Professional practice

Ben Juratowitch KC is widely recognised as an outstanding advocate. He serves as counsel before international courts and tribunals in disputes between states, disputes between foreign investors and states, and disputes between commercial parties. He appears before domestic courts in cases involving international law or international arbitration.

He has been counsel for states, corporations, international organisations and individuals in disputes before:

  • The International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Human Rights and the Caribbean Court of Justice
  • Arbitral tribunals constituted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration and arbitral tribunals applying the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
  • The courts of England, France and Belize

Ben is ranked as a Band 1 Global Market Leader in the legal directory Chambers and Partners, where he is described as having “an outstanding ability to communicate complex legal arguments with conceptual clarity and persuasiveness” and as combining “high-level legal expertise with a strategic and innovative approach.”

 

What Others Say

Ben Juratowitch QC is lauded as an absolute superstar by impressed commentators who regard him as a top-tier advocate’.” Who’s Who Legal 2022

“Has a brilliant legal mind. He is an excellent strategist, an incisive analyst and an eloquent and persuasive advocate. He is always accessible and responsive, and has an outstanding ability to present complex issues and ideas in simple and understandable ways.” Legal 500, 2022

“Ben is an excellent advocate. He is able to deal with every point that comes up with absolute clarity and with an excellent mastery that has the capacity of convincing even the other side of the cogency of his arguments.” Legal 500, 2022

“an esteemed leader in the field of public international law, offering specialist knowledge of inter-state maritime and territorial boundary disputes and state responsibility” Chambers Global 2022

“Sources praise his advocacy skills, with one interviewee saying: ‘I was amazed by his phenomenal cross-examination skills,’ and going on to add that ‘no doubt he can achieve these results because of his attention to every minimal detail of a case’.” Chambers Global 2021

“he has an outstanding ability to communicate complex legal arguments with conceptual clarity and persuasiveness” Chambers Global 2021

“He is a fine strategic thinker. He is creative and innovative in his approach and is very accessible.” Chambers Global 2020

“He’s very good at asking the right questions and understanding the political sensitivities in any given case.” Chambers Global 2020

“In terms of advocacy he’s very clear, very well organised and effective.” Chambers Global 2020

“Ben Juratowitch QC is celebrated as ‘extremely accomplished’ with ‘a very sharp mind’.” Who’s Who Legal 2020

“He is a pleasure to deal with. He is exceptionally smart, quick to get on top of a brief, and then launches in with determination.” Chambers Global 2019

“at ease with the most difficult of issues of law and fact” Chambers Global 2019

“characterised by his strategic nous” Chambers Global 2018

“extremely serious, extremely capable, first-class lawyer” who has “a very good sense of working in a team” Chambers Global 2018

“thorough, strategic, innovative and clear in his thinking and adviceChambers Global 2017

“He is applauded for his ‘technical knowledge, leadership, effectiveness and remarkable ability to combine positions and propose a logical and satisfactory solution’.” Chambers Global 2017

“combines an excellent legal mind with a very strategic and practical approach” Legal 500, 2016

Examples of recent cases

Counsel for:

  • Shell, the Africa Finance Corporation and a consortium of banks in two consolidated commercial arbitrations with more than $2 billion at stake, and in multiple related proceedings before the High Court of England and Wales concerning an anti-suit injunction and challenges under the English Arbitration Act to the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal
  • Italy in its dispute with India under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning the exercise of jurisdiction over two Italian Marines, in provisional measures proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and in an arbitration administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Enrica Lexie Incident)
  • Chile before the International Court of Justice in the case brought by Bolivia claiming that Chile was under an obligation to negotiate with it concerning granting it sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean
  • Investors in and the owner of the submarine natural gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel in two arbitrations brought under different investment treaties against Egypt and two commercial arbitrations governed by English law against entities owned by the Egyptian State, all arising from the termination of gas supply from Egypt to Israel during the Arab Spring
  • Stans Energy Corporation before the High Court of England and Wales defending a challenge brought by the Kyrgyz Republic under the English Arbitration Act to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal seated in London and hearing claims under the Kyrgyz Foreign Investment Law
Arbitration related court proceedings

Counsel for:

  • The Africa Finance Corporation, Shell, and a consortium of banks before the High Court of England and Wales in anti-suit injunction proceedings against a Nigerian energy company to protect two arbitrations seated in London
  • Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd before the High Court of England and Wales defending a challenge to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal seated in London and constituted under an arbitration agreement providing for a unilateral election to arbitrate
  • Stans Energy Corporation before the High Court of England and Wales defending a challenge brought by the Kyrgyz Republic under the English Arbitration Act to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal seated in London and hearing claims under the Kyrgyz Foreign Investment Law
  • The Attorney General and the Minister of Finance of Belize before the Caribbean Court of Justice and subsequently the Supreme Court of Belize on issues of constitutional law related to the enforcement in Belize of an arbitral award in favour of Belize Bank Limited
  • A multinational corporation before the Paris Court of Appeal resisting a challenge to an international commercial arbitration award rendered in an arbitration seated in Paris
International commercial arbitration

Counsel for:

  • East Mediterranean Gas in a tripartite arbitration also involving the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and the Israel Electric Company seated in Geneva and arising from the repudiation of a contract between them governed by English law and concerning the supply of gas from Egypt to Israel
  • The Africa Finance Corporation, Shell, and a consortium of banks in two consolidated arbitrations seated in London against a Nigerian energy company, one under a contract governed by English law and the other by Nigerian law
  • An African airport authority in an arbitration concerning termination of a contract to construct an airport terminal
  • A multinational energy company in a commercial arbitration against the government of an Asian State under a contract stabilising taxation obligations and governed by English law
  • A European energy company in a dispute with its supplier involving European competition law and the mechanism for determining the price of gas under a long term contract governed by Norwegian law
  • East Mediterranean Gas in an arbitration seated in Cairo against the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company concerning repudiation of a gas supply agreement governed by English law
  • An international intergovernmental organisation in four consolidated commercial arbitrations under contracts for the provision of goods and services to it
  • A US pharmaceutical company in an arbitration seated in Brussels concerning rights to payment for intellectual property under a contract governed by French law
Investment treaty arbitration

Counsel for:

  • The Republic of South Africa in an arbitration in which foreign investors claimed that implementation of South Africa’s black economic empowerment policies in its mining sector contravened investment protection treaties
  • Romania in the Micula v Romania case, both in the arbitration and the annulment proceedings, concerning Romania’s repeal of customs duty exemptions in order to join the European Union, and the relationship between Romania’s obligations under the European Union treaties and its obligations under its bilateral investment treaty with Sweden
  • Investors in the submarine natural gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel in two arbitrations against Egypt arising from the termination of gas supply from Egypt to Israel during the Arab Spring
  • Swisslion against North Macedonia in a case concerning privatisation of a food production company
  • The Republic of Kenya in an arbitration concerning the withdrawal of a licence to exploit geothermal energy
  • Latvia in annulment proceedings focused on whether the arbitral tribunal had stated reasons for how the conduct in breach of the treaty had caused the losses for which compensation was awarded
  • Romania in a case arising in the petrochemical industry involving allegations of breach of the Energy Charter Treaty
Public international law

Counsel for:

  • Belize in its dispute with Honduras before the International Court of Justice concerning sovereignty over the Sapodilla Cayes
  • The United Kingdom intervening in the case between Ukraine and the Russian Federation before the International Court of Justice under the Genocide Convention
  • Gabon in its dispute with Equatorial Guinea before the International Court of Justice concerning legal titles governing delimitation of their land and maritime boundaries and sovereignty over islands
  • Belize before the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Guatemala’s claims to territory and maritime areas
  • Italy in its dispute with India under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning the exercise of jurisdiction over two Italian Marines, in provisional measures proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and in an arbitration administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Enrica Lexie Incident)
  • Chile before the International Court of Justice in the case brought by Bolivia claiming that Chile was under an obligation to negotiate with it concerning granting it sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean
  • Belize in the proceedings before the International Court of Justice arising from the request of the United Nations General Assembly for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965
  • Chile in its case with Peru decided by the International Court of Justice concerning their maritime boundary

Advising states, international organisations, corporations and non-governmental organisations on issues of public international law including sovereignty over territory, delimitation of boundaries on land and at sea, the law of the sea including navigational rights and fisheries, climate change, international watercourses and arrangements for sharing other natural resources or infrastructure that straddle boundaries or are in disputed areas, rights of free transit, control over airspace, self-determination, international human rights, state and diplomatic immunities, protection of foreign investments, treaty law including the drafting, interpretation, termination and effect of reservations to treaties, dispute settlement procedures, and responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts.

Public law and human rights

Counsel for:

  • Slovenia in a case against Croatia before the European Court of Human Rights concerning whether the court had jurisdiction over a claim by one State against another State for breach of the rights of a bank owned and controlled by the applicant State
  • A coalition of nine nongovernmental organisations, led by the International Press Institute, intervening in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights on issues of freedom of expression
  • Three different individuals in three different complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning breaches of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in each case instructed by the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights
  • REDRESS for an amicus curiae submission requested from it by the International Criminal Court concerning the approach to reparations to victims to be adopted following convictions for international crimes
  • The Central Bank and the Minister of Finance of Belize in a case before the Supreme Court of Belize concerning revocation of an international banking licence
  • The Attorney General of Belize before the Court of Appeal of Belize in a case concerning the admissibility and evaluation of certain expert evidence on quantification of damages for expropriation of land
  • The Attorney General of Belize in a case before the Supreme Court of Belize, on remand from the Caribbean Court of Justice, to assess damages for breach of contracts to administer the shipping registry of Belize and the international banking registry of Belize

Advisor to:

  • The Government of Slovenia in connection with proceedings before the Austrian courts concerning distribution to the successor States of the Republic of Yugoslavia of funds deposited with an Austrian bank by the Central Bank of the Republic of Yugoslavia
  • The South African Minister of Mineral Resources in connection with a case concerning whether changes to legislation regulating mineral resources were contrary to the property protections in the South African Constitution, before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court of South Africa
Career

2001-2002 Judicial Assistant to the Chief Justice of New South Wales, The Hon James Spigelman AC

2007 Associate at Shearman and Sterling

2008-2013 Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

2013-2021 Partner in the international arbitration group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

2014-2021 Head of the public international law practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

2003 Admitted as a solicitor in Queensland, Australia

2010 Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales

2017 Appointed by the Attorney General of the United Kingdom to the ‘A panel’ of counsel for Public International Law matters before English courts and international courts and tribunals

2017 Queen’s Counsel, England and Wales

2018 Member of the Belize Bar

2019 Member of the Paris Bar (avocat à la cour)

2021 Member of the Bar of England and Wales

Education

1996-1999 Bachelor of Arts (international relations) University of Queensland, Australia

1996-2000 Bachelor of Laws, University of Queensland, Australia

2003-2004 BCL (masters degree in law), University of Oxford

2004-2006 D Phil (doctorate in law), University of Oxford

2013-2014 Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the London School of Economics

2009-present Teaching an annual course of seminars on international dispute resolution at the University of Paris V

Awards
  • University Medal for Law, University of Queensland, 2000
  • Rhodes Scholarship, University of Oxford, 2003-2006

 

 

Publications
  • A Protocol for Agreeing on a Presiding Arbitrator (2022) Jus Mundi Publications
  • Individual Rights in Disputes between States (2021) 29 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 433 (with Natasha McNamara)
  • Introduction to Rosalyn Higgins, ‘Time and the Law: International Perspectives on an Old Problem’ (1997) 46 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 501 when reprinted in British Contributions to International Law 1915-2015 (Brill 2020)
  • Departing from confidentiality in international dispute resolution (2020) 12 Indian Journal of International Economic Law 134
  • Unjust enrichment as a primary rule of international law, in Mads Andenas and others (editors) General Principles and the Coherence of International Law (Brill 2019) 227-246 (with James Shaerf)
  • Les réserves aux clauses restrictives (2018) 2 Revue générale de droit international public 329 (with Alexandra van der Meulen)
  • L’extraterritorialité du droit pénal et les sanctions, in La souveraineté pénale de l’État, Société Française de Droit International, Colloque de Lille (Pedone 2018) 487-500 (with Alexandra van der Meulen and Daniel Müller)
  • Debate on Compulsory Jurisdiction in International Dispute Settlement: Beyond David versus Goliath? (2017) 111 Proceedings of the American Society of International Law 129
  • Waiver of State Immunity and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (2016) 6 Asian Journal of International Law 199
  • Hydrocarbons in Disputed Areas (2015) 44(4) International Law News 1 (with Nigel Blackaby)
  • Resolution of Disputes involving the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Extraction of Natural Resources by Foreign Investors (2015) 108 Proceedings of the American Society of International Law 5
  • Fora Non Conveniens for Enforcement of Arbitral Awards against States (2014) 63 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 477
  • The Temporal Effect of Judgments in the United Kingdom, in Patricia Popelier and others (editors) The Effects of Judicial Decisions in Time (Intersentia 2014) 159-179
  • Diplomatic Protection of Shareholders (2010) 81 British Yearbook of International Law 281
  • Retroactivity and the Common Law (Hart Publishing 2008), reviewed by Lord Nicholls at (2008) 124 Law Quarterly Review 712
  • The Relationship between Diplomatic Protection and Investment Treaties (2008) 23 ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal 10
  • The Doctrine of Separability and Consent to Arbitrate (2008) 24 Arbitration International 475 (with Mark McNeill)
  • Torture is Always Wrong (2008) 22 Public Affairs Quarterly 81
  • Questioning Prospective Overruling (2007) New Zealand Law Review 393
  • The European Convention on Human Rights and English Private International Law (2007) 3 Journal of Private International Law 173
  • Retroactive Criminal Liability and International Human Rights Law (2004) 75 British Yearbook of International Law 337