Interview with Johnnatan Palomino: Participant in 2019 Summer Program on International Arbitration
Johnnatan Palomino is a Graduate of the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) and studied a master’s degree in public services regulation at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru.
On Friday, May 8, 2020, Bjorn Arp spoke with Johnnatan about his experience at AUWCL:
Bjorn: What courses did you take during your time at the Washington College of Law?
Johnnatan: I took International Commercial Arbitration in Spanish with Horacio Grigera Naon and Bjorn Arp, Investor-State Arbitration in Spanish with Claudia Frutos, and International Arbitration and Choice of Law Issues with Horacio Grigera Naon.
Bjorn: How did you become interested in arbitration and why did you choose to come to our law school?
Johnnatan: I am a part-time professor at the UPC Law School in Peru, and in 2015 I was summoned as a co-coach to support the team that represents the law school in an international arbitration competition. I got involved with this initiative because in the past, I have held theatre workshops and my colleagues thought I could contribute my knowledge about this art to prepare the oralists to better perform in front of the jury in the competition. During this experience I became more familiar with arbitration, and since 2016, I have started to participate as a jury in that competition. Thus, I felt I needed to improve my knowledge in the law and practice of arbitration.
I chose to go to the Specialized Summer Program on Arbitration of the AUWCL’s Center on International Commercial Arbitration because of the prestige it has according to the references of recognized colleagues and professionals who have taken the program before. My goal is to continue training myself in arbitration and to apply the knowledge into practice.
Bjorn: Are you planning on taking the LL.M. in International Arbitration and Business Law, and how do you think it could help in your professional career?
Johnnatan: Yes, I would love to, because I know that the program covers the fundamentals of business law and the international commercial and investment arbitration, and I think that allows for a more specific approach not only to the procedural issues of arbitration, but also to the material issues that are discussed in this forum. I have no doubt that a program like this would help me consolidate the knowledge that I can acquire in practice as a lawyer, in addition to providing me with an interesting and valuable network of contacts for professional practice in this field.
Bjorn: How were the subjects and courses during the summer program useful to your education?
Johnnatan: They helped me a lot in understanding the operation and scope of international commercial and investment arbitrations. In my country it is typical to find dispute resolution clauses in infrastructure concession contracts in which the State and the concessionaire submit to the jurisdiction of ICSID, but when the Peruvian State is sued, we are not necessarily facing an investment arbitration. So, it helped me a lot to locate myself in both scenarios and to know what tools apply and what discussions take place in each one.
Bjorn: How has your experience been with the faculty?
Johnnatan: My experience was very memorable. The closeness with the teachers who are also very prestigious is very valuable, in addition to enjoying a very comfortable infrastructure for classes and study in general. Even though in my course there were several Peruvians, it also served to meet colleagues who were taking the LL.M. as well as other participants of different nationalities, with whom on some occasions we had the opportunity to enjoy DC.
The other very enriching thing was the visit to two large law firms in DC. I also had the opportunity to visit the ICSID facilities and meet some lawyers who work there.
Bjorn: What professional opportunities have you gained with the summer program?
Johnnatan: When I took the course I was working in the legal and regulatory area at Kallpa Generacion, which is an electricity company in Peru. I continue working there still today. The course allowed me to open new perspectives and opportunities for me. I now have a better understanding on how to become more involved in the practice of arbitration. The program also helped me to provide better services to my employer, as I am now advising on arbitration clauses during contract drafting, as well as in the settlement of disputes.