FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Gustavo J. Membiela

Hunton & Williams LLP

Miami, FL, USA


Gus handles a wide variety of commercial matters, focusing on cross-border disputes and transnational arbitrations, including class action litigation. Gus counsels clients both pre-and-post litigation on matters of corporate significance, which includes advising boards and other business leaders with respect to legal risks, coordinating the response of domestic and multi-jurisdictional legal teams to these risks and participating in internal investigations.

He has significant experience representing financial institutions of all sizes, both domestic and foreign and in litigating construction disputes. As part of his practice, Gus counsels clients on complex jurisdictional and venue issues, investment and construction disputes, and sovereign immunity challenges (including those arising from expropriation events). Gus also has significant experience representing clients in state and federal courts across the United States. He also advises clients with respect to Cuba related issues and in connection with the application of US regulations regarding Cuba.

Gus’ broad based experience includes advising multiple major banks in connection with litigation arising out of an alleged international Ponzi scheme; representing clients in connection with major infrastructure projects including the development of power plants and the Panama Canal; representing institutions in enforcing contractual claims and collecting debts; presenting foreign telecommunications providers in breach of contract and shareholder claims; and representing a data aggregators on privacy matters. Gus also represents clients in connection with tax and real estate disputes. Gus is admitted to practice before the US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and all US District Courts in Florida.

Gus also maintains an active pro bono practice, including handling immigration matters and representing a client in a wrongful conviction case where the client was wrongfully imprisoned for 22 years prior to being exonerated by DNA testing.

Relevant Experience

Reported Opinions

  • In re: Optimal US Litigation, (NO. 10 CIV. 4095 SAS) (multiple published decisions dismissing securities law and other tort claims alleged by shareholders in connection with the Madoff Ponzi scheme and dismissing the case on the basis of forum non conveniens).
  • Solymar Investments, Ltd. v. Banco Santander S.A. 672 F.3d 981, 2012 WL 612302, 23 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 806, C.A.11 (Fla.), February 28, 2012 (NO. 11-12515) (affirming dismissal of case pursuant to the arbitration clause).
  • In re Banco Santander Securities-Optimal Litigation, 732 F.Supp.2d 1305, 2010 WL 3036990, S.D.Fla., July 30, 2010 (NO. 09-MD-02073-CIV-HUCK, 09-CV-20215-CIV-HUCK) (dismissing securities laws claims based on lack of extraterritorial application of the US securities laws and dismissing case based on forum non conveniens).
  • White Pearl Inversiones v. Cemusa, Inc., 2010 WL 2836747, N.D.Ill., July 16, 2010 (NO. 07 C 6365) (dismissing claims by Brazilian plaintiffs against defendant for breach of contract and other tort claims).
  • Weisco Computers Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 178 Fed.Appx. 878, 2006 WL 1082384, C.A.11 (Fla.), April 24, 2006 (NO.04-14568) (affirming dismissal of claims for breach of non-exclusive distributorship agreement and fraud).
  • Belize Telecom Ltd., Innovative Communication Co., LLC v. Government of Belize, 2005 WL 5643879, S.D.Fla., August 17, 2005 (NO. 05-20470-CIV) (bench trial verdict in favor of the Defendant in connection with sovereign investment dispute).

Education

  • JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2001
  • BS, Villanova University, 1998

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Florida

Languages

  • Spanish

Awards & Recognition

  • Selected as a “Top Lawyer” by the South Florida Legal Guide, 2015
  • Selected as a “Rising Star” by the Daily Business Review, 2014
  • Named one of the “Top Up and Comers” by the South Florida Legal Guide, 2012-2014
  • Selected as a “Rising Star” in Florida, by Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2014
  • Selected as a finalist in “Up & Comer” Awards by SFBW, 2014
  • Featured in the “Top 20 Professionals Under 40,” by Brickell Magazine, June 7, 2013
  • Selected as a “Most Effective Lawyer,” finalist, by the Daily Business Review, December 12, 2012
  • Named one of the “40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers” of Miami-Dade County by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, South Florida chapter, June 19, 2012
  • Selected as an “Up & Comer” in South Florida, by the South Florida Business Journal, 2006

Memberships

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Cuban American Bar Association
  • Member, Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Belen Alumni Lawyers Association
  • Board Member, Amigos for Kids
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