The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Essex Court Chambers

Living Wage
Work 020 7813 8000
Fax 020 7813 8080
London, Singapore

Sir Franklin Berman QC

Work 020 7813 8000
Essex Court Chambers (Essex Court Chambers)


Specialises in international arbitration and advisory work in international law. 50-year career in international law and diplomacy spanning a wide and varied field, including settlement of disputes; the law of treaties; state responsibility; diplomatic and state immunity; maritime delimitation; the law of the Continental shelf; outer space and nuclear energy; the law of international organisations; the UN Security Council; the laws of war and neutrality; international criminal tribunals; and numerous other areas. In light of this extensive experience, he is highly qualified for advisory work in all areas of public international law, for international dispute settlement proceedings of all kinds and for international commercial and investment arbitration. Has served as judge ad hoc at the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Certain Property (Liechtenstein v Germany). Recent appointment by the Lord Chief Justice as the legal member of the Court of Arbitration between Pakistan and India under the Indus Waters Treaty confirms his high international standing in the field. Recently successfully represented Cambodia before the International Court in the case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear. Appointed by the British government in 2004 to the list of arbitrators under the Washington Convention (ICSID). Currently sitting or has recently sat in five ICSID arbitrations as chairman (MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company Plc v Republic of Croatia; Víctor Pey Casado and President Allende Foundation v Republic of Chile; The Rompetrol Group NV v Romania; Alemanni v Argentine Republic; Global Trading Resource Corp & ors v Ukraine); and seven as party-appointed arbitrator, both claimant and host state (F-W Oil Interests, Inc v Republic of Trinidad & Tobago; Bayindir Insaat Turizm Ticaret Ve Sanayi AS v Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Russell Resources International Ltd & ors v Democratic Republic of the Congo; Libananco Holdings Co Ltd v Republic of Turkey; Marion Unglaube v Republic of Costa Rica; Reinhard Unglaube v Republic of Costa Rica; Vattenfall AB & ors v Federal Republic of Germany); and in four ICSID annulment proceedings (Consortium RFCC v Kingdom of Morocco; Empresas Lucchetti v Peru; CECF Transgabonais v Republic of Gabon; Togo Électricité-GDF Suez v Togo); as well as in arbitrations under the ICC, Stockholm Arbitration Institute and LCIA (sole arbitrator), and ad hoc. Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK); in 2006, the Republic of Austria awarded him the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Star and in 2013 the Kingdom of Cambodia the Grand Croix de l’Ordre Royal.


HM Diplomatic Service 1965; legal adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office 1991-99; Essex Court Chambers since 2000; visiting professor of International Law at Oxford and the University of Cape Town.


Former chairman Diplomatic Service Appeal Board, Appeals Boards of the WEU and IOPCF; chair Claims Committee of the Austrian General Settlement Fund for Victims of Nazi persecution; Permanent Court of Arbitration 2010 to date. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law.

London Bar

Public international law

Within: Public international law – Leading silks

Sir Frank Berman KCMG QC - Essex Court ChambersClearly respected by institutions on all sides.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to