Since our foundation in 1990, much of the work done by Doughty Street's barristers has involved an international dimension. We also count amongst our barristers those with extensive experience as international lawyers. Our barristers, as well as those distinguished lawyers and jurists who make up our panel of associate and academic tenants, comprise Doughty Street International, which is our international group dedicated to providing advice and advocacy to clients around the world. You can read more about DSI on our sister website, accessible by clicking here. More information about our arbitration practice can be found in the drop-down menu at the foot of this page.
Doughty Street Chambers is the first set of barristers' chambers to have an office in The Hague, the capital of international law. The opening of an office in The Hague is a logical extension of Doughty Street's international law practice, which sees some members of chambers permanently based in The Hague with others regularly travelling there to appear before the many international courts and tribunals based in The Hague. DSI provides support facilities for those members of chambers with practices in The Hague, as well as serving as a centre for seminars, research and other initiatives.
Members are at the forefront of international litigation ranging from the European Court of Human Rights and the Privy Council to cases before the International Court of Justice, the courts of the European Union and international arbitrations. Barristers are admitted to practice in other national jurisdictions, and regularly appear in the courts of Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and many Caribbean states as well as other countries. Chambers also has a well-known and active international criminal law team.
Barristers advise individuals, NGOs, Governments and international organisations on matters of international law. Areas of particular expertise include international human rights, jurisdiction, diplomatic and consular law including immunities, international sanctions regimes and corporate social responsibility issues. Doughty Street’s media-law advice also often includes an international dimension. Where required, Chambers draws on an extensive network of local lawyers in others jurisdictions to ensure comprehensive advice and representation for clients dealing with issues in multiple forums.
Public and private law issues also increasingly feature in domestic cases. Doughty Street barristers have played a leading role in developing this area of the law. For instance, members have been involved in most major cases on national security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (e.g. A and others v SSHD, Al Skeini, Al Jedda, Binyam Mohamed v FCO, Al Rawi v Security Services, Serdar Mohammed v SSD), in leading cases such as the “Mau Mau litigation” (Mutua and others v FCO) on historical abuses in Kenya or Jones v Saudi Arabia on state responsibility and torture, in cases regarding compulsory purchase (e.g. HMB Holdings v Antigua) and in large private international law group litigation claims against multinational companies (e.g. Motto v Trafigura and Guerrero v Montericco).
Doughty Street Chambers has made a particular contribution in international death penalty litigation ranging from major constitutional challenges (e.g. The Queen v Hughes (St. Lucia), Reyes v The Queen (Belize) and Boyce and Joseph v The Queen (Barbados)) to sustained work with the Death Penalty Project and frequent representation of individuals in death penalty cases around the word (e.g. in Iraq, Jamaica, Malawi, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the USA and Zimbabwe).
Domestic Law for International Clients
Barristers in the team are also experienced in giving advice on domestic-law issues that have an international dimension or are interlinked with questions of international law. Members of the international law team are able to advise embassies and consulates on consular law. Team members combine extradition and immigration advice and representation when clients face parallel proceedings. Barristers also routinely advise clients who are subject to INTERPOL notices and may also face travel bans and asset-freezes in multiple jurisdictions defending such clients in multiple regional and national fora at once. Doughty Street’s media law advice also often includes an international dimension. Barristers might work with local counsel where such expertise is required.
We advise clients around the world who need to rely on law emanating from Europe in a variety of sectors including governments, business, media and individual rights. Our barristers effortlessly straddle the EU and the Council of Europe and can offer assistance with litigation before all courts and tribunals including the courts of Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
In addition to litigation and legal advice, team members regularly conduct advocacy and human rights training for judges, prosecutors and defence counsel as well as government officials, NGOs, police and military personnel around the globe. Doughty Street barristers have trained the British and US military, NATO, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and judges and lawyers in countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Team members teach international law and have published leading practitioner guides in this area. Many also regularly appear on television and other media as experts on issues relating to international law.
We accept instructions on international cases through solicitors in England and Wales in the usual way, and we also accept instructions from overseas lawyers, on indeed directly from businesses and individuals based outside the UK.
Our team can offer specialist advice, drafting and advocacy on many areas of international law, the law of England and Wales or of the European Community. Our practice managers will be pleased to assist if you, and for further information of an initial conversation about potential new matters please speak to our Head of Business Development Peter Finkill-Coombs.
Members of Doughty Street Chambers have acted – as counsel, arbitrators and experts – on contractual and investment treaty arbitrations across the world.
We have conducted arbitrations in the leading arbitral seats under all the major arbitral rules, including the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (PCA).
We have represented and advised both public and private sector clients on arbitrations, including governments, trade unions, NGOs, charities and corporations.
We also represent clients in the courts of various jurisdictions in arbitration-related proceedings, at both interim and enforcement stages, including before the English courts, national courts in the Caribbean and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Our arbitration team is experienced across a range of sectors and subject matters, including:
Energy and natural resources
Appeals and enforcement of awards
Finance and banking
Foreign investment and investor protections (BITs, FTAs)
General commercial disputes
International human rights
Law of the Sea
Private international law
Public international law
Regulatory and financial crime
Sovereign debt restructuring and sovereign finance
Telecommunications and IT
Investment Treaty Arbitrations
Several members of our team specialise in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), free trade agreements (FTAs) and other international agreements for the protection and promotion of foreign investment.
We have represented investors and states in dozens of arbitrations brought under investment treaties for alleged expropriation, unfair treatment and other breaches of international law. We have also represented parties in ICSID Annulment proceedings.
Our experience covers a broad range of industries, including the energy, financial, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors. We presently act in several high profile and politically significant arbitrations, including two investor-state disputes arising out of the Eurozone financial crisis in Greece and Cyprus. Our experience also covers most regions of the world, including Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Members work closely with many of the leading specialist international arbitration law firms, including Three Crowns, Fietta and Omnia Strategy. Our team is also uniquely positioned to draw on Doughty Street Chambers’ complementary expertise in regulatory and financial crime, and international human rights law.
Members of Doughty Street Chambers have sat as arbitrators in investment treaty arbitrations conducted under the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules.
In addition, members of the team also lecture on investment treaty arbitration at some of the world’s leading law schools, including Sciences Po Paris, Stanford Law School, and City University of Hong Kong.
Representative cases include:
Marfin Investment Group v. The Republic of Cyprus
(ICSID Case No. ARB/13/27)
Champion Holding Company and others v. Arab Republic of Egypt
(ICSID Case No. ARB/16/2)
Poštová banka, a.s. and ISTROKAPITAL SE v Hellenic Republic
(ICSID Case No. ARB/13/8)
Representing the State of Pakistan in two UNCITRAL arbitrations.
Advising Sudan on two ICSID cases.
World Duty Free Company v Republic of Kenya
(ICSID Case No. Arb/00/7)
We have acted as counsel for governments, trade unions and companies in complex, cross-border arbitrations arising from contracts.
Members of our team have advised, for example, on the potential for bringing conceptually ground-breaking arbitrations by trade union federations against large corporations to enforce previously agreed standards of treatment in relation to employees in the supply chain operating in the developing world.
Our experience covers a broad range of industries, including the financial, manufacturing, telecommunication, media, mining, oil and gas, and shipbuilding sectors.
Team members have also sat as arbitrators and acted as arbitration secretaries in commercial arbitrations conducted under various arbitral rules.
Other representative cases include:
LCIA commercial arbitration seated in London between Russian and Ukrainian parties relating to a shareholder dispute arising from a series of English-law governed contracts.
ICC commercial arbitration seated in Paris between an African state and European company relating to a contractual dispute.
LCIA commercial arbitration seated in London between joint venture partners concerning allegations of fraud and corruption in the mining sector.
UNCITRAL commercial arbitration seated in London between an international oil and gas fund and a North Sea-based company for amounts owed pursuant to a contract.
Expert testimony in arbitrations
Members of our team have acted as experts in several international arbitrations.
Mark Wassouf (acting as joint expert with Ben Emmerson QC) recently gave expert evidence to a tribunal on the compliance of domestic criminal proceedings (which were relevant to the dispute being arbitrated) with international due process standards in light of applicable treaty obligations.
Arbitration related court proceedings
Members of DSI have represented clients in the courts of various jurisdictions in arbitration-related proceedings, including before the English courts, national Caribbean Court and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Edward Fitzgerald QC and Emilie Gonin recently represented The Belize Bank Limited and BCB Holdings in proceedings before the Caribbean Court of Justice related to the enforcement of an international arbitral award against the Government of Belize.
Mark Wassouf recently successfully resisted an application to set aside an arbitral award in the English High Court on behalf of Gemini Oil & Gas Fund II LP and is separately instructed to bring enforcement proceedings in England and Wales on behalf of a foreign client.