Supervising Research Attorney


Telephone : (520) 622-1200

Facsimile : (520) 622-0957

Email : aelias@natlaw.com

Mr. Elias has worked in the field of International Commercial Law for over four years, particularly in the areas of secured transactions, warehouse receipts, investment securities, e-commerce, compared commercial contracts, trusts, simplified business corporations, and alternative dispute resolution. After graduating from law school in Mexico, Mr. Elias studied at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law where he received a Master’s degree (LL.M) in International Trade Law in 2012 and completed his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree in December 2013. In January 2013, Mr. Elias took up an internship at the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade (NatLaw), a Tucson, Arizona based non-profit organization, and in January 2014 he began work as a full-time Research Attorney.

At NatLaw, Mr. Elias has worked on various law reform and research projects throughout Latin America and East Asia and has also been involved in Natlaw’s capacity building programs.  Mr. Elias has participated in projects assessing recent legislative developments in Latin America on the topics of secured transactions, warehouse receipts, and alternative dispute resolution.

Mr. Elias has also worked closely with project managers on issues related to the extension of the Cape Town Convention to mining, agricultural, and construction equipment (MAC Protocol), and has contacted private sector enterprises involved in the manufacturing, sale, leasing, and financing of MAC equipment to elicit information needed for the development of the Cape Town’s MAC Protocol.

Mr. Elias is currently the contract manager and leader of a legal reform project in Mexico on electronic warehouse receipts involving blockchain technology.

Furthermore, since 2015 Mr. Elias has helped prepare NatLaw’s delegation to the New York and Vienna sessions of Working Group I (Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). In 2017 Mr. Elias was appointed as NatLaw’s delegate to UNCITRAL Working Group I.

Also, since 2017 Mr. Elias is a Member of the Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes Established Under Article 2022 of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Outside the commercial law field, Mr. Elias has advised the U.S. Department of State on how to improve the amount of child support funds that children in the U.S. receive from parents in Mexico and vice-versa through instruments such as the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention.

Education:

University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, AZ

  • Juris Doctorate (J.D.), 2013
    • Substantial Paper: Structure and Foundation of the Mexican Intermediated Securities Holding System
  • Master of Laws (L.L.M.) in International Trade Law, 2012
    • Thesis: The Warehouse Receipt: A Comparison Between Latin America and the United States

Universidad del Valle de México, College of Law, México 

  • Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), 2011

Professional Work Experience:

National Law Center For Inter-American Free Trade, Tucson, AZ

Supervising Research Attorney, 2016 – present

In addition to Mr. Elias duties as a Research Attorney (see below) Mr. Elias oversees research work of interns, externs and junior attorneys at NatLaw.

Research Attorney, 2013-2016

As a Research Attorney for NatLaw, Mr. Elias has worked on various law reform and research projects throughout Latin America and has also been involved in Natlaw’s capacity building programs.  Mr. Elias has participated in projects assessing recent legislative developments in Latin America on the topics of secured transactions, warehouse receipts, and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Elias currently leads a legal reform project in Mexico on electronic warehouse receipts involving blockchain technology, working very closely with the Mexican Ministry of Economy, and a London-based blockchain solutions company. Mr. Elias has been integral to the following NatLaw Projects:

  • NLCIFT – Mexican Ministry of Economy, Warehouse Receipts and Secured Transactions Reform, January 2015 – Present

Study the practices surrounding storage of goods in Mexico, particularly agricultural commodities. Prepare a Legislative Proposal enabling electronic warehouse receipts in Mexico. Work in the implementation of the Legislative Proposal through blockchain technology working very closely with a London-based blockchain technology company

  • NLCIFT – Government of Costa Rica, Secured Transactions Workshop, March 2015

Two day training hosted by the Costa Rican Central Bank and the Ministry of Economy on the new Costa Rican Secured Transactions Law aimed at bankers, legal counsel and public officials.

  • NLCIFT – INL of the Department of State

Two-week practical courses in Mexico City with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico teaching criminal oral trial advocacy and skills to federal and local prosecutors, public defenders and judges.  Course design featured both lecture and practice sessions, focused on the resolution of hypothetical case, and included examples of reform interpretation based on Mexico’s recent legislation introducing oral trials.

  • NatLaw – International Finance Corporation (IFC) Colombia, Secured Transactions and Registry Reform International Legal Consultant, 2011 – August 2013

Comprehensive secured transactions law reform in Colombia, including field studies to determine local lending practices, advising on the drafting and implementation of the secured transactions law, advising on the secured transactions registry and conducting capacity building activities.

  • NLCIFT – Government of Costa Rica, Secured Transactions Law Reform, Legal Researcher, November 2012 – January 2013

Comprehensive secured transactions law reform in Costa Rica, including research to determine local lending practices and advising on the drafting and implementation of the secured transactions law.

Publications:

  • A proposal for UNCITRAL to develop a Model Law on Warehouse Receipts

Uniform Law Review, Volume 22, Issue 4, 1 December 2017, Pages 716–730 (co-authored with Dr. Marek Dubovec). See: https://academic.oup.com/ulr/article-abstract/22/4/716/4727952?redirectedFrom=fulltext

  • Recent Electronic Warehouse Receipts Developments in Mexico

Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2016. See: http://arizonajournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/16_Elias_199.pdf

  • The Challenges of the Mexican Intermediated Securities Holding System and Opportunities for Modernization

To be published by the Oregon Review of International Law in 2018 (co-authored with Dr. Marek Dubovec). See: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3040802

Affiliated Organizations:

  • Toastmasters International, 2013

Volunteer Work:

  • Asylum Program of Arizona Catholic Social Service, An Agency of Catholic Community Services, 2014

Languages:

  • English (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Fluent)
  • Portugese (Elementary proficiency)

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