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About Maria Julia Milesi

Maria Julia Milesi is counsel in our international arbitration group, based in Washington, DC.

Maria Julia has deep expertise in international commercial and investor-state arbitration, focusing on energy and natural resources disputes, under ICSID, PCA, ICC and UNCITRAL rules. Maria Julia joined Freshfields in 2006 in the Paris office. After returning to practice arbitration in Buenos Aires for a GAR100 law firm between 2008 and 2013, she re-joined the firm's Washington DC based practice.

In 2019 she was named a Rising Star in the field of international arbitration by Law360, and recognized as a Washington DC Rising Star by the National Law Journal. She is recognized as a Future Leader in International Arbitration by Who's Who Legal - Arbitration. 

Maria Julia is a founding member of the US Subcommittee of the ERA Pledge. She speaks Spanish, English and French.

Recent work

  • Representing South32 in its ICSID arbitration claim against Colombia under the UK-Colombia Bilateral Investment Treaty relatinv to various retroactive royalty reassessments. 
  • Representing C Power and Kenon Holdings in an ICSID arbitration claim against the Peruvian government, brought under the Singapore-Peru Free Trade Agreement in response to certain regulatory changes in the power-generation sector. 
  • Representing Smurfit Holdings in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela under the Netherlands-Venezuela BIT arising from the expropriation of its investments in relation to the paper-packaging industry in Venezuela. 
  • Advising Abertis in relation to its dispute with Argentina under the Spain-Argentina BIT regarding Argentina’s interference with the tariff regime of toll highway concessions affecting two of the main accesses to the City of Buenos Aires since 2002. The case was settled, reaching an agreement worth over US$250 million.
  • Advising Petrobras (through EcuadorTLC), Inpex Corporation (through Teikoku) and Cayman International Exploration Company in a Spanish language commercial arbitration with the Ecuadorian Government and EP Petroecuador under UNCITRAL rules arising out of two Participation Contracts. The tribunal rendered an award of US$515 million in favor of the client.
  • Advising Tenaris SA, a major producer of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, and its subsidiary in two separate ICSID arbitrations against Venezuela arising out of the nationalization of its interests in two hot-briquetted iron producers in Venezuela, and Venezuela’s sole producer of seamless steel pipes for the oil and gas industry. In 2016 Venezuela was held liable to pay over US$380 million to our clients for the expropriation of their investments in Venezuela.
  • Advising Serafín García Armas and Karina García Gruber in an UNCITRAL arbitration claim against Venezuela under the Venezuela-Spain BIT, arising out of the expropriation of their investments in the food import and distribution sector. We obtained a landmark jurisdictional ruling for our clients in 2014—the first time the rights of dual nationals to bring claims against one of their states of nationality has been upheld—followed by a highly favorable award in 2019.
  • Advising GDF Suez, Aguas de Barcelona, Vivendi and Anglian Water Company in three ICSID arbitrations against Argentina in connection with regulatory measures affecting their investments in water concessions and the subsequent seizure of their investment in that country. In April 2015 the tribunal rendered an award in favor of the investor awarding US$400 million (plus interest) in damages, in the largest damages award against Argentina to date.



  • LLM, International Legal Studies, American University Washington College of Law.
  • LLB, National University of Rosario, Argentina.
  • Degree in Oil and Gas Law, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.


  • Admitted as an attorney in Argentina.
  • Special legal consultant in the District of Columbia.