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Nelson Mullins Taps Florida Attorney To Lead International Arbitration Group

By Madison Arnold · Listen to article [Original Article published here]

Law360 (March 9, 2023, 4:34 PM EST) --

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has tapped a former Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP partner, Luis O'Naghten, as the new Florida-based leader for its growing international arbitration practice. International arbitrator and litigation attorney Luis O'Naghten joined Nelson Mullins as a partner in its Miami office, the firm announced Thursday. He adds experience as both party counsel and as an arbitrator in matters involving complex disputes in Latin America.

"Nelson Mullins is an exciting opportunity for me. Nelson Mullins has over 1,000 lawyers. It represents major corporations," O'Naghten said in an interview with Law360 Pulse on Thursday. "It's dynamic, and it's a growing firm, but it was not offering international arbitration as a standalone. ... It is really one of those great opportunities where, particularly the Miami office because they see how important international arbitration is in Miami, they saw this as a real opportunity to go ahead and develop that practice area."

O'Naghten is the past chair of the Miami International Arbitration Society and co-chairs one of the organization's conferences, the Annual LatAm Investor-State Arbitration Conference. He is bilingual and offers arbitration services in both English and Spanish. In his practice, O'Naghten has handled matters that involve International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes rules, International Chamber of Commerce rules, Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission rules, and American Arbitration Association and International Centre for Dispute Resolution rules. He often represents the interests of foreign entities and states in complex, multimillion-dollar disputes in forums throughout the world, Nelson Mullins said. In his new role, O'Naghten will focus primarily on energy, transportation, construction, telecom, infrastructure, international financial fraud and corporate commercial litigation. He is also tasked with growing Nelson Mullins' presence in the global international arbitration arena, the firm said.

"My hope and expectation is to build the practice here," he said. "I think initially we're going to be starting to expand with disputes involving Latin American parties, but it's not going to be only that. I hope very quickly to expand beyond that."

O'Naghten is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University. He teaches a course on federal and state arbitration at the University of Miami School of Law, and a class on international arbitration at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico, the firm said. He is also a coach of the annual University of Miami Moot Madrid international arbitration team.

"I really love what I do because you're dealing with really fascinating people, and intriguing matters," O'Naghten said. "I love dealing with international disputes and international parties."

Working in international matters is somewhat of a family business for O'Naghten. His father was a diplomat from Cuba and O'Naghten said he considers international arbitration the closest thing to diplomacy in the legal world.

"I feel whether I'm acting as an arbitrator or representing a party, you're trying to help people. You're trying to resolve disputes, and you can have a positive effect," O'Naghten said.

Nelson Mullins is home to more than 1,000 attorneys, policy advisers and professionals who reside in 31 offices in 15 states and Washington, D.C. The firm's Miami office managing partner, Mark Raymond, said Thursday in a statement,

"I'm delighted to add a partner of Luis' caliber to the firm and watch him develop a reputation in international arbitration for Nelson Mullins. It has been a goal of mine to add international arbitration and international dispute resolution to the services that the firm offers clients in Miami and throughout the United States."
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