;
  • a Korean company against the enforcement in Korea of a Singapore award in favor of a German company;
  • a Swiss company and its Asian subsidiary seeking to hire employees in compliance with applicable noncompete covenants;
  • a U.S. pharmaceutical company in an international arbitration against a Canadian manufacturer governed by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods;
  • a Canadian company in connection with prospective indemnification litigation against a U.S. company in New York;
  • a Swiss company in a Barbados litigation against a Barbados company involving a dispute arising under a swap agreement;
  • a Luxembourg company facing a hostile takeover by an Indian company;
  • a Singapore company in an ICC arbitration involving a shareholders’ dispute venued in London against the Cayman subsidiary of a Hong Kong private equity investor;
  • a Brazilian company in an ICC arbitration arising out of a shareholders dispute with a Venezuelan company;
  • a U.S. company, advising on grounds for vacating an ICC award and opposing enforcement of the award;
  • a Peruvian company, providing arbitration advice in connection with a power plant project in Peru;
  • a U.S. company, advising on the consolidation of arbitrations and the enforcement of arbitral awards;
  • a U.S. company, advising on a prospective ICC arbitration to resolve a shareholders dispute with a Brazilian company;
  • a Singapore investor, in proceedings against a Southeast Asian government involving claims under the ICSID Convention, the ASEAN Investment Agreement and public international law;
  • a Chilean company in an arbitration under the AAA International Arbitration Rules against a Thai company concerning sale of goods; and
  • an Argentine company in an ICC arbitration arising out of an acquisition dispute with a Brazilian company.

Ms. Bédard also regularly acts as arbitrator in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese language cases. Among other cases, she has acted as sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning a distribution agreement involving a U.S. company and a Peruvian company, and she was appointed in another ICC arbitration involving a manufacturing contract dispute between a U.S. company and a Chinese company. She also was appointed in LCIA arbitrations and as a sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL arbitration involving development agreements between a U.S. company and a Spanish company. She chaired an ICC arbitration governed by Romanian law and venued in Bucharest.

Prior to joining Skadden, she practiced as a litigator in Québec, Canada (1996-1998), served as law clerk on the Supreme Court of Canada (1998-1999) and taught LL.M. students at Columbia University (1999-2001). In 2001, she worked at the Court of Justice of the European Communities and at the Secretariat of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Bédard is a frequent lecturer and author on international litigation and arbitration issues.

Recent Lectures

  • SIAC Webinar, “Energy Arbitration in Latin America” (November 2020);
  • XVI Rio de Janeiro International Arbitration (Virtual) Conference, “Technical Issues and the Law in M&A and Corporate Disputes” (November 2020);
  • NYIAC New York Arbitration Week Webinar, “THE CLASH: Contract Terms v Applicable Law” (November 2020);
  • SIAC Webinar, “SIAC Investor-State Dispute Settlement And Alternative Dispute Resolution” (November 2020);
  • Galicia Abogados Webinar, “Las Mejores Estrategias para Lidiar con Cláusulas de Fork-in-the-road y Renuncia en Arbitraje de Inversión” (November 2020);
  • NYIAC Grand Central Forum Roundtable, “The Future of International Arbitration” (October 2020);
  • SIAC Latin America Webinar, “Comparative Perspectives on Investment Arbitration from Latin America and Europe” (July 2020);
  • AMCHAM Webinar “Arbitraje y medidas regulatorias durante COVID-19” (June 2020);
  • Practising Law Institute Webinar, “International Arbitration 2020” (June 2020);
  • ICC YAF Webinar, “Cláusulas MAC e Arbitragem” (June 2020);
  • Centro de Arbitragem e Mediação, “Webinar CAM-CCBC 25.05: How to Prepare Today for the Post-Pandemic Business World? Management of Contracts and New Opportunities” (June 2020);
  • WWA Webinar, “Los Escenarios que Abre el COVID-19: Impacto en la Gestión de los Negocios y Conflictos” (May 2020);
  • COVID-19 Impact on Business and Conflict Management Webinar, Women Way in Arbitration Latam (May 2020);
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek Seminar, “The Hague Court of Appeal’s Yukos Judgment,” New York (March 2020);
  • Dispute Resolution Law Journal Annual Symposium, “ICA 2020: The New Restatement,” Malibu, California (February 2020);
  • 7th Annual GAR Live Paris, “Corruption, Illegality and Compliance in Arbitration: Are We Talking About the Same Animal and Where Do We Stand?” Paris (November 2019);
  • New York International Arbitration Center’s New York Arbitration Week “JAMS Lunch Program - M&A and Complex Financial Disputes in Arbitration,” New York (November 2019);
  • Second World Meeting of the Societies of International Law, “Plenary Round Table De-Humanization of International Law?, Human Beings, a Fundamental Value of International Law,” Amsterdam (September 2019);
  • V Rio de Janeiro Conference on International Arbitration, “Compliance and Due Process: Transparency, Bifurcation, Efficiency, ‘Class Action,’ Third-Party Funding (Duty to Inform),” Rio de Janeiro (May 2019);
  • Skadden’s 23rd Annual Energy & Infrastructure Projects Conference, “ Latest Developments in Investment Treaty Protection,” Washington, D.C. (May 2019);
  • 5th Annual GAR Live BITs, “The GAR Live Debate,” Washington D.C., (May 2019);
  • Columbia Arbitration Day 2019 Program, 10 Years of CAD: New Ideas, New Concerns, “Energy Arbitration in Latin America: Challenges and Trends,” Columbia Law School, New York (March 2019);
  • ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration, “Trendlines in Energy Disputes - What is Next?” Houston, Texas (January 2019);

For a complete list of Ms. Bédard's lectures and publications, click here.

Credentials

Education

  • J.S.D., Columbia University School of Law, 2006
  • LL.M., Columbia University School of Law, 2001
  • LL.B., McGill University Faculty of Law (common law), 1996
  • B.C.L., McGill University Faculty of Law, 1996

Admissions

  • Foreign Consultant admitted by the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (Brazilian Bar), São Paulo section, 2015
  • New York, 2002
  • Quebec, 1997
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 2004

Associations

  • Practitioner Group – UNCITRAL Working Group III 
  • World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2013)
  • International Bar Association, Arbitration Committee (Co-Chair), Task Force on Counsel Conduct in International Arbitration (Former Chair), Sub-Committee on Conflicts of Interest (Former Member), UNCITRAL Working Group (Former Member)
  • Center for Arbitration and Mediation of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada, Arbitrator
  • The Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Advisory Board
  • International Bar Association, Litigation Committee
  • Chamber of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration CIESP/FIESP (Arbitrator)
  • LCIA, North American Users Council (Former U.S. Member)
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce, ICC Arbitration Committee
  • ICC Task Force on Reducing Time and Costs in Arbitration (Former Member)
  • ICC Task Force on Criminal Law and Arbitration (Former Member)
  • American Society of International Law
  • International Law Association, American Branch
  • CPR International Committee on Arbitration
  • CPR Awards Judge (2009-2011)
  • Canadian Arbitration Congress
  • New York City Bar Association, Committee on Arbitration (2003-2005)
  • Comitê Brasileiro de Arbitragem (Member)
  • Arbitral Women
  • Young Arbitrators Forum, Steering Committee
  • Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners, Board of Directors

Languages

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Comprehension of Italian and Romanian

Julie Bédard

Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration; Latin America
julie.bedard@skadden.com