Professional Experience

Elisabeth Eljuri is an Independent Arbitrator and Energy Consultant. She has practiced for nearly 30 years in the areas of energy/natural resources and infrastructure/projects.

Sierra wins a block in the Gulf of Mexico at a CNH Bid round.

From 2016-2019, Ms. Eljuri was the Vice President, Chief Negotiator and Chief Legal Counsel of Sierra Oil and Gas, a private equity- backed oil upstream company which was created to capture opportunities in the Mexican energy market.  The company was successful in securing six exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2017, the company and its partners drilled the 9th largest discovery in the history of Mexico which immediately increased the value of the company significantly.

Ms. Eljuri’s role with Sierra had in fact started earlier in 2014 as outside counsel when she acted in the initial financial closing with three private equity funds (Riverstone Energy, Encap and BlackRock) of two tranches of funding of $525 million each.  She then joined the Executive Team in January 2016 and continued advising during the entire history of the company up until the successful exit in 2019, where she was co-responsible for the negotiation and execution of the Share Purchase Agreement with the purchaser group (Wintershall DEA).

Prior to that, from 1998-2015, Ms. Eljuri was the Head of Latin America for Norton Rose Fulbright, reporting to the Firm’s global CEO.  Ms. Eljuri was also a senior equity partner of the Firm, active in the areas of international arbitration, energy and natural resources and projects/infrastructure.  She joined as an equity partner in May 1998, where she co-founded the Caracas office, became Managing Partner and later on held several positions in the Firm, including member of the Executive Committee of Canada and Latin America.

For many consecutive years up until her retirement from private practice in 2015, Chambers Global and Who’s Who Legal in several different areas of practice ranked Ms. Eljuri as one of the top lawyers in Latin America and Star Individual for Venezuela.  On the disputes side, Who’s Who in Commercial Arbitration ranked Ms. Eljuri as a leading arbitration lawyer.   Who’s Who in Oil and Gas consistently included Ms. Eljuri in the list of top ten oil and gas practitioners globally. Ms. Eljuri has held many senior positions in industries associations, among others, she was President worldwide of the prestigious Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), a 4000-member association based in Houston, Texas.

Elisabeth Eljuri at AIPN meeting in Chile
AIPN meeting in Chile

In Latin America, Ms. Eljuri focused on corporate and transactional work involving high-end sophisticated transactions for Fortune 500 corporations as well as international dispute work related to international investments. She acquired significant M&A experience and over the past nearly 30 years of practice, in addition to her contracts and general business practice, she regularly advised multinationals in their handling of political risk and protection of investments in Latin America.

Ms. Eljuri frequently acted as counsel in international arbitrations, including ICC and ICSID cases as well as domestic arbitrations in Latin America. She was also retained as independent expert in several international arbitrations or proceedings and spoken/published extensively in the area of international disputes.  Ms. Eljuri is on the Energy Arbitrators List kept by the ICDR.  She was also on the list of arbitrators of the Arbitration Center of the Caracas Chamber of Commerce (the local ICC chapter) and on the list of the Business Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (CEDCA), Venezuela’s two largest arbitration centers, until her move to the United States in 2014.

From 1988 to 1998, Ms Eljuri worked for Baker & McKenzie. Starting in Caracas as a law clerk and then transitioning to New York as a summer associate in 1990. In 1992 Ms. Eljuri transferred to Baker & McKenzie in San Francisco where she worked as an associate in the International Trade Department of the firm. Finally, Ms. Eljuri returned to Caracas where she worked as a Senior Associate in the Corporate and Energy departments of the firm.

Elisabeth Eljuri at the United Nations

During her career, Ms. Eljuri has also been heavily committed to public international law.  She coached the Jessup team in Venezuela and later on administered the local competition for about 20 years.  As part of that, she presided the Philip C Jessup Foundation in Venezuela. 

In addition to her professional roles, Ms. Eljuri is a Guardian ad Litem for foster children in Florida since 2019.

Elisabeth has recently decided to accept arbitrator appointments after successfully exiting her private equity venture last year and is already active in this area.  During her partnership at Norton Rose Fulbright, in her disputes practice she was dedicated exclusively to acting as international arbitration counsel and co-counsel in some of the world’s largest energy disputes; and due to the nature of her practice and significant exposure to conflicts of interest, she did not pursue arbitrator appointments while at the global firm.

Elisabeth acted as independent expert for oil and gas matters in a major ICC arbitration held in New York between two international oil companies in 2005. Likewise, Elisabeth acted as independent expert in a major nationalization of a gold mine in South America. The case was heard in the Ontario courts in 2009.