UCL Faculty of Laws


Giovanny Vega-Barbosa (LLM 2018) leads Colombian legal team in important investment arbitration case

9 March 2022

UCL Laws alumnus Giovanny Vega-Barbosa acted as lead counsel for the case, AFC Investment Solutions (AFC) v. Republic of Colombia.

Giovanny Vega-Barbosa

The historic victory in the investment dispute marked Colombia’s first win without the assistance of external counsel. Giovanny was in charge of the legal strategy and led the group of lawyers representing Colombia's National Agency for Legal Defence of the State in this case.

The victory was obtained by invoking Rule 41.5 of the ICSID Arbitration Rules, securing the dismissal of the investors’ claims. The rule has such a high threshold that only five states have previously been able to invoke it successfully. This also marks the first time an in-house team secured victory by invoking Rule 41.5, as States in previous successful cases were assisted by external counsel (i.e. global law firms). 

Giovanny the studied the LLM (Master of Laws) at UCL from 2017-18. The case relates to his studies at UCL, where he studied the module ‘International Law of Foreign Investment’, convened by Dr Martins Paparinskis. Giovanny wrote his dissertation on corruption in investment arbitration, in which he achieved a distinction.