Firm News

19 October 2015

Volterra Fietta has strengthened its international investment arbitration and international business and human rights offerings with the hiring of Suzanne Spears as Counsel. Suzanne has more than a decade of experience handling complex international disputes and is recognized as an expert in international human rights matters.

Suzanne has extensive experience advising and representing private clients, governments and international organisations on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious public international law and international dispute resolution issues. Her practice focuses on investor-State disputes arising under international investment agreements and treaties; international commercial arbitration and transnational litigation; and State responsibility.

Suzanne has represented and advised multinational corporations in high-stakes and complex international disputes under all the major arbitration rules (e.g., ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, PCA) and in transnational litigation before United States courts. She has particular experience with disputes involving Latin America, Africa and the energy and natural resource industries.

Suzanne also advises multinationals on dispute prevention and resolution, risk management, compliance and governance focusing on the human rights impacts of business operations, and the emerging regulation of business and human rights.

Before joining Volterra Fietta, Suzanne was counsel in the London office of one of the world’s leading international arbitration practice groups. Before that, she worked in both London and New York in the international dispute resolution group of another leading global US firm. Suzanne has also held positions with international human rights and foreign relations organisations, including the United Nations, the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Suzanne, a California native, is a New York-qualified lawyer. She holds graduate degrees in both law and international relations from Columbia University, and an undergraduate degree in international relations from Tufts University. She was a United States Fulbright Scholar in Spain. Suzanne speaks and publishes regularly on international investment law and arbitration, and business and human rights. She speaks English and Spanish.

Commenting on the hire Volterra Fietta Partner Patricio Grané Labat said:

“Suzanne is dynamic, experienced and charismatic. Her addition to our team will further expand our strong and deep bench of PIL experts, in particular in the field of dispute resolution and human rights. This expansion has been driven as much by client demand as by our commitment to public international law.”

Volterra Fietta Partner Graham Coop added:

“We are delighted that Suzanne has joined the firm. She has worked on many of the highest profile and value energy disputes around the world. That experience is a perfect complement to our existing energy arbitration practice. Not only is she a great lawyer but she is fun to work with. She is an example of the firm’s continued commitment to strategic growth.”

Suzanne Spears said:

“I am excited to be joining a firm dedicated to public international law. At Volterra Fietta I will be able to focus on investor-State arbitration and other public international law disputes, continue building my business and human rights practice, and engage in State responsibility human rights work. The firm has been going from strength to strength. It will be a privilege to continue my career here and help build on the firm’s many successes.”