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Guglielmo Verdirame

PhD (London School of Economics); LLM (London); Laurea (Bologna)

Guglielmo Verdirame’s practice covers all aspects of public international law and international arbitration. He is recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the field by the main legal directories.

Guglielmo acts as counsel in cases before English courts, international courts (including the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law for the Law of the Sea); and arbitral tribunals (ICSID, ICSID-Additional Facility, PCA, UNCITRAL, ICC, SCC, LCIA, Court of Arbitration for Sport). He is currently instructed, more often as lead counsel, in several investment disputes (both under BITs and Energy Charter Treaty).

Guglielmo is a member of the UK Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel in Public International Law. A Panel members represent the UK Government in “the most complex public international law cases in various courts”. In this capacity Guglielmo has been instructed to appear before the International Court of Justice, the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court. Most notably, he was the PIL specialist in the team of five counsel selected by the UK Government for the most high-profile case in recent UK legal history (i.e. the “Article 50 case” brought by Gina Miller in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum).

His cases have involved legal issues across the full breadth of public international law: treaty interpretation; immunities and privileges (e.g. State Immunity Act, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Conventions on Privileges and Immunities of the UN and Specialised Agencies); investment (both BITs and ECT); trade (WTO, both GATT and GATS); human rights (e.g. HRA, ECHR, EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, ICCPR, Inter-American Convention on HR, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises); law of armed conflict and national security; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Law of the Sea; and boundary disputes between States. In his international arbitration practice, Guglielmo has dealt with a wide range of questions including in relation to contract interpretation and applicable law, treaty/contract relationship, enforcement of awards, procedural and evidential matters, and legal/evidential issues around damages assessment.

Guglielmo is Professor of International Law at King's College London. He has published extensively in the areas of public international law, international arbitration, and comparative public law.

Specialisations: 

  • Public International Law
  • International Arbitration

Principal Cases: 

Investment arbitrations

Representative selection of recent/current work (2016-2018):

Surfeit Harvest Investment Holding Pte Ltd (Singapore) v Republic of China (Taiwan), Permanent Court of Arbitration - Counsel to the Investor.

Cortec Mining Kenya Limited, Cortec (Pty) Limited and Stirling Capital Limited v Republic of Kenya (ICSID Case No. ARB/15/29) - Counsel to the State.

Iskandar Safa and Akram Safa v Hellenic Republic, (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/20) - Counsel to the State.

BIT claim by European company against an African State - Counsel to the Investor.

Gilward Investments B.V. v Ukraine (ICSID Case No. ARB/15/33) - Counsel to the State.

Littop Enterprises Limited et al. v Ukraine (SCC Arbitration V 2015/092) - Counsel to the State.

Representative selection of pre-2016 work:

Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi v Republic of Kazakhstan, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/2 - Counsel to the State.

Kardassopoulos and Fuchs v Republic of Georgia, ICSID Case Nos. ARB/05/18 and ARB/07/15 [Georgia-Greece BIT, Georgia-Israel BIT, and Energy Charter Treaty] - Adviser to the Investor.

Foresti and De Carli v Republic of South Africa (ICSID/ARB/07/01) - Counsel to the Investor.

Other international courts/tribunals

Representative selection of recent/current work (2016-2018):

Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v United Kingdom), International Court of Justice - Counsel for the United Kingdom, instructed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The “Enrica Lexie” Incident (Italy v India), Provisional Measures, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea - Counsel for the Italian Republic, instructed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

The “Enrica Lexie” Incident (Italy v India), Permanent Court of Arbitration - Counsel for the Italian Republic, instructed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

Representative selection of pre-2016 work:

Exxon Mobil v Russian Federation and Sakhalin Oblast, UNCITRAL/Stockholm - Counsel for the Russian Federation, instructed by Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev.

Case of J. v Peru. Preliminary objection, merits, reparations and costs. Judgment of November 27, 2013. Series C No. 275, Inter-American Court of Human Rights - Counsel to the Claimant.

Adviser to the Government of Laos on multi-jurisdictional enforcement proceedings in Thai-Lao Lignite (Thailand) Co., LTD and Hongssa Lignite (LAO PDR) Co., Ltd v Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic [Ad Hoc Arbitration under UNICTRAL Rules].

Adrian Mutu v Chelsea FC (Court of Arbitration for Sports 2008/A/1644) - Counsel to the Claimant.

Domestic proceedings

Representative selection of recent/current work (2016-2018):

Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union ("The Article 50 case"), [2017] UKSC 5, UK Supreme Court - Counsel for the Secretary of State.

Yalland & Wilding v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (“The EEA case”), High Court - Counsel for the Secretary of State.

Freedom and Justice Party and others v Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Director of Public Prosecutions, [2016] EWHC 2010 (Admin) - Counsel for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Al-Juffali v Estrada, [2016] EWCA Civ 176 - Counsel for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Belhaj v Jack Straw & Others, Supreme Court of England and Wales (instructed in an advisory role by the Government Legal Department).

Ministry of Defense v Serdar Mohammed, Supreme Court of England and Wales (instructed in an advisory role by the Government Legal Department).

Case on immunity arising under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (instructed by the UK Foreign Office and the Government Legal Department).

Case on law of armed conflict/national security (instructed by the UK Foreign Office and the Government Legal Department).

Representative selection of pre-2016 work:

Kumar Lama v R, [2014] EWCA Crim 1729 (Court of Appeal) - Amicus Curiae appointed by the Attorney General at the request of the Court to provide assistance to the Court on issues of immunity ratione materiae of state officials and UN immunity.

Republic of Italy et al. v Sotheby’s, Claim No. HQ09X00180 (High Court of Justice) - Counsel to the Italian Republic (case settled after a mediation and protracted negotiations).

R (Al Rawi and others) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Secretary of State for the Home Department (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees intervening) [2006] EWCA Civ 1279) - Counsel to the Claimant.

Expert/advisory

Representative selection of expert/advisory work:

  • Expert Opinion to one of Europe’s largest green energy companies on a large foreign investment.
  • Expert Opinion for the global security company G4S on issues of international human rights/corporate social responsibility in relation to its business activities in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
  • Advice to an African State on boundary issues States.
  • Advice to the Republic of Honduras and NYU’s Urbanisation Project on the Establishment of Charter Cities and issues of national sovereignty/territorial integrity.
  • Advice for an Asian State on potential proceedings in the International Court of Justice under a human rights treaty (proceedings were not commenced).
  • Advice to the Republic of Turkey on certain pieces of EU legislation.
  • Advice on litigation strategy in connection to restitution claims brought under Article 1, Protocol I of the ECHR.
  • Advice to investors on potential arbitration proceedings under various Bilateral Investment Treaties and the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • UN sanctions on Iran (for a bank).
  • Sanctions on Zimbabwe (for a bank).
  • Re-structuring of assets/investments worth in excess of $1bn with a view to maximising international legal protection (for a high-net worth Asian businessman).
  • Compliance with the laws of war in an internal armed conflict (for a non-state actor).

Arbitral appointments:

  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - Case No. EXP/410/ICANN/27
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - Case No. EXP/414/ICANN/31
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - Case No. EXP/415/ICANN/32
  • London Court of International Arbitration - Arbitration No. UN122272 (commercial dispute - case settled)

Education and Career: 

Guglielmo is Professor of International Law at King’s College London.

Previous appointments include:

  • Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School (2015)
  • Lecturer in the Faculty of Law and a Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge (2003-2011)
  • Visiting Professorial Fellow, Harvard Law School (2007)
  • Director of Studies for Public International Law, Hague Academy of International Law (2006)
  • Fellow, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (2003-2006)
  • Junior Research Fellow, Merton College, University of Oxford (2000-2003)

 

He holds the following degrees: PhD (LSE), LLM (London), Laurea in Giurisprudenza (Bologna).

 

Publications: 

See full CV attached below.

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • European Society of International Law
  • American Society of International Law
  • British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • International Law Association
  • Commercial Bar Association

Quotes: 

Ranked for Public International Law in Chambers & Partners, UK Bar; Chambers & Partners, Global; Legal 500; Who’s Who Legal 2018

"He has a deep intellectual knowledge, is very interested in BIT arbitration and is experienced in state-on-state matters." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar 2018)

"Very impressive and very highly regarded." (The Legal 500, 2017)

"He's excellent and very well versed in PIL." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar 2017)

"His work is top class" and "he's very hands-on and responsive in a way that a lot of academics aren't." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar 2016)

"Bright, able, and clearly knows his stuff." (The Legal 500, 2016)

"Very good in relation to state immunity issues." (The Legal 500, 2015)

"Extremely strong, he's very much sort after by certain very senior silks and that's a testament to how good he is. He is a true future star individual." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar 2015)

"Guglielmo Verdirame has a lot of experience as an advocate and a stalwart academic background as a professor of international law at King's College London. He 'always looks for solutions that may not be obvious in order to advance his clients' cases'." (Chambers & Partners, Global, 2014)

"He's really on the ball for investment treaty disputes." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar, 2014)

"Very astute, he has been a real asset to our team." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar, 2014)

"Guglielmo Verdirame 'lives and breathes this area' and is applauded for his excellence in terms of both pure, traditional PIL and investor-state arbitration." (Chambers & Partners, UK Bar, 2013)

"... the 'very user-friendly and unflappable' Guglielmo Verdirame is ‘a rising star in the field of international law'." (Legal 500, 2012)

 

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GV Verdirame CV for 20ES & KCL October 2018.pdf249.86 KB