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Marinn Carlson ~ Curriculum Vitae

MARINN CARLSON is an independent arbitrator, building on 25 years’ experience in investor-state and international commercial arbitrations.  Prior to launching her arbitrator practice, she was co-leader of Sidley Austin LLP’s Global Arbitration, Trade and Advocacy practice, where she was a partner specializing in investment treaty arbitration and represented claimant investors and respondent states in roughly equal measure.  A list of key cases in which she has been involved as counsel or arbitrator can be found here.



Sidley Austin

Co-leader, Global Arbitration, Trade and Advocacy Practice (2018-2023)

Partner (2005-2023) and Associate (2002-2004) 

In addition to serving as arbitrator in international investment disputes, acted as counsel in investor-state arbitrations, representing both cross-border investors as well as respondent governments in ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitrations under investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements.  Cases spanned economic sectors ranging from financial services to energy to infrastructure to real estate development, and touched all regions, including Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, MENA, and Africa.  Represented corporate and state-owned entities in institutional and ad hoc international commercial arbitrations.  Counseled clients in U.S. litigation with international ramifications before the United States Supreme Court and various courts of appeal.


George Washington University Law School

American University Washington College of Law

Adjunct Professor teaching classes on investment treaty arbitration, international investment law and policy, and international economic disputes since 2014 (AU) and 2019 (GWU).

Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy LLP

Associate (1998-2002) and Summer Associate (1996) in the international trade and dispute resolution practice, working on investor-state arbitrations, WTO disputes, and international economic policy counseling


Law clerk to the Hon. José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1997-1998)


Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy

Executive Committee member (2007-present) and regular faculty member for FIAA learn-by-doing workshops on cross-examining witnesses and experts in international arbitrations.

American Society of International Law (ASIL)

Vice President (2019-2021), Budget Committee Chair (2008-2019), Counsellor (2018-2019), Executive Council member (2011-2014) and member (1999-present).

Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition

Board Vice President (2018-2020), Board Development Committee Chair (2015-2021), and Board member (2013-2022) for legal services NGO serving adult and child immigrants detained in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Washington Arbitration Week

Advisory Committee Member (2020-present) and frequent panelist and moderator.


Yale Law School

J.D. 1997

Princeton University

School of Public and International Affairs, M.P.A. 1997

Dartmouth College

B.A. summa cum laude 1993


An academic analysis of the investment treaty arbitration community placed Ms. Carlson in the top 25 most experienced ISDS counsel in the world, among the “core of lawyers who dominate the caseload.” (Journal of Int’l Economic Law 2017)

Ranked in Chambers Global and Chambers USA for International Arbitration and recognized by Benchmark Litigation in Washington, D.C. as a “National Practice Area Star”.

Named as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation, and as one of Latin America’s Top 100 Female Lawyers in Arbitration and Litigation by Latinvex every year since 2017

Listed by The Best Lawyers in America as a “Best Lawyer” in International Arbitration–Commercial and International Arbitration–Governmental every year since 2012.


Frequent panelist at international conferences on topics related to investor-state and commercial arbitration and arbitration advocacy, including those hosted by World Arbitration Update, Washington Arbitration Week, GAR Live, ABA International Section, ICC Institute, International Law Institute (ILI), Society of Construction Law (North America), Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), Juris Conferences, International Bar Association, D.C. Bar, American Society of International Law, University of Lausanne, Fordham International Arbitration Conference, Georgetown International Arbitration Society, and Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, among others.


“Tax Carve-Outs in Investment Treaties,” Tax Issues in International Investment Arbitration, co-authored with Jennifer Lim (forthcoming 2024)

“Bifurcation in Investment Treaty Arbitration,” The Investment Treaty Arbitration Review, co-authored with Maria Carolina Duran (2021)

“Financial Services Under a TTIP,” International Financial Law Review, co-authored with Andrew Shoyer (2013)

“Wider Prospects for ICSID Arbitration Under China’s BITs,” The Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review, co-authored with Stanimir A. Alexandrov, Jennifer Haworth McCandless and Geoffrey D. Antell (2010)

“CAFTA-DR Provides Strong Investor Protections But No Flurry of Cases,” The Arbitration Review of the Americas, co-authored with Jennifer Haworth McCandless and Geoffrey D. Antell (2010)

“The European Commission and Investment Treaties,” The European & Middle Eastern Arbitration Review, co-authored with Jennifer Haworth McCandless and Geoffrey D. Antell (2010)

“The Future of Investment Treaty Protection in Eastern Europe,” The European and Middle Eastern Arbitration Review, co-authored with Stanimir Alexandrov and Meredith Moroney (2009)

“International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID),” Global Arbitration Review’s Arbitration, co-authored with Stanimir Alexandrov (2007)

“The Alien Tort Claims Act Under Attack” 98 ASIL Annual Meeting Proceedings 49, 54 (2004)

“The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade,” 31 Law & Policy In Int’l Business 841, co-authored with Craig Thorn (2000)

Crosby v. NFTC and the Future of State and Local Sanctions,” 32 Law & Policy In Int’l Business 37, co-authored with Daniel M. Price & John Hannah (2000)

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