Erik Penz is Special Counsel practising commercial disputes out of our Bermuda office. He was called to the Bar of Bermuda in 2022, having been called to the Bar in Canada in 2000.

Erik maintains a broad advocacy and advisory practice in complex contentious matters, particularly involving the insurance, construction and professional-services sectors. His practice areas include shareholder disputes, injunctions, winding-up petitions, policy claims and coverage disputes, international judicial assistance, and recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings and practitioners.

He has appeared as leading counsel before the Court of Appeal, Divisional Court, Superior Court and regulatory panels in Canada, before international and domestic arbitral tribunals, and in mediations in London and Canada.

Erik was a partner at Norton Rose in Canada for nearly 10 years and then practised international disputes in the Middle East for four years. He was counsel on leading insolvency, contract and private-international cases in Canada, and acted in high-profile litigation and international arbitration proceedings in the Middle East.

Erik’s practice covers all forms of dispute resolution, including insolvency and regulatory proceedings, and he has extensive experience with strategic/tactical litigation and multi-jurisdictional proceedings. Erik is a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as mediation (including through the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London), pre-trial settlement conferences, and negotiation.

Eric Penz responds quickly and was very good at coordinating the work with other attorneys on the claim.

Market recognition

  • Recommended Lawyer for Dispute Resolution
    "Erik Penz provides meticulous attention to detail."
    The Legal 500 Caribbean 2024
  • Recommended Lawyer for Insurance/Reinsurance
    "I have worked with Erik Penz and Mark Chudleigh. Each possesses the requisite knowledge, experience and litigation skills necessary to provide strategic, common sense and sound legal advice."
    The Legal 500 Caribbean 2024
  • Leading Practitioner
    The Legal 500 Arbitration Powerlist 2023
  • Recommended Lawyer for Dispute Resolution
    "I worked extensively with Erik Penz and his advocacy in articulating complex arguments, in particular the major dispute case we were working on, was invaluable."
    The Legal 500 Caribbean 2023
  • Leading Practitioner
    The Legal 500 Arbitration Powerlist 2022
  • Recommended Lawyer for Dispute Resolution
    The Legal 500 Caribbean 2022
  • Band 2 for Dispute Resolution
    "Erik Penz is well versed in both arbitration and litigation... He is a Canadian barrister who acts as special counsel to the firm."
    Chambers Global 2021
  • Next Generation Partner for Dispute Resolution
    "Erik Penz is highly skilled in disputes strategy. Very understanding of client needs."
    "I worked closely with Erik Penz on a complex commercial dispute and found his litigation expertise and advice [were] excellent."
    The Legal 500 EMEA 2021
  • Up and Coming for Dispute Resolution
    "Erik Penz is well regarded for his capabilities in arbitration... Clients summarise his skills by saying: 'He is highly responsive, with fine attention to detail. He's thorough, in-depth and strives towards excellence.'"
    Chambers Global 2020

Work highlights

  • Local counsel in maintaining an anti-suit injunction at an inter partes hearing before the Chief Justice of Bermuda restraining US litigants from continuing US proceedings claiming $10m commenced in breach of clause in professional-services agreement to arbitrate any disputes in Bermuda.
  • Leading counsel in striking out claims of $1.2m at admissibility hearing in ICC arbitration where the claimant failed to observe a pre-mediation requirement in a dispute-escalation clause.
  • Sole counsel in obtaining an anti-suit injunction ex parte from the Chief Justice of Bermuda restraining policyholder from continuing US litigation commenced in breach of clause in insurance policy requiring disputes to be arbitrated in Bermuda.
  • Acting for Bermuda insurer in English arbitration proceedings brought by US professional services firm in coverage dispute regarding an Employment Practices Liability Policy.
  • Acting for two Bermuda reinsurers in arbitration proceedings brought by US captive insurer.
  • Obtaining multiple contested adjournments of a winding-up petition whilst client successfully restructured in Hong Kong and China.
  • Acting for Bermuda insurer in pursuing insured under a Healthcare Umbrella Liability Policy in arbitration for US legal costs incurred by  wrongfully naming insurer as co-defendant in US litigation against other insurers.
  • Successful petition to the Supreme Court of Oman, valued at $7.27m, for ENGIE subsidiary overturning on appeal decisions of lower courts and revenue authorities regarding how it accounts for its income pursuant to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  • Leading the arbitration team in ICC proceedings (following CEDR mediation) for publicly-traded global construction company responding to $32.9m claim brought by subcontractor, with a $21.2m counterclaim, in respect of delays in the construction of an airport.
  • Successful petition to the Supreme Court of Oman overturning Appeal Court decision regarding the wrongful termination of long-term dealership contract.
  • York Condominium Corp v SEM Gas LP(2013) 362 DLR (4th) 127 (Ont SC) aff’d (2013) 369 DLR (4th) 343 (CA) — leading counsel obtaining dismissal of claim based on limitations defence; the leading Canadian case on when the limitation period begins for claim that contract is void.
  • Khan Resources v ARMZ Uranium Holding Co(2013) 115 OR (3d) 1, 316 DLR (4th) 446 (CA) — junior counsel obtaining dismissal on basis of sovereignty and security for Russian state enterprises of C$300m claim brought by JV partner; a leading case on the application in Canada of the Hague Service Convention.
  • Butcher Fuels v Superior Propane(2013) 18 BLR (5th) 283 (Ont SC) — sole counsel obtaining summary judgment dismissing termination claims of long-term distributor.
  • Re Crystallex International Corp(2013) 3 CBR (6th) 307 (Ont SC (Commercial List)) — sole counsel for merchant bank on motion by noteholders seeking creditors’ meeting.
  • Green v Kenora Prospectors & Miners Ltd(2008) 55 RFL (6th) 270 (Ont Div Ct) — leading counsel obtaining leave to appeal decision of case-management judge for lack of natural justice.
  • Re Chamomile (a firm)(2006) 21 BLR (4th) 290 (Ont SC) — sole counsel for partner petitioning dissolution of firm; a leading Canadian case on judicial discretion in dissolving partnerships.
  • Re Presbyterian Church of Sudan(2006) 275 DLR (4th) 512 (CA) — junior counsel for Repsol predecessor in successfully resisting requests from US court to the Canadian courts for evidence; a leading Canadian case on the law of international judicial cooperation.
  • Intercontinental Forest Products SA v Rugo (2004) 191 OAC 24 (Div Ct) — junior counsel successfully resisting appeal regarding interlocutory-injunction judge's power to award costs.