Overview

Juan M. Alcalá is a trial attorney who focuses primarily in the areas of international litigation and arbitration with a particular emphasis on disputes involving Latin America. These include matters pending in international tribunals, foreign courts and U.S. courts. Mr. Alcalá also has extensive U.S. trial and appellate experience, having tried multiple cases to verdict and settlement and appearing as strategic appellate counsel in several dozen high-exposure cases.

Mr. Alcalá's representation spans across various industries. In the energy sector, he has represented energy and energy-related companies in commercial, environmental and intellectual property (IP) disputes. Mr. Alcalá serves as the chair of Holland & Knight's Energy and Natural Resources Industry Sector Group and on the advisory board of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business at the University of Texas.

In addition to the energy sector, Mr. Alcalá represents auto, tire, medical device and other manufacturing companies in product liability cases; financial institutions in asset recovery and complex investment disputes; hospitality and software companies in trade secret, copyright and trademark disputes; and several other middle-market clients in a wide range of business and real estate disputes. These matters involve breach of fiduciary duties assertions, breach of contract allegations and fraud claims.

Mr. Alcalá's experience in resolving disputes, his fluency in Spanish, his cultural affinity to Latin America and his command of both the common-law and civil-law traditions allow him to counsel clients regarding a host of litigation-related issues, including assessing potential claims involving foreign assets and counseling clients entering foreign markets or expanding operations in foreign jurisdictions with regard to risk assessment and mitigation.

In the community, Mr. Alcalá supports various nonprofits that focus on supporting young Latinos in socioeconomically disadvantaged circumstances.

Experience

  • Representing a global energy company in a multibillion-dollar dispute pending in South America
  • Represented a Spanish construction company in post-arbitral proceedings relating to the recognition and enforcement of an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration award involving construction of an ethanol plant
  • Represented a global energy company in a licensing dispute with a South American entity concerning intellectual property issues subject to American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration
  • Representing a global energy company in a defamation case brought by indigenous communities in South America
  • Represented a South American bank in a $40 million commercial dispute brought by shareholder who alleged Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, violations of the Hacking Act and other claims 
  • Representing an independent commodities trading company against a marketer and distributor of chemicals and refined products in a breach of contract dispute involving the sale of ethanol to Colombia
  • Represented a fashion company involved in a commercial dispute with a Mexican distributor
  • Represented a wiring systems manufacturer involved in an ICC dispute against the manufacturer of lightweight metals technology relating to the purchase of various assets in Mexico
  • Represented a wiring systems manufacturer involved in an International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) dispute against a private equity investor relating to the purchase of certain assets in Brazil
  • Represented a South American bank in bankruptcy proceedings that are taking place in Mexico with parallel proceedings in New York
  • Represented a large reinsurance company in an ICC arbitration case that involved a contractual dispute with a Mexican soccer team
  • Represented a Mexican manufacturer of hazardous material containers involved in an ICC dispute over a breach of joint venture agreement
  • Represented a U.S. beverage company in a multimillion-dollar ICC dispute with a Mexican licensee and distributor
  • Represented a major auto manufacturer in hundreds of product liability cases pending in U.S. state and federal courts that involved events and parallel proceedings taking place in Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia and Panama
  • Represented a tire manufacturer in its discovery and investigation efforts related to dozens of product liability cases pending in U.S. state and federal courts that involved events taking place in Mexico
  • Represented a large container manufacturer in a product liability matter pending in a Texas state court that involved dispositive issues of Mexican corporate law
  • Counseled a Mexican manufacturer of hazardous containing drums with respect to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Counseled a provider of measurement well drilling services and products with respect to its entrance into the Latin American market
  • Counseled an imaging technology and pattern recognition company during the negotiation of a nondisclosure agreement with a Mexican entity
  • Counseled a global pharmaceutical company involved in a clinical trials matter with local laws in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia
  • Counseled a Fortune 500 company involved in a product liability matter with local laws in several Latin American countries

  • Representing a solar development company against a former member and manager in a multimillion-dollar shareholder derivative lawsuit
  • Represented a solar development company in a breach of contract dispute against a turnkey solar provider involving the development of a photovoltaic solar generation project in Louisiana
  • Represented an energy-efficiency firm against former employees in disputes involving enforcement of restrictive covenants
  • Represented an energy-efficiency firm in a trade-secret case arising out of a request for a government contract pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act
  • Representing a South American investor involved in a closely held corporation dispute arising out of an investment in a restaurant franchise
  • Represented one of the largest South American fruit distributors in North America in a dispute involving breach of contract for improper fumigation
  • Represented a construction company against a privately held custom financial services company in a multimillion-dollar dispute involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract allegations
  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar jury trial verdict in a real estate development case that involved claims of fiduciary duty and fraud, and successfully defended the jury's liability findings and actual damages award on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Defended a document management company in a jury trial against allegations of fraud and breach of contract made by a subcontractor
  • Represented a provider of education software, data systems and educational assessment tools against the Texas attorney general in a trade secret dispute involving the Texas Public Information Act, which resulted in a partial bench trial and favorable settlement
  • Represented a restaurant management company in a real estate dispute that culminated in a bench trial award releasing the company from its lease
  • Represented a Mexican product manufacturer in a contract and fraud dispute against a distributor and obtained a summary judgment on all claims
  • Defended an appeal of an arbitration awarded in a federal case that involved allegations of fraud and fraud in the inducement
  • Represented a public company in a global technology outsourcing dispute centered on claims of fraud in the inducement; matter resolved favorably for client with a settlement valued at more than $50 million
  • Representing a construction company in a personal injury case
  • Represented a creditor in a prebankruptcy distressed asset case and acted as an adversary involving fraudulent conveyance and receivership issues in a multimillion-dollar single asset proceeding
  • Provided strategic appellate counseling and advice to an automotive manufacturer in more than a dozen product liability trials

Credentials

Education
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • Yale University, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Texas
  • All Federal Courts in Texas
Memberships
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business at the University of Texas, Advisory Board Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Council Member
  • Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • International Bar Association
  • U.S.-Mexico Bar Association
  • Hispanic Bar Association of Austin
  • Texas State Bar, Advisory Committee of the International Law Section
Honors & Awards
  • Minority Powerbroker, Law360, 2015
  • IFLR1000, The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, Leading Lawyer, Energy and Infrastructure 2013-2015, 2017, 2018; Mergers & Acquisitions, 2017,2018
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Litigation/Arbitration, 2013
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News