Nicholas Renzler

New York

I advocate for sovereign States in international disputes and in U.S. courts.

Nick Renzler represents sovereign States in public international law and investor-State disputes before the world’s principal dispute resolution bodies. Nick offers unique experience in the law of the sea and in disputes involving environmental and public health issues. Nick also has a wealth of experience defending foreign sovereign States in U.S. courts. He assists them to vindicate their sovereign immunity and to defeat the enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign judgments.

Working with clients in Spanish and Portuguese, in addition to his native English, Nick has helped to deliver victories for clients in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 


  • University of Geneva, Faculty of Law, Certificate in International Water Law and Law of Transboundary Aquifers, 2016
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2012
  • Brown University, A.B. in Development Studies, magna cum laude, departmental honors, 2007

Bar and Court Admissions


  • District of Columbia
  • New York


  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • Spanish
  • Portuguese



  • Gabon/Equatorial Guinea (Case Concerning Land and Maritime Delimitation and Sovereignty over Islands). Representing Equatorial Guinea in a dispute with Gabon regarding land and maritime boundaries and island sovereignty.
  • Somalia v. Kenya (Case Concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean). Represented Somalia in a dispute with Kenya regarding the Parties' maritime boundary.
  • Qatar v. United Arab Emirates (Case Concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination). Represented the State of Qatar in a proceeding arising from breaches of the ICERD by the UAE.
  • Costa Rica v. Nicaragua (Case Concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean). Represented Nicaragua in a dispute with Costa Rica regarding the Parties’ maritime boundaries.
  • Ecuador v. Colombia (Case Concerning Aerial Herbicide Spraying). Represented Ecuador in a dispute regarding Colombia's aerial spraying of toxic herbicides in close proximity to the Ecuadorian border, causing serious harm to human health, livestock, crops and the environment in Ecuador.
  • Costa Rica v. Nicaragua (Case Regarding Navigational and Related Rights). Represented Nicaragua in a dispute regarding sovereignty over the San Juan River, which constitutes the border between the two States, the right to regulate navigation on the river, and the lawfulness of Nicaragua's regulations.


  • Philippines v. China. Represented the Philippines in an ad hoc arbitration pursuant to Annex VII of the United Nations Convention Law of the Sea regarding maritime jurisdiction and violations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the South China Sea. The Tribunal rejected China’s claim to “historic rights” in the maritime areas encompassed by its so-called “nine-dashed line” as inconsistent with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and found that China violated the Philippines' sovereign rights under the Convention.
  • Ghana v. Côte d'Ivoire. Represented Ghana in a dispute before a Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea regarding the Parties' maritime boundary.


  • Chevron Corp. & Texaco Petroleum Corp. v. Republic of Ecuador. Represents Ecuador in an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration regarding a $9.5 billion judgment issued by an Ecuadorian court against Chevron for pollution and human health damages in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
  • Lopez-Goyne Family Trust, et al. v. Republic of Nicaragua. Represented Nicaragua in an ICSID arbitration regarding the cancellation of an oil concession.
  • Philip Morris Brands Sàrl, et al. v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Represented Uruguay in a dispute under the Switzerland-Uruguay BIT regarding Uruguay’s regulation of cigarette packaging and health warnings. The Tribunal unanimously rejected the Claimants' challenge to Uruguay’s progressive tobacco-control measures, aimed at reducing cigarette consumption and its devastating impact on public health. It also rejected the Claimants' denial of justice claims.
  • Niko Resources (Bangladesh) Ltd. v. Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Co. Ltd., et al. Represented the Bangladeshi state-owned oil and gas company, and a subsidiary, in a contractual dispute regarding a natural gas well blow-out.
  • Hydro S.r.l., et al. v. Republic of Albania. Represented Albania in an ICSID annulment application.


  • Advised a South Pacific nation on implementing certain obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 
  • Advised a European nation on maritime boundary delimitation issues.
  • Advised two Latin American states on extradition matters related to public corruption.


  • Represents the Kingdom of Spain in opposing requests for the confirmation, recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in U.S. courts.
  • Africa Growth Corporation v. Republic of Angola. Represents Angola in three lawsuits stemming from the alleged expropriation of an apartment complex in Luanda, two of which have been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
  • Lambros v. Federative Republic of Brazil. Represents Brazil in asserting its sovereign immunity defense against claims stemming the plaintiff’s extradition from Brazil to the United States to face multiple counts of drug trafficking.
  • Aldini AG v. Republic of France. Represents the Republic of France in a lawsuit in the Northern District of California concerning a pre-pack bankruptcy sale of assets in a French company. 
  • Solo Investment LLC v. Republic of Poland. Represented the Republic of Poland in successfully asserting a sovereign immunity defense in a lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois concerning an alleged expropriation.
  • Valambhia v. United Republic of Tanzania. Represented Tanzania in defeating an action in the District of Columbia seeking the recognition of a multi-million dollar judgment rendered in Tanzania.
  • Fontaine v. Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations. Represented the Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations in an employment dispute. 
  • Securesoft Technologies LLC v. Embassy of Ghana. Represented the Ghanaian Embassy in the United States in a contract dispute before a U.S. court.
  • Skanga Energy & Marine Ltd. v. Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. Represented a state-owned oil company in successfully asserting a sovereign immunity defense before a U.S. court.


  • Represented four international law professors and the Open Society Justice Initiative in challenging the Trump Administration’s executive order sanctioning officials of the International Criminal Court.
  • Represents children in U.S. immigration matters.


  • Lecturer in Law, Northeastern University School of Law (Fall 2018)
  • Legal Intern, Office of the Legal Adviser, United States Department of State (Summer 2011)


  • “Maritime Boundary Report No. 4-18 (Add. 1): Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire,” INTERNATIONAL MARITIME BOUNDARIES (with C. Brillembourg) (Fall 2018)
  • "Developments in International Law Herald Enhanced CSR Obligations for Investors,” Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law Blog (2018)
  • “International Courts,” INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS YEAR IN REVIEW: 2016 (published in 2017)
  • "Alumni Perspective: Tobacco Control is a Global Human Rights Imperative," Human Rights@Harvard Law blog (April 2016)
  • "Brazil’s Belo Monte Move: Will National Development Banks Start Taking Human Rights and Environmental Concerns More Seriously?"
  • "Social Risk Assessment: China Raises Its Game"

Honors & Involvement

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch
  • Cravath International Fellow, Harvard Law School
  • Chayes International Public Service Fellow, Harvard Law School
  • Associate, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University