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Stephen Fietta QC

Work 0203 889 9800
Fietta LLP


Stephen Fietta QC is the firm’s founder and principal. He is ranked by Chambers Global Directory as one of the world’s top public international law practitioners.

He has practised at the forefront of public international law, whether within government or private practice, for more than 20 years. He has advised on cases before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights and multiple domestic courts. He has one of the world’s most prolific and longstanding practices in investment arbitration, having appeared in more than 30 pending and decided cases under the World Bank (ICSID), UNCITRAL and other rules.  He has won some of the largest or most notable investment arbitration awards over recent years.

Before establishing Fietta in 2015, Stephen co-founded the world’s first specialist public international law firm (Volterra Fietta) in 2011. Prior to that, he was a partner specialising in public international law at a leading US and global law firm. Both of those practices were top-ranked at the time. Stephen regularly manages large teams of lawyers (including co-counsel), experts and witnesses in multiple jurisdictions.

Stephen is a Visiting Senior Lecturer at King’s College, London. In January 2015, Stephen was awarded the Smit-Lowenfeld Prize by the International Arbitration Club of New York for the best article published globally in the field of international arbitration, entitled Public International Law, Investment Treaties and Commercial Arbitration: an emerging system of complementarity? Stephen has co-authored (with Dr Robin Cleverly) A Practitioners Guide to Maritime Delimitation, published in March 2016, which has subsequently been cited before both the ICJ and ITLOS.


Fietta LLP, principal (2015 onward); Volterra Fietta, co-founder and principal (2011 to 2015); Latham & Watkins, partner (2009 to 2011), senior associate (2005 to 2008); Herbert Smith, associate (2002 to 2005); United Kingdom Government (Home Office), lawyer (1997 to 2002), (with 18-month secondment as UK National Expert to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (2001 to 2002)), Herbert Smith, associate (1997), trainee solicitor (1995 to 1997); Kings College London, 2003 to date, visiting senior lecturer in MA course ‘Geopolitics, Territory and Security’; University College London, 2005 to date, external examiner on LLM course, ‘International Law of Foreign Investment’ 2003-04; co-lecturer in LLM course ‘International Law of Natural Resources’. Publications of note: Author of “A Practitioner's Guide to Maritime Boundary Delimitation”, March 2016; various articles in Journal of International Arbitration, American Journal of International Law, Arbitration International, Journal of World Trade and Investment, International Arbitration Law Review; winner of the Smit-Lowenfeld Prize 2015 (awarded by the International Arbitration Club of New York) for his article ‘Public International Law, Investment Treaties and Commercial Arbitration: an emerging system of complementarity?’ (co-authored with Dr James Upcher).


English (native), French and Italian




Queen’s Counsel (appointed January 2019)

Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings) (2016)

Admitted to practise in England & Wales (1997)

B.A. (1993) and M.A. (1994) in Law, University of Cambridge, Winner, Cambridge University Prize for Commercial Law

Legal Practice Course (Distinction), University of Law, Guildford

Stephen is a Visiting Senior Lecturer at Kings College London, where he teaches the MA course “Geopolitics, Territory and Security”

Stephen has also lectured on various public international law topics on LLM and MSc courses at University College London (UCL), the London School of Economics (LSE) and University of Southampton


Cycling, tennis, skiing, history, philosophy and writing 

London: Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Within: International arbitration

Fietta LLP 'has a large case load and has talent from top to bottom'. The firm is widely respected for its experience in investor-state arbitration. Stephen Fietta QC, who took silk in 2019, has secured numerous substantial awards for his state and investor clients; Jiries Saadeh and Ashique Rahman were promoted to partner and counsel, respectively. Oonagh Sands and Laura Rees-Evans are the senior associates to note.

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Public international law

Within: Leading individuals

Stephen Fietta QC - Fietta LLP

Within: Public international law

Arguably, 'one of the leading boutique practices in public international law', Fietta LLP has substantial expertise in investment treaty proceedings, maritime boundary disputes and human rights matters. The practice is regularly instructed by sovereign states, corporate, individual and NGO clients across a wide spectrum of public international law matters. Stephen Fietta QC has 'an outstanding reputation' in investment treaty arbitration and often leads on high-profile and substantial claims, including acting for a large group of Greek investors in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Cyprus arising from the Cypriot financial crisis and European Union/IMF bail-out of 2013. Also of note are recently promoted partner Jiries Saadeh, counsel Ashique Rahman and associates Oonagh Sands and Laura Rees-Evans.

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