Firms To Watch: Public international law

Paxus is a new public international law, international arbitration and business & human rights boutique launched in June 2022 by Suzanne Spears, the former co-head of Allen & Overy’s global business and human rights practice.
Advising on all aspects of investor-state arbitration, independent disputes practice Vail Dispute Resolution was launched in 2019 by former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and White & Case LLP arbitration lawyer, Tomas Vail.
In September 2020, Brussels-based firm Van Bael & Bellis opened up Van Bael & Bellis (London) LLP, quickly expanding its international, EU and UK law teams with key hires, including the 2021 addition of Nick Lawn (a former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP counsel) as partner and head of the London-based international dispute resolution team.

Firms in the Spotlight Public international law

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

Ronald Fletcher Baker has an established track record of success in even the most complex cases. Litigation and Dispute Resolution has been a focus of the firm since its inception in 1948, and our highly experienced team is widely recognised for its skill in this area. The firm deals with a broad range of commercial …

View Profile...

Public international law in London

Allen & Overy LLP

In addition to bilateral and multilateral investment treaty-related disputes, Allen & Overy LLP's London public international law (PIL) team advises on international treaties and conventions, international sanctions regimes, sovereign immunity and state succession issues, along with boundary claims, international humanitarian law, and trade and WTO issues. London PIL practice head Mark Levy KC acts in major investment treaty arbitration cases; Andrew Denny is head of the business and human rights group; James Freeman acts in heavyweight investment treaty claims; and Matthew Townsend specialises in trade-related matters. At counsel level, Naomi Briercliffe's experience includes claims against states; and Sarah Garvey is 'one of the best lawyers around'. In 2022 the firm hired investment treaty and PIL specialist David Herlihy from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, with Kate Davies KC going in the opposite direction; and promoted investment treaty disputes specialist Guled Yusuf to partner. Suzanne Spears left in 2022 to set up a specialist business and human rights boutique.

Practice head(s):

Mark Levy KC

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Denny; James Freeman; Matthew Townsend; David Herlihy; Guled Yusuf; Naomi Briercliffe; Sarah Garvey; Katrina Limond

Testimonials

‘The bench strength and scope of experience is pretty jaw-dropping. The partners are at the bleeding edge of their respective fields, and they can go toe-to-toe with just about any firm that might appear on the other side.’

‘This team has been built up to include some senior and junior team members, and covers a wide variety of issues, from litigation to transactional, and across a range of sectors.’

‘One area of particular skill is in business and human rights matters.’

‘Versatility and breadth of experience – not only international public law, but also EU law and experience with international organisations. Unique knowledge of Brexit issues!’

‘A large and very well-integrated law firm, with strong expertise in the area of public international law and arbitration.’

‘Andrew Denny is excellent. Calm, very capable and a team player.’

‘Guled Yusuf is a rock star. I have yet to meet a lawyer of his seniority who brings a better level of technical know-how, combined with sheer coolness under pressure.’

‘Counsel Sarah Garvey is one of the best lawyers around – she is knowledgeable, creative, responsive, and always available to answer the most complex legal queries at extremely short notice.’

Key clients

The Republic of Peru

The Federal Republic of Somalia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Republic of Korea

The Kingdom of Morocco

The United Arab Emirates

Genossenschaft Elektra Baselland

Work highlights

  • Defending the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against an investment treaty claim brought against it at ICSID by Turkish construction company DSG Yapi.
  • Defending investment treaty claims at ICSID that were brought by Swedish company Corral Morocco Holdings, and French telecoms company Finetis and its Casablanca-based subsidiary Finetis Maroc.
  • Defending the United Arab Emirates against an investment treaty claim commenced at ICSID by BM Mühendislik ve İnşaat.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP‘s recent track record includes ongoing treaty negotiations for the UK; international human rights cases; representing governments and companies in investment treaty claims; and advising on government policy compliance with trade and investment treaties. The practice is jointly led by Rae Lindsay, whose practice covers business and human rights, and the status, immunities and privileges of international organisations; highly rated investment treaty protection specialist Audley Sheppard KC; and Jessica Gladstone, who focuses on PIL and international disputes, climate change, international trade, sanctions, and business and human rights. The second line of advisers features UK and European sanctions head Michael Lyons; and at senior associate level, Anna Kirkpatrick frequently leads on PIL work, Carla Lewis focuses on EU and UK restrictive measures, Christina Schuetz is an investment treaty arbitration expert, Anne Collins is a PIL specialist, and Jeremy Stewart advises on WTO law and free trade agreements.

Practice head(s):

Rae Lindsay; Audley Sheppard KC; Jessica Gladstone

Other key lawyers:

Michael Lyons; Anna Kirkpatrick; Carla Lewis; Christina Schuetz; Anne Collins; Jeremy Stewart; Kieran John McCarthy; Roland Scarlett

Key clients

His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King Emeritus of Spain

UK Government

Standard Chartered Bank

Novonor

Government of Belize

World Economic Forum

IMS

Work highlights

  • Appointed to advise the UK Department for International Trade on the drafting and implementation of its continuity free trade agreements with several non-EU countries.
  • Representing IMS in relation to enforcement proceedings brought in the English Commercial Court by the Ministry of Defence & Support for Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in relation to two ICC Arbitration Awards issued in 2001.
  • Advising Belize on its climate policy and legislative agenda, including in connection with carbon credits and agreements (consistent with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement).

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

One of the leading PIL firms in the world‘, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s London practice consistently acts for sovereign governments, corporations, international organisations, NGOs and high-profile individuals. Recent work ranges from BIT claims, humanitarian law and international human rights law, to international environmental law, Law Of The Sea, state immunity, and acts of state doctrine. Former UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith KC is global co-chair of the firm’s PIL group, his track record including appearing before several international courts and tribunals; Samantha Rowe focuses on PIL and international arbitration matters; and co-head of the firm’s Africa practice group, Patrick Taylor, advises on PIL issues, human rights and investment disputes. The second line of practitioners features experienced international counsels Aimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake, along with senior associate Merryl Lawry-White, who ‘has excellent knowledge and experience in PIL matters‘; and Monika Hlavkova, whose ‘preparation is impeccable‘.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith KC

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Taylor; Samantha Rowe; Aimee-Jane Lee; Conway Blake; Merryl Lawry-White; Monika Hlavkova

Testimonials

‘Debevoise is one of the leading PIL firms in the world, and London is a key part of that status.’

‘The public international law work that Debevoise does is fantastic and it is head and shoulders above other firms.’

‘The team showed enthusiasm, high degrees of professionalism and competence; and the lawyers worked really well as a team, they were respectful to each other and us, and it all ran very smoothly.’

‘Lord Peter Goldsmith KC and international counsels Aimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake are all excellent. They understand what the client wants and are very much problem-solving oriented.’

‘Patrick Taylor is highly efficient and has a wealth of experience in international public law and in commercial arbitration; and Samantha Rowe is an excellent communicator with deep knowledge of international law.’

‘Patrick Taylor and Samantha Rowe impressed me with their knowledge of public international law and, in particular, investor-state disputes settlement.’

‘Senior associate Merryl Lawry-White is top rated in my view. She has excellent knowledge and experience in PIL matters, particularly International Court of Justice cases where she excels.’

‘Associate Monika Hlavkova pays incredible attention to detail, combined with a sound strategic sense; and her preparation is impeccable.’

Key clients

Republic of Azerbaijan

Shell Petroleum

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Qatar Airways

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company

The Russian Federation

Work highlights

  • Representing the Republic of Azerbaijan in a dispute with the Republic of Armenia before the International Court of Justice, arising under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • Defending the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Armenia before the International Court of Justice, arising under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • Representing Shell against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in an ICSID case brought under the Netherlands-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty.

Fietta LLP

The strongest PIL boutique in London‘, Fietta LLP has ‘vast experience in PIL matters‘. Dedicated to PIL and international arbitration work, the practice is routinely instructed by sovereign clients in their most sensitive PIL matters globally; and in contentious work, the team represents both investors and respondent states in investment arbitration. With ‘remarkable knowledge of PIL‘, founding partner Stephen Fietta KC regularly acts for sovereign states in high-profile territorial disputes; and Jiries Saadeh, ‘an absolute star of his generation‘, represents state and investor clients in international investment treaty cases. At counsel level, Australian lawyer Ashique Rahman is a founding board member of the Young Public International Law Group, a network of PIL practitioners; and Laura Rees-Evans and Oonagh Sands also both assist with complex PIL issues.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Fietta KC; Jiries Saadeh

Other key lawyers:

Ashique Rahman; Laura Rees-Evans; Oonagh Sands

Testimonials

‘What makes this practice unique is its distinguished knowledge and vast experience in PIL matters and various aspects of investment disputes, from the initial stages of a dispute until its final conclusion, whether by amicable settlement or final arbitral award.’

‘Fietta is the strongest PIL boutique in London, with quality from top to bottom and no dead weight at all.’

‘A small, highly specialised and effective PIL practice with carefully selected practitioners.’

‘Stephen Fietta has remarkable knowledge of PIL, can determine the strategic approach for complex cases, and has team leadership skills when the members of the legal team are from various offices or chambers.’

‘Stephen Fietta has authored a reference volume entitled “A Practitioner’s Guide to Maritime Boundary Delimitation,” which has quickly become a go-to resource on the subject matter.’

‘Stephen Fietta is a very strong performer with long experience in PIL.’

‘Jiries Saadeh is highly professional in fact-finding processes, whether by analysing facts or determining the key elements of disputes. He also has vast experience in public international law matters and investment disputes.

‘Jiries Saadeh is an absolute star of his generation, and someone in whom clients can place absolute trust.’

Key clients

PL Holdings

Big Sky Energy Corporation

Littop Enterprises

Bridgemont Ventures

Bordo Management

Schooner Capital

Tidhar Excavation and Earth Moving

Work highlights

  • Advising Malaysia on various public international law questions relating to sovereignty, maritime delimitation, offshore petroleum development, navigation and international environmental law.
  • Representing PL Holdings in an arbitration (pursuant to the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union-Poland bilateral investment treaty) against the Republic of Poland.
  • Representing an individual real estate project-related investor in an UNCITRAL arbitration against a Gulf State under the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments among the Member States of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

Volterra Fietta

Without doubt the leading firm in public international law‘, Volterra Fietta‘s large PIL practice acts for private entities, states and international organisations across the full range of PIL work, including International Court of Justice (ICJ) cases, maritime boundary claims, and investment treaty and International Centre for Settlement of Investment disputes (ICSID) arbitrations. The firm also fields specialists in state immunity cases, the laws of war and international humanitarian law, along with international human rights, state responsibility, and WTO and international trade law. The ‘best public international lawyer around‘, Robert Volterra assists with a wide range of PIL issues; Graham Coop is particularly focused on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors; and the experience of recently elevated partner Peter Flint includes acting for governments and commercial parties in international disputes. Recently promoted counsel Gunjan Sharma, and associates Angela Ha and Jehad Mustafa, all have extensive PIL experience.

Practice head(s):

Robert Volterra; Graham Coop; Peter Flint

Other key lawyers:

Gunjan Sharma; Angela Ha; Jehad Mustafa

Testimonials

‘Volterra Fietta is without doubt the leading firm in public international law.’

‘Its grasp of the complex legal and wider geopolitical issues that arise from cases sets them apart from other firms; and all dealings with them are very easygoing.’

‘FV has to be the best PIL firm in London. Its team members are highly qualified and most speak two or three languages.’

‘The lawyers act very efficiently and robustly when time is of the essence and they are always ahead of the other side. They are reasonable, friendly and always responsive.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and experienced in public international law.’

‘Because of its high level of competency, FV is a uniquely qualified law firm; and the lawyers are incredibly knowledgeable when the matter is multi-jurisdictional. Robert Volterra and associate Jehad Mustafa are true stars.’

‘Robert Volterra is the best public international lawyer around. He has an unmatched grasp of the issues and law, as well as the diplomatic skills required when dealing in border disputes.’

‘Robert Volterra is highly committed, determined and forceful; and he was repeatedly available at weekends and unsociable hours.’

Key clients

Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Republic of Kenya

United States of America

KN-Holding

Severgroup

Republic of Croatia

Koch Industries

Koch Minerals

Koch Nitrogen International

Arab Republic of Egypt

Grenada

Barbados

Republic of Ghana

The Kingdom of Bahrain

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in international legal proceedings against the military leaders responsible for armed aggression against the people of Myanmar and their legitimate democratic representatives.
  • Representing the Republic of Kenya in a high-profile maritime delimitation dispute before the ICJ.
  • Advising a state on how to navigate a series of sensitive and confidential matters involving prominent international organisations, including the World Bank and specialised UN agencies.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter’s London international arbitration, global law and public policy groups are best known for their experience in representing states and corporate clients in investor-state arbitrations throughout the world. The principal figures are Patricio Grané Labat, whose track record includes high-profile and politically sensitive investment treaty cases; international arbitration specialist David ReedDmitri Evseev, whose broad practice includes advising states and organisations on PIL matters, including international humanitarian law and the relationship between investment protection treaties and EU law; and Monty Taylor, ‘one of the best three PIL solicitors of his generation‘. Notable growth for the group includes the recruitment of international investment law and PIL expert Álvaro Nistal (‘no doubt an excellent addition to the team‘) as counsel from Volterra Fietta in June 2021; and at senior associate level, Bart WasiakTim Smyth and Alice Osman all act on PIL disputes.

Practice head(s):

Dmitri Evseev; Patricio Grané Labat; David Reed; Monty Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Álvaro Nistal; Bart Wasiak; Tim Smyth; Alice Osman

Testimonials

‘A&P is one of the strongest practices in London (and the world) in investment arbitration – the most active part of PIL today.’

‘The teams I work with really stand out by going the extra mile to understand the best interests of the client and adjust the work to its needs – you really see this reflected in the outcomes.’

‘The collaboration with Arnold and Porter’s lawyers never disappoints – they can always be relied upon.’

‘The teams comprised individuals who were a perfect combination for this particular cause. The lawyers’ knowledge and expertise in international and comparative law were evident’.

‘Patricio Grané Labat is a seasoned arbitration specialist with strong strategic skill sets and a convincing track record.’

‘Monty Taylor is one of the best three PIL solicitors of his generation – he is an absolute standout.’

‘Counsel Alvaro Nistal is no doubt an excellent addition to the team. He is a very conscientious lawyer, with wide and deep public international law knowledge. He is experienced in both state-to-state and investor-state arbitration and litigation.’

‘Alvaro Nistal is a very rounded public international lawyer, who is capable of cutting straight through to the key issues.’

Key clients

Republic of Peru

Kingdom of Thailand

Czech Republic

Republic of Bulgaria

Republic of Costa Rica

Republic of Colombia

Republic of Chile

Republic of the Philippines

Republic of Korea

Dominican Republic

Republic of Panama

EU Commission

Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim

Republic of Turkey

Kingdom of Sweden

Republic of Bulgaria

Republic of Hungary

Kyrgyz Republic

ILGA-Europe

Work highlights

  • Acted for ILGA-Europe in a number of proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, concerning the protections of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Successfully defended Chile against a $354m claim filed under the Chile-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, in relation to the bus public transportation system serving Chile’s capital, Santiago.
  • Advising Peru in over 12 active investor-state arbitrations.

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP‘s broad PIL practice ranges from investment treaty and international trade disputes and advisory work, to Law of the Sea advice for coastal states, issues of state responsibility in highly contentious regional areas, and international asset recovery work. The London office also has notable investor-state arbitration strength. The practice is led by James Maton, whose PIL expertise spans investor-state arbitrations and treaty disputes; Laurence Harris‘ practice covers complex commercial, public law, and cross-border fraud and asset tracing disputes; and the ‘responsive, thorough and engaged‘ consultant John Brown is a Law of the Sea specialist. The second line of practitioners comprises Henry Stewart, whose PIL litigation expertise includes asset recovery and anti-corruption matters; and associate Juan Nascimbene, who focuses on international treaty arbitration, PIL work and international economic law. Former independent consultant Tim Daniel formally retired from the firm during 2022.

Practice head(s):

James Maton

Other key lawyers:

Laurence Harris; Henry Stewart; John Brown; Juan Nascimbene

Testimonials

‘Consultant John Brown is responsive, thorough and engaged, and with a good eye for pragmatism and strategy.’

Key clients

Maritime Heritage Foundation

Odyssey Marine Exploration

Government of the Republic of Maldives

Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria

Government of Turks & Caicos Islands

Government of Qatar

Work highlights

  • Representing Odyssey Marine Exploration in an arbitration brought under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement against Mexico.
  • Acting for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in over 70 different civil claims to recover land and money from parties involved in corrupt practices.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP‘s ‘diverse team of serious thinkers‘ is best known for handling high-profile, high-value and politically sensitive disputes. Recent work includes PIL work for states (including state-to-state disputes), and investment treaty arbitrations involving complex PIL issues; and the firm’s international law advisory practice advises states and other stakeholders on issues of state responsibility, treaty drafting, environmental law, use of armed force, territorial and maritime boundary disputes, sanctions and embargoes. ‘Exceptional practice headWill Thomas KC is a highly-experienced PIL and investment arbitration practitioner; London arbitration head Sylvia Noury KC is a recently appointed silk, who specialises in PIL issues and investment treaty arbitration, with a focus on Africa, India and Latin America-related matters; and associate Joshua Kelly acts in disputes involving Russia, the CIS, Africa and offshore territories. WTO and free trade agreement expert Lorand Bartels MBE joined as counsel in April 2021 from Linklaters LLP.

Practice head(s):

Will Thomas KC

Other key lawyers:

Sylvia Noury KC; Lorand Bartels; Joshua Kelly

Testimonials

A diverse team of serious thinkers and committed professionals, who can turn their hand to any kind of international law issue and dovetail well into any team.

The team is international and diverse, and works with enthusiasm on a very high judicial level.

The team is always available for client queries. Answers to complex questions are provided immediately or at least in a timely manner. The latest technology is used and facilitates the gladly (also digital) excellent cooperation.

The Freshfields PIL team members are deeply motivated and their support to clients is driven from a truly kind and nurturing approach, which is distinct from other leading firms in PIL practice.

The lawyers are always looking for ways to add value when and how they can, seeking to present ideas as much as listen to the client’s ideas. This is led by Will Thomas KC, an exceptional practice head.

Will Thomas – that rare and valuable combination of being rich both in intelligence and common sense.

Will Thomas is a brilliant lawyer, outstanding in hearings and unbeatable in argumentation. When working with clients, he understands the corporate view and way of thinking very well, which makes him extremely helpful for corporate clients.

Sylvia Noury is brilliant for legal analysis, outstanding in presentation, and an excellent leader of the team in our case.

Key clients

Convention for Animal Protection

Independent International Legal Advocates

Akfel Commodities

GPIX

Deutsche Telekom

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

With ‘real strength in depth in PIL and its intersection with arbitration‘, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s recent track record includes urgent advice to clients on the PIL-related impact of the Russian military action in Ukraine, including international sanctions, the laws of war, international humanitarian law, investment protections, state immunity and international human rights. The team’s coverage also includes advice on international law issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and environment-related international law and regulation, and the UK’s exit from the EU. ‘Exceptional talent‘ and global PIL co-head Andrew Cannon is a specialist in advising states, state-owned entities and major companies on PIL matters; and at senior associate level, Hannah Ambrose, Aaron McDonaldLouise Barber and Marco de Sousa all act in investment arbitrations. Former partner Nick Peacock left the firm for Bird & Bird LLP in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Cannon

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Ambrose; Aaron McDonald; Louise Barber; Marco de Sousa

Testimonials

‘A well-integrated law firm, with particularly strong links to Asia.’

‘Very experienced in issues affecting commercial clients and a strong bench of partners.’

‘Excellent lawyers with great strategic acumen, as well as practical experience and legal knowledge.’

‘Excellent team with real strength in depth in PIL and its intersection with arbitration.’

‘Andrew Cannon is a leading practitioner in the area of public international law, and with great oral and written advocacy skills.’

‘Andrew Cannon is very strong on PIL issues, especially because of his time at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.’

‘Andrew Cannon is an exceptional talent, completely down to earth, and can navigate the most complex of challenges with practical commercial solutions.’

Key clients

Nord Stream 2 AG

Standard Chartered Bank

Vedanta

Work highlights

  • Acted for Nord Stream 2 AG in arbitration proceedings against the European Union under the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • Defended the Bank of England (BOE) against proceedings, which were issued to release gold deposits held by the BOE (in order to fund Covid-19 pandemic efforts in Venezuela).
  • Acting for a telecoms conglomerate in an ICSID claim against an Asian state.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins‘ ‘very knowledgeable and experienced group of individuals‘ advises on a range of PIL issues, including international boundary law and Law of the Sea disputes, investment treaty and international trade law, sanctions, and business and human rights. The firm also has an enviable investment arbitration practice. ‘Certainly in the top tier of law firm-based PIL experts‘, Charles Claypoole assists with investment treaty arbitration, international trade law, and state immunity matters; and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who divides his time between London and Hamburg, has a strong track record in international investment arbitrations. Also key to the group, Sophie Lamb KC consistently acts for corporate, financial, and sovereign entities in heavyweight international disputes; Robert Price (elevated to the partnership in January 2022) is an investment treaty arbitration expert; and associate Thomas Lane‘s practice covers international arbitration, international trade sanctions and export controls.

Practice head(s):

Charles Claypoole

Other key lawyers:

Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert; Sophie Lamb KC; Robert Price; Thomas Lane

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable and experienced group of individuals, great team work and client management, and focused on results.’

‘Charles Claypoole is certainly in the top tier of law firm-based PIL experts. He and Sebastian Seelman-Eggbert make an excellent team.’

Key clients

Strabag

Ukraine

IPEK

Mason Capital

The Republic of Colombia

The Republic of Croatia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

ArcelorMittal

Work highlights

  • Representing Strabag in securing a €100m arbitral award in an ICSID Additional Facility arbitration against Libya brought under the Libya-Austria bilateral investment treaty.
  • Representing Ukraine in an arbitration brought by three Cypriot companies under the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • Representing Ipek Investments in an ICSID arbitration under the UK-Turkey bilateral investment treaty, in relation to the seizure of 18 companies of the Koza Group.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP‘s London ‘team has made tremendous strides in the PIL space‘. The group has substantial experience in investment treaty arbitration and disputes (both for and against sovereign parties), its experience including investor-state claims under investment treaties, investment laws and investment contracts. The practice’s expertise also comprises large-value arbitrations involving the energy, oil and gas, mining, construction and infrastructure sectors. The names to note are: investment treaty arbitration expert Stephen Jagusch KC, the firm’s global international arbitration chair; Anthony Sinclair, ‘the real star of the practice‘; and Epaminontas Triantafilou, whose broad experience includes acting for both private corporations and sovereign governments. The second line of international arbitration specialists features Dominic Roughton, Mark McNeill, Julianne Hughes-Jennett and Alex Gerbi; and at senior associate level, Odysseas Repousis has particular expertise in investor-state disputes.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Sinclair; Stephen Jagusch KC; Epaminontas Triantafilou

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Roughton; Mark McNeill; Julianne Hughes-Jennett; Alex Gerbi; Odysseas Repousis; Ted Greeno

Testimonials

‘Good solid team with wide experience.’

‘As a relative new entrant in the London market, I believe the team has made tremendous strides in the PIL space.’

‘The lawyers are very energetic and aggressive (in a good sense).’

Truly, a great practice!

‘Anthony Sinclair is a particularly thoughtful and active lawyer.’

‘Anthony Sinclair is the real star of the practice. Strong academic knowledge and a great deal of pragmatism at the same time. He does not get bogged down and is simply great at guiding the client through complex legal issues.’

‘Stephen Jagusch KC and Epaminontas Triantafilou are excellent.’

Key clients

JSC CB PrivatBank

Ukraine

DP World

Schindler Holding

United Group

PJSC Oschadbank

Alverley Investments

Germen Properties

Three Crowns LLP

Three Crowns LLP‘s current investor-state caseload includes some of the highest-profile, most politically sensitive disputes in the world. ‘Probably one of the best arbitration practitioners of his generation‘, Constantine Partasides KC‘s track record includes obtaining large-value awards, with recent cases involving the Governments of Venezuela, Nigeria, South Korea and Vietnam; and Gaëtan Verhoosel routinely leads on high-value treaty arbitrations. Also integral to the practice are Middle Eastern disputes specialist Reza Mohtashami KCCarmen Martinez Lopez, who works on substantial Latin American investor-state cases; and India expert Manish Aggarwal, whose practice also increasingly involves Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia matters. Former counsel Leilah Bruton was made partner in January 2022, while Hamid Abdulkareem joined as counsel and Africa practice head in September 2021 from Nigerian firm Aluko & Oyebode, where he was partner. Key senior associate Farouk El-Hosseny acts in investor-state disputes in the telecoms and oil and gas sectors.

Practice head(s):

Constantine Partasides KC; Gaëtan Verhoosel

Other key lawyers:

Reza Mohtashami KC; Carmen Martinez Lopez; Manish Aggarwal; Leilah Bruton; Hamid Abdulkareem; Farouk El-Hosseny; Ridhi Kabra

Testimonials

‘Excellent industry knowledge.’

‘The Three Crowns team is different because all the team has great levels of knowledge and collaboration – an excellent team.’

‘In the arbitration world it is difficult to find people who know material law. Three Crowns knows both material law in addition to procedural matters.’

‘Specific and wide experience in very significant arbitration cases, with the personal involvement of senior partners.’

‘Good combination of Anglo-Saxon, civil law and LatAm profiles.’

‘Constantine Partasides KC is probably one of the best arbitration practitioners of his generation.’

Key clients

ConocoPhillips

ContourGlobal

Elliot Associates

Eni

ExxonMobil

Kingdom of Bahrain

MTN

Naturgy

Petronas

Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia

Republic of Chile

Sacyr

Total

Trafigura

Work highlights

  • Representing the Republic of Chile in a $200m-plus ICSID claim filed under the Chile-Colombia FTA, and concerning the largest electricity transmission project in Chile’s history.
  • Counsel to Eni in a high-stakes ICSID arbitration against the Federal Government of Nigeria, concerning an oil prospecting licence that has been the subject of criminal proceedings and significant publicity.
  • Acting for Sacyr in a $1bn-plus dispute involving claims brought under the Spain-Panama BIT by a contractor for the Panama Canal Third Set of Locks Project.

Withers LLP

Experienced and knowledgeable across a wide range of PIL areas‘, Withers LLP‘s London PIL team has a highly active investor-state practice, representing both sovereign states, as well as foreign investors. The group also maintains a robust practice in international human rights litigation, state immunities, enforcement issues and sanctions. The team is jointly led by Hussein Haeri, ‘one of the top PIL experts working from a law firm‘; and consultant global counsel Sir Geoffrey Cox KC, the former Attorney General of England and Wales. The second line of key practitioners includes consultant Aniruddha Rajput, an expert in general international law, investor-state arbitration, boundary disputes, the Law Of The Sea and international trade law; special counsel Robert Kovacs, a specialist in PIL, international arbitration, and business and human rights; and senior associate Camilla Gambarini, who assists with PIL matters and investor-state arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Hussein Haeri; Sir Geoffrey Cox KC

Other key lawyers:

Aniruddha Rajput; Robert Kovacs; Camilla Gambarini; Ruzin Dagli

Testimonials

‘Experienced and knowledgeable across a wide range of PIL areas, especially investment-state arbitration, but increasingly on inter-state disputes too.’

‘Hussein Haeri is one of the top PIL experts working from a law firm.’

‘Excellent experience across a wide range of disputes.’

‘Hussein Haeri – outstanding lawyer & provides excellent client care.’

Key clients

The Government of the British Virgin Islands

The Government of Ukraine

Zhongshan Fucheng Industrial Investment Co

Frazer Solar

Gesenu

Scholz Holding

Center for Reproductive Rights

Clooney Foundation for Justice

Work highlights

  • Representing the Government of the Virgin Islands, in relation to a Commission of Inquiry constituted in 2021 by the former Governor of BVI to establish whether corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty, in relation to officials, may have taken place in recent years.
  • Representing the Government of Ukraine in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated by Olympic Entertainment Group AS (Estonia), arising out of alleged breaches of substantive treaty protections under the Estonia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty.
  • Representing Zhongshan Fucheng Industrial Investment Co against the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a claim for expropriation, and breaches of fair and equitable treatment and other standards.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP

Baker Botts (UK) LLP‘s London team routinely handles large-value PIL disputes. It also advises on economic sanctions and export controls; energy and oil and gas sector matters; and cases involving Russia, Latin America and the Middle East. PIL chair Alejandro Escobar acts in investment protection treaty-related cases; Johannes Koepp has an active PIL and investor-state arbitration practice; Chris Caulfield is an economic sanctions and export controls specialist; Dorine Farah acts in investment treaty arbitrations; and senior associate Ernesto Féliz De Jesús is a Latin American disputes expert. Former partner Jay Alexander left to become an independent arbitrator in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Escobar

Other key lawyers:

Johannes Koepp; Chris Caulfield; Dorine Farah; Ernesto Féliz De Jesús

Testimonials

‘The team has shown illustrious knowledge and ability in all matters related to public international law.’

‘Commanded all cases with noteworthy organisation and communication skills, and the firm has a particularly strong focus on energy disputes.’

‘Baker Botts impresses by the breadth and depth of its talent on issues of public international law, with particular strength in investor-state treaty arbitration, as well as classic inter-state public international law matters.’

‘Diverse and pluralist in various senses, building a variety of legal and linguistic traditions and regional strengths, with particularly impressive engagements in Latin America and Eastern Europe/Central Asia.’

‘Diversity of profiles, with backgrounds in international institutions, academia, and commercial litigation and arbitration work that mutually strengthen each other.’

‘Alejandro Escobar leads the team in an impeccable manner, showing outstanding knowledge in all legal matters required of him.’

‘Alejandro Escobar is a leader in investor-state arbitration, both as a counsel and an (increasingly in-demand) arbitrator – one of the go-to figures in Latin America but also globally.’

‘Johannes Koepp combines deep academic knowledge with a great sense of real-life issues and ways to address them – also a leading figure in investor-state arbitration work.’

Key clients

Gazprom

Halliburton

IFC/World Bank

Mobile TeleSystems

Pepsi

Republic of Ecuador

Republic of Iraq

Rosneft

Samsung

Carter-Ruck

Carter-Ruck‘s international law team is widely praised for its expertise in advising clients who are the subject of targeted sanctions and restrictive measures at domestic, EU or international levels. International law head Guy Martin is ‘an outstanding international lawyer‘; senior partner Cameron Doley acts in cases before the United Nations, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights; and Alasdair Pepper‘s client base includes companies, state heads and political figures. At senior associate level, Charles Enderby Smith advises on international sanctions, while François Holmey and Lawrence Northmore-Ball both act in large PIL cases.

Practice head(s):

Guy Martin

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Doley; Alasdair Pepper; Charles Enderby Smith; François Holmey; Lawrence Northmore-Ball; Helena Shipman; Jennifer Harvey

Testimonials

‘Strong on all aspects of international commercial work, and that expertise also extends to public international work.’

‘Carter-Ruck is a leading firm in various areas, and the team includes a number of star individuals in the field of public international law.’

‘Guy Martin is an outstanding international lawyer. In cases involving sanctions in particular, he has played a pioneering role in the advance of fair procedures in this area.’

‘Guy Martin is a hugely experienced partner who has litigated some of the highest profile cases. He is very knowledgeable, and excellent at seeing the bigger picture and looking after clients.’

‘Guy Martin is wise, thorough and knowledgeable, and has a shrewd tactical sense.’

‘Cameron Doley is a go-to lawyer whenever particularly difficult or sensitive cases arise, especially those with geopolitical aspects. His dedication to his clients’ interests is pretty much unparalleled in my experience, as is his handling of client relations and expectations.’

‘Francois Holmey is a standout senior associate.’

‘Charles Enderby Smith is a senior associate with great experience in dealing with difficult and sensitive commercial cases. A rising name in the field of public international law.

Key clients

Al Jazeera Media Network

The State of Qatar

Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Qatar Embassy

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co‘s PIL track record includes its representation of a Western Asian state, in relation to the oil and gas, transportation, international investment, telecoms and aviation sectors. The practice also advises on climate change and its interaction with fundamental human rights, along with trade and economic sanctions. Ben Knowles is global arbitration group chair; Maurice Kenton acts in investment arbitrations; Lee Bacon assists with LATAM-related disputes; and John Whittaker advises on investment claims, and sovereign immunity and sanction issues. Consultant Clare Hatcher is noted for international sanctions, while former partner Alejandro Garcia is now at Stewarts Law LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ben Knowles

Other key lawyers:

Maurice Kenton; John Whittaker; Loukas Mistelis; Clare Hatcher; Lee Bacon; Milena Szuniewicz-Wenzel

Testimonials

‘The team is first class. The lawyers have complete mastery of the detail of their cases, manage their clients incredibly well, and are excellent at presenting their cases to arbitrators (both orally and in writing).’

‘Deep experience in resource sector-related legal advice.’

‘Ben Knowles is a a consummate tactician, and excellent at reading and presenting to tribunals.’

‘Excellent ability to combine strategy with detailed forensic capabilities and knowledge.’

‘Benjamin Knowles – great strategic vision combined with ability to effectively mobilise and direct his team.’

‘Milena Szuniewicz-Wenzel – really sees the wood for the trees and remains calm under pressure.’

Key clients

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Shanara Maritime International

Marfield

The Government of the Republic of Yemen

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Sri Lanka Government at ICSID in a case filed by investor Raymond Eyre, the claim brought under the UK-Sri Lanka bilateral investment treaty.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s broad London PIL practice specialises not only in investor-state disputes, but also in advising states and companies on PIL issues. The group additionally assists with maritime boundary disputes, immunity issues and Treaty negotiations. The Brexit team is led by Paul HardyKate Cervantes-Knox is an investor state arbitration expert; and John Forrest specialises in export controls, sanctions and international trade law. Also highly regarded are senior consultant Scott Horton, who is experienced in advising governments; London and Madrid-based of counsel Ben Sanderson, who ‘sees the big picture‘; and experienced legal director Elinor Thomas.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hardy

Other key lawyers:

Kate Cervantes-Knox; John Forrest; Scott Horton; Ben Sanderson; Elinor Thomas

Testimonials

The team of practitioners is diverse and dynamic. With this diversity, they build confidence while dealing with legal, commercial and cultural issues. They also collaborate well with hundreds of their lawyers across the world.’

‘DLA has many strengths, but we would note that the firm has been particularly professional and transparent about billing.’

‘Given the international reach of our work, we have greatly benefited from its global network of partner firms; the firm has the capacity to put boots on the ground in many countries, and we have benefited from strong local legal advice in various locations.

‘Very strong strategic guidance, with excellent PIL expertise across different areas (investor-state arbitration, international organisations and treaty law).’

‘Kate Cervantes-Knox and of counsel Ben Sanderson are first-rate PIL practitioners.’

‘Availability and responsiveness. The team (including partners) are generally available to answer queries. Specific mention goes to Ben Sanderson.’

‘Ben Sanderson is a sensible, well-organised and persuasive advocate.’

‘Ben Sanderson sees the big picture, is pragmatic in his advice, and systematic in driving contentious matters to the best possible conclusions. Extremely sharp and experienced, he displays a very strong capacity to analyse complex matters quickly.’

Key clients

Republic of Kenya

Republic of Guinea

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

United Kingdom – Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Department for International Trade

Government of Ghana

Hungary

Thailand

Turkcell

Lithuania

INTERPOL

Work highlights

  • Acting for Nasib Hasanov, an Azerbaijani individual who owns the Neqsol group of companies, in an ICSID claim against Georgia over alleged state interference in a local telecoms company.
  • Acted for INTERPOL in a high- profile PIL arbitration victory.
  • Representing Lithuania in an UNCITRAL investment arbitration concerning the renationalisation of Snoras Bank.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

With ‘very extensive experience in advising states‘, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP‘s London PIL team has longstanding expertise in PIL work, and state-to-state and investor-state arbitrations. Global co-chair of international arbitration Jonathan Leach focuses on international commercial arbitration, investor-state arbitration and PIL matters; Greg Falkof is experienced in disputes in the oil and gas, construction and infrastructure sectors, primarily involving Africa and the Middle East; barrister Claire Stockford acts in investor-state arbitration claims; and Mark Howarth is experienced in state-state arbitrations. At principal associate level, Cameron Forsaithhas great breadth of knowledge‘, while Ahmed Abdel-Hakam is ‘a future star‘.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Leach

Other key lawyers:

Greg Falkof; Claire Stockford; Mark Howarth; Cameron Forsaith; Ahmed Abdel-Hakam; Kate Lomas; Margrit Trein

Testimonials

‘The lawyers have very extensive experience in advising states, not just on investment treaty arbitration but also other public international law disputes.’

‘Fantastic team, full of people who really know the law and provide effective representation.’

Able to organise many lawyers in different jurisdictions meticulously.’

‘Jonathan Leach always goes the extra mile. He makes hard cases easy.’

‘Jonathan Leach and principal associate Cameron Forsaith have superior service and responsiveness levels, as well as business-oriented, practical advice. They always closely follow up on lawsuits and share their expertise when needed.’

‘Greg Falkof is a consummate professional, a lovely person to deal with and extremely sharp. You really want to have him on your side.’

‘Cameron Forsaith is excellent. He has great breadth of knowledge, and is very easy to work with.

‘Principal associate Ahmed Abdel-Hakam is a future star – very impressive knowledge of public international law and very easy to work with.

Key clients

State of Libya

Islamic Republic of Iran

Government of Malaysia

National Iranian Oil Company

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher‘s London office acts on a large number of investment treaty claims. The practice is co-led by the ‘excellentPenny Madden KC, an expert in shareholder, telecoms and energy disputes, who also co-chairs the firm’s international arbitration group; and dual US/UK-qualified Cyrus Benson, who routinely acts before commercial and investment treaty tribunals. Also integral to the team is Jeffrey Sullivan KC, a specialist in both commercial and investment treaty arbitration, as well as the full range of PIL work. Sarah Wazen has now left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Penny Madden KC; Cyrus Benson

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Sullivan KC; Ceyda Knoebel

Testimonials

‘Penny Madden is excellent to work with as co-counsel. She is responsive and respectful, and a pleasure to engage with.’

Key clients

Yukos Capital

Corral Morocco Holdings

Bechtel Corporation

Agility Public Warehousing

VEON

Infrastructure Services Luxembourg

Energia Termosolar

Hydro Energy 1

Hydroxana Sweden AB

InfraCapital

Uniper SE

RREEF Infrastructure

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s London team routinely advises investors, states and state-owned entities on bilateral investment treaties, with particular experience in assisting clients emanating from the CIS and Eastern Europe. PIL and EU law specialist Markus Burgstaller regularly acts as an advocate in proceedings before international tribunals, the EU courts, the European Court of Human Rights, and national courts; and regularly working alongside Burgstaller, senior associate Scott Macpherson is experienced in PIL issues affecting the TMT and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Markus Burgstaller

Other key lawyers:

Scott Macpherson

Key clients

Government of the Slovak Republic

Government of the Republic of India

Government of Ukraine

Mainstream Renewable Power

Cascade Investments NV

Penwell Business

Cunico Resources

The Redress Trust

NATS (formerly National Air Traffic Services)

Clara Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Advising the Government of the Slovak Republic on the consequences of several significant decisions, which changed the course of the future of investment treaties within the EU.
  • Defending the Government of the Republic of India in a significant investment claim brought by a Mauritian entity that is linked to a British private equity firm.
  • Representing the Government of Ukraine in a very significant investment arbitration brought by Swedish energy company Misen Energy under the Sweden-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty.

Jones Day

Jones Day‘s ‘excellent‘ London office houses specialists in sanctions, Brexit issues, sovereign immunity, human rights, climate change and extradition, along with Interpol matters, maritime boundaries, state responsibility and treaty interpretation. The firm also has a widely respected investor-state arbitration practice. The ‘vastly experienced‘ PIL and arbitration specialist Michelle Bradfield was recruited in early 2021 from Dechert LLP; Sylvia Tonova routinely handles disputes across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America; and promoted to partner in January 2022, investor-state arbitration specialist Philip Devenishhas in-depth knowledge of public international law‘.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Bradfield

Other key lawyers:

Sylvia Tonova; Philip Devenish

Testimonials

‘The team is excellent. The lawyers are particularly good at drawing on international resources, as well as being highly experienced and committed individuals.’

‘Bringing great international experience to local markets.’

‘The team includes members with versatile backgrounds, each having their own particular strengths and areas of expertise in public international law. This helps ensure that the most up-to-date knowledge is always utilised for a case.’

‘The Jones Day team has the benefit of a partner with an excellent PIL pedigree, Michelle Bradfield, and acts in high-value and interesting matters.’

‘Michelle Bradfield is one of the few PIL practitioners in London who has appeared across almost all PIL areas – she is simply excellent and vastly experienced.’

‘Sylvia Tonova has great practical and local knowledge combined with solid international experience.’

Philip Devenish is an outstanding lawyer. He is forensic and hardworking, and will always go the extra mile for a client. His recent promotion to partner was well-deserved.’

‘Philip Devenish has in-depth knowledge of public international law, and he is skilled at communicating the issues in a simple and understandable manner even for non-lawyers.’

Key clients

World Wide Minerals

Omega Engineering

Windoor AS

Gold Pool JV

Work highlights

  • Defending a major GCC state in a $2bn-plus investment treaty arbitration, arising out of the Qatar diplomatic crisis of 2017-2021.
  • Acting for a major telecoms company in a $1.2bn dispute involving eight parallel arbitrations, arising out of a telecoms investment in a Middle Eastern state.
  • Acted for Gold Pool JV in successfully challenging an adverse jurisdictional ruling before the English courts, which held that Kazakhstan was a legal successor to the Canada-USSR Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments of 1989.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP‘s PIL practice has a strong reputation for state-to-state disputes, international trade law, international human rights law and business and human rights advice. Additional key areas are investor-state disputes, state sovereignty, state immunity and intergovernmental organisations’ immunities. Global international arbitration chair Matthew Weiniger KC specialises in international arbitration and public international law, including international trade law; Charlotte Morgan is global co-head of trade law; Vanessa Havard-Williams co-leads the business and human rights group alongside Rachel Barrett; and Ben Carroll is energy disputes leader. Key managing associate Rebecca James assists with both international arbitration and international law matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Weiniger KC; Charlotte Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Havard-Williams; Ben Carroll; Teresa Laboucarié-Polak; Rebecca James; William Chan; Alex Fawke; James Marlow

Key clients

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

HSBC Alternative Investments

Legal Response Initiative

Work highlights

  • Represented the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (as co-counsel) in proceedings concerning the (reportedly) second-largest award in ICSID’s history.
  • Representing HSBC in a potential investment treaty claim against the Republic of El Salvador under the UK-El Salvador bilateral investment treaty.
  • Worked on a pro bono basis with NGO, Legal Response Initiative, to provide written responses to queries on international environmental and climate change law from parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and civil society observer organisations.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLPhas long experience in PIL matters, especially investment arbitration‘; and the practice fields sector specialists in energy, natural resources, construction, telecoms and banking. The group is jointly led by Belinda Paisley, whose experience includes a wide range of high-value arbitrations; and investment treaty arbitration and PIL expert Chloe Carswell. The second line of key advisers features Patrick Beale, who ‘can unravel very complex technical issues‘; and Ben Summerfield, who acts in investment treaty arbitrations. Recent growth includes Suzie Savage‘s elevation to partner and the promotion of ‘exceptional lawyerLucy Winnington-Ingram to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Belinda Paisley; Chloe Carswell

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Beale; Ben Summerfield; Suzie Savage; Lucy Winnington-Ingram; Lucian Ilie; Dina Nazargalina

Testimonials

‘Reed Smith has long experience in PIL matters, especially investment arbitration.’

‘A team is that is highly competitive and always open to discussion.’

‘Great for the professional approach of the team and the high quality of the services provided.’

‘Constant support provided to clients while working together.’

Patrick Beale always conducts himself with great character and can unravel very complex technical issues. Patrick is supported by a great team – together they offer an excellent service which I would recommend highly.’

‘Belinda Paisley is great for her ability to keep everything running super-smoothly, and senior associate Lucy Winnington-Ingram for being an exceptional lawyer with a very good grip on investment treaty cases and international arbitration procedural issues.’

‘Lucy Winnington-Ingram is a truly excellent senior associate, who is already a major force in the PIL field, with real expertise in investment arbitration.’

‘Provides an exceptional team, with a star being Lucy Winnington-Ingram – and given that she is very hands on in running the cases, costs are kept reasonably low.’

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP‘s London team routinely represents states and investors in PIL-governed arbitrations; and its expertise covers state-state disputes, state immunity laws in the UK and abroad, and anti-corruption laws and economic sanctions. Investment treaty arbitration chair Matthew Coleman is a go-to counsel for claims against African States; and Christophe Bondy has longstanding investment treaty arbitration experience. Promoted to partner in January 2022, Thomas Innes consistently acts in investor-state arbitrations; while masterful lawyer Juliya Arbisman is a 2021 recruit from Diamond McCarthy LLP for the London and New York offices. Associate Alexandre Genest also focuses on PIL work.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Coleman

Other key lawyers:

Christophe Bondy; Thomas Innes; Juliya Arbisman; Alexandre Genest

Testimonials

‘Steptoe & Johnson UK LLP has a strong following in the market and benefits from great global coverage.’

‘The lawyers always do their utmost to secure a win for their clients. Overall they provide a very good service to clients, which is second to none.’

‘One of the key features of the firm is its ease and consummate ability in handling extremely difficult cases in challenging jurisdictions. You couldn’t want a better team – and I don’t hesitate to recommend them to clients when the opportunity arises.’

‘The firm’s public international practice within their arbitration practice is top-notch. They are immense experts in this areas.’

‘Thomas Innes and Mathew Coleman are top experts in this field. Their knowledge is not only theoretical, but very practical and adapted to the case and the particular client, and (very importantly) very comprehensible to the tribunals.’

‘Steptoe & Johnson UK LLP has a very strong practice in this area with the recruitment of Juliya Arbisman, who is excellent.’

‘Juliya Arbisman is a masterful lawyer with a wealth of experience in this area. She is at the top of her game – and possesses an unrivalled depth of experience, insight and skills. She provides game-changing advice on key points.’

‘Juliya Arbisman has a great command of the commercial realities and issues that arise for clients, and provides fantastic advice to them. Clients love her. She is a tireless champion of a client’s case and she gives her all for the client.’

Key clients

The European Union

Sunlodges

The Paglieri Family

The von Pezold family

Republic of Armenia

West African Aquaculture

Koch Supply & Trading

Koch Industries

Neustar

Alpene

Work highlights

  • Serving as external counsel to the European Union in the Nord Stream 2 investment treaty claim, arising out of the application of European competition rules to the ownership and operation of a large-value pipeline.
  • Served as lead counsel to Sunlodges and the Paglieri Family, in relation to an investment dispute with Tanzania, arising from breaches of a bilateral investment treaty.
  • Serves as lead counsel to Neustar (a US technology company) in an ICSID arbitration against Colombia, brought pursuant to the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

WilmerHale

WilmerHale‘s London PIL practice is particularly well known for its representation in matters involving territorial boundaries and sovereignty over territory, including significant state-to-state matters, intra-state disputes, and high-value investor-state claims. The group also fields experts in the PIL issues that arise within the national courts, which involve transnational litigation and enforcement issues. The firm’s international arbitration practice is chaired by Gary Born, who has heavyweight experience as lead counsel in PIL disputes, including several investor-state arbitrations; and co-chair of the London office Steven Finizio is also highly active in PIL and investment treaty work.

Practice head(s):

Gary Born; Steven Finizio

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Media Defence

CMS

With ‘a great track record in PIL matters‘, CMS has extensive experience in international disputes and advisory work. PIL team head Karen Denny is ‘an outstanding lawyer‘, and Edinburgh-based Pieter Bekker leads the firm’s investment arbitration task force. Sarah Vasani joined as international arbitration co-head from Addleshaw Goddard in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Karen Denny; Pieter Bekker

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Vasani; Zainab Hodgson; Csaba Kovacs

Testimonials

‘Deep knowledge of international law and hardworking.’

‘The CMS team is very knowledgeable and delivers exceptional professional services.’

‘An eye for fine detail, thoroughness and top-notch team work.’

‘CMS has a great track record in PIL matters. It has a blue-chip client base, including the most important states and international organisations based in London.’

‘Extremely efficient with excellent client service.’

‘Karen Denny is an outstanding lawyer – innovative in thinking through difficult issues, and provides excellent client care.’

‘Karen Denny possesses good legal instincts; She is committed to her clients; displays attention to detail, and a has a thorough approach. Savvy and experienced.’

‘Pieter Bekker and his team show exceptional connectivity with the client in a transparent way that builds confidence.’

Key clients

Erste Group Bank

Steiermaerkische Bank und Sparkassen

Erste & Steiermaerkische Bank

Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines

Fugro

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Patel Engineering

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in a dispute with the European Commission (triggered by a black-listing for alleged Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities by SVG-flagged vessels).
  • Advising Fugro, a geo-data specialist, on PIL matters, particularly Law of the Sea aspects.
  • Acting for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a London High Court action under section 67 of the UK Arbitration Act.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP routinely represents sovereign nations in investor-state arbitrations. The experience of PIL leader Charles Buderi covers both international arbitration claims involving states, and the representation of governments in relation to sovereignty disputes, and treaty and diplomatic matters; and Luciana Ricart frequently advises states and state-owned entities.

Practice head(s):

Charles Buderi

Other key lawyers:

Luciana Ricart; Justin Jacinto; Belén María Ibañez

Key clients

State of Kuwait

Argentine Republic

Republic of Kazakhstan

Republic of Cyprus

State of Libya

Dominican Republic

Work highlights

  • Secured an absolute victory for the UAE in the jurisdictional phase of  proceedings brought by Qatar before the International Court of Justice, alleging violations of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • Representing the State of Kuwait in three investment treaty arbitrations, and in an ICSID annulment proceeding, where the investor is challenging an ICSID award.
  • Successfully defended the State of Libya before the UK Supreme Court, in proceedings concerning service through diplomatic channels under the UK State Immunity Act 1978.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP‘s department specialises in inter-state disputes involving territorial disputes, privileges, immunities, and international human rights. The team is also experienced in international and transnational criminal law, investment law, and the Law of the Sea. Group head Ben Emmerson KC is a PIL and international corporate risk management specialist.

Practice head(s):

Ben Emmerson KC

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Sprange KC; John Savage KC; Sajid Ahmed; Giorgio Mandelli; Egishe Dzhazoyan; Ruth Byrne KC; Peter Hood

Testimonials

The team combines deep insight with genuine concern for the client. It fosters a truly collaborative environment in which all parties, including the client, fact witnesses and expert witnesses, feel empowered to do their very best work.

What stands out is the combination of legal expertise and a personal touch designed to elicit excellent work from clients, colleagues, and collaborators alike.

Expert in this field, and the team’s combined knowledge and skills are hard to beat or better.

Excellent budget management and stays within forecast costs. Strong reputation in public international law as one of a handful of firms that has a genuine expertise in these types of claims.

Completely outgunned the other side’s legal team during hearings.

Ben Emmerson KC is an exceptionally innovative lawyer, with a formidable legal intellect and a command of all relevant law.

Thomas Sprange KC is a standout lawyer who has strong expertise in this area.

Counsel Peter Hood is very skilful, pleasant, and has a very good hand with colleagues and clients.

Key clients

Ukraine

State of Georgia

Government of Turkey

Government of Mongolia

Rockhopper Exploration

Rockhopper Mediterranean

Rockhopper Italia

Shell Philippines Exploration

Rockhopper Group

Obrascón Huarte Lain

Société des Parcs d’Alger

Emirates International Investment Company

Chevron Overseas Finance

Gerald International

The Stati family

Ascom Group

Terra Raf Trans Trading

Leidos

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Government of Ukraine in a landmark, inter-state application to the European Court of Human Rights, which concerned the annexation of Crimea.
  • Secured a complete victory for Turkey in an arbitration involving Cascade’s purported investments in the Turkish media sector.
  • Acting for the victims of terrorist attacks, in civil claims against two multinational Qatari banks, members of the Government of Qatar and two prominent Qatari businessmen.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons‘ track record includes successful state-side defences against investor claims in the real estate, energy, banking, telecoms, mining and natural resources sectors. Andrei Yakovlev acts in disputes involving M&A, foreign investment, and sovereign and corporate finance; and Wilson Antoonhas a lot of experience in working for states‘.

Practice head(s):

Andrei Yakovlev; Wilson Antoon

Other key lawyers:

Viktoriya Krasyuk

Testimonials

‘Great diversity and locations.’

‘Flexible and easy going, but with the wherewithal to get the job done.’

‘Willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Wilson Antoon is a key individual. He is extremely sharp and very hands on when he needs to be. He has a lot of experience in working for states, but has also worked for investors.’

Key clients

People’s Republic of China

Work highlights

  • Represented the People’s Republic of China in an ICSID arbitration commenced by a Japanese investor, Macro Trading Co, in respect of the alleged expropriation of a real estate development.
  • Assisted a construction company with bringing an ICSID claim against a Middle Eastern state, in relation to a delayed infrastructure project.
  • Acted for a Russian investor in an investment treaty claim against an Eastern European state, which related to the public prosecutor’s arrest, and seizure of the investor’s account and denial of justice by the courts.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP‘s PIL practice covers sanctions, extradition, and INTERPOL, ECHR and arbitration court representations. The principal figures are former CPS extradition head Nick Vamos; criminal law practitioner Michael O’Kane; international sanctions expert Anna Bradshaw; financial crime specialist Neil Swift; and former Extradition Lawyers’ Association chair, Jasvinder Nakwal.

Practice head(s):

Nick Vamos

Other key lawyers:

Michael O’Kane; Anna Bradshaw; Neil Swift; Maria Cronin

Key clients

Hermitage Capital Management

MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hermitage Capital Management in one of the highest profile INTERPOL cases involving Russia.
  • Won a longstanding legal challenge on behalf of Abdelkader Sabra against his designation under the EU’s sanctions against Syria.
  • Acting for two ultra-high-net-worth businessmen in relation to INTERPOL matters and related issues.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood‘s practice acts for state entities and state-owned companies, and houses experts in financial sanctions. Practice head Kamal Shah also leads the Africa and India groups; Ben Sigler is ‘an insightful lawyer‘; and Sue Millar, Richard Garcia and of counsel Stephen Ashley have ‘great knowledge of PIL issues‘.

Practice head(s):

Kamal Shah

Other key lawyers:

Sue Millar; Richard Garcia; Stephen Ashley; Ben Sigler

Testimonials

‘Exceptional experience in sanctions and tenacious support of clients.’

‘Exceptional resources and very thorough consideration of all implications in complex situations.’

‘Sue Millar, Richard Garcia and of counsel Stephen Ashley – a highly experienced team with great knowledge of PIL issues.’

‘Kamal Shah and Richard Garcia are both great solicitors who any client would want to represent them.’

‘Tough and resilient lawyers who are able to effectively represent states interests’

‘Ben Sigler is an insightful lawyer.’

Key clients

Republic of Iraq

Arab Republic of Egypt

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Petroleos de Venezuela

Libyan Investment Authority

High Commissioner for Pakistan in the United Kingdom, on behalf of the Government of Pakistan

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented the Republic of Iraq in a $652m ICSID claim brought by Agility (a Kuwaiti investor) under the Kuwait-Iraq Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • Acting for the Arab Republic of Egypt in a large fraud and asset tracing mandate, which arose out of the Egyptian revolution of 2011.
  • Advising international finance institutions, property management and insurance companies, maritime service providers and shipowners (among others) on the impact of UK and EU financial and trade sanctions to their businesses.

White & Case LLP

The track record of White & Case LLP‘s London team includes representing large numbers of sovereign states, state-owned entities, and private and commercial parties in matters involving PIL issues. Global PIL head Andrea Menaker is an investment treaty arbitration specialist, while David Goldberg represents sovereign states in high-value investor-state disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Menaker

Other key lawyers:

David Goldberg; Agnieszka Zarówna

Testimonials

‘Great experience and expertise.’

‘Andrea Menaker’s vast experience includes her time with the US State Department, as well as her experience in working with states.’

Key clients

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan

The Republic of India

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

The Republic of Peru

Kappes, Cassiday & Associates

TECO Guatemala Holdings

Kornikom EOOD

JSC Tashkent Mechanical Plant

JSC National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan

JSCB Asaka

JSCB Uzbek Industrial and Construction Bank

WorleyParsons International

Work highlights

  • Representing the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in a rare ICSID post-award remedy, seeking to revise the largest damages award ever issued by an ICSID tribunal.
  • Defended India across multiple jurisdictions, which concerned Cairn Energy and Cairn UK Holdings seeking to enforce a $1.4bn arbitral award obtained from the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • Representing the claimants, Daniel Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, in an ICSID arbitration against Guatemala under the DR-CAFTA, which concerns the suspension of operations at one of the claimant’s mines.