Mélanie Riofrio Piché


Mélanie Riofrio Piché is a Canadian-Ecuadorean national. She is a lawyer specialized in international arbitration.

Experience in Arbitration

In 2012 Mélanie joined Armesto & Asociados to work in a team with founding partner Juan Fernández-Armesto. She participates in international arbitration proceedings including commercial and investment disputes governed by ICC, ICSID, VIAC and DIAC, as well as subject to the UNCITRAL Rules.

In 2012 she did an internship at the PCA in The Hague, the Netherlands, where she actively participated in cases involving States.

In 2011 she did an internship at the ICC in Paris, France, where she had the chance to contribute in commercial arbitral proceedings.

Professional Memberships
  • ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) representative for Europe
  • Foro de abogados de la República del Ecuador
  • Spanish Arbitration Association (Club Español del Arbitraje)
  • Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)
  • ICC Young Arbitration Forum (YAF)
  • Young ICSID
  • LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)

Professional Experience

Before joining Armesto & Asociados, Mélanie worked at Serrano Puig Abogados in Quito, Ecuador, Peñaherrera, Ponce & Salvador in Quito, Ecuador, and Fasken Martineau Dumoulin in Montreal, Canada.

Academic Experience

Mélanie is an adjunct professor at ESADE Business and Law School and she is a co-Chair of the International Arbitration Seminars & Course (IASC).


Mélanie holds a Law Degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.

She obtained a master’s degree (LL.M). in Droit des Affaires et Commerce International at Université de Montréal, Canada, and she holds a Certificat en Droit Français et Européen at Université Paris 2 Pantheón-Assas, in Paris, France.

  • FTI Award for best reasoned quantum in the Young Arbitrators Match, Paris Very Young Arbitration Practitioners – PVYAP, September 2014.
  • Honourable Mention in the Werner Melis Award for best memorandum for Respondent, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, February 2012
  • Award for best essay on Arbitration: Canadian and International Perspectives, BLSA and Research Center of Business Law and International Commerce at Université de Montréal, March 2011.
  • Scholarship Centro de Investigaciones de Derecho Internacional at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador for the 2008-2009 academic semester.

  • French (Mother tongue)
  • Spanish (Bilingual)
  • English (Bilingual)
  • Italian (Intermediate level)

As Secretary to the Arbitral Tribunal

  • Pawlowski AG and Project Sever S.R.O.V. Czech Republic, Administrative Secretary, ICSID Case No. ARB/17/11, investment arbitration under BIT, English language, (2017)
  • Chilean Company vs. Chilean and Italian Companies, Administrative Secretary, ICC, construction contract, Chilean law, Spanish language, (2017)
  • French Distillery vs. Spanish Distillery, Administrative Secretary, Corte de Arbitraje de Madrid, ex aequo et bono, Spanish language, (2016)
  • Álvarez y Marín Corporación S.A. and others vs. Republic of Panama, Assistant to the Tribunal, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/14, investment arbitration under BIT, Spanish language, (2015)
  • Peruvian Company vs. Peruvian and Colombian Companies, Administrative Secretary, ICC, turnkey construction contract, Peruvian law, Spanish language, (2015)
  • European Companies vs. European State Owned Entities and European Companies, Administrative Secretary, UNCITRAL Rules, share purchase agreement in the aluminium sector, English language, (2014)
  • Spanish Company vs. Portuguese Company, Administrative Secretary, Corte de Arbitraje de Madrid, sale in the solar energy sector, Spanish law and language, (2014)
  • Tenaris S.A. and Talta – Trading e Marketing Sociedade Unipessoal Lda. vs. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Assistant to the Tribunal, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/23, investment arbitration under BIT, English and Spanish languages, (2013)
  • Foreign Investor vs. Public Entity of a Central American Republic, Administrative Secretary, ICC, joint venture in the electricity market, Spanish language, (2013)
  • Two United Arab Emirates Companies vs. United Arab Emirates Company, Administrative Secretary, DIAC, construction and development agreements, Dubai and UAE laws, English language, (2012)

As Arbitrator

  • Spanish Company Spanish Company, Sole Arbitrator, Corte de Arbitraje de Madrid, Spanish law and language (2018)

Speaking engagements


Lecturing experience

  • International Arbitration in Master for Access to the Legal Profession – ESADE, Barcelona, 2017
  • International Arbitration Seminars & Courses (IASC), Mexico City, 2017
  • International Arbitration Seminars & Courses (IASC), Madrid, 2016