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Emilie Gonin’s “enthusiasm is matched with a razor-sharp mind” - she comes in for particular commendation for her “great breadth of knowledge” that “promotes cross-fertilisation from extradition to investor-state disputes” (Who’s Who Legal, UK Bar: Arbitration 2019)

Emilie specialises in investment treaty arbitration, public international law, human rights and international commercial arbitration.

Having joined the Bar from the International Arbitration and Public International Law group of a Magic Circle Firm in London, she has extensive experience in these fields, in which she has developed a substantial full-time practice acting as a member of a counsel team, sole junior to a leader as well as sole counsel. She is ranked as a “Future Leader” and recognised as a leading arbitration junior by Who’s Who Legal.

Emilie has represented States, sovereign entities and corporations in both investment treaty and commercial arbitrations. She has experience of arbitrations conducted under the major arbitration rules (ICC, LCIA, ICSID, HKIAC, SCC, UNCITRAL) across a range of sectors, including energy, real estate, finance, mining and telecoms. She also has expertise in proceedings related to arbitration disputes before English and other Commonwealth courts, including enforcement of arbitral awards.

Emilie has also represented parties before a number of international courts, including the ICJ, the ECtHR and the CJEU. She is regularly instructed to advise on complex public international law issues, such as State responsibility, State immunity, Law of the Sea, International Human Rights Law and Interpol Red Notices. 

Representative cases in which Emilie has been involved in 2018 include the ICJ case Legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 (Request for Advisory Opinion) in which she represented the African Union, the CJEU case regarding the dispute resolution mechanism in the CETA in which she was counsel to Wallonia and Brussels (Opinion 1/17) and Bladon Enterprises Ltd, Germen Properties Ltd v Romania, ICSID Case No. ARB/18/30, where Emilie is counsel to the claimants (led by Roderick Cordara QC and instructed by Shearman & Sterling LLP).

Emilie teaches investment treaty arbitration at Sciences Po Paris. She has published and speaks regularly on investment law, public international law and commercial arbitration. She is also admitted to the Paris Bar as Avocate à la Cour and speaks French, Italian and German.

Investment Treaty Arbitration

Experience includes:

Acting for two Cypriot investors in the real estate sector, Bladon and Germen, in Bladon Enterprises Ltd, Germen Properties Ltd v Romania (ICSID Case No. ARB/18/30), an arbitration commenced under the Cyprus-Romania BIT (led by Roderick Cordara QC and instructed by Shearman & Sterling LLP).  

Acting for a UK investor in the real estate sector in an investment treaty arbitration against a middle eastern country (instructed by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co) (details not public).

Advising a mining company in the context of a potential ICSID arbitration against an African government (led by Salim Moollan QC and instructed by King & Wood Mallesons) (details not public).

Acting as Secretary of the Tribunal in Littop Enterprises Limited, Bridgemont Ventures Limited and Bordo Management Limited v Ukraine (SCC Case No. V 2015/092).

Providing an expert opinion in relation to a challenge against two UNCITRAL investment treaty awards on jurisdiction brought by an Eastern European Government at the seat of arbitration (led by Professor Makane Mbengue) (details not public).

Acting for the Government of Pakistan in Allawi v Pakistan and Progas Energy Ltd.  v Pakistan, two arbitrations commenced by investors in the Liquid Petroleum Gas sector under the UK-Pakistan and the Mauritius-Pakistan BITs.   

Acting for a shareholder in a telecommunication company, Dunkeld, in Dunkeld International Investment Limited v The Government of Belize (PCA Case No. 2010-13), an arbitration commenced under the UK-Belize BIT relating to the nationalisation of Telemedia, a telecommunication company.  

Acting for two telecommunication companies, Millicom and Sentel, in Millicom International Operations B.V. and Sentel GSM SA v The Republic of Senegal (ICSID Case No. ARB/08/20), an arbitration commenced under the Netherlands-Senegal BIT relating to a telecommunication licence.   

International Commercial Arbitration

Experience includes:

Acting for a US auction company in an LCIA arbitration arising out of the auction of luxury real estate (details not public).

Acting for a Cameroonian high net worth individual in an ICC arbitration arising out of a multimillion dollar contract (instructed by Omnia LLP) (details not public).

Acting for two financial institutions, in their successful claim against the Government of Belize in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a multimillion dollar loan (details not public).  

Acting for an oil company claimant in a USD 65 million ICC arbitration arising out of a joint venture agreement with two other oil companies (details not public).  

Acting for a bank and its holding company in an UNCITRAL arbitration relating to a settlement agreement with a state entity, in particular concerning the legality of certain tax treatment (details not public).


Public International law / International Human Rights Law

Experience includes:

Acting for the African Union in its intervention before the International Court of Justice in the matter of Legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 (Request for Advisory Opinion).

Acting for Wallonia and Brussels in the context of Belgium’s request for an opinion of the CJEU on the dispute resolution mechanism in the CETA between the EU and Canada (Opinion 1/17).

Advising a former President as to breaches of the ECHR in relation to his prosecution by the new party in power (led by Edward Fitzgerald QC).

Advising the Hungarian Helsinki Committee in the context of the ECtHR Grand Chamber case of Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary (Application no. 47287/15) (instructed by Fietta LLP).

Advising a Middle Eastern government on the strength of its position, as a matter of international law, in the context of a high-profile dispute with neighbouring countries (led by Geoffrey Robertson QC and instructed by Howard Kennedy LLP) (details not public).

Advising the Government of Somalia on international remedies available in relation to Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing by foreign vessels in the territorial waters of Somalia and on the redrafting of its domestic fisheries law.

Advising the government of Senegal on international remedies available in relation to Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing by foreign vessels in the territorial waters of Senegal (led by Professor Makane Mbengue).

Acting for Fininvest, an Italian media company in its claim against Italy before the ECtHR, the company belongs to Silvio Berlusconi and is bringing a claim in relation to judgment of the Italian Supreme Court which affects Fininvest’s shareholding in several media groups (led by Edward Fitzgerald QC).



Arbitration related Court Proceedings

Experience includes:

Acting for the Belize Bank Limited in enforcement proceedings against the Government of Belize before the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest Court in Belize (led by Eamon Courtenay and Angeline Welsh and instructed by Courtenay Coye LLP).

Acting for a financial institution in order to obtain the enforcement of an LCIA arbitral award against a Caribbean State, under s. 66 of the English Arbitration Act 1996. 

Acting for BCB Holdings Ltd and the Belize Bank Ltd in enforcement proceedings  relating  to a USD 44 million  arbitral  award  against  the Government  of Belize both before the English courts and the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Regularly advising on anti-suit injunctions, anti-arbitration injunctions, and applications for recognition and enforcement.


Emilie is regularly instructed in extradition cases at first instance and on appeal.  She has advised on numerous extradition issues including prison conditions, dual criminality and passage of time. 

Notable cases include:

Poland v Drapiewski, 24 August 2016: successful section 21A and Article 8 challenges to extradition where the extradition was sought on an accusation warrant as well as on a conviction warrant.

Germany v Hill: the accusation warrant was withdrawn by Germany after the full extradition hearing where extradition was challenged inter alia on the basis of section 25 in a context where the requested person had suffered a stroke and was no longer able to communicate effectively.

Box v USA, 4 October 2016, unreported: successful appeal of bail refusal by Westminster Magistrates’ Court where the Appellant was accused of manslaughter in the United States.


Commentary of Article 17 of the ICSID Convention, in the ICSID Convention, Rules and Regulations: A Practical Commentary, Elgar Publishing, (forthcoming)

ICSID provisional measures vs. extradition proceedings – the case of Nova Group Investments v Romania”, Lexis PSL Arbitration, 12 December 2017

How Effective are ICSID Provisional Measures at Suspending Criminal Proceedings before Domestic Courts: The English Example?”, Kluwer Arbitration Blog, 30 September 2017

CAFTA tribunal corrects award and terminates arbitration (Berkowitz v Costa Rica)”, Lexis PSL Arbitration, 28 June 2017

Spotlight on OHADA Arbitration following a Recent Decision of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration”, YAR, (April 2016), Ed. 21, (co-author)

GAR Knowhow: Investment Treaty Arbitration – Rwanda chapter (2015) (co-author)

Barristers from the Same Chambers Appearing as Counsel and Arbitrator; Independence Revisited?” DRI, (November 2011), Volume 5, Issue 2 (co-author)