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Luis A. Parada

Senior Counsel

Luis is Senior Counsel at Sovereign Arbitration Advisors.  He is a US-qualified lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in investor-State arbitrations before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), in which he has acted principally as counsel to States.

He speaks, reads and writes Spanish at a native level and is highly experienced with arbitration in Latin America.

Prior to joining Sovereign Arbitration Advisors, Luis held senior positions at leading international arbitration practices Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, and Foley Hoag.  Before that, he worked at Dewey & LeBoeuf, as well as Arnold & Porter. 
Luis’s strength is strategy—a skill he honed starting with his training at the US Military Academy at West Point, and while serving as a military official of the Government of El Salvador—his country of birth—for ten years.  In his arbitration work, Luis helps clients identify their objectives, and then designs and executes a strategy to win, whether through a negotiated settlement of the dispute, through preliminary objections, or on the merits of the arbitration.  He takes on both advisory engagements, as well as representations of parties in active disputes. 

Industry experience

  • Mining

  • Energy

  • Construction

  • Communications

  • Public services concessions


  • US Military Academy at West Point:  Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in National Security and Public Affairs 

  • Georgetown University:  Master (M.A.) in Government (Political Science) (1994)

  • Georgetown University Law Center: Juris Doctor (J.D.) (2001)


  • English

  • Spanish 

Selected Representations

Between 2009 and 2017, Luis led a team of 16 lawyers who represented the Republic of El Salvador in its victory against the Canadian-Australian mining company Pacific Rim/OceanaGold, in a partial victory on jurisdiction, and a complete victory on the merits.  This was the first time that a denial of benefits clause in the applicable treaty was used successfully in an investment arbitration.  The State secured the reimbursement of its USD 8.1 million in legal fees.
Luis led a team of four lawyers who obtained a victory for El Salvador in an ICSID arbitration brought by US mining company Commerce Group; the first arbitration won by using the expedited procedure under the DR-CAFTA Free Trade Agreement.
Luis led a team of 10 lawyers who defended El Salvador in an international arbitration brought by the Italian energy company Enel GreenPower SpA, which ended in a negotiated settlement of the dispute, permitting El Salvador to recover—at low cost—geothermic resources, which former government officials had granted to the investor through a questionable concession.
Luis designed a strategy that permitted El Salvador to win its first international arbitration at ICSID by virtue of a jurisdictional objection, deploying an argument that had never before been used in an investment arbitration claim.
Luis helped facilitate a negotiated solution to a complicated dispute that included, in addition to an ICSID case, questions of criminal misconduct and highly sensitive diplomatic issues.  Understanding that a negotiated solution was the only way to ensure that all parties were able to realize their objectives, Luis helped both sides arrive at a successful resolution a few hours before the beginning of the final hearing in the case.
Luis represented El Salvador in making a Non-Disputing Party submission before ICSID in three investment arbitration cases; two against Guatemala, and one against Costa Rica, involving issues of treaty interpretation related to the DR-CAFTA free trade agreement.
Luis participated as a member of the delegation of El Salvador to the United Nations process to study and propose changes to the investor-State arbitration system. 

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