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Leading Silks

Vaughan Lowe QC - Essex Court ChambersPeerless and in a class of his own, he ought to be the next UK judge at the ICJ.
Maurice Mendelson QC - Blackstone ChambersAn absolutely excellent lawyer and pre-eminent practitioner.
Sir Frank Berman QC - Essex Court ChambersAn elder statesman of PIL.
Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC - Twenty EssexA pre-eminent silk in public international law.
Rodney Dixon QC - Temple Garden ChambersHis research is impeccable, leading to a full mastery of his subject, and he commits fully to every task that he undertakes.
Zachary Douglas QC - Matrix ChambersHis knowledge of international and investment law is second to none.
Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC - Blackstone ChambersAn astute operator and is able to see things on a plane which others rarely can.
Toby Landau QC - Essex Court ChambersUndoubtedly one of the best.
Timothy Otty QC - Blackstone ChambersA real pleasure to work with, hard working, strong attention to detail and always willing to listen to others and adopt their ideas.
Philippe Sands QC - Matrix ChambersHe is exceptionally able, and the best orator I have seen in any court - he is totally dedicated to his clients, and to the maintenance of the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the top international lawyers, with deepest and extensive academic and practical knowledge and experience.
Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersAn obvious star. He stands out in the area of international arbitration, specifically in investment disputes.
Alex Bailin QC - Matrix ChambersSuperb on the law, extremely well prepared and clients love him. He is also a superb advocate.
Shaheed Fatima QC - Blackstone ChambersIncredibly responsive and flexible, she was able quickly and efficiently to get to grips with the detail of the evidence and the documents, and she was incredibly effective when doing so.
Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersHas a rare and considerable depth of knowledge of both public and private international law; his success in representing and working with government advisers and foreign counsel is in part due to his ability to apply international norms and English legal principles to matters of international investment and trade.
Maya Lester QC - Brick Court ChambersShe excels in preparing complicated pleadings which address many different arguments in overlapping fields including public international law. Her pleadings are always clear and effective.
Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersClassy, and brilliantly smart, a pleasure to work with and adored by clients for her ability to pull together a flawless case.
Khawar Qureshi QC - Serle CourtAn excellent lawyer and a go-to for clients.
Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersConsiders the legal and strategic issues in great depth and builds the authorities and arguments to present them most compellingly. Excellent with clients.
Michael Swainston QC - Brick Court ChambersHighly experienced in Russia-related disputes.
Sudhanshu Swaroop QC - Twenty EssexHe reads the lay of the land and assists to build a case from the very outset.

2019 Silks

Christopher Harris QC - 3 Verulam BuildingsHas a deep knowledge of investment treaty arbitration jurisprudence and strong legal and strategic instincts.
Guglielmo Verdirame QC - Twenty Essex ‘Top of the list for public international law. Very strong and highly knowledgable in international issues.

Leading Juniors

Lucas Bastin - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent asset to any legal team, his organised work is easy to follow up with regardless of how complex a case is, and he has excellent analytical capabilities and can segregate irrelevant or minor matters from crucial and more important matters.
Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh - Matrix ChambersA fiercely intelligent barrister.
Penelope Nevill - Twenty EssexOne of the leading public international law juniors at the English bar. Very clever, thoughtful and invariably right.
Amy Sander - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advocate, arguing her points with a clarity and fluency that is welcomed by the bench and appreciated by her colleagues.
Sean Aughey - Essex Court ChambersA really strong hands-on junior, unfazed by complex sets of facts, and with an exceptional and reliable sense of judgement, makes him all the more rare.
Alan Boyle - Essex Court ChambersA well-regarded PIL specialist.
Amal Clooney - Doughty Street ChambersShe is a brilliant legal mind, with strong interpersonal skills - highly diligent and detailed in her work, with a passionate commitment to the law and compassion for the people it serves.
Robert McCorquodale - Brick Court ChambersVery well known in academic and professional circles in public international law - an accomplished generalist, he is world leading in his work on human rights and self-determination and the intersection of human rights with other areas of law.
Kate Parlett - Twenty EssexGreat knowledge of the law and ability to communicate it to (non-specialist) lawyers and non-lawyers. Clear written advice. Fantastic cross-examination skills, including attention to detail, tenacity and just the right level of aggression.
Philippa Webb - Twenty EssexThe go-to expert on state immunity issues - well known for her expertise in ICJ practice, she is equally at home handling inter-state arbitration proceedings.
Can Yeginsu - 4 New SquareA first-class international lawyer, with a very impressive breadth of expertise in the field. He has an unusual breadth of experience, spanning both commercial law and human rights, which is a great asset in cases that include elements of both.
Tariq Baloch - 3 Verulam BuildingsExtremely capable, experienced and dynamic.
Michelle Butler - Matrix ChambersHighly diligent, knowledgeable, incredibly experienced, and hardworking, bright and tenacious. A pleasure to work with.
Edward Craven - Matrix ChambersHis practice has an international domestic crossover element to it, which adds to the sophistication of his practice.
Monica Feria-Tinta - Twenty EssexSharp intellect, dedication, excellent knowledge of the law, and experience - willing and able to think outside the box.
Matthieu Gregoire - 4 New SquareHe is a pleasure to work with, very able, hard working and dedicated. In addition to being dual qualified (France and England), he speaks and writes in both French and English to a native standard.
Paul Luckhurst - Blackstone ChambersA diligent and conscientious advocate, great to work with and possesses excellent drafting skills.
Belinda McRae - Twenty EssexShe has a superb grasp of substantive principles in arbitration law and in public international law.
Cameron Miles - 3 Verulam BuildingsEnthusiastic and energetic. An accomplished draftsperson with an encyclopaedic knowledge of public international law. Cameron is particularly reliable for sovereign immunity issues and investment arbitration.
Simon Olleson - Twenty EssexA powerful intellect and good to work with.
Naina Patel - Blackstone ChambersAn up-and-coming junior. Brilliant, thoughtful and diligent. Proactive and user-friendly.
Jason Pobjoy - Blackstone ChambersHe has an extraordinary legal mind and is an unusually fluent and articulate advocate.
Thomas Sebastian - Monckton ChambersOne of the most experienced, if not the most experienced, counsel on trade law issues in the UK, he is also excellent on investment treaty issues.
Christopher Staker - 39 Essex ChambersHe is a lawyer with deep knowledge, great experience and care for detail. His advice has been very on point, well-researched, constructive and helpful.
Mark Wassouf - 3 Verulam BuildingsMark has an extensive knowledge of the law in relation to investment arbitration and is easy to work with - his drafting skills are first class.
Paul Wee - 3 Verulam Buildings ‘A rising star who is becoming a go-to in the Public International Law sphere due to his excellent draftsmanship, knowledge of the law, and attention to detail.

Rising Stars

Emilie Gonin - Doughty Street ChambersAn excellent and committed junior who is a great team player and a joy to work with, she works seamlessly across French and English, and fights like a tiger for her clients.
Naomi Hart - Essex Court ChambersNot only is she super efficient and quick to respond to several different issues that may arise, her instincts are spot on when giving advice.
Jessica Jones - Matrix ChambersHighly intelligent, with excellent analytical ability, she writes extremely well, and works very well as part of a team.

Public international law in London Bar

Public international law (PIL) covers a wide variety of disciplines, but for the purpose of this section, the rankings are primarily identifying those barristers with a strong focus on state v state disputes, state immunity, sanctions, and investment treaty arbitrations. There is inevitably some overlap with other categories such as public law and international human rights law, but for a more exhaustive review of experts in those fields, please see the separate civil liberties and human rights and administrative and public law chapters.

3 Verulam Buildings

3 Verulam Buildings is 'increasingly developing genuine expertise and depth in Public International Law at all levels' and is considered by some to be a 'premier Investor State Arbitration chambers'. Christopher Harris QC is one of the set's best-known silks in this area, and more in recent years, he has been joined by several ex-solicitors with a strong track background in this area, including Tariq Baloch, Mark Wassouf, Paul Wee, and Cameron Miles. Recent highlights include The Nova Group BV v Romania, where Harris and Miles are representing Nova Group.

1 Garden Court

Blackstone Chambers has a superb reputation for public law, civil liberties and human rights, and is also extremely strong on the commercial side. This unique combination feeds into the extremely well-regarded public international law practices of some of its members, including market-leading practitioners such as Maurice Mendelson QC. Notable highlights include Reyes v Al-Malki in which Timothy Otty QC and Paul Luckhurst acted for the claimant in this critical diplomatic immunity case concerning human trafficking. Other key mandates include Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC's advice to the Cayman Islands Government on its constitutional negotiations with the UK.

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is 'well known as an excellent PIL set' and the 'counsel are consistently of top quality and involved in some of the highest-profile PIL work around'. The set has 'recruited well recently' with the arrival of Alison Macdonald QC from Matrix Chambers and Sean Aughey from 11KBW cementing its status at the top. Recent cases include Qatar v United Arab Emirates at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where Dan Sarooshi QC and Vaughan Lowe QC appeared on opposing sides. Macdonald also represented The Republic of Mauritius in a high profile ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Chagos Archipelago, in which Sam Wordsworth QC was opposing counsel.

Matrix Chambers

Matrix Chambers is an 'excellent chambers for State-to-State public international law disputes' and members such as Zachary Douglas QC are also noted for their strong expertise in investment treaty claims. Clients commend the 'very professional and well-run' set and its 'highly engaged and accommodating clerks'. It retains a strong stable of PIL specialists working at the intersection of commercial and public law. Highlights include Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh's advice to the Republic of Macedonia regarding its treaty negotiations with Greece. Philippe Sands QC also led Jessica Jones in The Gambia v Myanmar before the ICJ.

Twenty Essex

Twenty Essex is 'top of the list for public international law'. Clients appreciate that the 'powerhouse' set's 'very approachable' juniors and silks 'wear their considerable expertise lightly'. Two of the set's top members, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC and Sir Michael Wood KCMG served as principal legal advisers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and are now highly sought after as counsel. Both Bethlehem and Wood, as well as Guglielmo Verdirame QC, Philippa Webb, and Sudhanshu Swaroop QC, are representing Italy in a dispute with India, following the 'Enrica Lexie' Incident, before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Verdirame QC was also a member of the government's legal team advising on the controversial Internal Markets Bill. Chambers' junior ranks have been bolstered by the arrival of Simon Olleson from Three Stone.