Eric Z. Chang, firm founder and Principal, has extensive experience practicing both in civil law and common law systems. He is a former French Avocat à la cour and a current member of the New York and California Bars. He has practiced in Paris, New York and California on cross-border matters involving parties and disputes in Africa, Europe, the United States, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. His experience covers a wide range of issues and industries: he has represented commercial clients in cases dealing with construction delays and disruptions, finance, securities and accounting fraud, shareholder disputes, maritime attachments, oil and energy, banking and telecommunications. He also represents clients on investor-state disputes, including bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration.
Mr. Chang’s dispute resolution experience includes the following matters:
- Advising sovereign state on potential bilateral investment treaty dispute.
- Representing investor in a BIT claim against a Central Asian sovereign state, relating to the host state’s expropriation of various in-country investments.
- Advising Asian host state in an investment dispute filed by investor, relating to alleged expropriation of bank shareholding rights.
- Advise various clients on contract drafting, including drafting of complex multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses, pre-dispute negotiations, mediation, and settlement negotiations.
- Representing various contractors against project owners in large Africa-based construction disputes, including successful USD $41+ Million Award on behalf of contractor which was successfully enforced.
- Representing the Czech Republic in a BIT claim filed by a construction conglomerate, relating to the privatization and public tender sale of a state-owned manufacturing plant. An aggressive defense led to favorable settlement for Czech Republic.
- Representing a South American agribusiness company in two “bet the company” post-acquisition disputes filed by an energy multinational, relating to the client’s sale of certain agribusiness interests. Issues included alleged fraud on interest rate swaps/currency options financing, alleged improper accounting treatment of business activities and alleged misrepresentations on performance of target assets.
- Representing Ukrainian/Russian technology companies in multiple arbitrations and US federal district court litigation relating to shareholder disputes and alleged breaches of U.S. securities laws.
- Representing Citigroup in defending a subpoena (pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782) to obtain discovery of Citigroup’s US-based e-mail servers for use by plaintiff in a foreign-based litigation.
- Representing the Channel Tunnel Group against France and the UK (PCA, The Hague) for violation of treaty, concession agreement, international, English and French law, relating to, inter alia, the negative commercial impact caused by the Sangatte refugee camp in Calais, France.
- Representing a Japanese manufacturer in a multi-party French court litigation (Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris) relating to the catastrophic failure of a sailing mast on a professional racing yacht.
- Representing an Italian contractor in three related ad hoc arbitrations against an Iranian state-owned agency, regarding delay claims in the construction of three petrochemical plants in Arak, Iran.
In addition to his practice as party counsel, Mr. Chang also acts as arbitrator in international disputes and accepts appointments in appropriate matters. His dual background in both civil law and common law systems is especially relevant for disputes involving parties from different legal traditions and/or the application of two or more substantive laws. In addition to his sensitivity to differences in legal culture, Mr. Chang brings an appreciation for different local business and industry cultures.
Mr. Chang has a longstanding commitment to pro bono publico service. Examples of Mr. Chang’s pro bono service include representing the People of the State of New York as Special Assistant District Attorney for the Brooklyn D.A.’s office in the appellate review of a first-degree assault case; advising NGO International Bridges to Justice’s China Legal Aid Program; and filing a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of two Rwandan journalists sentenced to harsh terms over articles critical of the Rwandan government, and which resulted in significant reduction of the sentences.