Timothy J. Tyler

Timothy J. Tyler Counsel, International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

Tim practices international commercial arbitration, investor-state arbitration under treaties and state contracts, and associated U.S. litigation. He represents clients in many industries (most frequently in the energy value chain), drafts international dispute-resolution clauses and procedures, and counsels clients on how to structure investment holdings into emerging markets to maximize investment-treaty protection.

Tim has been involved in arbitrations under all major rules, in the major seats, under numerous applicable laws. He has advised on, or been counsel in, investors-state cases under tens of bilateral investment treaties or free-trade agreements. As an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas School of Law, Tim has taught international commercial arbitration since 2005 and investor-state arbitration since 2010.

Experience Highlights

  • Successfully represented El Paso International Company defending against Argentina’s application to annul the ICSID award in El Paso’s favor; the annulment was dismissed affirming our client's award
  • Represented an EPC contractor in an ICC arbitration, seated in Singapore, arising out of a construction project for a coal mining conveyer system in Indonesia; the arbitration primarily concerned changed site conditions in the project area caused by an affiliate of the owner, which prevented project completion; the case settled favorably
  • Obtained award on behalf of a subsidiary of an energy company operating natural gas and refined petroleum products pipelines in an ICDR New York-seated arbitration, under Brazilian law involving breach of contract, against a Brazilian state-owned energy company
  • Represented franchisor in ICDR arbitration seated in Ann Arbor under the law of the United Arab Emirates against franchisee; franchisor terminated the franchise for material breach and prevailed completely on the merits
  • (U.S.) — Assisted in drafting amicus brief in United States Supreme Court for business organization in support of petitioner in appeal challenging the authority of an international arbitral tribunal to determine the arbitrability of a dispute arising under a bilateral investment treaty
  • Assisted with the representation of state and state-owned exploration and production entities in two arbitrations under English law, seated in Houston and Stockholm, arising out of two joint ventures between host-government entities and a foreign oil company for the exploitation of oil and gas properties

International Energy Disputes

  • Represented a European oil and gas company in a production rights dispute an UNCITRAL arbitration with a Central Asian state oil company under the law of that state, administrated by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
  • Assisted with the representation of a Central Asian-South American joint-venture company in an arbitration under English law arising out of nonpayment of a settlement agreement for failure to lift delivered crude oil from a Central Asian state-owned refining company
  • Assisted with the representation of a consulting firm in an ad hoc arbitration in Stockholm against a Canadian oil company for fees arising out of services rendered in connection with the acquisition and operation of an oil field in Kazakhstan
  • Advised transactional attorneys on dispute-resolution and arbitration issues in firm's representation of Reliance Industries Limited in Reliance’s acquisitions of interests in Marcellus Shale gas assets and joint ventures to develop those assets
  • (5th Cir.) — Drafted an appellate briefing in Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Central Asian State and state-owned company on the issue of whether nonsignatory state can be bound to arbitrate, under various theories, including whether the state was the alterego of the state-owned company that signed a joint-venture contract to upgrade production of Central Asian oil and gas fields

Foreign Investment Protection & Disputes

  • Represented a U.S. company bringing claims against the Republic of Ecuador under an Ecuador-United States bilateral investment treaty; the claims resulted from state interference in the claimant’s operation of two power barges
  • Advised Joy Mining Machinery Limited on, and drafted briefing in, investor-state arbitration under a United Kingdom-Egypt bilateral investment treaty in ICSID, in a matter related to a contract for mining equipment
  • Advised various energy and construction companies structuring holdings to maximize investment-treaty protection for investments into various states, including Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Honduras, Iraq, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela; concentrated advice on the interface between bilateral investment treaties and tax considerations, as well as “post-event” planning
  • Advised a U.S. company and drafted demand letters concerning possible treaty-based claims against a Central American state based on the state’s unexpected taxation of the company’s capital gain on the sale of its subsidiary

Commercial Ventures/Contracts

  • Advised on an international commercial arbitration, based on a contract for mining equipment between a UK company and a North African company, before the Cairo Regional International Arbitration Centre
  • Assisted in the representation of a U.S. company in an international arbitration in Singapore, under Singaporean law, against a pulp-and-paper company for breach of contract for the sale of paper-making machines
  • Advised Swedish air brake manufacturer on, and drafted motions for, injunction and discovery in aid of arbitration in Southern District of New York; briefed appellate jurisdiction issue in Second Circuit
  • Gave strategic advice on and briefed two motions to vacate international arbitration awards in Southern District of New York

International Construction Disputes

  • Assisted in the representation of a Central American public authority in an ICC arbitration (Miami Seat) over a dispute arising from a contract
  • Advised an EPC contractor on U.S. law and ICC arbitration issues for dispute over a cogeneration facility in the Netherlands against claims of malpractice, cost overruns, and delays
  • Advised a Central American public authority on arbitration and dispute-resolution issues


Contact Details


T +1.713.758.2170
F +1.713.615.5013
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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Tim's Practices

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1994 (Editor in Chief, Texas International Law Journal)
  • Yale University, B.A., English cum laude, 1986
  • Admitted to practice: Texas, 1994; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Other languages: German and French (fluent), Spanish (basic knowledge)
  • Briefing Attorney to Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Supreme Court of Texas, Austin, 1994–1995
  • Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration, 2015
  • Legal 500 Latin America, International Arbitration, 2013 and 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), International Arbitration, 2011—2016
  • Global Arbitration Review, GAR 100: “Lawyer to Know,” 2010
  • Chair: State Bar of Texas International Law Section, 2012–2013; Counsel Member: 2006–2013
  • Fellow: Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London), 2006–present
  • Vice President: Houston International Arbitration Club, 2005–present
  • Council Member: Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (North American Branch), 2005–2007; State Bar of Texas International Law Section 2006–present
  • Member: American Bar Association, International Law Section 2006–present