Timothy G. Nelson
Timothy G. Nelson represents clients in a variety of disputes involving cross-border and international law issues, including arbitration before several major international bodies.

Bio

Mr. Nelson represents clients before, among others, the American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and tribunals constituted under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission of International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Mr. Nelson’s international litigation and arbitration experience includes disputes involving contracts, international trusts, partnerships (limited and general) and corporate law, as well as cases falling under the 1980 Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. Mr. Nelson has been involved in litigation arising under the U.S. Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and the 1965 Hague Convention on Service of Process. Additionally, Mr. Nelson regularly advises sovereign and corporate clients on public international law issues, including under multilateral treaties, such as NAFTA; bilateral investment treaties (BITS); and other international trade/investment agreements.

Mr. Nelson’s litigation and arbitration experience includes representing:

  • successfully defending Atlantic LNG Co. of Trinidad and Tobago against a $250 million claim by an affiliate of Gas Natural Fenosa in a UNCITRAL arbitration based in New York, involving a dispute concerning a long-term LNG supply contract with favorable merits and fees award in October 2016 and March 2017;
  • Castle Harlan in successfully defending a claim in New York’s Supreme Court by Norcast/Pala Group concerning the sale of a Canadian company to Bradken Ltd. of Australia;
  • three claimants in an UNCITRAL arbitration against the Republic of India under the Mauritius-India BIT concerning an investment by investors in India’s satellite/space telecommunications sector. A Hague tribunal rendered a favorable merits award in August 2016;
  • an Indian satellite and telecommunications company in an ICC arbitration against an Indian space agency regarding repudiation of a long-term satellite contract. A final merits award of over $670 million (plus interest) was issued in September 2015;
  • CIBC, in the case of Commonwealth of Northern Marianas v. Millard, in which the plaintiff, in a bid to enforce a large New York judgment, attempted to force a Canadian bank to identify and restrain assets allegedly held by its Cayman Islands subsidiary bank; the New York Court of Appeals held in 2013 that state judgment turnover/restraint proceedings cannot reach accounts in foreign subsidiary banks;
  • SIFMA, in the case of Motorola v. Uzan, in submitting an amicus brief cited favorably by the New York Court of Appeals in its 2014 decision reaffirming the “separate entity rule.” Under this rule, even if a bank has a New York branch, state judgment turnover/restraint proceedings cannot reach accounts in foreign branches of that bank;
  • the owners of Cemex Venezuela SACA, formerly Venezuela’s largest cement maker, in an ICSID arbitration against the government of Venezuela seeking compensation for expropriation of that enterprise;
  • the general partner of the Hudson Waterfront LPs in successfully defeating Donald Trump’s 2005 New York State Supreme Court lawsuit, which sought to challenge the $1.8 billion sale of Manhattan’s Riverside Plaza to Extell Development Corporation and the Carlyle Group;
  • the Argentine National Social Security Administration (ANSES) in its successful appeal from a New York federal court’s order freezing certain U.S.-based pension accounts, which had been the subject of a 2008 Argentine law directing private pension funds to be placed under ANSES administration. The Second Circuit held that the assets were covered by the FSIA and therefore could not be used to satisfy debts of the Republic of Argentina;
  • the investors in Kardassopoulos and Fuchs v. Georgia, an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Georgia involving expropriation of oil pipeline rights, including under the Energy Charter Treaty, the Greece-Georgia BIT and the Israel-Georgia BIT;
  • the owners of debt issued by CIESA, one of Argentina’s largest energy companies, in New York Supreme Court litigation to enforce that indebtedness. This case was the winner of Latin Lawyer’s 2012 Deal of the Year Award in the disputes category;
  • a Singapore investor, Cemex Asia Holdings Ltd., in an ICSID arbitration against the government of Indonesia, alleging violation of minority investment rights, expropriation of assets and breaches of the 1987 ASEAN multilateral investment protection treaty in connection with a cement operation in Indonesia;
  • a shareholder of a major telecommunications company (with operations in Russia and elsewhere) in an M&A dispute, governed by UNCITRAL arbitration rules, with a Norwegian telecommunications company;
  • a Canadian medical device company in an ICDR arbitration against its U.S. distributor;
  • a U.S. mezzanine lender in an AAA arbitration by a would-be borrower who had sought funds to purchase a New Mexico oil and gas pipeline business; securing a New York federal court antisuit injunction to restrain the borrower’s attempts to bring claims in Texas state court (in violation of the parties’ arbitration agreement); successfully defeating the borrower’s appeal to the Second Circuit against the New York court’s order compelling arbitration; enforcing the AAA award (which rejected each of the borrower’s claims); and obtaining sanction against opposing counsel;
  • a U.S. financial institution in a share valuation dispute with an agency of the government of Korea, resolved successfully by an ICC-appointed arbitrator;
  • Spanish insurer Mapfre Empresas Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A., securing forum non conveniens dismissal of a lawsuit brought against it in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, by construction and engineering company Foster Wheeler Iberia;
  • the Israeli owners of the Jerusalem Post in New York court proceedings ancillary to an ICDR arbitration in concerning ownership of that newspaper;
  • a British Virgin Islands company in an action in New York’s Supreme Court concerning ownership of a Russian titanium company, successfully seeking a stay of all New York proceedings pending the result of a related arbitration before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA);
  • two German business executives who successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court in New York to hear a claim against them involving alleged breach of a management buyout agreement;
  • a Chinese-owned property company in a large ICDR hotel management arbitration in New York involving contract and accounting issues, fraud and RICO claims concerning hotels in North America, Europe and Australia; and
  • a Kansas securities firm in its successful challenge to two successive $25 million punitive damages awards by a panel of NASD arbitrators.

Before joining the firm in 2000, Mr. Nelson practiced as a commercial litigation attorney at major law firms in England and Australia. He has been selected as a leading lawyer in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Who’s Who Legal - Arbitration. Mr. Nelson also was selected by Benchmark Litigation as a 2016 "Benchmark Litigation Star." Mr. Nelson also is a prize winner of the 2013 ILO Client Choice Awards in the New York arbitration category and the Burton Award for legal writing.

Credentials

Education

  • B.C.L., University of Oxford, 1997 (John Morris Prize for Conflict of Laws)
  • LL.B., University of New South Wales Law School, Australia, 1990
  • B.A., University of New South Wales, Australia, 1990

Admissions

  • New York
  • Solicitor, England & Wales
  • New South Wales, Australia

Associations

  • Fellow, Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
  • Member, American Society of International Law
  • Member, International Law Association, American Branch

Timothy G. Nelson

Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration
timothy.g.nelson@skadden.com