Public international law

In recent years, Withers has built a strong public international law practice, with a particular focus on investor-state arbitration and investment treaty advice to investors and governments, including treaty drafting and interpretation. We recently advised a government in the Caribbean on its investment treaty framework and a government in the Middle East on its investment treaty program.

We have an established investor-state arbitration practice with numerous investment treaty arbitration cases, including under the auspices of ICSID and the PCA (UNCITRAL). The firm also advises on enforcement and sovereign immunity issues, as well as on human rights. Other notable areas are advice to governments on international trusts and tax treaties and their application and enforcement.   

The team is led by Partner and Co-Head of International Arbitration, Hussein Haeri. Hussein has over 10 years' experience of practicing public international law in London, Paris and New York. His experience includes acting as counsel on State-State disputes such as before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It also includes contentious and advisory work on international energy law, international environmental law, the law of the sea, international humanitarian law and human rights. He has advised governments on treaty and legislation drafting and interpretation, particularly on investment law and international arbitration issues. He has also acted on matters of public international law in domestic courts, including in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Withers has recently advised a number of European governments on international trusts, treaties and related legislation drafting. Filippo Noseda, Partner and Joint Wealth Planning Practice Group Leader, is an expert on advice for governments on international law issues concerning taxation and trusts.

Recent work

  • Representing A11Y LTD, a UK assistive technologies company, as counsel and advocates in an ICSID administered investor-state arbitration (UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules) against the Czech Republic under the UK-Czech Republic bilateral investment treaty. The Tribunal upheld jurisdiction in favour of the Claimant in its Decision on Jurisdiction in February 2017.
  • Representing Progas Energy Limited, a Mauritian energy company, as counsel and advocates in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Pakistan under the Mauritius-Pakistan bilateral investment treaty regarding alleged expropriation of an investment in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) energy sector.
  • Advising a Caribbean Government on international investment treaty issues.
  • Advising a Middle Eastern Government on international investment treaty issues.

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