Lea Haber Kuck has more than 20 years of experience advising clients on the resolution of complex disputes arising out of international business transactions. She represents clients from around the world in federal and state courts in the United States, as well as in international arbitrations conducted under UNCITRAL, ICC, ICDR, LCIA and other arbitration rules.

Bio

Ms. Kuck regularly advises clients on a variety of issues relating to international dispute resolution, including forum selection, jurisdiction, service of process, extraterritorial discovery and enforcement of judgments, as well as drafting of arbitration, dispute resolution and choice-of-court clauses.

She has been selected for inclusion in Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America and was cited in Legal 500 Latin America in 2014. She is a member of the Skadden team that was named as a finalist for 2018 Litigation Department of the Year by The American Lawyer; as one of Law360’ s International Arbitration Groups of the Year for 2016 and 2017; and as 2013 Law Firm of the Year: Dispute Resolution by Chambers Global.

She co-led the Skadden team that was honored as Arbitration Team of the Year at the 2017 Transatlantic Legal Awards and as International Arbitration Team of the Year at the 2017 Legal and Business Awards for its work on behalf of Japanese telecommunications company NTT Docomo in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a dispute over Docomo’s contractual right to exit an investment in India. Docomo obtained a $1.2 billion award against Tata Sons Limited of India, and after enforcement proceedings were commenced in India, England and New York, Docomo collected the award in full.

Ms. Kuck is a member of the Working Group on Cybersecurity in International Arbitration, formed by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration; the New York City Bar Association; and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, which received the “Best Development 2018” award by Global Arbitration Review.

Other notable representations include:

  • IRB-Brasil Resseguros, S.A., the largest reinsurer in South America, in multiple actions seeking to recover amounts due under certain global notes in which judgments in excess of $100 million were obtained for IRB and affirmed in a seminal case by New York’s highest court dealing with choice of law clauses;
  • Atlantic LNG Co. of Trinidad and Tobago in successfully defending against a $250 million claim involving a dispute concerning a long-term LNG supply contract in a UNCITRAL arbitration based in New York;
  • an international investment bank in connection with disputes involving proceedings in New York and London relating to several billion dollars of structured finance products;
  • a Brazilian insurance company in an expedited ICC arbitration and related litigation arising out of parallel litigation in Brazil;
  • an international beverage company in connection with its successful defense against a multibillion-dollar claim in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of the terms of an investment agreement with a Mexican company and its stockholders;
  • a renewable fuels company in connection with a dispute over construction of a wood pellet manufacturing facility;
  • a North American utility company in connection with several construction disputes;
  • a Brazilian energy company in connection with an ICC arbitration against a subsidiary of a large U.S. energy company relating to an investment in an electrical power project in Brazil;
  • the trustees of CommonWealth REIT in a two-week arbitration arising out of efforts by an activist hedge fund to take control of the trust, which resulted in an award by the arbitration panel invalidating the hedge fund’s consent solicitation;
  • an Australian gaming and entertainment company in connection with litigation arising out of the failed Fontainebleau resort construction project in Las Vegas;
  • a shareholder of a major telecommunications company with operations in the former Soviet Union in an UNCITRAL arbitration and related litigation concerning a shareholder dispute with a European telecommunications company;
  • a helicopter manufacturer in connection with a CPR arbitration relating to certain intellectual property rights;
  • an individual in cross-border litigation arising out of the Icelandic banking crisis, including obtaining dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds of an action filed in New York;
  • a Hong Kong shipping company as claimant in an ICDR arbitration in which preliminary relief in aid of arbitration was obtained in a New York court;
  • DaimlerChrysler AG in connection with multiple litigations arising out of the merger of Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corporation, one of which involved successfully defending at trial federal securities and state law fraud claims brought by a prominent Chrysler investor seeking more than $1 billion in damages, a victory The National Law Journal dubbed the 2005 Top Defense Win of the Year; and
  • pro bono clients in several cases brought under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, including acting as lead counsel in the seminal case of Croll v. Croll.
  • Ms. Kuck frequently writes and speaks on international arbitration and cross-border litigation topics, and is a recipient of the Burton Award for Legal Achievement, which recognizes excellence in legal scholarship.
  • She is a former member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm’s governing body, was the firm’s first global attorney development partner, and currently co-leads the firm’s Alumni Relations efforts. She also serves on the board of trustees of Hamilton College.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1990 (Senior Production Editor, Annual Survey of American Law)
  • A.B., Hamilton College, 1987 (magna cum laude)

Admissions

  • New York

Associations

  • American Bar Association, International Law Section, Liaison to the Litigation Section
  • New York City Bar Association, Arbitration Committee
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), Arbitration Committee
  • Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Advisory Board
  • Arbitral Women
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Experience

  • Law Clerk, Hon. Steven D. Pepe, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (1990-1992)

Lea Haber Kuck

Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration
lea.kuck@skadden.com