Experience & Activities

Karima has a strong academic background, with extensive practical experience and a driving passion centered in dispute resolution, innovation and international law. Her many interests are what have ultimately made her a very well-rounded professional.


Adjunct Professor

ULACIT University: Created and designed the first postgraduate degree in Costa Rica on international dispute resolution: “Especialización en Arbitraje CICA-ULACIT”. Currently serve as the program’s academic director and teach the “International Investment Arbitration” course. Additionally, teach the JD Program’s “Arbitration” course.


LEAD University: Teach the “Arbitration” course of the Corporate Law Master’s Degree.

Often invited to participate as speaker in international conferences and seminars.



Karima has more than 10 years of experience in investment and commercial arbitrations, having worked on cases under the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, SCC and CICA rules of arbitration. Her trajectory in international arbitration includes experience in multiple roles, such as: 

  • Counsel

  • Tribunal Secretary 

  • Consultant

  • Arbitrator 


• Young ITA Mentorship Program Chair, Institute for Transnational Arbitration, 2019-Present.

• Co-representative for Costa Rica, Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, 2018-Present.

• Coordinator, Costa Rica Legal Hackers, 2019-Present.

• Regional Chair for Mexico and Central America, Institute for Transnational Arbitration, 2017-2019.

• Elected, Young ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration) Mentoring Program, 2018-Present.

• Contributing Member, Paniamor, 2018-Present.

• Member, Board of Directors, Costa Rican International Law Association, 2009-2012.

• Member, Board of Directors, Costa Rican Demographic Association, 2009-2012.

Selected Publications

• “Robot arbitrators? Stranger than Fiction”, K. Sauma in “Arbitration and Technology”, Chipana and Duarte (eds.), Forthcoming, 2020.

• “Foreign Investment and Investment Arbitration in Costa Rica”, K. Sauma, in “Foreign Investment and Investment Arbitration in Latin America”, C. Esplugues Mota (ed.), Editorial Tirant Lo Blanch, Valencia, 2020.

• “David Aven et al versus Costa Rica”, K. Sauma, Latin American Commercial and Investment Arbitration Bulletin, Year IV | Number 44, 18 October 2018.

• “Pura Vida: From Costa Rica to the World”, F. Castro, K. Sauma, Markets and Trends Magazine, August 2018.

• “CAFTA-DR: The Experience under Chapter 10”, K. Sauma, Transnational Dispute Management 5 (2016), Latin America, Volume 13, Issue #05, November 2016.

• “Transparency and Chapter 10 of CAFTA-DR”, A. González, A. Arce, K. Sauma, ACODI, Costa Rican Magazine of International Law, V Edition, II Semester 2016.

• “The Possibility of Costa Rican Nonprofit Organizations of Gaining Access to the Dispute Resolution Mechanisms of International Investment Law”, K. Sauma, University of Costa Rica, 2011.

Representative Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "From Promise to Practice: How to Raise the Bar for Diversity in International Arbitration?", Columbia Arbitration Day, New York, 6 March 2020.

The state of play in investor state arbitration: are we in for the roaring 20s or the big crash? NYIAC, New York, 4 March 2020.

Speaker, “Preventing Corruption in Arbitration”, Instituto Peruano de Arbitraje, Lima, Perú, 26 February 2020.

• Speaker, “The Future of Law Firms”, Latin America Legal Hackers Summit, Panama City, 14 February 2020.

• Speaker, “Government Procurement and Investment Arbitration”, CYA Arbitration Day, Costa Rica, 4 October 2019.

• Speaker, “The State’s Regulatory Authority v. Investment Arbitration”, UFM, Guatemala, 3 October 2019.

• Speaker, “The Disputes of the Future”, Conference – Lawyers of the Future, Perú, 2 August 2019.

• Speaker, “Investment Arbitration in Costa Rica”, Inter-American Bar Association Conference, Costa Rica, 20 June 2019.

• Speaker, “Prevention and Management of Labor Claims”, Lead University, Costa Rica, 29 March 2019.

• Speaker, “Arbitrating from Different Perspectives”, Columbia Arbitration Day, New York, 7 March 2019.

• Speaker, “Practices, Trends and Takeaways on Latin American Arbitration Centers”, NYIAC Talks, New York, 6 March 2019.

• Moderator, “The Trajectory of IA in Latin America”, Young ITA Talks, Mexico City, 7 February 2019.

• Speaker, Training for Government Officials from Central America on Investment Arbitration, Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana (SIECA), Guatemala City, December 2018.

• Moderator, “Arbitration and E-Commerce – Applicable Law”, CYA Arbitration Day, San José, 11 October 2018.

• Speaker, “Arbitration for Entrepreneurs”, ULACIT University, San José, August 2018.

• Moderator, Conference: “Innovation, Technology and the Law”, San José, July 2018.

• Speaker, “A Tour Around the Arbitration World”, 30th Annual ITA Workshop, Dallas, June 2018.

• Speaker, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: A Human Rights Perspective”, University of Costa Rica, June 2018.

• Moderator, “Arbitration, Human Rights and Peace”, ULACIT University, San José, March 2018.

• Speaker, “Evolution of ADR in Costa Rica”, Costa Rican Bar, San José, September 2017.

• Speaker, “Commercial Arbitration: New Perspectives”, ULACIT University, San José, September 2017.

• Moderator, “Impact of the New Code of Civil Procedure”, San José, March 2017.

• Speaker, “Central America & the Caribbean as a Business Hub for the Americas”, Chambers GC Seminar, San José, 2017.

• Speaker, “Arbitration and Mediation”, San José University, November 2016.

• Speaker, “Arbitration and Consumer Rights”, V Arbitration Day, San José, October 2016.

• Speaker, I Investment Arbitration Seminar, ICSID and CYA, San José, Costa Rica, July 2016.

• Speaker, “Resolving Disputes between Investors and States: Understanding the Experience of the Americas”, ABA Section of International Law, Americas Regional Forum, Miami, Florida, February 2016.