Nathan D. O'Malley

Partner, Los Angeles Office


Nathan O’Malley is a partner in the Firm's Los Angeles office where he focuses his practice on advising and representing clients on legal matters related to cross-border business. Mr. O’Malley works with a diverse clientele drawn from industries such as construction and engineering, renewable and conventional energy, medical, technology (IP), sports and entertainment, as well as manufacturing.

As the head of the Firm’s International Litigation and Arbitration Practice, Mr. O’Malley frequently represents clients before international arbitral tribunals. In the past, he has acted in arbitrations seated in Geneva, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, The Hague, Frankfurt, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, including disputes governed by both civil and common law, international conventions and sharia legal principles. He has handled cases brought under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), UNCITRAL Rules, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI), Swiss Rules, ICDR/AAA, JAMS and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Mr. O’Malley also acts for clients in matters seated in the United States, and has argued before state and federal courts, including the California Courts of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in cases pertaining to international arbitration. In 2017 Mr. O’Malley successfully argued the matter (for the amicus curiae) of Portland General Electric v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company et al.,862 F.3d 981 (9th Cir. 2017), which was the first opinion of the Ninth Circuit to consider whether courts must defer to arbitrators on issues of arbitrability when the ICC Rules of Arbitration apply. In its opinion, the Court largely adopted Mr. O’Malley’s arguments as set forth in the submitted brief and at oral argument.

Reflecting his experience in the field, Mr. O’Malley has also been appointed as an international arbitrator (neutral) on multiple occasions by the Paris-based ICC International Court of Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the ICDR and in ad hoc matters constituted under the UNCITRAL Rules.

In addition to his disputes work, Mr. O’Malley regularly advises clients on structuring cross-border projects and agreements. Mr. O’Malley has advised clients on international infrastructure and energy projects, distribution and manufacturing frameworks, joint ventures and technology licenses.

Mr. O’Malley also serves as an adjunct professor and as a member of the Advisory Committee for ADR Programs at the USC Gould School of Law. He currently serves as an executive committee member of the California International Arbitration Council, and is Co-Chair of the ICDR California Committee. He has authored a number of academic articles on various topics concerning international contracts and arbitration, and has written a leading text on international arbitration procedure which is now in its second edition, The Rules of Evidence in International Arbitration: An Annotated Guide (Routledge / Informa, London).

Prior to joining Musick Peeler, Mr. O’Malley was based in the Netherlands for over ten years, where he worked for several law firms as an associate and partner, and was registered with the Rotterdam Bar as a foreign lawyer. Mr. O'Malley reads and speaks Dutch.

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, Institute for Corporate Counsel (2018), “Recent Changes to California’s International Arbitration Law”
  • Speaker, ABA International Section (2018),  “Dealing with Privileges in International Arbitration”
  • Speaker, Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society, Mining and Resources Arbitration Conference (2018), “Appellate Arbitration”
  • Speaker, AAA Construction Disputes Conference (2018), “Arbitrating Disputes Arising out of Renewable Energy Projects”
  • Organizing Committee Member/Moderator, USC/JAMS International Arbitration Symposium (2015 - 2019)
  • Speaker, ICC West Coast Conference (2016), “Evidence Taking in International Arbitration”
  • Speaker, ICDR California International Arbitration Summit (2016), "Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration and California Law"
  • Moderator, ICC West Coast Conference (2015), “Arbitrating Disputes in China”
  • Speaker, ICDR/LACBA Los Angeles International Arbitration Conference (2014), "Privilege and Confidentiality in International Arbitration"
  • Speaker, ICDR/LACBA Arbitration in the Pacific Rim Conference (2013), “Emergency Arbitration under the ICDR Rules”
  • Speaker, ICC Young Arbitrator’s Forum – Paris (2013), “Witness Statements in International Arbitration”
  • Speaker, Asser Institute (2012), “The Lance Armstrong Case: International Sports Arbitration and Due Process”
  • Speaker, EXPORTA San  Francisco  International  Trade  Finance  Conference  (2012),  “International Commercial Dispute Resolution Update”
  • Instructor, Magna Charta Academie voor de Rechtspraktijk (2012), “International Contracting – Basic Principles”
  • Speaker, ICC Young Arbitrator’s Forum - The Hague (2012), “The Revised IBA Rules of Evidence”

Recent Arbitrator Appointments

  • Appointed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration as the sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration seated in The Hague arising out of a World Bank financed infrastructure project in an African nation.
  • Appointed by the ICC International Court of Arbitration as the sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration seated in The Hague arising out of a cross-border sale of goods contract.
  • A party-appointed arbitrator in a Dubai International Arbitration Centre arbitration seated in Dubai arising out of a dispute between two shareholders in a joint venture company.
  • Appointed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration as the sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration seated in The Hague between a general contractor and a sub-contractor on an infrastructure project in an African  nation.
  • Appointed by the ICC International Court of Arbitration as the sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration seated in Amsterdam arising out of an international professional services partnership.
  • Appointed by the ICC International Court of Arbitration in an ICC arbitration seated in Vienna arising out of a joint venture agreement.

Recent Cases

  • Representing a European distributor in an ICC arbitration in Singapore arising out of a dispute over defective products sold in the EU.
  • Representing a Cypriot construction company in an ICC arbitration seated in Abu Dhabi arising out of a sub-contract for the construction of a port facility in the Persian Gulf.
  • Representing a European licensor in a Netherlands Arbitration Institute arbitration in Brussels arising out of the termination of a license agreement.
  • Representing a European owner of a vessel in an  ICC arbitration seated in Zurich arising out of a charter-party agreement.
  • Representing a Cypriot specialty sub-contractor in an ICC arbitration in Geneva arising out of a port project in Qatar.
  • Representing a European specialty sub-contractor in an ICC arbitration in Geneva arising out of a power plant project in North America.
  • Representing a European software designer in a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arbitration seated in Geneva arising out of a joint venture agreement and related technology license.
  • Representing a North American distributor and shareholder of a joint venture in a multi-party dispute with a European manufacturer in a Netherlands Arbitration Institute arbitration seated in Rotterdam.



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  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Court, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • California Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Former Co-Chair of the Benelux Subcommittee of the USCIB/ICC Arbitration Committee
  • Former Chairman of Netherlands Chapter and Associate Member
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • ICSID Review - Foreign Investment Law Journal, Peer Reviewer, June 2014 to present
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution, Member of the Panel of Arbitrators, Starting November 2015
  • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, Member of the Panel of International Arbitrators, Effective until May 31, 2020
  • USC Institute for Corporate Counsel, Member of the Advisory Board, Effective until 2019
  • California International Arbitration Council (CIAC) Board of Directors, Executive Committee Member