Michael A.FernándezPartner

Michael A. Fernández is a litigation and arbitration practitioner whose practice is focused on complex and cross-border commercial litigation, international commercial and investor-state arbitration, and corporate internal investigations.

Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Michael has experience representing foreign and domestic companies and individuals in matters covering a broad range of industries, such as Bitcoin and related technologies; commodities; construction and real estate; food and beverage; gaming; financial services; moving and storage; and oil and gas.

Commercial Litigation: Michael has litigated several cases through trial and has handled numerous appeals before the New York State Appellate Divisions and several federal courts. Among his many high stakes matters, Michael was a member of the successful trial team that represented Dr. Craig Wright in a lawsuit that alleged David Kleiman had a partnership with Dr. Wright to invent and mine Bitcoin. The lawsuit sought over half a trillion dollars in damages. After four years of intense litigation, four weeks of trial, and seven days of arduous jury deliberation, in a case that was widely thought to be unwinnable, they found that Dr. Wright was not Kleiman’s business partner and that Kleiman’s estate was entitled to no damages.

Michael also frequently represents and advises clients in cross-border disputes that raise complex questions of personal jurisdiction, choice of law, and similar issues. Most notably, he successfully argued an appeal before the New York State Appellate Division, First Department which resulted in the dismissal of a breach of contract action brought against a Brazilian national domiciled in Uruguay and an Uruguayan corporation on jurisdictional grounds.

International Arbitration: Michael regularly represents parties to international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations conducted in Spanish and English under the major international rules including UNCITRAL, ICSID, ICC, and ICDR. He is currently representing foreign investors in connection with several investor-state arbitrations against a Latin American country. In addition to representing clients in pending arbitrations, Michael has represented clients in connection with proceedings to compel arbitration and to obtain the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

Corporate Internal Investigations: Michael has represented clients in various investigations and proceedings before authorities in the United States, including a large state-owned oil company in Latin America on investigative matters.

Prior to joining Rivero Mestre, Michael practiced at leading international law firms where he focused on complex commercial litigation, international arbitration, and investigations, and at a national firm where he focused on federal and New York state litigation.

Michael is also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School teaching courses focused on transnational disputes. He has also guest lectured at several universities in the United States and abroad on a range of subjects.

Michael is a member of the New York Bar as well as many federal courts. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is admitted to the arbitrator rosters for the Costa Rica Center of Conciliation and Arbitration (CICA), the Arbitration Center of Mexico (CAM), and the Conflict Resolution Commission of the Chamber of Industry of Guatemala (CRECIG).

Michael also serves as Chair of the New York City Bar’s Inter-American Affairs Committee and as a Deputy Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar’s New York Region.

EXPERIENCE

Professional Experience

Partner, Rivero Mestre LLP (2022-present)


Counsel, Rivero Mestre LLP (2021-2022)


Associate, Winston & Strawn LLP (2017-2021)


Associate, Chadbourne & Parke LLP/Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (2017)


Associate, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (2016-2017)


Associate, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP (2013-2016)


Staff Associate, Professor Alejandro M. Garro, Columbia Law School


Staff Associate, Professor Kent Greenawalt, Columbia Law School


Judicial intern for Justice Rolando T. Acosta of the New York Appellate Division, First Department


Judicial Intern for Judge Barbara Lagoa of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal

Teaching Experience

Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School, Transnational Representation and Advocacy, Fall 2022


Visiting Professor, Universidad CEU San Pablo, American Legal History and Comparative Law, Spring 2022


Guest Lecturer, IE University, Litigation I, April 2022


Guest Lecturer, Seton Hall University, International Arbitration, “Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards,” April 2022


Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School, Transnational Litigation and Arbitration, Spring 2022


Guest Lecturer, Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, Finanças e Orçamento Público, August 2021

Appointment

Appointed by the Inter-American Bar Association as a representative to the 75th session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Working Group II regarding dispute settlement (2022)


Current Member, Committee on Character and Fitness for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department

ENGAGEMENTS

Speaking Engagements

New York International Arbitration Center (New York), Speaker, “Sovereign Issues in International Arbitration: A Retrospective On Recent Developments And Predictions For Future Trends,” July 20, 2022


Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Annual Workshop – The Hearing (Texas), Speaker, “A Tour Around the Arbitration World,” June 15, 2022


Court of Arbitration of Madrid (Madrid), Speaker, “Cuestiones De Actualidad En El Arbitraje: Tecnología Blockchain Y Criptomonedas,” May 24, 2022


International Legal Week Universidad de Navarra (New York), Speaker, “Litigios y Arbitrajes sobre Criptomonedas en los EEUU,” May 13, 2022


International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (New York), Moderator, “The Application of New York Law in Latin American Arbitrations,” May 12, 2022


ABA Litigation Section 2022 Section Annual Conference (Miami Beach), Panelist, “How Do I Get on The List?: A Candid Discussion Regarding Considerations For Selecting Outside Counsel,” May 6, 2022


Columbia Law School Brazilian Association (Virtual), Moderator, “Towards Efficiency In International Arbitration,” April 8, 2022


2022 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference (New Orleans), Speaker, “Crypto and Digital Currencies: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape and Litigation Developments,” March 25, 2022


American Bar Association (Virtual), Faculty, “Practical Skills for New Litigators: Expert Depositions,” March 22-23, 2022


Organización Nacional de Empresas Comerciales, ONEC, Inc., (Virtual), Speaker, “Cómo proteger tu marca en Estados Unidos?,” March 10, 2022


Costa Rica International Chamber of Commerce (Virtual), Speaker, “Blockchain – Crypto Activos: Desarrollos recientes en América Latina y los Estados Unidos,” March 10, 2022


New York City Bar Association (New York), Speaker, “Blockchain-Crypto-Digital Assets: Recent Developments in Latin America and the United States,” February 24, 2022


Cuban-American Bar Association (Virtual), Speaker, “The Basics of New York Practice and Procedure,” February 9, 2022


2021 HNBA/VIA Annual Convention (Virtual), Moderator, “Class Actions and Latin America: Their Interaction with the U.S. Market,” September 28, 2021


Uganda Law Society, 4th Annual Law Conference (Virtual), Speaker, “The proposed TRIPS waiver and its Relevance to the Ugandan Law Profession,” August 26, 2021


Young ITA Mentorship Program – Speaker Series (Virtual), Moderator, “Developments in ISDS: The Roaring 20s?” August 10, 2021


2021 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference (Virtual), Speaker, “E-Discovery in International and Domestic Arbitration v. E-Discovery in Court,” March 17, 2021


ITA-ALARB Americas Workshop (Virtual), Speaker, “Arbitrator Immunity and Liability Survey,” December 2, 2020


Young ITA Mentorship Program – Speaker Series (Virtual), Moderator, “COVID-19 as an Excuse Not to Perform International Contracts,” August 10, 2020


New York City Bar (Virtual), Program Co-chair, “Careers in Compliance for Diverse Law Students,” August 6, 2020


Bichara Advogados (Virtual), Co-Moderator, “Audiência Virtual em Arbitragem em Tempos de Covid-19,” May 27, 2020


New York City Bar (New York), Moderator, “The State of Play in Investor State Arbitration: Are We In for the Roaring 20s or the Big Crash?” March 4, 2020


New York International Arbitration Center (New York), Moderator, “NYIAC Talks: Spotlight on Latin America: Practices, Trends & Takeaways on Latin American Arbitration Centers,” March 6, 2019


New York City Bar Association (New York), Co-Moderator, “Class Actions in Latin America and Their Interaction with the U.S. Market,” January 10, 2019


Young ITA Talks Conference (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Speaker, “Recent Developments in Investment and Commercial Arbitration in the Region – the State’s Perspective,” November 9, 2018


For People of Color Law School Admissions Conference (New York), Speaker, “Legal Professionals Panel,” April 14, 2018


For People of Color Law School Admissions Conference (New York), Speaker, “Legal Professionals Panel,” February 15, 2014


Continuing Legal Education Presentation (New York), Speaker, “#itisadmissible!: Using Social Media Evidence in Federal Court,” December 11, 2013

RECOGNITIONS

Recognitions & Honors

Recognized by the Hispanic National Bar Association as a “Top Lawyer under 40,” 2022


Named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, 2021 – 2022


Recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in the area of Civil Litigation: Defense, 2018-2021


Recognized by the New York State Bar as “Empire Counsel” for performing 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services to low-income individuals, 2018


Legal Team Award, Her Justice Commitment to Justice Award, 2014


Pro Bono Service Award, New York City Family Court Volunteer Attorney Program, 2014


Pro Bono Service Award, New York City Family Court Volunteer Attorney Program, 2013

COMMUNITY

Associations & Activities

New York City Bar:

– Chair, Inter-American Affairs Committee
– Affiliate Member, Arbitration Committee


New York State Bar:

– Member, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction
– Member, Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules


Hispanic National Bar Association

– Deputy Regional President, Region II (New York)


Inter-American Bar Association, Member


Cuban-American Bar Association, Member


Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, New York Branch

– Programs Committee


International Chamber of Commerce

– Young Arbitrators Forum Representative


Young ITA

– Vice Chair, North America
– Mentorship Facilitator


Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers (REAL)

– Ambassador

PUBLICATIONS

Publications

Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the U.S. Post Daimler AG v. Bauman, Co-author in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, November 26, 2020


Asistencia judicial en materia arbitral, Co-author in El Mundo del Abogado, May 2019


Interpreting Ambiguous Domestic and Foreign Arbitral Awards, Co-author in the New York Law Journal March 11, 2019


The Corruption Defense: Practical Considerations for Claimants, Co-author in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, January 22, 2019


What Roadblocks Are Preventing a Deal on NAFTA? Co-author in the Latin America Advisor, May 30, 2018


NAFTA Deal This Year?, Co-author in the Latin America Advisor, February 14, 2018


How are the NAFTA Renegotiation Talks Progressing?, Co-author in the Latin America Advisor, September 1, 2017


What Do New U.S. Goals Mean for NAFTA Talks, Co-author in the Latin America Advisor, July 31, 2017


What Are the White House’s Plans for Changing NAFTA? Co-author in the Latin America Advisor, April 5, 2017


Investment Treaty Arbitration in the Americas, Co-Author in the Global Arbitration Review, 2016


Enforcing Arbitral Awards that Have Been Set Aside in the Seat Where the Award Was Made – Different Approaches Towards the Same Thorny Issue, Co-author in Expert Guides, 2016


Choice of Venue in International Arbitration, co-author of Chapter 2 on Buenos Aires, Oxford University Press, 2014


ARIAS – US Law Committee Reports, Co-contributor

Education

Columbia Law School, J.D., 2012

Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
Parker School Certificate for Achievement in International and Comparative Law.
Managing editor for the Journal of Transnational Law
Treasurer of LALSA
Cuban American Bar Association Scholarship


Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MALD, 2012


Yale University, B.A. in Political Science, with distinction, and in Spanish, 2007

Albert Bildner Yale Class of 1937 Prize for an outstanding essay on Latin America.

Admissions

New York


United States District Court, Southern District of New York


United States District Court, Eastern District of New York


United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit


United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit


Supreme Court of the United States

Practice Areas

News & Engagements