Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Hewett, Dawn

Dawn Yamane Hewett

Of Counsel


Dawn Yamane Hewett is an arbitration and litigation advocate with nearly a decade of experience successfully representing clients in complex investment treaty and commercial international arbitrations, litigations, and government investigations. She represents clients in international disputes all around the world, including in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has particularly deep experience in investor-state arbitrations, including those administered by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Ms. Hewett also has experience representing clients involving federal bribery, criminal antitrust, and obstruction of justice statutes.

From 2014-2017, Ms. Hewett was Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she handled a broad range of legal issues for the Department, including anti-corruption, commercial rule of law, appellate litigation, trade and investment, export controls, digital economy, responsible business conduct, cybersecurity, privacy, open data, and a number of presidential initiatives. Prior to her appointment to government, Ms. Hewett practiced at Arnold & Porter LLP in the international arbitration and white collar practice groups. Ms. Hewett also served as a law clerk for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Prior to her legal career, Ms. Hewett worked as a Program Manager for the Princeton Project on National Security and a Program Assistant at Front Line, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. She also worked at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone, founded and directed a project assisting the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Khmer Rouge Tribunal), and conducted a year-long policy project writing a transitional justice policy recommendation concerning the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Ms. Hewett is an Executive Council member of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and the Women’s Forum Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of D.C. (APABA-DC). She is also a Fellow of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program and the Truman National Security Project.  In 2014, she was awarded the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Best Lawyers Under 40 Award.

  Notable Representations

  • Counsel for the Republic of Guatemala in the first ever international arbitration filed under the auspices of CATA and the first ever ICSID arbitration filed against Guatemala. The case was filed against Guatemala by U.S. railway management and development company—Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) v. Republic of Guatemala (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/23).
  • Counsel for the Republic of Panamá in the first ever international ICSID arbitration filed against it by several U.S.-based investors under the auspices of the bilateral investment treaty between the U.S. and the Republic of Panamá involving a multi-million dollar claim arising from allegations that certain Panamanian tax credits were not honored. Obtained a complete victory for client and a multimillion dollar award of costs and fees—Nations Energy, Inc. y otros c. República de Panamá (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/19).
  • Counsel for Austrian and Greek investors in an ICSID arbitration filed against the Republic of Serbia regarding the gaming industry. Case settled on favorable terms to the client—(ICSID Case No. ARB/11/4).
  • Counsel for a Central-American state-owned power company in an UNCITRAL ad hoc arbitration against a foreign investor.
  • Counsel to several Japanese senior-level executives facing possible indictment for criminal antitrust violations and obstruction of justice in three separate auto parts antitrust investigations conducted by the DOJ and Japanese Fair Trade Commission.
  • Counsel to a Fortune 250 global company in the beauty, household, and personal care products industry involving an investigation into potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
  • Counsel to various companies regarding compliance with U.S. domestic consumer protection laws such as the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act and the Anti-Trafficking Federal Acquisition Rules (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Rules (DFARS) combating trafficking in persons.


  • Yale Law School
  • (J.D., 2008)
    • Harry S. Truman Scholar
  • Princeton University
  • (M.P.A., with Distinction, 2005)
    • Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow
  • Trinity College
  • (M. Phil., Ethnic and Racial Studies, First Class Honours, 2002)
    • George J. Mitchell Scholar
  • University of Washington
  • (B.A., International Studies, with Distinction, 2000)
  • (B.A., Political Science, 2000) 
    • Phi Beta Kappa



The District of Columbia State Bar; United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit, District of Columbia Circuit


  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Japanese

  Prior Associations

  • United States Department of Commerce:
    • Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives, 2014-2017
  • Arnold & Porter, LLP:
    • Associate, 2008-2009; 2010-2014
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. M. Margaret McKeown:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2009-2010


Publications and Lectures


  • Mara Senn and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett.  “Damages in International Arbitration: Understanding the Theories and Methods of Damages Valuation and Compensation,” International Arbitration in the United States, Kluwer Law International, forthcoming 2017.
  • Kristen E. Ittig, Samuel M. Witten, and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “How To Approach The New Anti-Human Trafficking Rule,” Government Contracts Law360. Also ran in Aerospace & Defense Law360 and Employment Law360, Oct. 17, 2013.
  • Paolo Di Rosa and Dawn Yamane Hewett. “The New 2012 U.S. Model BIT: Staying the Course,” Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy, 2012-2013.
  • John B. Bellinger III, Kristen E. Ittig, Samuel M. Witten, and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “Executive Order Introduces Stricter Anti-Human Trafficking Requirements for Government Contractors and Subcontractors,” Federal Contracts Report, Oct. 23, 2012.
  • Keith M. Korenchuk, Samuel M. Witten, and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “Lessons Learned From FCPA Enforcement Action Against Medical Device Company Smith & Nephew,” BNA’s White Collar Crime Report, Mar. 9, 2012.
  • Keith M. Korenchuk, Samuel M. Witten, and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “Anti-Corruption Compliance: Avoiding Liability for the Actions of Third Parties,” Financial Fraud Law Report, Jul./Aug. 2011.
  • Keith M. Korenchuk, Samuel M. Witten, and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “Tyson Foods Agrees to Pay $5.2 Million in Penalties to Settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Probe Into Bribery Payments Made to Mexican Food Safety Official,” Latin American Law & Business Report. Also ran in North American Free Trade & Investment Report, Feb. 2011.
  • Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “Sudan’s Courts and Complementarity in the Face of Darfur,” 31 Yale J. Int’l L. 276, 2006.
  • David Fidler, Laurie Garrett, Peter Bergen, and Dawn Y. Yamane Hewett. “Report of the Working Group on State Security and Transnational Threats,” Princeton Project on National Security, 2005.


  • "Current State of Trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference, Speaker, Washington, DC, Nov. 12, 2017.

  • “The Role of International Economic Agreements in Promoting International Law Values,” Biennial Conference of the Latin American Network of International Economic Law, Panelist, San José, Costa Rica, Sept. 8, 2017
  • “At Your Doorstep: Regulators Reach Regional, National, and International Borders,” 35th Global Legal Compliance Confex, Panelist, Washington, D.C., April 26, 2017.
  • “Asian Pacific American Trailblazers: Between Two Worlds,” Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA), Panelist, Georgetown Law School, Washington, D.C., Mar. 6, 2017.
  • “Incentives for Cross-Border Energy Sector Investment,” Indo-Asia Connectivity for Shared Prosperity Conference, Panelist, Kolkata, India, Dec. 14, 2016.
  • “International Law and Government Service,” ASIL Midyear Meeting, Panelist, Seattle, WA, Nov. 12, 2016.
  • “Cross-Border Data Flows and the Digital Economy,” ASIL International Trade Seminar, Panelist, Seattle, WA, Nov. 10, 2016.
  • “Private Sector Roundtable on Cuba in Advance of the U.S.-Cuba Regulatory Dialogue,” Host/Moderator, Washington, DC, Feb. Oct., Nov. 2016.
  • “Anti-Corruption and Transparency in India Roundtable,” Host/Moderator, American Chamber of Commerce in India, New Delhi, India, Oct. 30, 2015.
  • “Fifth U.S.-China Transnational Bribery Dialogue” under the auspices of the U.S.-China Ninth Joint Liaison Group Anti-Corruption Working Group, a bilateral law enforcement dialogue led by the U.S. Justice and State Departments, Host/Moderator, Washington, DC, Oct. 27, 2014.
  • “Evolution in Substantive Protections in Bilateral Investment Treaties and Investment Agreements,” Guest Lecturer, American University International Arbitration Summer Program, Jun. 2, 2014.
  • “International Anti-Corruption Enforcement by the United States,” Speaker, Center for Latin American Issues, George Washington University, Washington, DC, May 1, 2012.
  • Harvard University Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Early Interview Program (EIP) Tips Program, Panelist, Cambridge, MA, Apr. 17, 2012.
  • “The Genocide Convention as a Failed Experiment in Prevention: Toward a New Regime for Preventing Genocide and Mass Killings,” Speaker, Yale Law Teaching Series, New Haven, CT, Apr. 16, 2008.