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Leading Silks

Zachary Douglas KC – 3 Verulam BuildingsHe is one of the outstanding international lawyers of his generation. He is one of a handful of counsel whose oral advocacy has changed the minds of arbitrators on fundamental issues.
Sir Daniel Bethlehem KCMG KCTwenty Essex ‘Incredible strategic vision combined with a forensic approach make Daniel a Grand Master in his field.’
Vaughan Lowe KCEssex Court ChambersThe superstar in the PIL field.
Maurice Mendelson KCBlackstone Chambers ‘A world-class legal scholar and barrister. He has a deep knowledge of international investment law, is a logical thinker and his advice is written in plain language, which evidences that he has a true command of very complicated and novel legal issues in international law.’
Toby Landau KCChambers of Toby Landau KC ‘Toby is extremely sharp and clear in his analysis of the issues. He provides a lot of clarity when firms have brain storming sessions with other counsel involved and the clients and would distill complicated arguments into straight-forward propositions easily understood. Toby also presents his argument very persuasively and is one of the best advocates solicitors have come across.‘
Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCBlackstone Chambers 'Sir Jeffrey has so much experience that he is incredibly authoritative.'
Alison Macdonald KCEssex Court ChambersExceptionally hard-working, diligent and collegial. A meticulous and very effective cross-examiner. Calm and convincing under pressure. A true team player and overall a delight to work with.'
Timothy Otty KCBlackstone Chambers ‘The most impressive advocate, and without doubt the finest barrister practising public international law, state and diplomatic immunity.'
Philippe Sands KC11KBWThe leading silk at the Bar for public international law.’
Sam Wordsworth KCEssex Court Chambers ‘Top of the game. And fantastic to work with.’
Alex Bailin KCMatrix Chambers ‘Alex is wildly clever - a true polymath who excels in numerous areas of law. His advocacy is superb: calm, measured and highly persuasive.’
Shaheed Fatima KCBlackstone Chambers ‘Very knowledgeable and experienced in public international law. A good team player, working closely with solicitors and clients. Clear and persuasive advocate.'
Christopher Harris KC3 Verulam Buildings ‘An outstanding individual, combining both intellectual sharpness with very good presentation skills and high social skills. His understanding of the principles of public international law and in particular of bilateral and multilateral investment protection treaties is outstanding.’
Ben Juratowitch KC - Essex Court Chambers 'Has a brilliant legal mind. He is an excellent strategist, an incisive analyst and an eloquent and persuasive advocate. He is always accessible and responsive, and has an outstanding ability to present complex issues and ideas in simple and understandable ways.'
Paul Key KCEssex Court Chambers ‘Paul is an excellent academic lawyer who is able to distill his knowledge into persuasive submissions. Always keen to explore any avenues that may assist the client.'
Maya Lester KCBrick Court Chambers ‘Phenomenal drafter, strong work ethic, amazingly responsive, top of the tree of sanctions.’
Wendy Miles KCTwenty Essex ‘Very knowledgeable, in all fields. Thinks outside the box to preserve the client's interest in the best way possible.’
Dan Sarooshi KCEssex Court Chambers ‘He has a deep knowledge of international law from an academic and practical perspective. He is authoritative and persuasive as an advocate.'
Sudhanshu Swaroop KCTwenty Essex'Complete understanding of public international law and all the intricacies of caselaw. Carefully considers and provides reasoned and comprehensive answers to complex questions. Never overwhelmed by the magnitude of the matter or issues at stake.'
Guglielmo Verdirame KCTwenty Essex ‘He explains matters so clearly, is brilliant with clients and has the brain the size of a planet. He is a persuasive advocate and just a class act.’

2022 Silks

Lucas Bastin KCEssex Court Chambers ‘Lucas has developed an important practice in investment treaty arbitration, in which he has long practiced and has built up all the right skills and tools. He knows all the cases (he also teaches) and is an excellent advocate. His mastery of quantum issues is another plus that makes him stand out.’

Leading Juniors

Sean AugheyEssex Court Chambers ‘Quite simply superb: Sean has a remarkable work ethic combined with incredible analytical powers, and an ability to retain and recall vast quantities of information. Very easy to work with: he gets to the point and is refreshingly un-flashy.’
Amal ClooneyDoughty Street Chambers ‘Her courtroom advocacy is crystal clear in focus and highly persuasive.’
Blinne Ní GhrálaighMatrix Chambers ‘The depth of her knowledge on tactics, procedure and the substantive issues of the case, both legal and factual is frankly staggering. She has a brilliant mind but it is not just that, she works extremely hard for her clients and brings real commitment to the case. She is also very good in court.’
Penelope NevillTwenty Essex 'Very quick and astute with a broad range of knowledge across areas. Willing to engage with any question no matter how big or small and always happy to get stuck into the laborious detail. Calm and diligent.'
Kate ParlettTwenty Essex ‘First rate intellect, very well-organised mind, very diligent and able to get on with whatever the task – including complex factual and expert issues.’
Amy SanderEssex Court Chambers ‘Amy is undoubtedly one of the top senior juniors, who is really almost a silk - viz the exceptional standard of her advocacy and strength of her analytical mind.'
Michelle ButlerMatrix ChambersAn excellent international lawyer with an outstanding capacity to address complex and novel factual issues. Thanks to these qualities combined, she is brilliant at expert witness examination.'
Edward CravenMatrix Chambers ‘Edward is an outstanding public international law junior. He is able to assimilate huge amounts of information very quickly and provide incisive advice. Edward's oral advocacy is second to none.’
Matthieu Gregoire4 New Square ‘Matthieu is a fantastic bilingual (English & French) lawyer with strong technical skills and business acumen. He is very good at identifying strengths and weaknesses in a case.’
Paul LuckhurstBlackstone ChambersClearly a star in the field, with a calm and persuasive advocacy style. 
Robert McCorquodaleBrick Court Chambers ‘Robert is very personable and smooth on his feet. He has an impressive background in all aspects of public international law, with particular expertise in business and human rights.'
Belinda McRaeTwenty Essex ‘Combines a stellar academic knowledge of public international law with formidable strategic and practical deployment.’
Cameron Miles3 Verulam Buildings ‘Cameron is a high energy and high impact junior in the PIL field, who has done well to develop a strong practice in the area through sheer hard work and ability.’
Jason PobjoyBlackstone ChambersJason is superb. He must be the leading junior in the field of international sanctions. He is incredibly hard working and knowledgeable, while at the same time being very personable and engaging. He is a pleasure to work with and clients love him.’
Christopher Staker39 Essex Chambers ‘Very good at digging through massively detailed papers in order to get a clear picture of the problem. Delivers sound, clear and nuanced advice.’
Mark Wassouf3 Verulam Buildings ‘He is exceptionally forensic without losing sight of the big picture and has a deep knowledge of public international law. Mark is also impressive on his feet.'
Philippa WebbTwenty Essex ‘Philippa is an intellectual force to be reckoned with. She has masses of wealth of knowledge of public international law just simply stored in her head. Even though her academic credentials are impeccable, she is still practical and makes her advice and drafting accessible.’
Paul WeeEssex Court ChambersRight at the top of the list of barristers you want on your side – sharp, brilliant and hard working.’
Can Yeginsu – 3 Verulam Buildings ‘Can is a superb advocate who in our experience always has the ear of the Court or international Tribunal. He instils confidence with an encyclopaedic knowledge of international law – bringing the gravitas of being a professor in international law – but is also a master strategist.’
Zahra Al-Rikabi – Brick Court Chambers ‘Zahra is an elite barrister, who is able to manage extremely difficult and complex cases with aplomb.’
Tariq Baloch3 Verulam BuildingsTariq is both exceptionally knowledgeable about the law and exceptionally clear in his analysis. He is able to examine very complex legal issues and reduce them to fundamental points which are then easy for everybody to understand. He also presents his views in very measured and considered tones which carry great weight with a tribunal.'
Monica Feria-TintaTwenty EssexMonica is extremely responsive, personable and knowledgeable regarding public international law issues particularly in the human rights field.’
Emilie Gonin – Brick Court Chambers ‘Emilie is a tremendous advocate and very knowledgeable, particularly on investment treaty arbitration.'
Edward HoBrick Court Chambers ‘Up and coming international lawyer with particular skill in investment treaty matters. He will go far.’
Jackie McArthur  - Essex Court Chambers 'Hard working, very clear, very smart and very thorough, as well as being a pleasure to work with.'
Simon OllesonTwenty Essex ‘A great supporting junior, with wide experience before international tribunals. A great asset to legal teams working in this field.’
Naina PatelBlackstone Chambers ‘Naina has a thorough knowledge of international law and is able to deal with very complex and last-minute issues in a calm and reassuring way. Her submissions are meticulous and first-rate.’
Jennifer Robinson  - Doughty Street Chambers 'Jennifer is a superb barrister. She is very quick at gathering the key evidentiary and argument elements of a case and determining the best approach to take. She is intelligent and enormously capable, and a formidable advocate for her clients.'
Thomas SebastianMonckton Chambers ‘Tom is an excellent advocate, and has great strategic judgement. This is someone you want in your team for the most complex and challenging international law disputes, particularly if it involves a trade element.’
Jonathan Worboys4 New Square ‘Jonathan has an in-depth knowledge of international law. He is very creative in terms of constructing legal arguments. He is well liked by clients and teams alike. He is a persuasive and charming advocate.’

Rising Stars

Naomi HartEssex Court Chambers ‘Naomi has a brilliant mind and her analytical skills are exceptional. Her practice in PIL is growing quickly, and rightly so. She is excellent in the investor state dispute field, but in pure state-versus-state cases also.’

Public international law in London Bar

Brick Court Chambers

Brick Court Chambers has ‘an impressive reputation in commercial law and public law‘ which it is combining to good effect in the public international law arena.  The set fields a strong selection of commercial juniors with good experience of investment treaty disputes, state v state claims and the overlap with EU and human rights law. Notable recent cases include Maya Lester KC‘s advice to Meta before the ECHR in Meta v Russian Federation, concerning rights to free expression with regard to posts by Facebook’s users supporting Alexei Navalny. Emilie Gonin and Edward Ho  are advising the claimant in the $150m investment treaty claim Patel Engineering v Mozambique concerning a major railway and harbour development project. Zahra Al-Rikabi  is also making a strong name for herself and is representing the Qatari state-owned broadcaster Al-Jazeera in Al-Jazeera v Egypt, a BIT dispute concerning the cancellation of its broadcasting licence and compulsory closure of its local branch.

Testimonials

Set 

 ‘Excellent set.’

‘Brick Court Chambers occupies the very top of food chain for international law, no question’

‘Brick Court has an impressive reputation in commercial law and public law.’

Clerking

‘Very helpful clerks.’ 

‘Truly excellent service.’

‘Tony Burgess is excellent ‘

3 Verulam Buildings

3 Verulam Buildings has made a strong push into the public international law arena, and the recent arrival of Can Yeginsu  from 4 New Square adds further weight to its overall offering. Clients appreciate the ‘high spirit of team work and efficient allocation of tasks‘, while the set’s deep bench of experienced juniors makes it ‘a commercially attractive option over other sets‘. Notable cases include Carlyle v Morocco, a $400m ICSID arbitration concerning investments into an oil refinery in which Christopher Harris KC, Mark Wassouf and Cameron Miles are acting for the Moroccan government.

Testimonials

Set 

‘The set as a whole has top of the line expertise in public international law. Unlike other sets, 3VB has talented counsel in public international law from the junior to the silk. At other sets, we find that public international law skills are usually offered by the silks. But 3VB offers these services at a relatively junior level which makes them a commercially attractive option over other sets.’

‘The set at 3 Verulam Buildings is well organised and has a high spirit of team work and efficient allocation of tasks.’

‘Very strong for international arbitration and public international law.’

‘They have a large number of leading practitioners with real expertise and deep specialisms in energy disputes, arbitration and public international law.’

Clerking

‘Responsive and demonstrate a willingness to engage in building a long-term relationship.’

‘The clerks at 3VB are extraordinarily commercial and flexible in their approach. They are prompt and accessible. Stuart Pullum is an exceptionally pleasant and responsive leader.’

‘Always had good dealings with the clerks, who are friendly and easy to work with.’

Work highlights

    Blackstone Chambers

    Blackstone Chambers is one of the ‘absolute leading sets‘ for public international law, fielding an ‘excellent bench of juniors and fantastic leaders‘. The set caters for a broad range of issues, including ICSID claims, state v state disputes, as well as broader diplomatic immunity issues and the overlap with the international protection of human rights. Recent notable cases include Maduro Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela v Guaidó Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela, a dispute over control of nearly $2bn in Venezuelan gold reserves held at the Bank of England. The case, which went to the Supreme Court, involved multiple members, including Timothy Otty KC for the Guaidó Board and Jeffrey Jowell KC and Naina Patel  for the Maduro Board; Jason Pobjoy was on the team representing the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office. Otty was also part of the team successfully representing Ukraine in a $6bn Energy Charter Treaty claim, Littop v Ukraine, concerning allegedly unlawful changes to Ukraine’s corporate governance legislation.

    Testimonials

    Set 

    ‘The public law barristers at Blackstone are of a very high caliber. They are exceptionally bright and dedicated to their work. ‘

    ‘First class. Some of the work has involved instructing juniors to advise in different areas of law and there has never been a drop in standards of conduct or the excellence of the work provided. There is a significant buy-in and good will to the abilities of the chambers.’

    ‘One of the absolute leading sets in this area. Excellent bench of juniors and fantastic leaders.’

    ‘Blackstone is a very impressive set, and I am yet to work with any barrister there who has disappointed.’

    Blackstone is an excellent set and highly regarded in the market.’

    Clerking

    ‘Marc Armstrong is well organised and responsive.’

    ‘First class. Always supportive. Always flexible. Always responsive.’

    ‘Well-clerked set – Danny Compton stands out.’ 

    ‘Adam Sloane is very approachable, helpful and responsive.’

    ‘All the clerks with whom I had any dealings provided the most excellent service. They were completely honest in their appraisals and incisive in their recommendations. They responded quickly and effectively to every enquiry. ‘

    Work highlights

      Essex Court Chambers

      Essex Court Chambers is a ‘first rate chambers with real strength in depth across the board‘ and is widely considered ‘among the best in the business for public international law‘. The set fields a broad mix of academics and commercial barristers with a wide range of expertise in public international law, from cases before the International Court of Justice through to ICSID claims and state versus state disputes. Its ranks were boosted through the recruitment of the highly experienced Ben Juratowitch KC from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Recent highlights include Mauritius v Maldives, a maritime delineation case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea over the Chagos Archipelago, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, in which Alison Macdonald KC represented the Mauritian government, with Amy Sander  and Naomi Hart  for the Maldivian state. Malcolm Shaw KC also acted on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a dispute with Qatar (represented by Vaughan Lowe KC) concerning a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organisation over airspace restrictions on flights to and from Qatar.

      Testimonials

      Set

      ‘This is clearly a top set in international law.’

      These are first rate chambers with real strength in depth across the board.’

      ‘Essex Court Chambers is among the best in the business for public international law.’

      ‘A chambers with a top quality choice of barristers.’

      ‘You can’t beat Essex Court – there is no one in that chambers I would not consider instructing.’

      Clerking 

      ‘Clerks are efficient and professional.’

      ‘Joe Ferrigno is service orientated and helpful.’

      ‘They are well-clerked, and the clerks make real efforts to make your preferred counsel available.’

      Work highlights

        Matrix Chambers

        Matrix Chambers is praised for its ‘highly experienced and motivated lawyers, with an in-depth knowledge of international law and a hard-to-match experience before international tribunals‘. The set’s members have a diverse range of expertise including investment treaty claims, state-versus-state disputes and cases before the ECHR and ICJ. Notable cases include Somalia v Kenya, in which Edward Craven  is representing the Somali government in a maritime boundary dispute with Kenya.  Michelle Butler acts for Congo in reparations proceedings linked to the ICJ dispute Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda concerning human rights violations carried out by the Ugandan government during the Second Congo War. Alex Bailin KC has been very active on the diplomatic immunity side.

        Testimonials

        Set

        ‘Matrix is a go to set for complex public international law disputes.’

        ‘Matrix Chambers remains an excellent set for public international law work.’

        ‘The experience has consistently been the finest one could dream of in that type of context: highly experienced and motivated lawyers, with an in-depth knowledge of international law and a hard-to-match experience before international tribunals, coupled with a high sense of probity and decency.’

        Work highlights

          Twenty Essex

          Offering ‘perfect service‘ and ‘great breadth and depthTwenty Essex is an ‘outstanding chambers‘ that is ‘first choice for sensitive government matters and public international law‘. The set has an extremely broad selection of silks and juniors from a wide range of backgrounds, including former Legal Advisers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office such as Sir Michael Wood KCMG and Sir Daniel Bethlehem KC. Sudhanshu Swaroop KC and Penelope Nevill are currently representing the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in Duarte Agostinho v Portugal & Ors, a claim before the ECHR brought by six Portuguese children against the Portuguese government and 32 other states including the UK over their failure to meet climate change commitments. Philippa Webb  is also representing a Filipino former domestic worker in the Saudi Arabian embassy in London in Wong v Basfar, a dispute before the Supreme Court concerning diplomatic immunity to cases of human trafficking and modern slavery.

          Testimonials

          Set 

          ‘Extremely strong. Champions League.’

          ‘Twenty Essex is an excellent set in PIL, with many first rate practitioners.’

          ‘Twenty Essex is our chambers of first choice for sensitive government matters and public international law. It is an outstanding chambers.’

          ‘Great breadth and depth.’

          Clerking

          ‘Perfect service.’ 

          Work highlights