Sam Wordsworth QC > Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Essex Court Chambers
Essex Court Chambers


In private practice as a barrister since 1997, specialising in public international law, including investment treaty arbitration. Regularly advises and appears as counsel before international courts and tribunals including the International Court of Justice, and also before the English courts in matters involving public international law.

He has been instructed on many ICSID, ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, NAI and ad hoc arbitrations as well as in arbitrations before the Iran/US Claims Tribunal and claims before the UNCC. He is regularly instructed by the UK government on cases involving public international law (before international tribunals, the ECtHR, the CJEU and in the domestic courts).

He is a visiting professor teaching investment arbitration at Kings College, London.


Called 1997, Lincoln’s Inn (prior to which, qualified as solicitor in 1991); avocat at the Paris bar in 1994; visiting professor, investment arbitration, King’s College, London.


Fluent French (written and oral).


American Society of International Law; British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Public International Law Advisory Panel; Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR).


University College, London (BA (First Class Hons)); London School of Economics (LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Public international law

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

Sam Wordsworth QCEssex Court ChambersAn obvious star. He stands out in the area of international arbitration, specifically in investment disputes.

Essex Court Chambers is ‘well known as an excellent PIL set‘ and the ‘counsel are consistently of top quality and involved in some of the highest-profile PIL work around’. The set has ‘recruited well recently‘ with the arrival of Alison Macdonald QC from Matrix Chambers and Sean Aughey from 11KBW cementing its status at the top. Recent cases include Qatar v United Arab Emirates at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where Dan Sarooshi QC and Vaughan Lowe QC appeared on opposing sides. Macdonald also represented The Republic of Mauritius in a high profile ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Chagos Archipelago, in which Sam Wordsworth QC was opposing counsel.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

Sam Wordsworth QCEssex Court ChambersStands out in the area of international arbitration, specifically investment disputes.