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David Pinsky is a partner in the firm’s international arbitration and litigation practice groups. He is a member of Covington’s Management Committee.

Mr. Pinsky’s arbitration practice focuses both on investor-state and on commercial disputes, often arising in Russia and Eastern Europe and in the energy sector. Mr. Pinsky has handled administered proceedings under the ICC, SCC, LCIA, ICDR, and AAA Rules, as well as ad hoc proceedings under the UNCITRAL Rules. On the commercial side of his arbitration practice, Mr. Pinsky has particular expertise in disputes arising under the Uniform Commercial Code. In addition to Mr. Pinsky’s disputes work, he counsels clients on how to structure their foreign investments in order to secure arbitral jurisdiction over future disputes and on how to draft dispute-resolution provisions in commercial contracts.


  • Counsel for Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company, Naftogaz, in an investment treaty arbitration (UNCITRAL) against the Russian Federation arising from Russia’s expropriation of Naftogaz’s assets in Crimea.
  • Representation of two U.S. telecommunications companies in an investment treaty arbitration (ICSID) against Georgia, arising from Georgia’s imprisonment of the companies’ principal and extortion of millions of dollars in exchange for the principal’s release.
  • Counsel for investors in the Yukos Oil Company in an investment treaty arbitration (SCC) against the Russian Federation arising from Russia’s expropriation of the company. 
  • Representation of a multinational mining company in a commercial arbitration (ICC) arising from a customer’s breach of a long-term supply contract.
  • Representation of a leading U.S. energy company in a commercial arbitration (AAA) arising from Russia sanctions risk.
  • Counsel for a multinational oil company in a commercial arbitration (ICDR) arising from a shipping agreement for crude oil.
  • Representation of a public entity in a commercial arbitration (ad hoc) seeking insurance coverage for property damage and other loss arising from Superstorm Sandy.
  • Counsel for a major U.S. oil refinery in an commercial arbitration (LCIA) against a property insurer, seeking coverage for an $82-million loss.
  • Representation of a New York hedge fund in a commercial arbitration (AAA) against an investment research firm. .


  • Representation of Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company, Naftogaz, in U.S. discovery proceedings in support of efforts to collect a $2.56 billion arbitral award against Gazprom.
  • Counsel for a Hasidic Jewish community in federal-court proceedings to confirm an arbitral award arising from a trademark dispute.
  • Representation of BP Exploration & Production Inc. and member of trial team in civil litigation arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident.
  • Counsel for the National Football League in a contract dispute with Comcast Cable Communications concerning carriage of the NFL Network.
  • Representation of the National Football League in insurance coverage litigation arising from lawsuits filed by former NFL players for injuries associated with the long-term effects of concussive and sub-concussive injuries.

Pro Bono

  • Successful representation of journalists and media professionals from Uzbekistan, Iran, and Afghanistan in applications for asylum to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
  • On behalf of a U.S. nonprofit organization, drafted a report regarding access to counsel for non-citizens in removal proceedings.
  • Advised the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law on the right to counsel in civil cases under the laws of the republics of Georgia and Armenia.

Previous Experience

  • U.S. State Department-sponsored fellow in Moscow; studied press freedom issues in Russia.
  • Recognized by Global Arbitration Review and Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration as one of its "Future Leaders," a ranking of "the most eminent lawyers in the field under 45" (2020-2021).
  • Law360, International Arbitration "Rising Star" (2016) 
  • Legal 500 US, International Arbitration (2017, 2014)