Mahnaz Malik > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Banking
  • Drafting and negotiating treaties
  • Foreign investment laws
  • Infrastructure projects
  • International commercial arbitration
  • International investment arbitration
  • Investment treaty protection planning and sovereign guarantees
  • Investor-state contracts
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas
  • Public international law
  • Representation of states and state entities in international arbitration and litigation
  • Review of investment treaty programmes, renegotiations and termination of treaties
  • Sovereign immunity
  • Telecommunications
  • Training of Government officials on treaty drafting, arbitration procedure and negotiation


Mahnaz is a barrister and arbitrator at Twenty Essex who specialises in representing governments and corporations in commercial and investment arbitration.

She has extensive expertise in advising governments, corporations and international organisations on international disputes. Mahnaz has acted as counsel on behalf of both investors and states in several investment and commercial disputes including ICC, ICSID, LCIA and PCA administered arbitrations.

Mahnaz’s appointment as an arbitrator in EuroGas Inc and Belmont Resources Inc v Republic of Slovakia makes her one of the youngest ever appointed to an ICSID Annulment Committee since records began, and the youngest woman. She serves on the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators and was on the editorial board of the ICSID Review.

She is routinely sought for her expertise in a range of common law systems across Asia and Africa. Mahnaz is particular adept in dealing with states and state entities as parties to international arbitration proceedings.

Mahnaz also has extensive expertise in advising governments and international law organisations on international investment law issues, developing model treaties and negotiating positions, sovereign guarantees, foreign investment laws and the training of government officials. She also assists individuals and corporations in relation to obtaining investment treaty protection and sovereign guarantees. She has analysed some 1000 treaties and advised over 20 governments and three regional groupings on international law. She has designed and delivered training for over 600 government officials.

She publishes, teaches and speaks extensively. Her writings are frequently cited in academic journals, academic theses and appear on syllabi. Her professional awards include the prestigious Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year Award 2007 and the Law Society of England’s national award for the Trainee Solicitor of the Year 2001. Mahnaz has also served as a member of the ICC Commissions on Arbitration and Anti-Corruption.

After graduating with a MA in Law from Cambridge University, she qualified as an Attorney at Law (New York), Solicitor (England & Wales), advocate of the high court in Pakistan and an English Barrister (Lincoln’s Inn). She recently taught investment law at the LLM programme of the University of Zurich.


Advocate High Courts of Pakistan, 2000; attorney and counsellor at law, New York 2002; solicitor, England and Wales 2002 (non-practising); barrister Lincoln’s Inn 2012. Simmons and Simmons (2000-05); Independent Counsel (2005-11); member, 12 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers (2011-13); member, 20 Essex Street Chambers (2013 to date).


Urdu (fluent); Punjabi (fluent); Hindi (conversational)


  • Asia-Pacific Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s International Law and Practice Section: Vice Chair (2005)
  • ICSID Panel of Arbitrators (2012–)
  • ICSID Review Editorial Board
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution Global Advisory Board (2007–2008)
  • ICC Commissions on Arbitration and Anti-Corruption (2004–2009)
  • The Evian Group Brains Trust (2006)
  • University of Cambridge/Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme for Senior executives (elected to represent this highly influential group of business leaders from Europe as a speaker before the Prince of Wales at Highgrove in 2006)


  • Georgetown University, USA: Georgetown Leadership Programme, School of Foreign Policy (2010)
  • College of Law, London: Legal Practice Course, Commendation (1999)
  • University of Cambridge: BA and MA in Law