Volterra Fietta > London, England > Firm Profile

Volterra Fietta
8 MORTIMER STREET, FITZROY PLACE
LONDON
W1T 3JJ
England

Dispute resolution > Public international law Tier 1

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

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.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 4

Housing lawyers who are ‘absolutely at the highest level‘, the investment treaty arbitration practice at specialist public international law (PIL) firm, Volterra Fietta represents both states and foreign investors. The firm is also increasingly involved in commercial arbitrations. Robert Volterra is an investment treaty arbitration expert; Graham Coop focuses on energy, natural resources and infrastructure-related matters; and Peter Flint is ‘detail oriented‘. Counsel Gunjan Sharma is a PIL and international dispute resolution specialist, while associate Angela Ha is ‘very thorough‘.

Practice head(s):

Robert Volterra; Graham Coop; Peter Flint

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Volterra Fietta has very high degrees of knowledge in all international arbitration fields, and specifically in arbitration related to investments. This knowledge is accompanied by great experience in arbitration claims.’

‘Very impressive professional experience and knowledge, with strategy that is drafted very carefully, thinking about all alternatives and anticipating opponents’ reactions – professionals who are absolutely at the highest level!

‘The partners have very good associates supporting them.’

Extremely responsive and creative.

‘Robert Volterra was invaluable as a guide for the in-house counsel and executive team.’

‘Robert Volterra is an extremely capable and confident practitioner.’

‘Peter Flint is detail oriented.’

‘Associate Angela Ha is very thorough.’

Key clients

KN-Holding

Severgroup

Republic of Croatia

Koch Industries

Koch Minerals

Koch Nitrogen International

Arab Republic of Egypt

Grenada

Barbados

Republic of Ghana

Work highlights

  • Representing KN-Holding and Severgroup in an ad hoc arbitration against the French Republic (under the France-Russia bilateral investment treaty).
  • Representing the Arab Republic of Egypt in a case that presents an opportunity to clarify the appropriate scope of an investment dispute in the face of allegations of human rights law breaches.
  • Representing Grenada in a case that raises novel investor-state protection issues.

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration Tier 5

London-based international arbitration boutique Volterra Fietta has extensive experience advising on public international law and investment treaty matters involving Latin American and Caribbean states. The firm regularly handles state-to-state proceedings, including cases before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and also takes on international arbitration for states and investors before ad hoc tribunals, the PCA, ICSID, the SCC and other institutions. The practice is also involved in a steady stream of commercial arbitrations, and in addition, has recently worked with states to reformulate model bilateral investment treaties (BITs). ‘Experienced and confident’ founding partner Robert Volterra is the main point of contact, with Latin America arbitration veteran Graham Coop another key name. Peter Flint , who joined the firm in 202o as a consultant, was raised to the partnership in 2021 and brings extensive international arbitration, cross-border litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to the team. Counsel Alvaro Nistal left the firm to join Arnold & Porter in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Robert Volterra; Graham Coop; Peter Flint

Testimonials

‘Robert Volterra is an experienced and confident advocate.

‘When working with the team the preparation of arbitration claims and presentation of evidence and witness statements was meticulous and complete, and the legal arguments were impeccable.

‘Robert Volterra’s expertise and experience in international investment arbitration is impressive, and his availability to the client is constant.

Key clients

Grenada

Barbados

Koch Industries

Koch Minerals

Koch Nitrogen International

KN-Holding

Severgroup

Work highlights

  • Represent Grenada in ICSID arbitration related to Grenada’s citizenship-by-investment scheme.
  • Advising Barbados on the reformulation of its model BIT.
  • Representing Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International in an ICSID annulment proceeding initiated by Venezuela to annul an ICSID award worth approximately $400m.

Volterra Fietta is an elite law firm that is specialised entirely in public international law.  On its foundation, Volterra Fietta was the first and only  practice focused exclusively on this field of law.  The firm remains the largest dedicated public international law practice in the world.   It  offers States, international organisations and commercial clients a unique blend of expertise and practical experience.

The firm’s lawyers are leading practitioners in the field.  Each Volterra Fietta lawyer combines at least one graduate degree in public international law with extensive practical experience in law firms, companies, governments and international organisations.  Many of the firm’s senior lawyers are recognised globally as thought-leaders in the practice of public international law and international dispute resolution.  Indeed, Volterra Fietta consistently leads in the development of public international law.  The firm organises the regular London International Boundary Conference and its team is already regarded as a leader in international dispute issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The firm practices, teaches and writes at the highest level.  Recognising this, the global directories for legal services have consistently ranked Volterra  Fietta in the top tier.

The firm has one of the world’s largest investor-State arbitration practices.  It represents both States and foreign investors alike before the main international arbitration institutions, including the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (the PCA) and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (the SCC).  Equally, the firm represents clients in commercial arbitration proceedings under the rules of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (the ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (the LCIA) and various other arbitration rules.

The firm also regularly represents governments in State-to-State disputes before the International Court of Justice (the ICJ) and tribunals constituted under both the aegis of the PCA and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Equally, the firm represents States and private entities on the application of public international law by the domestic courts of the United Kingdom and numerous other jurisdictions.

The firm is consulted on every aspect of public international law, including: bilateral and multilateral investment treaties; land and maritime territorial and boundary disputes; the law of treaties and treaty interpretation; property rights and expropriation; the Energy Charter Treaty; oil concessions; air and water rights; treaty negotiations and accession; State responsibility; choice of law, jurisdiction and enforcement proceedings; international maritime law; sovereign and diplomatic privilege and immunity; project-specific international agreements between host States; offshore oil and gas (and other resources); straddling resources; trans-boundary pipelines; international human rights law (including its relevance to transnational business enterprises and transnational litigation); State succession issues; international environmental law; sovereign debt; energy, mining and infrastructure projects; international trade law; foreign corrupt practices; the laws of war and economic sanctions.

Based in London, the firm has a global reach, acting for States, private entities and international organisations in contentious and advisory matters all over the world.

The majority of the firm’s work is highly confidential.  However, recent highlights of the firm’s international work that is in the public domain include: representing the Republic of Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Kenya in various proceedings before the ICJ; representing Malaysia in its sui generis treaty dispute with the Republic of Singapore before an ad hoc tribunal under the aegis of the PCA; representing the Republic of Croatia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Lithuania and the Federal Republic of Nigeria in ICSID arbitrations; representing Barbados in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings; representing the interests of various subsidiaries of US companies Owens Illinois Inc. and Koch Industries Inc. in a number of ICSID arbitrations and annulment proceedings; and representing the United States of America before local courts in relation to sovereign immunity matters.

In addition to English, French, Spanish and Arabic, the firm advises its clients in Cantonese, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak and Swedish.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Robert VolterraRobert.Volterra@volterrafietta.com+44 207 380 3898
Senior partner Graham CoopGraham.Coop@volterrafietta.com+44 207 380 4386
Associate Roberto LupiniRoberto.Lupini@volterrafietta.com+44 207 380 4399
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Graham Coop photoMr Graham CoopPartner at Volterra Fietta.
Peter Flint photoMr Peter FlintPartner at Volterra Fietta.
Gunjan Sharma photoMr Gunjan SharmaCounsel at Volterra Fietta
Robert Volterra photoMr Robert VolterraPartner at Volterra Fietta.
Number of UK partners : 3
Number of other UK fee-earners : 19
English
Spanish
French
German
Russian
Italian
Greek
Dutch
Cantonese
Chinese
Czech
Slovak
Portuguese
Arabic

CLIENT: David J. Bertoch
COMPANY/FIRM: Executive Counsel (retired), ExxonMobil
TESTIMONIAL: Gunjan Sharma excels in the depth of his knowledge and ability to provide superior legal advice fit for the specific business context. I have found no one better to advise on investment protection for complex international business transactions with an eye for achieving the paramount business objectives in the transactions. Highly recommend his services.


CLIENT: Muin Malik
COMPANY/FIRM: External Advisor, Cabinet of the President of Kenya
TESTIMONIAL: The VF team was brought in to replace our prior team of law professors in the Somalia v Kenya case at the ICJ. Their approach was impressive, to say the least. Within days, VF’s experience as professional international law litigators had enabled them to identify facts and legal arguments that our previous team had entirely missed. Robert Volterra explained this to us, including a number of relevant ministers, in clear and succinct ways and we rapidly agreed to the proposed comprehensive course of action.


CLIENT: Chambers of the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya
COMPANY/FIRM: Republic of Kenya
TESTIMONIAL: After Volterra Fietta replaced our prior legal team, they completely changed our case theory and used unprecedented procedural tactics to enable Kenya to resubmit a revised set of pleadings and evidence, on which the ICJ ultimately based its judgment. At all times, the VF team kept us informed and responded to queries in a timely manner. The VF team are in a league of their own in the area of public international law.


CLIENT: Office of the Solicitor General of the Republic of Kenya
COMPANY/FIRM: Republic of Kenya
TESTIMONIAL: Robert Volterra is the most comprehensive and versatile lawyer I have had the pleasure to work with. His knowledge of Public International Law is second to no one. He also has the rare ability to comprehend the wider geopolitical and diplomatic issues in disputes involving sovereign states. This understanding led to us being advised on different aspects, both legal and diplomatic, which was highly appreciated. Without doubt, Mr. Volterra is an exceptional lawyer who is at the top of his profession.


CLIENT: André Kalenga-ka-Ngoyi
COMPANY/FIRM: Deputy Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
TESTIMONIAL: Luckily, we realised before it was too late that our legal team required highly experienced professional international law litigators. We replaced our previous legal team with Volterra Fietta and others. Finally, using the Volterra Fietta team, we analysed forensically the hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence and prepared practical arguments that effectively refuted our adversary’s attempts to confuse the International Court of Justice. We won an unprecedented compensation from the International Court of Justice – almost half a billion dollars – due to the professional case-management skills of Robert Volterra and his team.


CLIENT: Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo
COMPANY/FIRM: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Dominican Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic
TESTIMONIAL: We repeatedly turn to Volterra Fietta for SWAT-team support on urgent inter-State issues. They have a deep bench that lets them respond immediately when new matters arise. Partners respond personally to our messages without delay and we receive fast, effective and reliable support in emergency situations without sacrificing quality.


CLIENT: Pierre Ebbe
COMPANY/FIRM: Head of Human Rights and International Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo
TESTIMONIAL: Volterra Fietta: when you cannot afford to lose.


CLIENT: Anonymous
COMPANY/FIRM: General Counsel, A Major Global Mining Company
TESTIMONIAL: I would like to express my personal appreciation for the support and assistance of, and professionalism displayed at all times by, [Robert Volterra], Peter [Flint] and the Volterra Fietta team.


CLIENT: Godfred Yeboah Dame
COMPANY/FIRM: Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Republic of Ghana
TESTIMONIAL: I am impressed by the VF team’s industry and adroit reasoning. Ghana appreciates your services.


CLIENT: Dr Sasa
COMPANY/FIRM: Minister of the National Unity Government (democratically-elected civilian government) of Myanmar
TESTIMONIAL: Robert Volterra is one of the world’s most respected public international law specialists. Volterra Fietta supports Myanmar’s efforts using the largest team of public international law experts in any firm in the world.


CLIENT: Kristina Hartman
COMPANY/FIRM: Head of the Legal Division, INA Industrija Nafte
TESTIMONIAL: Robert Volterra is the most devastating cross-examiner and effective advocate that we have ever worked with or against. We are repeat users of Volterra Fietta. Robert, Graham and the VF team know the oil business inside and out. They provide strategic advice that takes holistic account of our wider business interests.


CLIENT: Polina Galperina
COMPANY/FIRM: Head of International Projects Department, Nord Gold
TESTIMONIAL: Robert Volterra and Gunjan Sharma are consummate professionals. They uphold the strongest ethical values. They are also highly experienced arbitration lawyers, whose knowledge of the field and relationships provide invaluable value to clients.


CLIENT: Chris Bogart
COMPANY/FIRM: Chief Executive Officer, Burford Capital
TESTIMONIAL: The Volterra Fietta team has the best combination of public international law expertise and international litigation skills in the world. They are the top in their field globally.


CLIENT: His Excellency Ambassador Maan al Hafez
COMPANY/FIRM: Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
TESTIMONIAL: No other public international law practice in the world comes close to matching the depth and expertise of Volterra Fietta.


CLIENT: Tim Schwarz
COMPANY/FIRM: General Counsel, ZHRH Corporation
TESTIMONIAL: Having spent 22 years at two Magic Circle firms, I have a very high standard of performance from the law firms that I instruct. ZHRH Corporation required complex and mission-critical advice on Bilateral Investment Treaties. Robert Volterra and Volterra Fietta were nothing less than fantastic: we honestly do not believe that there is another public international law lawyer in the UK (and possibly the world) who can match Mr Volterra for intellectual brilliance, knowledge, creativity and responsiveness. Despite a heavy workload, Mr Volterra was also always prepared to go the extra mile. For example, by volunteering to assist us in explaining the complexities and importance of Bilateral Investment Treaties during presentations to potential investors and joint venture partners. We could not recommend him more highly.


CLIENT: Dr Saud al Ammari
COMPANY/FIRM: External Legal Counsel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain
TESTIMONIAL: I have worked over the years with many law firms. Volterra Fietta is among the few top tier law firms anywhere. It consistently delivers cogent advice and robust and timely solutions. It is truly a unique public international law firm that handles the most complex legal challenges. VF is the go-to firm for litigation in the English courts involving States, without peer, and for other international litigations. The VF team are highly available, dedicated and passionate counsel. They make sure their clients get the best experience and insight, in an efficient and client-friendly manner. Robert Volterra is definitely among the best global public international law counsel in the world. He is a brilliant trusted adviser and also easy to work with.


CLIENT: Anonymous
COMPANY/FIRM: Executive Director – Head of Corporate Development, A Major Mining Company
TESTIMONIAL: Partner Graham Coop was pivotal in providing investment protection advice. Graham combines depth of knowledge with practical thinking. His experience with the Energy Charter Treaty is unrivalled. He is easy to work with and precise and clear in his advice. Associate Angela Ha was also thorough and savvy. Volterra Fietta clearly knows the field and what clients need.


CLIENT: Her Excellency Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: We have worked with Volterra Fietta, and in particular Robert Volterra, for over 20 years. His advice, his availability and the strategic and ethical manner in which he acts has always inured to our benefit. Barbados considers Volterra Fietta a critical part of our team in all initiatives it undertakes internationally – before we act and not just for litigation.


Volterra Fietta is a global firm, with staff and clients from around the world. Diversity has thus always been a core value at the firm. It is a source of strength for the firm and its clients.

Our lawyers come from every inhabited continent and bring a significant understanding of virtually every legal, business and socio-cultural background.

The firm has a mandatory diversity policy and requires regular diversity training for all of its staff and partners. The firm is committed to ensuring that everyone at the firm is treated fairly and with dignity and respect, in accordance with the principles of equality and diversity. The firm observes all legal requirements relating to unlawful discrimination, victimisation and harassment, including non-discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sex, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or disability.

The firm’s senior lawyers, and its recruitment and human resources committees, are fully committed to diversity as part its recruitment, retention and promotion of staff. Volterra Fietta’s commitment to diversity led the firm to receive GamechangersTM Progress Champions Awards in 2022.