María PaulaAguilaPartner

Paula Aguila represents clients in their most important business disputes, both domestically and internationally. She focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation in a variety of industries including banking, financial services, securities, real estate and cross-border partnerships and investments. She represents foreign and domestic clients throughout the United States and Latin America in a wide range of federal, state and international litigation and arbitration matters involving business torts, complex contractual disputes, unfair trade practices, breaches of fiduciary duties, professional negligence, partnership dissolutions, civil RICO claims, international disputes, and appellate litigation.

Aguila has sustained a record of impressive accomplishments by successfully managing and providing strategic direction on some of the firm’s largest cases, including high-stakes multi-million dollar matters. Aguila’s recent work includes the successful representation of two former presidents and 12 former directors of two Puerto Rico banks in federal disputes arising from the U.S. government takeover of those banks for $257 million and $55 million, respectively; a Chinese entity in an intellectual property dispute in Orlando, a Guatemalan bank in an ICDR arbitration, and all plaintiffs in the biggest Helms-Burton Act claim brought to date in the U.S.  Aguila also represented Chevron in the multibillion-dollar case related to oil spill in Ecuador; a Spanish citizen and an Argentine/Brazilian national involved in the FIFA investigation; and an Ecuadorian financial advisor involved in the Panama Papers investigation, among others.

Being fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and possessing an intimate knowledge of Latin American legal systems, rules, and culture, Aguila understands not just the language in key international disputes, but also the extent to which cultural norms affect concepts of fairness, patterns of negotiation and beliefs about the proper method of resolving disputes. With this unique set of skills, she regularly oversees local counsel in foreign jurisdictions and frequently handles complex business disputes that have sensitive political, international or criminal ramifications.

Not only does Aguila deliver exceptional results to her clients, but she is actively engaged in community service organizations. Aguila serves as a leader of professional organizations devoted to raising the standards for the legal profession, promoting diversity in the legal community and building cross-border relationships, including as Chair of the American Bar Association Latin America and Caribbean Committee, and as Chair of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Program Development Committee.

PUBLICATIONS

Publications

The U.S. Supreme Court Just Made it Harder for U.S. Companies to Sue Foreign Governments in the U.S. for the Unlawful Seizure of a Company’s Assets Abroad, American Bar Association Section of International Law: Legal Developments in Latin America, June 2017


Creditors’ lawsuits against the government of Puerto Rico amid PROMESA’s stay on litigation, American Bar Association Section of International Law: Legal Developments in Latin America, April 2017


U.S. Supreme Court finds Puerto Rico not sovereign, American Bar Association Section of International Law: Legal Developments in Latin America newsletter, March 2016


Class Arbitration, the FAA, and the Role of State Law After the Stolt-Nielsen and AT&T Mobility Decisions, Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) e-newsletter, August 1, 2011


Reconocimiento y Ejecución de Fallos Judiciales Extranjeros en Estados Unidos, Quorum Legal Publication, May 1, 2010

ENGAGEMENTS

Speaking Engagements

The American Bar Association, Section of International Law Webinar, Moderator, Covid-19 in Latin America: Legal Developments and Challenges, May 2020


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law Webinar, Speaker, Serving the Foreign Client: How Local Attorneys Can (and Should) Become Global Lawyers, December 2019


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Spring Meeting (New York), Moderator, International Discovery: Cooperation between Latin America and the United States in Discovery Procedures, April 2018


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Fall Conference (Miami), Speaker, Latin America with Trump, Temer, Macri, Maduro and a New Cuba, October 2017


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Spring Meeting (Washington D.C.), Moderator, Panama Papers: Exposing the Powerful, April 2017


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Spring Meeting (Washington D.C.), Speaker, International Best Practices in Mentoring to Increase Competency, Professionalism, and Ethics in the Legal Profession, April 2017


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Fall Meeting (Tokyo), Speaker, Utilizing Professional Skills and Education from Outside the United States During the Pacific Century, October 2016


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Regional Roundtable (Washington D.C.), Moderator, Being an Exceptional Leader: What it Takes to Build an Outstanding Team, March 2016


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2015 1L Scholars Summit (Dallas), Speaker, Secrets to Success, May 2015


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Regional Roundtable (Fort Lauderdale), Moderator, The Importance of Language in Understanding Diversity in the Business World, April 2015


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Spring Meeting (Washington D.C.), Moderator, Litigating in an Evolving Landscape: A Survey of Data Privacy Laws in Latin American Countries, April 2015


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Regional Roundtable (Boca Raton), Moderator, The Effect a Diverse Background Has on a Career Path, March 2015


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Regional Roundtable (Miami), Moderator, The Growth of International Business and Its Impact on Understanding Diverse Backgrounds, February 2015


Legal Learning Series, eDiscovery and Information Governance Conference (Miami), Speaker, Crafting an Effective eDiscovery Protocol, October 2014


Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Pre-Law Workshop (New York), Speaker, April 2014

COMMUNITY

Associations & Activities

The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Co-Chair, 2020 Costa Rica Forum


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Chair, Latin America and Caribbean Committee (2015- 2019)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Vice-Chair, International Litigation Committee (2017-present)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Vice-Chair, International Arbitration Committee (2017-present)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Steering Group, Transnational Practice Management Committee (2017-present)


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Alumni Executive Council (2014-present)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Deputy Liaison Officer (2017-2019)


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Chair, Fellows Program Development Committee (2015-2017)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Steering Group, International Arbitration Committee (2012-2017)


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Chair, Fellows Alumni Regional Committee Chair (2014-2015)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Steering Group, International Energy and Natural Resources Committee (2012-2015)


The American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Vice-Chair, Latin America and Caribbean Committee (2013-2014)


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Law Fellow (2013)


National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, Member (2012)


The Inter-American Bar Association, Member (2011-2012)


London Court of International Arbitration, Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) (2011-2012)


American Arbitration Association, International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), Young and International Section, Member (2009)


Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (YPC-BACCF), Young Professionals Committee (2009)


Argentine-Florida Chamber of Commerce (AFCC), Executive Committee (2008)

RECOGNITIONS

Recognitions & Honors

Recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer Rising Star (2016-2018)


Selected as a Top Rated International Attorney in the 2017 edition of Florida Super Lawyers


Recipient of Harvard Law School’s full scholarship to attend its Accelerated Leadership Program (2015)


Rivero Mestre honored by The American Lawyer as a winner of a Global Legal Award for its work on the Chevron v. Donziger case in the category of Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Fraud Litigation (2014)

Education

Harvard Law School, Accelerated Leadership Program (by invitation; full scholarship awarded), 2015


University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2007


Florida International University, B.A., 2004
Concentration: International Relations


Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Facultad de Derecho, 2001


Colegio Nacional Arturo U. Illia, Mar del Plata, 1996

Admissions

Florida Bar, 2007


United States District Court, Southern District of Florida


United States District Court, Middle District of Florida


United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit


Supreme Court of the United States

Practice Areas

News & Engagements