Dominican Republic v Michael Ballantine and Lisa Ballantine


Arnold & Porter represented the Dominican Republic. Baker McKenzie represented Michael and Lisa Ballantine.

The Dominican Republic obtained a dismissal of all claims on jurisdictional grounds in an arbitral award issued September 3, 2019.

The arbitration was filed by dual US-Dominican nationals, Michael and Lisa Ballantine, under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), to which the United States is a party. The Ballantines alleged that the Dominican Republic had violated DR-CAFTA by declining to grant them environmental permits for a real estate project in the Dominican mountains. The arbitral tribunal declined jurisdiction on the basis that at the relevant times the “dominant and effective” nationality of the Ballantines had been that of the Dominican Republic. Under the longstanding principle of international law that individuals cannot file international claims against their own State, the Ballantines were barred from pursuing treaty claims against the Dominican Republic.

Baker McKenzie represented Michael and Lisa Ballantine. The team was led by Matthew G. Allison and Teddy Baldwin.

The Arnold & Porter team included partners Paolo Di Rosa (Picture), Raul Herrera and Mallory Silberman, and associate Claudia Taveras. The same team also obtained full dismissal of all claims against the Dominican Republic in an earlier DR-CAFTA case, Corona v. Dominican Republic.

Involved fees earner: Paolo Di Rosa – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Raul Herrera – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Mallory Silberman – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Claudia Taveras – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Matthew Allison – Baker McKenzie; Teddy Baldwin – Baker McKenzie;

Law Firms: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Baker McKenzie;

Clients: Ballantine Lisa; Ballantine Michael; Republic of Dominica;