“Superb lawyer…really knows the world of arbitration”
  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D. 1991
  • Harvard University, B.A. 1988
  • Commercial contracts
  • Concession agreements and other government contracts
  • International investment law and investor-State dispute settlement
  • Energy, infrastructure and mining
  • Satellites and telecommunications
  • Intellectual property and licensing
  • Hospitality and gaming
  • Shareholder, joint venture and partnership matters
  • Corporate transactions, including M&A
  • Financings and securities
  • New York (1992)
  • District of Columbia (1992)
  • Arbitration Chambers, Independent Arbitrator (July 2021 – present)
  • Milbank LLP, Partner in New York and Washington, DC (1998 – June 2021)
  • Milbank LLP, Associate in New York (1996 – 1998)
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Associate in New York (1991 – 1995)

Recent representative appointments under the ICDR, HKIAC and ICSID Rules include:

  • One of three arbitrators in multiple ICDR arbitrations brought by regional sub-contractors against a U.S. government contractor for logistics support to augment U.S. military forces.
  • One of three arbitrators in a Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre arbitration involving alleged breach of shareholders' agreement for operation of post-secondary education programs in China.
  • Member of ad hoc Committee regarding the application for annulment of the arbitral award rendered in the Magyar Farming v. Hungary arbitration. ICSID Case No. ARB/17/27.
  • Member of ad hoc Committee regarding the application for annulment of the arbitral award rendered in the Alghanim v. Jordan arbitration. ICSID Case No. ARB/13/38.

Mr. Nolan’s arbitrations have involved many countries and legal systems on six continents. In addition to being an arbitration specialist, Mr. Nolan is a widely experienced litigator who regularly served while at Milbank as lead counsel for significant matters in U.S. state and federal trial and appellate courts and also handled adversarial aspects of bankruptcies and financial restructurings. Given the trans-national focus of his practice, Mr. Nolan has had overall responsibility for, and worked with locally qualified co-counsel on, national court and administrative proceedings in countries other than the United States, including Bermuda, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Mexican States, Mongolia, the Netherlands, the Republic of Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Singapore, the Swiss Confederation, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Recent representative matters as lead counsel that are matters of public record as a result of post-award court proceedings include:

  • Representation of ABS Global, a Hong Kong-based satellite operator, against the Korean telecommunications company KTSat Corporation in ICC arbitration to invalidate the sale of a satellite to ABS on grounds including national security concerns.  KTSat’s claims dismissed, ABS’s ownership of the satellite affirmed, and damages awarded to ABS for mitigation of KTSat’s breaches.
  • Representation of Bayer CropScience, AG against licensee Dow AgroSciences in ICC arbitration involving herbicide-resistant GMO products and allegations of breach of the French law-governed license agreement and infringement of Bayer’s U.S. patents. Bayer awarded more than US$455 million.
  • Defense of Mongolia in an investor-State arbitration administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Tribunal chaired by ICJ Judge Peter Tomka dismissed on jurisdictional grounds all claims by Chinese SOEs and related entities against Mongolia for revocation of mining license, parting ways with four tribunals that had previously interpreted identical language in other Chinese bilateral investment treaties as broad consents to arbitration, holding instead that jurisdiction existed to determine only the amount of compensation owed for a proclaimed expropriation of a foreign investment, not whether an unlawful expropriation had occurred.
  • Representation of project companies jointly owned by Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners and Grupo Bursatil Mexicano against Mexican subsidiary of Spanish construction company Abengoa S.A., the general contractor for the engineering, construction, and installation of a wind farm in Mexico. The arbitral tribunal upheld the project companies’ terminations of the agreements for cause and awarded damages on their counterclaims.

Mr. Nolan joined Milbank’s New York office as an associate in 1996 with the goal of leveraging the firm’s leading project finance practice as a platform to develop a premier international arbitration practice. During his years at Milbank, in addition to their primary work handling disputes, Mr. Nolan and his teams worked closely with project finance colleagues and the aviation, space and telecommunications practice groups on structuring transactions, especially aspects involving dispute resolution, governing law, the availability of treaty coverage, and protection against political and other non-commercial risks. At Milbank, Mr. Nolan also gained significant experience with intellectual property, particularly licensing, as well as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, non-U.S. anti-bribery laws, and sanctions programs.

Mr. Nolan became a partner in Milbank’s New York office in 1998 and relocated to Washington, DC in 2000, at a time when treaty-based disputes and arbitration under the auspices of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was becoming a high-profile part of international arbitration. Investor-State arbitration has been a principal focus of Mr. Nolan’s practice ever since.

Together with his then-recently retired partner, Mark Kantor, Mr. Nolan developed and co-taught the first course offered by Georgetown University Law Center on investor-State dispute settlement in the early 2000s. Mr. Nolan subsequently taught and continues to teach each year at Georgetown Law a primary course on international commercial arbitration. He co-authored with Frédéric G. Sourgens, a former Milbank associate who is now a Distinguished Professor of Law at Washburn University, a law school textbook on U.S. domestic arbitration and a second law school textbook on international commercial arbitration, both published by West Academic.

From 2011 through 2019, while a Milbank partner, Mr. Nolan was also the outside General Counsel of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, a Washington, DC-based, worldwide trade association of about 200 companies from many industries and fields of technology.

  • American Arbitration Association / International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA/ICDR) (Commercial, International and Large Complex Case lists)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • British Virgin Islands International Arbitration Centre (BVI IAC)

Mr. Nolan frequently writes about arbitration and international law. Some of his published works are listed below.


  • Experiencing International Arbitration: Resolving Cross-Border Disputes (law school textbook with Frédéric G. Sourgens) (West Academic 2020).
  • Experiencing Arbitration (law school textbook on U.S. domestic arbitration with Frédéric G. Sourgens) (West Academic 2019).
  • Reports of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Determinations, Vols. I and II (edited with Mark Kantor and Karl P. Sauvant) (Oxford University Press 2011).

Book chapters: 

  • Jurisdictional Challenges, in The Guide to Challenging and Enforcing Arbitration Awards (chap. 5 with Kamel Aitelaj) (J. William Rowley, gen. ed.; Emmanuel Gaillard, Gordon E. Kaiser and Benjamin Sino, eds.) (Global Arbitration Review 2nd ed. 2021).
  • Strategic Considerations Once a Dispute Has Arisen, in The Guide to IP Arbitration (chap. 4 with Christopher J. Gaspar, Nathaniel T. Browand and Kamel Aitelaj) (John V. H. Pierce and Pierre-Yves Gunter, eds.) (Global Arbitration Review 2021).
  • When Intellectual Property is the “Investment’: Arbitrating Against Sovereigns, in The Guide to IP Arbitration (chap. 9 with Christopher J. Gaspar and Kamel Aitelaj) (John V. H. Pierce and Pierre-Yves Gunter, eds.) (Global Arbitration Review 2021).
  • Dispute Resolution in Project Finance Transactions, in International Project Finance Law and Practice (chap. 16 with Tom Canning, Erin Culbertson and Paul Kinnimont) (John Dewar, ed.) (Oxford University Press 3rd ed. 2019).
  • Admissibility, in The Investment Treaty Arbitration Review (chap. 5 with Kamel Aitelaj) (The Law Reviews 4th ed. 2019).
  • Political Risk Insurance as a Means of Managing Investment Risks, in Business Guide to Trade and Investment, Volume 2 — International Investment (chap. 5 with Erin Culbertson) (Arthur E. Appleton and Patrick F. J. Macrory, eds.) (International Chamber of Commerce 2018).
  • Political Risk Insurance and Guarantees from Public Providers, in Transnational Law of Public Contracts (with Frédéric G. Sourgens and Mark L. Rockefeller) (Mathias Audit and Stephan W. Schill, eds.) (Bruylant 2016).


  • George Bermann: the Advocate, in Liber Amicorum George Bermann (Julie Bédard and Patrick Pearsall, eds.) (Juris Publishing forthcoming 2022).
  • China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment and International Investment Law, in Journal of International Economic Law (with Karl P. Sauvant) (2015).
  • Leviathan on Life Support? Restructuring Sovereign Debt and International Investment Protection after Abaclat, in Yearbook on International Investment Law & Policy 2011-2012 (with Frédéric G. Sourgens and Hugh Carlson) (Karl P. Sauvant, ed.) (Oxford University Press 2013).
  • The Limits of Discretion? Self-Judging Emergency Clauses in International Investment Agreements, in Yearbook on International Law & Policy 2011 (with Frédéric G. Sourgens) (Karl Sauvant, ed.) (Oxford University Press 2012).
  • Limits of Consent - Arbitration Without Privity and Beyond, in Liber Amicorum Bernardo Cremades) (with Frédéric G. Sourgens) (M.Á. Fernández-Ballesteros and David Arias, eds.) (La Ley, Madrid 2010).
  • The Interplay between State Consent to ICSID Arbitration and Denunciation of the ICSID Convention: The (Possible) Venezuela Case Study, in Transnational Dispute Management (with Frédéric G. Sourgens) (September 2007).
  • The Arbitration Risk Facing Sovereign Investors, in International Financial Law Review (with Mark Kantor and Edward G. Baldwin) (December 2005).

Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor (2001 – present).

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
  • Member, International Advisory Committee, American Arbitration Association (2016-2021)
  • Director and Audit Committee Member, American Arbitration Association (2010-2016)
  • Director, New York City International Arbitration Center (NYIAC) (2013-2021)
  • Member, Users Council, Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Overseas Affiliate, COMBAR, association of English and Welsh commercial barristers

English (native); Spanish (working knowledge)

United States