Guy Martin > Carter-Ruck > London, England > Lawyer Profile

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Head of International and European Law Group.


Guy Martin is head of the International and European Law Group at Carter-Ruck, specializing in complex litigation in the courts of England, the Court of Justice of the European Union, before the United Nations Ombudsperson and other international tribunals. He has spearheaded the department from a standing start to what Chambers Directory (2015) describes as “Renowned for its distinct expertise in sanctions against states and targeted asset freezing against individuals, and for its involvement in highly sensitive cases. Strong track record in the Middle East and Africa, notably in matters relating to the Arab Spring”.  

As a solicitor – advocate Guy practises in the field of public international law, administrative law, European law, international litigation, dispute resolution and regulatory cases often involving human rights with an international or diplomatic context. Guy’s clients include commercial entities and individuals who have challenged asset freezing measures, or “targeted sanctions”, by means of judicial review applications in England, direct actions for annulment to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and before the United Nations Ombudsperson, OFAC and other agencies.  

Described by Legal 500 as “excellent” for his “intelligence and skills”, Guy has acted for clients before the European courts including clients from Syria , Tunisia , Burma (Myanmar) , Zimbabwe  and Egypt. Guy acted for Burmese national Pye Phyo Tay Za both in his action before the Luxembourg General Court and subsequent successful appeal in 2012 to the Grand Chamber of the ECJ, in which Guy instructed the legendary Sir Sydney Kentridge QC. 

Guy led the team for Saudi Arabian businessman Sheikh Yassin Abdullah Kadi, in his efforts to overturn asset freezing orders. In its 2008 judgment the ECJ delivered a landmark decision in favour of Mr. Kadi and struck down EU asset freezing regulations on the ground they breached Mr. Kadi’s fundamental rights. It was as a result of this judgment that the UN Security Council in December 2009 created the Office of the Ombudsperson, an independent and impartial Ombudsperson, who reviews requests from individuals, groups, undertakings or entities seeking to be removed from the UN Sanctions Committee’s list. The ECJ’s judgment in this case, which has become known as Kadi I, has been described by leading academic commentators as “the most important judgment ever delivered by the ECJ on the relationship between EC and international law and one of its most important judgments on fundamental rights”.

Guy was successful in securing the delisting of Yassin Kadi in October 2012 by the UN Sanctions Committee and in November 2014 (after 13 years) by OFAC.


In the heyday of defamation law Guy trained under Peter Carter-Ruck and represented high profile figures and celebrities in important and sensitive litigation involving injunctions and damages. Also a specialist in media litigation and reputation management, Guy’s media work has a particular emphasis on copyright, trademarks, breach of confidence and other intellectual property issues both in print and on line.  

Guy won an open scholarship to read Natural Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After a law conversion he took articles at Herbert Smith, where he qualified in 1985. He was trained under the copyright and trademark luminary Tony Willoughby working at the forefront of the then developing Anton Piller jurisdiction with Hugh Laddie and his then junior David Kitchin. In his articles Guy won the prized and much sought after seat in Herbert Smith’s Hong Kong Office. Guy joined Carter-Ruck in 1988 and gained unique experience under founder Peter Carter-Ruck, before being made a partner in 1990. His experience with high net worth clients, public figures and celebrities has given Guy an ability to handle sensitive issues with a firm but deft touch.  

Guy has recently co-written a chapter in Global Investigations Review’s Guide to Sanctions (First Ed.).  The Guide addresses in a structured way all the main issues raised by the proliferation of sanctions regimes and investigations and clearly dissects the topic from the perspectives of various key stakeholder’s, providing an invaluable resource.

Guy has spoken on sanctions law at international seminars at New York University, University College London, and the International Bar Association. He is an active member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the American Society of International Law, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the British Literary and Copyright Association (BLACA) as well as the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce. He writes papers and articles on sanctions law for such publications as The Times, Investment Week, the Oath, Wealth Briefing, and the Edge. He has written on intellectual property law for the Centre for International Legal Studies. Guy travelled as a member of the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce business delegation to Tehran in October 2015. He is a regular contributor on TV and Radio including on camera interviews with Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, World Finance, as well as BBC Radio 4’s the Today Programme and Front Row.


Guy is a fluent French speaker.


British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (BLACA); The Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Association (TIPLO).


Westminster School; Pembroke College, Cambridge (1984 MA Natural Sciences); College of Law.


Family, gardening, swimming.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > Public international law

(Leading individuals)

Guy MartinCarter-Ruck

Carter-Ruck‘s ‘particularly good‘ PIL team is sought out for its advice on human rights, including the application of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines to multinational enterprises. In addition, the firm advises clients on targeted sanctions, mutual legal assistance, extradition, Red INTERPOL notices, bids for independence and statehood recognition, and diplomatic protection. The ‘brilliantGuy Martin leads the firm’s international law practice, which includes ‘very trusted‘ senior partner Cameron Doley, whose clients include governments, heads of state and leading political figures. Alasdair Pepper, assists clients with arbitrations under several institutions’ rules. Senior associates Charles Enderby SmithLawrence Northmore-Ball and François Holmey also advise on PIL issues.