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.

Domestic and 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.

Michael has also served as an arbitrator in cases administered by the American Arbitration Association and the International Center for Dispute Resolution.

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 American Arbitration Association (AAA), 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).


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

Lecturer, Universidad CEU San Pablo, American Contract Law, International Business Transactions and Transnational Litigations in U.S. Courts, Spring 2023

Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School, International Disputes and Investigations, Spring 2023

Guest Lecturer, Columbia Law School, Investor-State Law and Arbitration, November 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


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



Certified Questions from the Appellate Division as a Tool for Bettering the Rule of Law, Co-author in the New York Law Journal, September 14, 2023

Provisional Measures in Aid of Arbitration in Brazil, Co-author in the American Review of International Arbitration, January 9, 2023

Same Proposition, Different Outcome? Need for Harmonization for Evidentiary Standards, Co-author in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, September 13, 2022

Textual, Contextual, Good Faith, or Common Intent: The Need for a Baseline for Evidentiary and Interpretative Standards in International Arbitration, Co-author in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, June 6, 2022

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


Speaking Engagements

2023 HNBA/VIA Annual Convention (Minneapolis), Speaker, “A Tour Around the World: Academic, In-House and Judicial Views of Managing Complex Multi-Jurisdictional Disputes,” September 8, 2023

Dominican Bar Association (DBA) and UNIBE (Santo Domingo), “Disputas Comerciales Internacionales en los Estados Unidos: Litigios v Arbitrajes,” July 25, 2023

American Bar Association (Virtual), Faculty, “2023 International Arbitration Skills Masterclass,” June 22-23, 2023

Barra Mexicana de Abogados (BMA) and the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)  (Mexico City), Organizing Committee, “El Encuentro en México,” June 14-17, 2023

Mexico Arbitration Week (Mexico City), Speaker, “Impacto del uso de la Tecnología en los Procedimientos Arbitrales,” May 30, 2023

New York City Bar Association (New York), Speaker, “Evidentiary Issues in Cross-Border Disputes in LATAM and the US,” May 25, 2023

New York International Arbitration Center (New York), Moderator, “Anti-Suit Injunction in support of International Arbitration,” May 24, 2023

International Legal Week Universidad de Navarra (New York), Speaker, “Litigios y Arbitrajes sobre Criptomonedas en los EEUU,” April 19, 2023

Columbia International Arbitration Association (New York), Speaker, “From Bitcoin to Bit-Resolved? Using International Arbitration to Settle Crypto Disputes,” March 21, 2023

Club Español del Arbitraje (New York), Panelist, “Arbitration of Cryptocurrency Disputes,” March 16, 2023

2023 HNBA/VIA Corporate Counsel Conference & Moot Court Competition (Phoenix), Moderator, “Afternoon Plenary: The United States-Mexico Partnership and the Role of the HNBA,” March 11, 2023

The Florida Bar International Law Section (ILS) Global Forum on International Law (Miami), Speaker, “Fintech Litigation and ADR – Insights for Today and Tomorrow,” February 17, 2023

Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) Seattle Regional Compliance and Ethics Virtual Conference, Speaker, “A Walk through on Breach and FCPA Issues during Investigations, and How to Use Litigation And/or Respond to Litigation Risks” November 18, 2022

Columbia International Arbitration Association (New York), Speaker, “Shareholders Disputes & Arbitration” November 9, 2022

Sixteenth Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference (Washington DC), Speaker, “The Only Valid Basis for Treaty Claims Involving Judicial Action or Inaction is the CIL Theory of Denial of Justice; True or False?” October 14, 2022

International Chamber of Commerce New York Conference Arbitration Young Arbitration & ADR Forum (New York), Speaker, “Jurisdiction: Should the model law be amended?” September 29, 2022

2022 HNBA/VIA Annual Convention (Washington DC), Speaker, “High Stakes and Red Flags: The Growing Intersection Between Compliance and Dispute Resolution,” September 8, 2022

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 & Honors

Recognized by the Hispanic National Bar Association as a “Mission Ambassador,” 2023

Recognized by Legal Media Group’s (LMG) Expert Guides as a “Rising Star” in the area of Commercial Arbitration, 2022

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, 2018-2023

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


Associations & Activities

American Bar Association:

– Section of Dispute Resolution

– Co-Chair, Client Representation Committee

New York City Bar:

– Former 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

Florida Bar:

 Member, iLaw Conference 2024 Steering Committee

Hispanic National Bar Association

– Chair, International Law Section
– Co-chair, Foreign-Trained Attorneys Section
– Deputy Regional President, Region II (New York)

Inter-American Bar Association

– Executive Committee Member, IABA-NY
– Council Member

Cuban-American Bar Association, Member

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, New York Branch

– New York Branch Committee
– Former Member, Programs SubCommittee

International Chamber of Commerce

– Young Arbitrators Forum Representative

Young ITA

– Chair, North America
– Mentorship Facilitator

Latino Judges Association Foundation, Inc. (LJAF)

– Board Member

Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers (REAL)

– Ambassador

Yale Alumni Schools Committee

– Member in NJ Northeast


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.


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