James Castello | Biography
.James Castello is a partner in King & Spalding’s Paris office and a member of the firm’s International Arbitration Group. In more than 25 years as a practicing lawyer, Mr. Castello has advised and represented clients in a wide range of legal disputes, particularly international arbitrations (institutional and ad hoc; commercial as well as investor-State). Clients in such disputes have been based not only in Europe, but also in the United States, Mexico and Asia. In 2007, he was named to the Court of the London Court of International Arbitration, and he is recognized in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration and in Chambers Global.
Since 2001, Mr. Castello has also served on the United States’ delegation to the Arbitration Working Group at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). During those years, the Working Group has significantly revised the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, has drafted the new Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation, has made comprehensive revisions in the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, and is currently considering mechanisms to enhance transparency in investor-State arbitration. Among numerous publications, Mr. Castello has written the chapter on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in the Practitioner’s Handbook on International Commercial Arbitration (Oxford 2009) and otherwise speaks regularly on arbitration topics at conferences and seminars. He serves on the International Advisory Board of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre and on the editorial boards of Global Arbitration Review and of World Arbitration and Mediation Review.
Before joining King & Spalding, Mr. Castello was counsel for five years in the international arbitration group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, based in Vienna, and he previously practiced in the litigation department of Shearman & Sterling in Washington, DC, advising particularly on international matters. Between his time at Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields, Mr. Castello left private practice to serve for nearly six years in senior legal positions in the Clinton Administration. These posts included Deputy Counsel to the President, at the White House, and Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Justice Department, where his portfolio encompassed such international issues as immigration and human rights.
At the beginning of his legal career, Mr. Castello served as law clerk to Justices William J. Brennan, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, on the U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge Abner J. Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He also worked as a legal assistant to Judge Howard M. Holtzmann, on the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague, The Netherlands. Mr. Castello received his B.A. (history) from Yale University and an M.A. (economics) and J.D. (law) from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated Order of the Coif and received the law school’s Thelen Marrin prize for outstanding published scholarship.