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James Lloyd Loftis

James Lloyd Loftis Partner, International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

James heads our International Dispute Resolution practice, and focuses his practice on the arbitration and litigation of international commercial and investor-state disputes, and counseling in matters involving public international law and treaties. He acts both as counsel and as arbitrator.

His practice includes disputes involving all aspects of energy, construction, and infrastructure development; disputes under investment laws and treaties; and boundary disputes, cross-border technology disputes, and sovereign debt. He also represents and advises clients in reviews under U.S. national security law. Since 2009, James has been an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where he teaches investor-state and international commercial arbitration.

From 1997 to 2000, James served in Geneva, Switzerland, as chief counsel for the Oil Sector (E1) and Construction and Engineering (E3) Panels of the United Nations Compensation Commission (the Gulf War claim tribunal). He maintains offices in London and Houston, and is admitted in Texas, in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, and in the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

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
  • Representing a Middle Eastern state in an ICC arbitration against another state in relation to breaches of an oil pipeline agreement and a Treaty of Friendship; in a separate matter, represented Middle Eastern state in a Texas court case against a political subdivision in relation to a dispute over an oil cargo
  • Representing a Central American public authority in an ICC arbitration (Miami seat)  over a dispute arising from a contract
  • Acted for Teva Pharmaceuticals in a suite of 10 ad-hoc arbitrations (London Seat) concerning a denial of coverage in a pharmaceutical-related insurance policy tower
  • Representing consortia of international and domestic companies in two arbitrations arising out of a hugely successful oil field offshore India in connection with a series of profit sharing disputes with the Government of India; these are collectively valued at just short of $1 billion, and have spawned significant satellite litigation in the courts of both India and Malaysia

International Energy Disputes

  • Represented the owner of a power generation facility in UNCITRAL arbitration with offtaker/guarantor over credit support obligations for power sales involving claims in excess of $1 billion
  • Represented a purchaser of interests in upstream investments in South America in LCIA arbitration with seller over claims for indemnity payments in excess of $250 million due for the government's cancellation of licenses
  • Advised investors in Kurdistan Regional Governate in dispute with Regional Government over relinquishment of oil and gas properties
  • Represented owners of power barges in arbitration with the government of a Latin American state over violations of BIT 
  • Represented investors in the power generation and transmission sector of a South American state in ICSID proceedings against the government for breach of legal stability guarantees 
  • Acted for the operator of a power facility in Pakistan in arbitration against a state gas distribution facility over gas allocations and delivery priorities
  • Represented an oil and gas company in an ICSID arbitration brought under the bilateral investment treaty over the termination of an exploration and development concession
  • Advised a major Indian conglomerate on its litigation strategy in a substantial dispute with its de-merged sister company over alleged rights to confirmed allocations of the client's natural gas production at preferential prices

Investor-State & Public International Law Disputes

  • Representing a foreign investor in India’s 2G licensing round in connection with contractual and investor-state claims made under the relevant license and bilateral investment protection treaty resulting from the state’s cancellation post-award of 22 mobile telephony licenses and failure to refund license fees or pay compensation
  • Advising upstream investors in connection with three maritime boundary disputes, including interface with competing sovereign over rights in field
  • Represented a North American investor in LCIA arbitration against Armenia over breach of investment agreement and BIT claims
  • Represented two upstream investors in Ecuador in connection with government attempts at forced conversion of PSAs on four blocks to service contracts, and in relation to expropriatory tax legislation, and advising under production sharing agreements and relevant bilateral investment treaties
  • Acted on behalf of two investors in Venezuela in connection with government demands for "migration" of investor-controlled upstream operations to public-controlled entities, and advise under hydrocarbon venture agreement, foreign investment law, and relevant treaties 
  • Represented an oil and gas company in an ICSID arbitration brought under the bilateral investment treaty over the termination of an exploration and development concession
  • Acted for the investor in an East European state in an UNCITRAL arbitration against that state under its bilateral investment treaty with the investor's home state
  • Represented a U.S. subsidiary of an UAE investor in a dispute with a sovereign wealth fund in Libya in a Dubai-seated arbitration over claims of breach of an investment contract
  • Advise American investors in Mexico on potential NAFTA Chapter 11 claims arising from regulatory blocking of investor’s rights 
  • Advising an investor in Bangladesh in connection with governmental interference in power project through abusive investigations and acts of interference

International Arbitration - Construction/Infrastructure Development

  • 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 
  • Advising a power and water consortium over substantial construction claims for liquidated damages and consequential losses under EPC in Saudi Arabia
  • Represented a Middle Eastern-European joint venture company in connection with substantial disputed construction claims under an EPC for an integrated power and water project in the Middle East and claims under the offtake agreement with the government's power and water agency
  • Represented a European client in ICC arbitration over construction disputes over a Middle Eastern power and water project involving over $60 million of late-filed change-order claims and liquidated damages counterclaims
  • Representing a partner in a clean energy consortium in an arbitration arising under a contract for power equipment for a facility in the UAE
  • Obtained a final award in favor of our client of approximately $120 million (net) in an LCIA arbitration in connection with a dispute over production rights in a Nigerian oil and gas venture

International Arbitration - Technology/Environment

  • Represented a Middle Eastern developer of energy technology in a dispute with a former agent over claims that the agent's competing technology was developed with the client's trade secrets and in violation of agreements
  • Acted for sponsors of major alternative fuels project in LCIA arbitration against a fuel synthesis technology provider
  • Acted for an Asian oil and gas company in arbitration with a service supplier over drilling and environmental costs
  • Represented the seller in an ICC arbitration involving a buyer's claims on environmental representations and warranties for a hazardous waste facility in Latin America
  • Acted for an international telecoms cable operator in a dispute with a cable capacity lessee over expansion rights on cable
  • Acted for a U.S. medical products company in ICC arbitration with a German company over a long-term purchase arrangement

Contact Details


T +1.713.758.1024
F +1.713.615.5143
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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James' Practices

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1990
  • University of Texas, B.B.A., 1983
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Federal Circuits; U.S. District Court for the Southern, Northern and Western Districts of Texas
  • Granted full rights of audience before the Dubai International Financial Centre Court
  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Other Languages: French (proficient), Russian, and Spanish (reading proficient)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), “Lawyer of the Year,” International Arbitration–Commercial (Houston), 2017 and 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), International Arbitration, 2006—2020; Commercial Litigation, 2013, 2016-2020
  • Latin Lawyer 250, 2017 and 2018
  • Legal 500 EMEA, Foreign Law Firms: Iraq, 2018
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, 2013 and 2016
  • Chambers USA, International Arbitration (Nationwide), 2005–2010, 2012–2016 and 2018–2019
  • Legal 500 UK, Projects, Energy and Natural Resources, Oil and Gas, 2018
  • Legal 500 UK, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2015 and 2016
  • Legal 500 U.S., Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2017–2019; Real Estate: Construction, 2019
  • Best Lawyers UK (Woodward/White, Inc.), Litigation, 2013−2014 and 2017−2019
  • Chambers UK, Energy & Natural Resources, 2014
  • Chambers UK, International Arbitration (London), 2014
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” International Arbitration (London), 2014
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Energy & Natural Resources: Disputes (UK-Wide), 2014
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Energy and Projects: Disputes (London & UK-wide), 2013
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (UK-wide), 2013
  • Legal 500: UK, Projects, Energy and Natural Resources: Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables), 2013
  • Legal 500 Latin America, International Arbitration, 2013−2017 and 2019
  • Who's Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.), Arbitration, 2016−2020
  • Named to the Energy Arbitrators List, The International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (American Arbitration Association), 2013
  • India Business Law Journal, 2013
  • Legal 500: EMEA, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2012–2013
  • Legal 500: UK, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2012
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Energy and Projects: Disputes (London & UK-wide), 2012
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (London), 2012
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Dispute Resolution Law (United Arab Emirates), 2012
  • Chambers Global, “Leaders in their Field,” Arbitration (International): Global, 2005–2019; International Arbitration (Latin America), 2009–2011; Dispute Resolution (UK), 2011–2016; Dispute Resolution: Regional Specialists (UK), 2011 and 2012; International Arbitration: Europe-based, 2011; and Energy Disputes (UK), 2008–2013; Dispute Resolution: Experts Based Abroad (UAE); International Arbitration (USA), 2013–2016 and 2018–2019
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Energy and Projects: Disputes (London & UK-wide), 2011
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (London), 2011
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field,” Energy and Projects: Disputes, 2010
  • Expert Guide’s: Best of the Best USA (Euromoney Institutional Investor plc), named one of the top thirty commercial arbitration practitioners in the United States, 2015
  • Euromoney’s Guide to the World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration, Leading Commercial Arbitration Lawyer, 2013
  • Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Energy & Natural Resources Lawyers, Leading Commercial Arbitration Lawyer, 2010
  • Legal 500: UK, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2010
  • Global Arbitration Review's GAR 100, “Partner to Know,” 2009 and 2010
  • Legal 500: UK, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2009
  • International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Commercial Arbitration, 2008–2011
  • Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the U.K. Legal Profession, “Best of the UK,” Projects & Energy: Disputes, 2009
  • Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the U.K. Legal Profession, “Leaders in their Field,” Energy and Projects: Arbitration, 2008
  • Global Arbitration Review GAR 30, 2007
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to Commercial Arbitration, 2004 and 2016
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2006, 2009–2019
  • Selected to the Who’s Who in Energy list, Houston Business Journal, 2015
  • Vice President: London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • Co-Chair: Membership Committee – Institute for Transnational Arbitration (2015-2017)
  • Advisory Board Member (founding): Global Center for Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law, the University of Texas School of Law
  • Member: Energy Arbitrators’ List (EAL), 2013
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law (2009–present)
  • U.S. Delegate: ICC Commission on Arbitration
  • Chair: International Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 2005 and 2006
  • Co-Editor: The International Litigation Quarterly (a publication of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation), 2004–2011
  • Member: Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; United States Committee on International Business (ICC); London Court of International Arbitration; International Bar Association, American Society of International Law; State Bar of Texas, International Law Section
  • Advisory Board: Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Center for American and International Law