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 Árbitros to work in a team with founding partner Juan Fernández-Armesto in Madrid.

Mélanie acts as arbitrator in national and international proceedings governed by ICC and Corte de Arbitraje de Madrid.

She also participates as secretary to arbitral tribunals in commercial and investment proceedings governed by ICC, ICSID, VIAC, DIAC as well as subject to the UNCITRAL Rules.

Professional Memberships
  • ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) representative for Europe
  • Chair of the International Arbitration Seminars & Courses (IASC)
  • Member of Foro de abogados de la República del Ecuador
  • Member of Spanish Arbitration Association (Club Español del Arbitraje)
  • Member of Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)
  • Member of Young ICSID

Professional Experience

Before joining Armesto & Asociados, Mélanie worked at Serrano Puig Abogados in Quito; Peñaherrera, Ponce & Salvador in Quito; and Fasken Martineau Dumoulin in Montreal. She also did an internship at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague and at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

Academic Experience

Mélanie teaches at ESADE Business and Law School and at IE Business School, and she is the Chair of the International Arbitration Seminars & Courses (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 and she holds a Certificat en Droit Français et Européen des affaires at Université Paris 2 Pantheón-Assas.

  • 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)

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 VS. Spanish Company, Sole Arbitrator, Corte de Arbitraje de Madrid, Spanish law and language (2018)
  • European Company VS. Asian Company, Sole Arbitrator, ICC, distribution agreement (2018).

Speaking engagements

  • A set of Rules for Secretaries to Tribunals: do we need one and what should be stated there? (moderator), ICC YAF Europe Regional Conference, Lisbon, June 2018.
  • How, when and why are Party Appointed Experts necessary/useful in Arbitration?, Third Co-Chairs’ Circle Global Conference, Rome, May 2018.
  • Cómo escoger la sede arbitral: una comparativa entre Colombia, España, Francia y México, CEA-40, Madrid, April 2018.
  • How to break into International Arbitration, Young ICSID, Mexico City, June 2017.
  • Around the World in 80-ish Minutes, Reporter, 6th ICC YAF Global Conference, New York, June 2017.
  • Persuasion Techniques in International Arbitration, ICC YAF, Madrid, April 2017.
  • Emergency Relief and Third Party Funding in Intl. Arb. Emerging Issues, ICDR Young & International y CIDS, Geneva, January 2017.
  • ¿Cómo reducir los costos en el arbitraje comercial?, Club Español del Arbitraje (Under 40), Madrid, Spain, June, 2016, Moderator.
  • Arbitraje y Estado, moderator, IX Conferencia de Arbitraje Internacional Centro de Arbitraje y Mediación de la Cámara de Comercio Ecuatoriano – Americana y el Instituto Ecuatoriano de Arbitraje, Moderator, Quito, Ecuador, April 2016.
  • De Freud a Redfern: filosofía y práctica del arbitraje internacional, ICC YAF, Quito, Ecuador, April, 2016.
  • Arbitrators and Party Representatives, Close Friends or Forbidden Friends?, ICC YAF and the Institute of International Arbitration at University of Miami, Miami, United States, October 2015.
  • Investment Arbitration and WTO Litigation at a Crossroads, Madrid Arbitration Day, Universidad de Comillas and Club Español del Arbitraje, Madrid, Spain, May 2015.
  • Arbitrator Independence and Impartiality: Is it getting stricter?, ICC YAF-YAAP Joint Conference: Young approaches to arbitration, Vienna, Austria, March 2015.
  • Ética en Arbitraje Internacional, ICC YAF, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, August 8, 2014.
  • Calculating Damages in International Arbitration, ICC YAF, Quito, Ecuador, March 2014.
  • Arbitration in Quebec, Les différentes facettes de l’arbitrage: perspectives canadienne et internationale, Université de Montréal, 2011.


Lecturing experience

  • International Commercial Arbitration en Master de Acceso a la Abogacía – ESADE Business and Law School, Barcelona, 2017-2018.
  • IASC, Investment Arbitration, GoARB, Madrid, 2018.
  • IASC, International Commercial Arbitration, Madrid, 2017.
  • International Commercial Arbitration en Master de Acceso a la Abogacía – ESADE Business and Law School, Barcelona, 2016-2017.
  • IASC, International Arbitration Seminars & Courses, Mexico City, 2017
  • IASC, International Arbitration Seminars & Courses, Madrid, 2016