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María José Monroy


Bogota, Colombia
Carrera 9 #80-45, Office 802
+57 60 1 691 5616
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María José’s practice focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration, as well as public international law.  She has participated as counsel and tribunal secretary in several highly complex international arbitrations under a variety of arbitral rules and institutions.


Before joining the firm, she worked as a legal extern at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and at Colombia’s National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State (ANDJE).  During her work in both institutions, she acquired significant knowledge of investor-State dispute settlement proceedings. 


She also has experience in human rights law, working for the rights of inmates, acting as a member of the Latin American and Caribbean legal clinic of the Media Freedom Legal Panel, and partaking in the submission of petitions, amicus curiae briefs, and lawsuits before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


María José has also held academic positions as researcher in projects from over 30 countries, including contributions to the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), besides publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals on investment arbitration practices in Latin America.  She currently works as an adjunct professor, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, of Investment Arbitration at Universidad de los Andes and Universidad del Rosario, in addition to coach of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.


Bar Admissions

  • Colombia


  • Universidad de los Andes, Master in International Law 

  • Arbanza, Specialized Course on Investment Arbitration 

  • The Hague Academy of International Law, Winter Course on International Law 

  • Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado, International Investment Dispute Prevention Workshop 

  • Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Executive Training on Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials 

  • Universidad de los Andes, Law Degree 

  • Universidad de los Andes, Minor in Social Psychology 


  • Spanish

  • English

  • French

  • Portuguese (intermediate)

Relevant Matters

  • Represents Costa Rica in an ICSID arbitration filed by German investors arising from expropriation proceedings relating to the construction of a hydroelectric dam.  The language of the arbitration is Spanish.

  • Represents a Central American Company in an ICC arbitration seated in Houston, Texas, against several respondents in relation to a large photovoltaic energy project in the Dominican Republic.  The language of the arbitration is English.

  • Represents a Colombian distribution company in an ICC arbitration between an American supplier of medical technologies company concerning the termination of a distribution agreement.  The language of the arbitration is English.

  • Represented the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration initiated by a European investor concerning the building and maintenance of a public port.

  • Represented the Republic of Guatemala in the negotiation of an ICSID award with an investor from the US in a case worth over US$ 240 million concerning measures in the energy sector.

  • Represented the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID case initiated by a Spanish investor arising from regulatory measures for the reversion of telecommunications assets. Over US$ 600 million in dispute.

  • Represented the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID case against a Swiss investor concerning penalties imposed by domestic regulators during the execution of a coal concession contract. Over US$ 593 million in dispute.

  • Represented the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration initiated by a European investor concerning the forceful liquidation of a financial services company.

  • Represented a South American company in an international arbitration against a contractor from the region concerning an investment in an agroindustry business.

  • Tribunal secretary in an international arbitration administered by the CIAM between a Spanish company and a Chilean company regarding a PVC materials distribution contract for window construction.

  • Tribunal assistant in an ICC international arbitration between a European energy company and a European state-owned gas company.

  • Tribunal assistant in an international arbitration administered by the Lima Chamber of Commerce in a dispute related to a concession contract for the development of a hydroelectric power plant. 

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