Ximena Herrera-Bernal is a partner in the International Arbitration and Public International Law practices.
She advises and represents corporate and sovereign clients in international arbitrations under a variety of rules, including the ICC, ICSID, CIAC, LCIA, CRCICA and UNCITRAL Rules. Her experience comprises investment treaty arbitrations under bilateral and multilateral treaties as well as commercial arbitrations in the oil & gas, power, infrastructure, telecommunication, and retail sectors. She also acts as arbitrator.
Ximena Herrera is listed as a “Next Generation Partner” in the 2020 edition of The Legal 500 UK, and is featured in the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 International Arbitration Powerlist UK. She is part of the Commission set up by the Colombian Ministry of Justice for the Reform of the Colombian Arbitration Law and a member of the Commission for the Revision of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence.
- The Republic of Colombia, Respondent in an ICSID arbitration brought by Angel Samuel Seda and others (ICSID Case No. ARB/19/6). The dispute arises from a real estate project and the claims are brought under the 2012 Colombia-U.S. free trade agreement.
- A leading Latin American company in the transportation sector in a dispute under a bilateral investment treaty against an Iberian State.
- A Latin American aviation consultancy firm, Claimant in two ICC arbitrations initiated against European aircraft manufacturers. The disputes relate to unpaid invoices and the damages arising from the termination of agency contracts.
- A leading European energy group in a UNCITRAL arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty. The dispute relates to measures taken by Spain in the renewable energy sector.
- The Republic of Panama, Respondent in an ICSID arbitration brought by Omega Engineering LLC and Mr. Oscar Rivera (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/42). The dispute relates to infrastructure construction projects. The claims are brought under both the U.S.-Panama bilateral investment treaty and trade promotion agreement.
- EGAS and EGPC in two commercial arbitrations under the ICC Arbitration Rules against East Mediterranean Gas SAE (EMG) and Israel Electricity Company (IEC), and under the CRCICA Arbitration Rules against EMG; and the Arab Republic of Egypt in two related investor-State arbitrations brought by EMG’s shareholders under the Egypt-Poland bilateral investment treaty on the one hand, and the Egypt-Germany and Egypt-U.S. bilateral investment treaties on the other hand. The dispute arose from a long-term gas supply agreement.
- SAUR International, a leading French service management company in the field of water, energy and cleanliness, Claimant in an ICSID arbitration against the Argentine Republic (ICSID Case No. ARB/04/4). The dispute arose out of violations by Argentina of investment treaty obligations owed to our client in relation to a water and sewer services concession in Argentina. The Tribunal held that Argentina had expropriated SAUR’s investment in the concession without compensation, awarded our client $59 million, and entered a significant costs award in favor of our client. We also successfully represented SAUR International in proceedings initiated by the Argentine Republic before an ICSID Ad hoc Committee to seek the annulment of the award obtained by our client.
- The majority shareholders in the former Yukos Oil Company, Claimants in a series of three UNCITRAL arbitrations in The Hague against the Russian Federation in relation to the expropriation of their investment in the company. The claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty. The Tribunal ordered the Russian Federation to pay over $50 billion in damages to our clients, the largest award ever rendered by an arbitral tribunal. The Tribunal also ordered the Respondent to reimburse to our clients 75% of the legal fees they had incurred in these proceedings, as well as 100% of the arbitration costs.
- Sonangol E.P., Respondent in an ICC arbitration in London initiated by a local subsidiary of U.S. oil company Cobalt International Energy. The dispute arose from a purchase and sale agreement related to concession rights in two deepwater oil blocks off the coast of Angola. The law of Angola applied and over $2.2 billion was at stake.
- Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Geneva initiated by a local subsidiary of U.S. oil company Cobalt International Energy. The dispute arose from a joint operating agreement concerning petroleum exploration and production operations in a deepwater oil block off the coast of Angola. English law applied.
University of Oxford
Academic Visitor, Public International Law and Law of the Sea
Harvard University Law School
LL.M. (Harvard FES Scholar)
Universidad de Los Andes Law School, Bogotá
- New York
- Solicitor, England and Wales
- Member, Colombian Ministry of Justice’s Commission for the Reform of the Colombian Arbitration Law
- Member (Colombia), ICC Commission on Arbitration
- Member, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
- Member, International Arbitration Institute (IAI)
- Member, American Society of International Law (ASIL)
- Member, Commission for the Revision of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence
- La saga de los arbitrajes bajo el Tratado de la Carta de la Energía (The saga of the arbitrations under the Energy Charter Treaty), Tratados Internacionales y El Arbitraje de Inversión: Experiencias de Colombia y del Derecho Comparado (Ed. Ibanez, 2019)
- U.S. Confirms Enforcement of Award Set Aside in Mexico, ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin, Vol. 2 (2017)
- Mining in Latin America: El Dorado or Pandora’s Pit?, Transnational Dispute Management, Latin America Special Vol. 5 (2016) (co-author)
- Jurisprudence arbitrale: dialectique entre le souci des arbitres de traiter les parties sur un pied d’égalité et la volonté de prendre en compte les intérêts de l’Etat/ autorité concédante, Revue de droit des affaires internationales / International Business Law Journal, No. 4, 2013
- Arbitrabilidad Objetiva (Objective arbitrability), en El Arbitraje Comercial Internacional Estudio de la Convención de Nueva York con motivo de su 50 aniversario (Ed. Abeledo-Perrot, 2008)
- Impuestos sobre ganancias extraordinarias (Windfall taxes) y medidas provisionales: cuatro casos recientes, 15 International Law, Revista Colombiana de Derecho Internacional 125-154, 2009)
- “Laudos arbitrales: ¿final del juego?, ” Arbitration Unplugged Webinar Series, the American Chamber of Commerce of Peru (AmCham Perú), 31 July 2020
- “Behind the Scenes of an Arbitral Tribunal,” webinar, Argentina Young Arbitration Practitioners (AYAP) and Latin American International Arbitration Course (LAIAC), 24 July 2020
- “Price revision, Force Majeure and Hardship,” 2nd ICC Colombia Day, Bogotá, 16 May 2019
- “La Saga de Yukos,” Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), 28 November 2018
- “Intra-EU arbitrations and annulment mechanisms vs. appeal courts,” Conferencia sobre Retos Contemporáneos en el Arbitraje, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Ciudad de México, 28 September 2018
- “Anulación y Apelación,” CLA Conferencia Latinoamericana, Cusco, Peru, 1 June 2018
- “Arbitraje de Inversiones en América Latina: El Contexto Regional,” Inversión Extranjera y Arbitraje de Inversiones en Colombia: Retos y Oportunidades para el País y la Región, University of Los Andes Law School, Bogotá, 21-22 March 2018
- “Arbitral Combat,” ICC YAF event, Bogotá, 18 October 2017
- “The Proposals of the EU Commission for a permanent arbitration court,” Vth Seminar on International Investment Arbitration, Lima, 3 October 2017
- “Resolution of Construction Disputes in Latin America,” ICC Conference, Bogotá, 9 March 2017
- Written Advocacy Workshop, IADB, Washington DC, 30 January 2017
- IV Seminar on Investment Arbitration, Lima, 6-7 October, 2016
- 9th Biennal Symposium on International Arbitration, Center for International Legal Studies (CILS), Salzburg, 2-5 June 2016
- ICC Panarb Conference, Panama, 16-18 March 2016
- “50 Años del Convenio CIADI,” II Central American Congress on Investment Arbitration, San Salvador, 1-2 February 2016
- III Seminar on Investment Arbitration, Lima, 1-2 October 2015
- AILA (African International Legal Awareness) Annual Training, September 2015
- AILA (African International Legal Awareness) Annual Training, July 2014
- 8th Biennal Symposium on International Arbitration, Center for International Legal Studies (CILS), Salzburg, 22-25 May 2014
- “Developing Your Legal Strategies for Alternative Dispute Resolution,” C5’s 1st Mining Projects, Law and Regulation in West Africa Forum, London, 12-13 March 2014
Prior to joining Shearman & Sterling, Ximena interned in the Latin American team at the ICC International Court of Arbitration. Ximena also practiced in the field of capital markets and project finance in New York and Bogotá and clerked for Justices Vladimiro Naranjo Mesa and Eduardo Cifuentes Muñoz of the Colombian Constitutional Court.