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Mahnaz Malik

Mahnaz specialises in international law and international dispute settlement. She routinely conducts arbitrations for sovereigns and corporations governed by ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA and other procedures. She is often sought for her expertise in investor-state disputes arising under bilateral investment treaties and contracts. Mahnaz is currently representing 3 Governments in significant investor-state claims and has appeared as Counsel in 5 bilateral investment treaty disputes in the last year alone. 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 has advised over 20 governments and 3 regional groupings across Africa, Asia and Latin America on investment law and has trained over 600 government officials. She also assists individuals and corporations in relation to obtaining investment treaty protection and sovereign guarantees.

Mahnaz is a member of the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators and sits on the editorial board of the ICSID Review. In 2018 Mahnaz joined the ad-hoc ICSID committee to hear the case brought by EuroGas Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. against the Republic of Slovakia. This appointment saw Mahnaz as one of the youngest ever appointed to an ICSID Annulment Committee since records began and the youngest woman. 

Mahnaz publishes, teaches and speaks extensively. Her writings are frequently cited in academic journals and appear on syllabi. She is an adjunct professor on the faculty of a US law school, and has been a guest lecturer at King's College London and the London School of Economics. Her professional awards include the prestigious Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year Award 2007. She 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, Mahnaz qualified as an Attorney at Law (New York), Solicitor (England & Wales) and an Advocate of the High Court in Pakistan. She is also called to the English Bar (Lincoln's Inn).

Recent cases




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


Relevant ICSID and investment treaty arbitration experience
  • Annulment Committee member hearing EuroGas Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. v. Slovak Republic.
  • Counsel to the Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan in two claims brought in relation to a gold and copper mining licence by an international mining company under a bilateral investment treaty at ICSID and a contract at the ICC (Tethyan Copper Company v Pakistan, ICSID).
  • Counsel to a large German enterprise against an Eastern European country in a bilateral investment treaty arbitration (ad hoc) arising out of the construction of a major shopping mall project.
  • Successfully represented the Government of Indonesia in obtaining dismissal of a USD 75 million claim arising out of the bail out of a major bank pursuant to the UK-Indonesia BIT (Rafat Ali Rizvi v Indonesia, ICSID)(instructed by KarimSyah in Jakarta)
  • Counsel to the Republic of Indonesia on an ICSID arbitration brought by a British investor under the UK-Indonesia bilateral investment treaty in relation to the bail-out of a bank (Rafat Ali Rizvi v Republic of Indonesia, ICSID) (instructed by KarimSyah in Jakarta).
  • Lead Counsel to a Turkish investor in a BIT claim at ICSID against a Central Asian State in relation to the construction of a major project.
  • Advising a South Korean multinational in relation to a potential ICSID claim under a bilateral investment treaty over a tariff dispute with the Government of an Asian state.
  • Advising a major Dutch company on ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Government of Egypt for breach of the Netherlands-Egypt bilateral investment treaty.
  • Advising a British sports personality in relation to claims for intellectual property rights' infringement against a large Asian state arising out of a UK bilateral investment treaty.
Commercial Arbitration and Litigation
  • Counsel to the Government of Albania against a US investor in relation to a claim worth US$1 billion arising from the termination of an oil exploration contract (ad hoc arbitration) (Sky Petroleum Inc v Albania, UNCITRAL, oil exploration contract).
  • Counsel to an Asian government for the setting aside a default judgment before the English Commercial Court.
  • Counsel to an Indian entertainment company in relation to the settlement of a distribution and licensing dispute with a European company over a fashion satellite television channel.
  • Counsel to a Japanese trading company on an ICC English law arbitration in relation to its dispute with a Turkish firm
  • Counsel to a Central Asian airline in relation to an ICC arbitration against a US aircraft leasing company.
  • Counsel to an Australian energy company on a LCIA Indian law arbitration in relation to a dispute over a gas exploration joint venture in India. 16. Counsel to a British telecommunications company on a LCIA English law arbitration in relation to a dispute over a technology investment in Nigeria.
  • Counsel to a UAE based shipping construction company on an ad hoc arbitration under the English Arbitration Act 1996 in relation to an insurance claim against a Japanese firm arising out of a collision between a barge and an off shore oil rig in the Indian ocean.
  • Advising the Cowasjee Foundation, the Karachi Port Trust and the Government of Pakistan in relation to claims arising from the Tasman Spirit oil spill (38,000 tonnes of oil).
  • Counsel to an American purchaser of Indian metal in relation to multi-party disputes, with its shipper and its state-run Indian supplier, including Indian Supreme Court proceedings and an ad hoc English law arbitration in London.
Advisory work with governments and international organisations:


  • Assisting a South African country with drafting a model investment treaty, advice on negotiations with Gulf countries and model investment contracts
  • Assisting two East African countries with drafting their model bilateral investment treaties
  • Advising a South African country on a model investment treaty
  • Advising on investment treaty negotiations between a South East Asian country and a North American country
  • Assisting the SADC Investment Sub-Committee (a regional grouping of 15 countries) on its investment programme and revising the SAD regional investment code
  • Assisting COMESA (a regional grouping of 19 Eastern and Southern African states) in drafting its regional investment promotion and protection treaty (CCIA)
  • Advising the Government of a Central Asian state on its model investment treaty
  • Advising the Government of Pakistan on investment treaty negotiations with the United States of America
  • Advising a West African country on mining disputes and ICSID arbitration proceedings pursuant to its foreign investment law
  • Advising the Government of Qatar on the arbitration/dispute resolution regime for the International Qatar Finance Centre

Advising over 15 Governments on review of their investment treaty programmes and training of high level and mid-level government officials. Countries include: Turkey, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Lao, Vietnam, Namibia, Cambodia, Kenya, Indonesia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Botswana, Mauritius, Ecuador, Bolivia, Iraq, and the Seychelles.

Consultant on international investment treaties to the following international organisations:

  • Energy Charter Treaty Secretariat (51 member countries including Turkey)
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • COMESA Secretariat (regional organisation of 19 African countries)
  • SADC (regional organisation of 14 African countries)5. United Nations Development Programme
  • The World Bank
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat


Education and Career: 


BA and MA in Law, Cambridge University (Chevening and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarships)

Legal Practice Course (Commendation), College of Law, London (1998-1999)

Georgetown Leadership Programme, School of Foreign Policy, Georgetown University, USA (2010)



Call to the English Bar (Lincoln's Inn) (2012)

Attorney and Counsellor at Law, State of New York (2002)

Solicitor, Supreme Court of England and Wales (2002) (non-practising)

Advocate, High Court of Pakistan (2000)


Professional Accolades

Awarded The Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year (2007)

Listed as a Leadership Maker in the Asian Legal Business's Top 100 Lawyers in Asia (2005)

Wig & Pen Pro Bono Award at the Law Society's Young Solicitor Group Pro Bono Law Awards (2005)

Award for The National Trainee Solicitor of the Year presented by The Law Society of England and Wales' Trainee Solicitor Group (2001)

Award for The National Trainee Solicitor Most Likely to Succeed On The International Stage presented by The Law Society of England and Wales' Trainee Solicitor Group (2001)



Selected publictions include:

Book "Expropriation Regime under the Energy Charter Treaty" published by the Energy Charter Secretariat (2012) (co-author)

Book "International Law Protections for Foreign Investment Law in Pakistan" published by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI) with the support of Oxford University Press (Pakistan) (December 2010)

Chapter on the "IISD Model International Agreement on Investment for Sustainable Development: Background and Progress" published in the book "Sustainable Development in World Investment Law'' by Kluwer (2010)

Paper on “SAARC & ASEAN Bilateral Investment Treaties” presented at the conference on “Multilateralism and Regionalism in Global Economic Governance” held by the Asian International Economic Law Network (AIELN) at the University of Tokyo on 3 August 2009

UNDP Issues Paper "IIAs signed by CEMAC and ECOWAS Countries: An Exploration of critical linkages with investment provisions in EPAs" (2008)

"The innovations introduced by the COMESA Common Investment Area (CCIA) with respect to investor protection in IIAs, including the investor-state arbitration process" published in the book titled "Arbitration and Mediation in the ACP-EU Relations" containing papers from a conference held by the "Association for International Arbitration (AIA)" in Brussels, May 2008

"Time for a Change -Germany's Bilateral Investment Treaty Programme and Development Policy", Occasional Paper N°27, FES Geneva, November 2006

Report on Bilateral Investment Treaties between EU member states and Pacific countries for the Commonwealth Secretariat, 2006

Report on Bilateral Investment Treaties between EU member states and Caribbean countries for the Commonwealth Secretariat, 2006


Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Member, ICSID Panel of Arbitrators (2012-)
  • Member, ICSID Review Editorial Board
  • Member, Global Advisory Board of the ICDR (International Centre for Dispute Resolution) (2007-2008)
  • Member, The Evian Group Brains Trust (2006)
  • Vice Chair, Asia-Pacific Law Committee of the American Bar Association's International Law and Practice Section (2005)
  • Member of the Cambridge University/Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme for Senior executives
  • Member of the Cambridge University/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)
  • Member of the ICC Commissions on Arbitration and Anti-Corruption (2004-2009)
  • Contributor to Oxford University Press Investment Treaty database, and at the World Arbitration Review.

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