Carlos Concepción, left, and Munia El Harti Alonso, right
Toby Fisher Author | News Reporter | GAR
05 December 2023
US arbitrator Carlos Concepción has launched a new Miami-headquartered boutique, which Munia El Harti Alonso has joined as counsel in Madrid from Ecuadorian firm Robalino.
Concepción, who left his role as chair of the global arbitration practice at Shook Hardy & Bacon last year to practise independently, launched Concepción Global this month with his daughter Christine Alexis Concepción, a Miami-based lawyer who focuses on tax matters.
Concepción tells GAR that he has opened a Madrid office to serve as “a platform for our international arbitration practice in Europe.”
He notes that an increasing number of clients, particularly Latin American companies in the financial services and infrastructure sectors, are moving to the Spanish capital for its “investor friendly” and low-tax approach. He also expects the new firm’s practices to receive arbitration work from tax disputes between OECD member states.
Concepción left Shook Hardy after citing a desire to avoid conflicts of interest and to obtain “independence and creativity,” including on fees. He had been with the firm since 2018, having previously been a partner at Jones Day and Concepción Martinez & Puente, a Miami boutique he co-founded in 1995.
Alongside Jones Day, he advised a Puerto Rican company and its CEO in a US$100 million ICSID claim against Panama over corruption and money laundering probes, which the state defeated last year. He has also advised on a US$500 million ICC dispute between shareholders of a vitamin company with operations in Latin America and the US before it settled in 2018; in another ICC case over a pharmaceutical company in Bogotá; and on efforts to enforce a Us$135 million award resulting from an inheritance dispute between the children of a Panamanian bank’s founder in the US.
As arbitrator, he is hearing a Venezuelan investor’s US$25 million additional facility claim against Costa Rica concerning a mobile phone distribution business.
He sits on the boards of the Miami International Arbitration Society (which he previously chaired) and the International Bar Association’s arbitration committee, and is also a member of the court of the AmCham Peru International Arbitration Centre.
He is of Cuban descent.
In Madrid, Alonso focuses on commercial and investment arbitration concerning oil and gas, construction and post-M&Amatters.
She has represented oil and gas companies in cases against Ecuador; acted in an ICC case concerning a shareholder disputeunder New York law; and sought to enforce a US$80 million award in Washington, DC. She has also advised clients on treatyrestructuring issues.
A Spanish national admitted to the French section of the Brussels bar and New York bar, Alonso trained at Derains & Gharaviand Jenner & Block in Paris before joining Von Wobeser y Sierra as an associate in Mexico City in 2021. She moved to DCboutique Xtrategy as a senior consultant later that year and to Robalino as of counsel in 2022. She has also lectured atUniversidad Complutense de Madrid, where she obtained her PhD, since 2016.
Robalino’s managing partner and head of arbitration Javier Robalino tells GAR the firm wishes Alonso “the very best in this new phase.”
Concepción Global also houses Jamihlia Johnson , a tax and disputes partner who joins from Chamberlain Hrdlicka WhiteWilliams & Aughtry in Atlanta.