A well-established presence in the field of public international law.

- The Legal 500 UK Bar

Public International Law

3VB is now recognised as one of the premier global sets for public international law matters, handling an impressive roster of significant sovereign disputes across the world, including in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Its members have wide ranging experience across all areas of public international law, and are experienced advisors of states, corporations and international organizations on their rights and obligations on the international plane.

3VB barristers are currently acting, or have previously acted, before a range of international courts and arbitral institutions including the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. They also appear before the domestic appellate courts of many jurisdictions on public international law matters, including the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and the High Court of Australia. Recent work has ranged across the law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, climate change, state and diplomatic immunity, international sanctions, maritime and land boundary cases and a variety of specific treaty-based matters. Recent highlights include appearing before: the Court of Arbitration and Neutral Expert in disputes between Pakistan and India under the Indus Waters Treaty; the International Court of Justice in the Allegations of Genocide case between Ukraine and Russia; the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law advisory proceedings; and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the High Court of Australia in significant state immunity matters.

3VB’s eminence in public international law synergises with its established practice in investment treaty arbitration. Its reputation is second to none at the English Bar and its members are skilled in acting for investors and states alike. Recent highlights include a large team of 3VB barristers acting in Nova Group Investments BV v Romania, an ICSID claim against Romania arising out of the expropriation of an insurance company in 2014/2015, in excess of USD350 million; acting for the Russian Federation in the USD50 billion Yukos Universal & Ors v Russian Federation case in the English courts; involvement in coordinating Pakistan’s global strategy in resisting enforcement of the USD6 billion ICSID award in Tethyan Copper Company v Pakistan; acting for Morocco defending a USD400 million claim in Carlyle Group & Ors v Morocco in the first ever ICSID case under the US–Morocco Free Trade Agreement; and acting for Spain in enforcement proceedings in the English and Australian courts concerning various awards arising under the Energy Charter Treaty.

3VB is committed to leadership within the public international law space. Its members have been appointed to the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators, the Attorney-General’s Public International Law Panel, the IBA’s Investment Treaty Arbitration Sub-Committee and the governing body of the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law. Members hold senior professorial academic posts and frequently publish, lecture, teach and present on public international law topics in forums worldwide.

Winner: UK Bar Awards 2023
The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year