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George Kahale III
Chair, International Arbitration
New York
PHONE: +1 212 696 6179
FAX: +1 212 697 1559

Mr. Kahale, the Firm’s Chairman, maintains an active practice in both international transactions and international arbitration. He has acted as lead counsel in some of the world’s largest and most publicized transactions and infrastructure projects in the international petroleum industry, representing energy ministries and national oil corporations in many oil and gas producing countries.  He also has been lead counsel in several of the world’s largest international arbitrations and is the head of the Firm’s renowned international arbitration practice.

Mr. Kahale was the subject of a feature article entitled "The Oil Baron" in the June 2008 issue of The American Lawyer magazine.  In February 2009, Latin Lawyer awarded its Restructuring Deal of the Year honor to a Curtis team led by Mr. Kahale for a series of financing transactions relating to oil projects in Venezuela.  In April 2009, The American Lawyer named Mr. Kahale one of its "Dealmakers of the Year" for his work representing KazMunayGas, the national oil company of Kazakhstan, in agreements for the development of the giant Kashagan oil field.

Mr. Kahale is recognized as a leading international arbitration lawyer by Chambers, Legal 500 and Global Arbitration Review. Legal 500 Latin America 2013 reported that Mr. Kahale is regarded by clients as "one of the very best arbitration lawyers in the world." According to Chambers Global 2015: 'Sources praise his "laser focus on the right issues and questions," as well as his professional approach and awareness of cultural sensitivities.' Chambers Global 2016 went on to say: 'Sources note that "he has always stood out and his stewardship of his team is beyond belief."' In 2015-2016, Mr. Kahale led the Curtis team in the annulment proceeding in the Mobil v. Venezuela arbitration, succeeding in annulling a US$1.4 billion award, the largest annulment in ICSID history.

Mr. Kahale has written many articles on topics of international interest, such as sovereign immunity, the act of state doctrine, international arbitration and international petroleum contracts. In 2013, he was selected by the Burton Awards as a Distinguished Legal Writing Award winner for his article entitled: "Is Investor-State Arbitration Broken?" He followed up that article in 2018 with "Rethinking ISDS," which has been the source of extensive commentary and debate. He has also appeared as a speaker and lecturer at various seminars and conferences. In 2014, he delivered the keynote address at the Eighth Annual Juris Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference; in 2015, he lectured at Arbitration Academy in Paris; and in 2018, he delivered the inaugural Brooklyn Lecture on International Business Law.


The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
American Bar Association
American Society of International Law
Oxford Energy Policy Club

International Lawyers