Investment Protection Under the USMCA

Recorded On: 06/25/2020

Originally organized by the Mexico Sub-Chapter

Bill Cline, Senior Advisor, GaffneyCline
Kevin O'Gorman, Administrative Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
Moderator: Orlando Pérez Gárate, General Counsel for Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Economy

This webinar addresses the different investment protection recourses under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). North America is moving toward a new free trade treaty, the USMCA, which will affect companies from all involved jurisdictions. The speakers discussed the relevant differences between USMCA and NAFTA regarding oil & gas related investment protection provisions and the recourses that companies may seek for investment protection under the new rules of the USMCA.

Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the applicability criteria of an investment arbitration claim under the USMCA, and the timing and main differences between USMCA and NAFTA.

Bill Cline

Senior Advisor, GaffneyCline

Bill is the Senior Advisor within Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA). GCA is an integrated firm with offices in more than a dozen key locations that provides a broad range of technical, commercial and strategic advisory support to the private and public sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Bill has over 30 years’ experience in the international oil and gas industry and has managed a large number of GCA’s engagements with national oil companies, governments and ministries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He focuses his efforts on combining the technical and commercial capabilities of the GCA Group into integrated decision-making support and advice for the Group’s clientele particularly with respect to property valuations (for transactional or dispute resolution purposes) and development of commercial and fiscal arrangements for linking private sector capital and technology with sovereign or public sector petroleum resources.

Bill graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. with a BSc. degree in International Economics and completed his MBA at Southern Methodist University's Edwin L. Cox School of Business in Dallas.

Kevin O'Gorman

Administrative Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Kevin O'Gorman is the Administrative Partner for Norton Rose Fulbright's Houston office. He is recognized in the United States and globally for his experience in international arbitration (both commercial and investor-state), US arbitration and international litigation. Kevin has particular experience with energy, commercial, corporate, sovereign, treaty and construction disputes. He has handled cases under all major arbitral rules including AAA, CPR, ICC, ICDR, ICSID, JAMS, and LCIA, as well as ad hoc disputes under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules. Pertinent to today’s topic, Kevin represented the successful upstream energy investor in one of the leading NAFTA energy-related arbitrations. In addition to his client work, Kevin has served as an arbitrator in US and international cases for over a decade.

Kevin serves on the Board of Trustees of the Center for American and International Law, and on the boards of organizations in the areas of law, foreign affairs and healthcare. He has held senior leadership positions on the ABA Section of International Law and State Bar of Texas Section of International Law. Earlier in his career, Kevin served as Team Leader and Senior Legal Secretary to the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland.

Kevin is admitted to practice law in Texas, New York and England and Wales (Solicitor). He is a Life Fellow of the American, Texas and Houston Bar Foundations.

Orlando Pérez Gárate (Moderator)

General Counsel for Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Economy

Orlando Pérez Gárate received with honors the degree in law at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He also received a post-graduate degree in International Trade Law at the UNAM. He has mora than 20 years of experience in the Ministry of the Economy.

Currently serves as Legal Counsel for Trade Negotiations; a position in which he is responsible for providing legal on trade negotiations and coordinate Mexico’s defense in international arbitration on Investor State proceedings and State to State proceedings in the framework of trade agreements.

Previously he head the General Direction on International Trade Rules in which he was responsible to coordinate Mexico's position on trade disciplines in FTA negotiations, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), competition policy, intellectual property, and government procurement.

He performed as Mexico's Lead negotiator during the modernization process of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union for the Intellectual Property Rights and State-Owned Enterprises chapters of these agreements.

Before his current position, he was involved in the negotiations of the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) and the Pacific Alliance (AP).

In the academic field, he is Professor of International Trade Law at the Faculty of Law at UNAM.


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