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Client Brief

International Arbitration



Bruno Ristau, a Leading International Litigation and Arbitration Expert, Augments The Eren Law Firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice

An area of focus for The Eren Law Firm is arbitration of commercial and investment disputes under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties. The Firm’s international arbitration practice is led by Bruno Ristau, an internationally recognized expert on international litigation and arbitration.

Mr. Ristau has been representing clients in international litigation and arbitration for more than 40 years. From 1963-1981, Mr. Ristau served as Director of the Office of Foreign Litigation at the US Department of Justice, in which position he supervised all suits by or against the United States in foreign courts. He is the author of a two-volume treatise entitled International Judicial Assistance, Civil and Commercial. Mr. Ristau associates with Hal Eren at the firm, a former US Treasury (OFAC) official, in representing clients in disputes involving international banking, finance and investment matters. Additionally, for the past 20 years Mr. Ristau has taught courses on international arbitration at the law schools of American University and George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Insufficient legal protection of foreign investment in the country where investment is made is an inevitable risk of investing internationally. Fair resolution of disputes in the courts (or arbitration tribunals) in the country in which investments are made present numerous difficulties and thus risk, especially in cases where the dispute is against the government of the country where the investment is made. A country in which law enforcement is lax and the tradition of fulfillment of contractual obligations and enforcement of legitimate contractual rights is still developing, creates disincentives for fulfillment of legal obligations. Such a climate chills and deters foreign investment -- to the detriment of both investors and investment-seeking countries.

Bilateral and multilateral investment treaties have mitigated some of the risks, difficulties associated with foreign investments. Such treaties afford investors legal protection over and above whatever rights and protections they may have under contracts pursuant to which investments are initially made. Investment treaties provide that treaty violation claims will be resolved by arbitration and they spell out the forum where treaty violation claims will be resolved. The World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, DC, is the primary forum for the resolution of international investment treaty-based claims and disputes.

Messrs. Ristau and Eren are currently representing a UK arbitration claimant against a Southeast Asian country in a claim before the World Bank’s ICSID. The claimant seeks compensation and redress for violations of the bilateral investment treaty between the United Kingdom and the Southeast Asian country.

The Eren Law Firm in Washington, now augmented by the experience of Bruno Ristau, invites companies to take advantage of the firm’s expertise and capabilities and learn whether an investment treaty may assist them in protecting and vindicating their investment rights or in mitigating their investment risks. For further information, please contact: Hal Eren, tel: + 1 202 429 9883 , E-mail:

In addition to its practice in the area of areas of economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, bank regulation and supervision, and related enforcement defense, The Eren Law Firm represents clients in connection with disputes involving banking, finance and investment matters. The Firm’s select and diverse group of clients includes U.S. and non-U.S. financial institutions, U.S. and non-U.S. companies, and sovereign governments. More information about The Eren Law Firm can be found at: Recently, in addition to successfully representing clients before US Government agencies, the firm secured successful litigation outcomes for foreign clients in New York courts.

This Client Brief has been prepared and disseminated by The Eren Law Firm for informational purposes only and it does not constitute legal advice. The information contained in this Client Brief is not intended to create, and the receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers are advised not to act on the information contained in this Client Brief without first obtaining competent legal counsel.

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