Ricardo E. Ugarte

Ricardo Ugarte is managing partner of the firm’s Geneva office and serves as head of litigation for the firm’s Geneva office. Mr. Ugarte is a multi-lingual partner who focuses his practice on international arbitration, international litigation, and complex commercial litigation. He has advised a wide variety of clients, including oil and energy companies, financial institutions, telecom concerns, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, construction companies, manufacturers, and foreign sovereigns in a broad range of international disputes.

During the course of Mr. Ugarte’s practice, he has counseled clients in international arbitrations and lawsuits filed in various fora in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe (including Austria, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland).

He has tried high-profile arbitrations, some with stakes well in excess of U.S. $1 billion, and has appeared as counsel in UNCITRAL arbitrations and arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, ICSID, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He has counseled clients in several areas of law, such as contract and commercial law, fraud, product liability, insurance coverage, and issues of criminal law that arise in civil disputes.

He is currently counsel of record in numerous investment arbitrations filed before ICSID, the ICC, and under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, including a recently filed arbitration where $27 billion is at stake. In light of his investment treaty experience, Mr. Ugarte was recommended by the U.S. Council for International Business, and elected to serve by the ICC, on the ICC’s Task Force on Investor-State Arbitrations. He represents clients in six of the largest treaty and contract arbitrations listed in the 2013 Arbitration Scorecard published by The American Lawyer.

Mr. Ugarte received a B.A., with general and special honors, from the University of Chicago in 1990 and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1993.

Honors & Awards

Among Mr. Ugarte's recognitions is his inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in International Arbitration and his recognition for International Arbitration in Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2013 Edition and Legal 500 Latin America 2013 Edition. In addition, he served as lead counsel in an international arbitration that was recognized as one of the “Biggest Defense Wins, 2011-2013” by The American Lawyer.


  • Member of the London Court of International Arbitration, European Users’ Council.
  • Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration’s Task Force on “Arbitrations Involving States Or State Entities.”
  • Member of the Steering Committee for the USCIB’s Arbitration Committee, Midwest Region.
  • Faculty Member for the ICC International Arbitration Workshop held in May 2009.
  • Member of the Swiss Arbitration Association.
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.


  • Speaker re denial of benefits, abuse of rights, and forum shopping issues arising under International Investment Treaties at a seminar hosted by the United Nations and the Organization of American States (December 2012).
  • Chair of panel at ICC's Annual Miami Conference concerning International Arbitration in Latin America on the topic of arbitration costs (November 2012).
  • Speaker re "Investor-State Arbitration: Effective Means to Resolve Disputes Between a Foreign Investor and the Host State," hosted by Practising Law Institute (September 2011).
  • Speaker re international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration at seminar hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Lima, Peru (October 2011).
  • Speaker re Investor-State arbitrations at invitation of counsel for ICSID, sponsored by the University of Monterrey, Mexico (April 2010).
  • Speaker on complex international arbitration at the Annual International Arbitration Conference of Peru, “Commercial Arbitration and The Arbitration of Investment Disputes,” (April 2008).
  • Co-author of “Ensuring Party Equality in the Process of Designating Arbitrators in Multi-Party Arbitration,” Journal of International Arbitration, Vol. 27.1 (Feb. 2010).
  • Co-author of “International Enforcement of U.S. Securities Laws: Extending the Reach to German Companies,” published in Wistra, a leading white-collar crime journal from Germany (August 2008).
  • Co-author of “Money Laundering As A Defense In International Commercial Arbitration: A Practitioner’s Perspective,” published in International Comparative Legal Guide To: International Arbitration 2007.