The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work 020 7380 3890
Fax 020 7387 7433

Graham Coop

Work 020 7380 4386
Volterra Fietta


Partner in Volterra Fietta. Specialist area of practice: public international law and international arbitration. Graham is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and as a solicitor in England and Wales. He advises companies, governments and international organisations on international dispute resolution and public international law, with a particular focus on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. He advises sovereign clients on jurisdictional immunities issues under public international law, including in the context of judicial proceedings before European courts and on environmental, banking and defence issues. His work on contentious matters has focused strongly on investment protection and EU law, maritime delimitation, price revisions under long-term energy sale contracts and calculation of damages. In addition, Graham’s wide experience in oil, gas, electricity, renewable energy and infrastructure covers major projects, joint ventures, supply and transport agreements, and competition and regulatory advice. Graham’s legal career covers over 15 years in private practice, including a secondment to Gaz de France where he led the international transport and supply contracts division, and two years as head of energy and natural resources with the Paris office of a major international firm. He also served for seven years as general counsel to the Energy Charter secretariat, a Brussels-based international organisation responsible for the Energy Charter Treaty, with 52 member states in addition to the European Union. As general counsel, Graham participated in sensitive intergovernmental negotiations on energy transit and emergency dispute resolution issues and led the development of the model agreements for cross-border pipeline projects and for cross-border electricity projects (both now published on the Energy Charter website). He also organised, chaired and presented at numerous international conferences in these areas. Important cases: Graham has advised and acted in Koch v Venezuela; OMV Maurice Energy Ltd v OPL; Salbatring v INA; Harrington v USA; Allard v Barbados; City State v Ukraine; and AD Venture v Signalis. He is a member of the editorial committee of the International Energy Law Review and of the Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law. He has lectured at numerous universities around Europe and is listed in the prestigious Who’s Who in Public International Law.


Trained Brandon Brookfield (later Brookfields), Auckland, New Zealand; qualified 1989; partner Volterra Fietta 2013. 1989-92 Brandon Brookfield (Auckland, New Zealand); 1998-99 Gaz de France (on secondment from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer); 1992-2002 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris); head of energy and natural resources group, Paris (since 2000); 2002-04 partner, Denton Wilde Sapte (energy and infrastructure department, London and Paris); 2004-11 general counsel, energy charter secretariat, Brussels; 2011-13 independent international arbitration and energy lawyer, Brussels; 2013 to date partner, Volterra Fietta. Graham has written and edited a wide range of publications, including ‘Energy Dispute Resolution: Investment Protection, Transit and the Energy Charter Treaty’, described by Christoph Schreuer as ‘required reading for anyone who deals with the ECT or generally with investment law’. Graham is an honorary associate of the Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy & Management of the University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy. Recent publications of note:

Recent publications of note: a chapter titled ‘States’ Right to Regulate and the ECT’ in “International Arbitration in the Energy Sector” (to be published 2017, OUP, M. Scherer); a chapter titled ‘External Relations’ in “Legal Aspects of EU Energy Regulation” (2016, OUP, P. Cameron); “From Russia with Love?” (2016) InterContinental Finance & Law 141/16, pp16-17; “Eco-tourism and investment treaty arbitration (Allard v Barbados)” LexisNexis 19/10/2016; ‘A Comparative Analysis of the ECT and BITs in Light of Evolving EU Policy’ in “The Leading Practitioner’s Guide to Oil & Gas Arbitration” (2015, JurisNet LLC, J. Gaitis) pp367-424; ‘Enforcement of Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards’, in “Enforcement of Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards” (2015, Globe, J. Fouret) pp67-82.


French (bilingual). German and Russian (intermediate).


Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN); IBA; honorary member of the Investment Treaty Forum (ITF) of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL); London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).


Auckland Grammar School; University of Auckland (1991 LLB (Hons) and BSc); University of Paris II – Panthéon-Assas (1995 DEA).


Classical music (piano, cello, singing); member of Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and choir of St Andrew’s Church of Scotland; snowboarding, skiing, horse-riding, cycling, swimming, gym; member of Aspria Royal La Rasante sports and leisure club; literature (especially history, economics, religion); travel; and, last but not least… being the husband and father of a lovely family!

London: Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Within: International arbitration

Volterra Fietta is best known for its specialist public international law practice; the firm also has a robust international commercial arbitration practice that involves the energy, mining and telecoms sectors as well as defence procurement and shareholder and joint venture disputes. The names to note are Robert Volterra, Graham Coop, Giorgio Mandelli and Suzanne Spears. Christophe Bondy joined Cooley (UK) LLP.

[back to top]

Public international law

Within: Public international law

Acting globally for states, international organisations and private entities in the highest courts of international law, Volterra Fietta specialises entirely in public international law (PIL); the scope of the practice includes international border issues, high-value disputes between foreign investors and host states, or between two or more states; and complex bet-the-company and bet-the-country issues. The team's representative experience includes defending a European state against a claim made under an investment treaty; representing two Asian subsidiaries of a US Fortune 500 company in disputes with an Asian government under a number of multilateral and bilateral trade and investment treaties; and acting for a state in Asia in relation to trans-boundary pollution issues. Robert Volterra advises governments, international organisations and private clients in a wide range of contentious PIL issues, regularly acting as co-agent, counsel and advocate before the International Court of Justice and ad hoc international arbitration tribunals. Other names to note are Graham Coop and Giorgio Mandelli. Christophe Bondy joined Cooley (UK) LLP.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments in London

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to