Mr Robert Volterra > Volterra Fietta > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Volterra Fietta

Work Department

Public International Law.


Partner at Volterra Fietta.


Robert has been recognised for many years in the global legal directories as one of the world’s top public international law practitioners.  He is qualified as a barrister in Canada and as a solicitor-advocate in England and Wales.  He advises and represents governments, international organisations and private clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious public international law and international dispute resolution issues, including international humanitarian law, the laws of war, international criminal law, boundaries and territorial integrity, UNCLOS, international investment agreements and BITs, the Energy Charter Treaty, ICSID, NAFTA, trans-boundary resources and pipelines, joint-development zones and straddling resource regimes, diplomatic and consular law, attribution, privileges and immunities, State responsibility, treaty interpretation and drafting, international arbitration and litigation, international organisations, human rights, resource concessions, Statehood and sanctions. 

Robert regularly acts as co-agent, counsel and advocate before the International Court of Justice and international arbitration tribunals, including under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, ICSID, ICC, SCC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, WTO and UNCLOS rules.  He regularly sits as an arbitrator in ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, SCC and LCIA arbitrations. He is on the UK Attorney General’s A-list for public international law practitioners.

Robert’s practice focuses on the resolution of complex disputes and evolving issues in the field of public international law.  He is sought by clients globally to defend their interests in bet-the-country and bet-the-company disputes.  He is the go-to public international law practitioner for cases dealing with novel and cutting-edge topics.  His cases are widely referenced in public international law text-books and journal articles; they are cited and relied upon extensively as precedents and guides by domestic and international courts and tribunals.

Robert combines being a seasoned practitioner with being a thought-leader in the field of public international law. He is a Visiting Professor of International Law at University College (UCL), University of London, where he has taught the international law of foreign investment for almost 20 years. He is a Visiting Senior Lecturer at King’s College, University of London, where he has taught the international law of boundary disputes for several decades. He is invited to lecture on a variety of public international law topics in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. He publishes regularly on a wide variety of public international law matters. 

Prior positions at legal practices:Latham & Watkins, partner (2005 to 2011), London, UK and Paris, France; Herbert Smith, partner (2001 to 2005), London, UK; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, associate (1996 to 2001), London, UK and Paris, France; Public international law practice of Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, junior (1994 to 1996), Cambridge, UK.


English, French, Spanish, Italian.


Robert is qualified as a barrister in Canada (1991) and as a solicitor-advocate in England and Wales (2005).  Robert also is a Fellow of the York Centre for International and Strategic Studies.  Equally, he is a member of the International Law Advisory Board of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the ICC Latin American Arbitration Committee, the Management Board of the Investment Treaty Forum, the editorial board of the University of Oxford Press Reports on International Investment Claims, the Advisory Board of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, the Expert Panel for States of UNCTAD’s Programme on Dispute Settlement in International Trade, Investment and IP and the Energy Charter Secretariat’s Legal Advisory Task Force.


Organization of American States (1995), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Curso de Derecho Internacional; OAS Fellowship

University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall (1991 – 1992), Cambridge, UK – LL.M.i; Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (1986 – 1989),Toronto, Canada – LL.B.; Dean’s List

University of Western Ontario (1983 – 1987), London, Canada – B.A. (international relations); Lt-Governor of Ontario Scholarship


Skiing, riding, sailing and painting.

Lawyer Rankings

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration

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.

London > Dispute resolution > International arbitration

(Leading individuals)

Robert VolterraVolterra Fietta

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‘.

London > Dispute resolution > Public international law

(Hall of Fame)

Robert VolterraVolterra 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.