Professional practice

Chambers and Partners 2020Legal 500 Leading Silk

Dan Sarooshi QC is an experienced advocate with a track record of success in high profile cases. He is a specialist in public international law, investment treaty arbitration, and constitutional and public law. He also has considerable experience in high value commercial litigation. He is a veteran of many cases in international courts (International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, WTO, UN Tribunals); investment arbitrations (ICSID, ICSID AF, ECT, PCA, NAFTA, ICC, UNCITRAL, and LCIA); and the highest domestic courts in the UK, Hong Kong, and Bahamas as well as in domestic employment tribunals. In the area of international law alone he has argued 20 cases in the past three years as advocate and counsel for States, international organisations, and corporations.

His clients include 18 States (e.g. UK and USA), 15 international organizations, and corporations (e.g. BAT, Hitachi, Roche, and Tesco). Before taking Silk, he was a member of both the UK Attorney General (AG) Panel of Counsel for Public International Law cases and the AG Panel of Counsel for Constitutional and Commercial Law cases.

The independent legal directories – Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 – and client quotes say he “has the well-earned reputation to be counted among the finest in London”, is “as good as they come”, “a precious commodity” “at the top of his game”, “combines immense intelligence” with “a wealth of experience of appearing before international and domestic courts, including the ICJ and the English High Court”. “His written and oral advocacy is exemplary. It was superb and won the day. He is a natural and easy leader of a team. Clients trust him with bet-the-country/company cases.” He has “superior skill and creativity as an elite advocate in the field of public law.” He is “clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law”, an “extremely bright advocate with a keen sense of strategy and excellent litigation instincts”, and is “a dream to work with”. “He has an excellent record of representing governments, international organisations and FTSE 100 companies”. His “articulation of public international law is second to none” and as “a resourceful advocate, he offered answers and avenues of recourse in situations where other UK counsel could offer none”.

His standing in the field of international arbitration was recognised by his appointment by the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee in Dec. 2020 to serve on the list of arbitrators to hear Brexit-related disputes arising from the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. In the area of international trade, he was in 2006 appointed as a Member of the WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists (jointly nominated by the UK and EU).

Examples of high profile cases include the following (for other cases, see headings below):

  • Acted as lead counsel for UAE against Qatar in the International Court of Justice.
  • Successfully acted as lead counsel for USA in five separate cases relating to US military bases, State immunity and employment claims in the UK.
  • Successfully acted as lead counsel for UK in Elgin Marbles – Parthenon Sculptures dispute.
  • Successfully acted as lead counsel for UK in £27 million case in European C’t Human Rights.
  • Acted as lead counsel for US military personnel and their families to enforce 12 US Federal Judgments of c. $US775 million against Iran for its sponsorship of terrorist attacks.
  • Successfully acted for large-scale farmers in an ICSID arbitration against Zimbabwe.
  • Successfully acted as one of the lead counsel for Venezuela’s Central Bank in the Court of Appeal case deciding control over c. $2 billion of gold held in the Bank of England.
  • Successfully acted as one of the counsel for Gina Miller in the UK Supreme Court Brexit case.
  • Successfully acted as lead counsel for Iraq’s State Oil Organization in the Commercial Court, in leading commercial & State/Central Bank immunities case.
  • Successfully acted as lead counsel for the UK Government to obtain the discharge of freezing orders against 47 bank accounts of a foreign Embassy in London on State immunity grounds.
  • Acted for Libya as one of the lead counsel in the landmark CA case which changed UK law on State immunity to allow Embassies generally to be sued by their employees.
  • Successfully acted for International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1971 – an international organisation headquartered in London – to obtain the dismissal on grounds of immunity of a US$60 million claim brought by a P&I Club.
  • Acted for BAT in the Court of Appeal in the multi-billion pound judicial review of the UK Government’s “plain packaging” regulation of cigarette sales.
  • Successfully acted in the Bahamian Supreme Court: the Government was held in breach of the Constitution and a Minister fined $150,000 for reading out private emails in Parliament.

 

Arbitration Related Litigation and Commercial Litigation
  • Taurus SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry (enforcement of UNCITRAL award, letters of credit, situs of debt, third party debt orders, and State/Central Bank immunities): Supreme Ct [2018] AC 690; CA [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42; Comm. Ct [2014] 1 All ER 942 & [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 432.
  • A v. B [2018] 5 WLUK 366 (enforcement of UNCITRAL award against a State).
  • Progas v. Pakistan [2018] 1 CLC 126 (challenge to UNCITRAL award; first case to deal with third party funding of investment arbitration).
  • UCP v. Nectrus[2018] 1 WLR 3409 (investment services contract).
  • Heiser and 132 others Iran: litigation over 7 years relating to enforcement of c.$775 million US Federal Judgments against Iran’s commercial assets in the UK: [2019] EWHC 2074, [2019] EWHC 2073, and [2012] EWHC 2938.
  • Ben Rafael and 6 others v. Iran [2015] EWHC 3203 (enforcement of a c.$75M US Judgment against Iran’s commercial assets in the UK).
  • Theognosia Turkey (SoS for FCO) 2016 (freezing order discharge).
  • Cruz City Unitech [2015] 1 All ER 305 (resisting enforcement of LCIA Award and discharge of “Chabra” freezing order).
  • Gard IOPC Fund [2014] 2 CLC 699 (loans, indemnities, & immunity).
  • Gard IOPC Fund [2014] 1 CLC 624 (freezing order discharge).
  • FG Hemisphere Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (enforcement of ICC awards).
  • Serbia Imagesat [2010] 2 All ER (Comm) 571 (challenge to ICC award, waiver, State succession, and non-justiciability).
  • Croatia v. Serbia [2010] Ch 2000 (property / SFRY succession issues).
  • Westpark Kingfisher Airlines. This case was heard in the Court of Appeal [2009] EWCA Civ 526; and Commercial Court [2008] EWHC 3233.
  • Acted as UK law expert for Grenfell Tower victims in US proceedings against the cladding manufacturers used on the Tower: Behrens et al. v. Arnonic et al. (US District Court, PA).

 

 

Constitutional and Public Law
  • R (Miller) SoS (Exiting the EU) [2018] AC 61 (Supreme Court) (for Gina Miller in the Brexit case: whether Parliament or HMG could lawfully terminate UK membership in the EU).
  • R (British American Tobacco) SoS (Health) [2018] QB 149 (CA) (for BAT in multi-billion pound judicial review of the Government’s “plain packaging” regulation of cigarette sales).
  • Benkharbouche v. Sudan and Janah Libya (SoS (FCO) Intervening) [2016] QB 347 (for Libya in the Court of Appeal: declaration of incompatibility upheld by Supreme Court).
  • SoS (FCO) and SoS (Defence) Rahmatullah [2013] 1 AC 614 (Supreme Court) (for UK in decision on constitutional law: judicial review and habeas corpus).
  • “Maduro Board” of Central Bank of Venezuela (“BCV”) v. “Guaido Board” of BCV (ex parte Bank of England (“BOE”) (SoS (FCDO) Intervening): Supreme Court, CA [2021] 2 WLR Civ 1, & Comm. Court [2020] EWHC 3317 (determines control over c. $2 billion of gold held by BOE for BCV; & constitutional limits on HMG’s power to recognise Heads of State).
  • London Borough of Barnett v. AG (SoS (FCDO) Intervening) [2021] EWHC 1253 (Fam) (Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 prevents enforcement action against diplomat parents).
  • STB and Bacon v. AG Bahamas (Bahamas Supreme Court) (Government held in breach of the Constitution and Minister fined $150,000 for reading out private emails in Parliament; scope and application of parliamentary privilege).
  • AB and CD v. AG of the British Virgin Islands and SoS (FCO) (for individuals in this constitutional challenge against UK Government & AG of BVI in relation to breach of privacy caused by the imposition of a publicly accessible register of beneficial interests on the BVI).
  • Advised the State Attorney-General of Sarawak on the constitutionality of three Federal statutes concerning the territorial sea, continental shelf, and petroleum mining in Sarawak.
  • Rich and McCoy v Cayman Islands Government and AG of Cayman Islands (ongoing).
  • SRG Public Utilities Commission & AG (Bahamas Supreme Court) (telecom regulation).
  • FG Hemisphere Congo (Sec. of Justice intervening) [2011] Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal 41 (constitutional relationship between China and Hong Kong post-handover).
  • Advised the UK Government on potential judicial review proceedings regarding the multi-billion pound expansion of Heathrow
  • Advised Sir Philip Green in response to his naming by Lord Hain in the House of Lords in 2018 as the high-profile businessman in the NDA case of ABC v. Telegraph Media Group.
  • Advised Sir Philip Green in response to statements by MPs / Chair of the UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee.
  • Advised Roche on its regulatory dispute with the EC and the European Medicines Agency.
  • Advised a foreign State on whether the judgment of its Constitutional Court given against the UK can be enforced by the English courts against HMG.
Employment Disputes

Specialist in representing States and international organisations in employment claims and obtaining dismissal of cases on grounds of immunity:

  • Successfully represented the USA in four separate ET cases: obtained dismissal of employment claims against the USA relating to its military bases in the UK on the basis of State immunity: Harrington v. USA180 ILR 454 (2015), Webster v. USA [2019] 10 WLUK 500, Wright v. USA [2019] 10 WLUK 500, and Swan v. USA, Case No. 3330976/2018.
  • Successfully represented the USA in ET case Houghton v. USA, Case No. 3321306/2019.
  • Representing the USA in the ongoing UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) case of Webster v. USA (State immunity); and ongoing EAT case of Wright v. USA (State immunity).
  • Representing the USA in the ongoing ET case Chambers v. USA (State immunity).
  • Representing the Kuwait Investment Office in four ongoing ET cases which concern State/diplomatic immunity: Hard v. KIO; Locke v. KIO; Taylor v. KIO; and Vithlani v. USA.
  • Represented Libya in Benkharbouche v. Sudan and Janah Libya (SoS (FCO) intervening) [2016] QB 347 (Court of Appeal – affirmed by Supreme Court – changed UK law on State immunity so that foreign Embassies could now be sued by their employees).
  • Successfully represented and advised five international organizations in international employment disputes: ILOAT and ad hoc dispute systems, and drafting of appeal systems.
  • Represented the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in an employment dispute before the UK ET (case settled on confidential basis).
  • Represented Ambassador Kassam (Ugandan High Commission) in Wokuri Kassam [2013] Ch. 80 (diplomatic immunity case: obtained eventual dismissal of employment claim).
International Arbitration

Appointed by UK and EU to the panel of arbitrators appointed to hear Brexit-related disputes. Acted as Lead Counsel or Expert both for and against States in 28 arbitration proceedings under ICSID (also ECT & AF), PCA, NAFTA, ICC, UNCITRAL & LCIA. Non-confidential cases include:

  • Korsgaard v. Croatia, PCA No. 2019-02 (for investor; large-scale property investment).
  • Safa v. Greece, ICSID Case No. ARB/16/20 (for Greece; concession granted by government in relation to naval shipyards).
  • Gold Pool JV Ltd v. Kazakhstan, PCA Case No. 2016-23 (for investor; concession granted by government in relation to gold mining).
  • MNSS and RCA Montenegro, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/12/8 (for investor; concession granted by government in relation to only steel plant in Montenegro).
  • Exxon Mobil Canada, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/15/6 (NAFTA) (concession granted by government in relation to oil exploration and exploitation).
  • Imagesat InternationalV. v. Serbia, ICC arbitration, Case No.14839/FM (confidential).
  • Murphy Oil Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/4 (for investor; concession granted by government in relation to oil exploration and exploitation).
  • Sempra Energy Argentina, ICSID Case No. ARB/02/16 (for investor; concession granted by government in relation to oil exploration and exploitation).
  • Bernhard von Pezold Zimbabwe, ICSID Case No. ARB/10/15 (for investor; large scale agricultural farming).
  • Border Timbers Zimbabwe, ICSID Case No. ARB/10/25 (for investor; large scale agricultural farming).
  • KS Invest GmbH & TLS Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/25.
  • Surfeit Harvest Investment Ltd v Republic of China (Taiwan), PCA (for investor; loss of rights of management and control over a commercial bank/provision of financial services).
  • Advised the UK on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
  • Advised the UK on potential investment claims arising from expansion of Heathrow airport.
  • Advised a bank on investment claims against a State in South East Asia.

Author of many publications on investment arbitration: e.g., “The resolution of investment disputes by arbitration: risks facing host States”, 33 (1) Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law (“BJIBFL”) (2018) 12; “Investment treaty arbitration and WTO Dispute Settlement”, 49 Texas International Law Journal (2014) 445; “Provisional Measures and Investment Treaty Arbitration”, 29(3) Arbitration International (2013); & “When international financial institutions arbitrate: what law governs investment treaty arbitration?”, 27 BJIBFL (2012) 612.

 

Public International Law
  • International Court of Justice (“ICJ”):
    – Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) for UAE as advocate and counsel.
    – UK Libya (Provisional Measures) (Lockerbie Bombing/terrorism case) for UK working with Professor Rosalyn Higgins QC;
    – Chad Libya for Chad working with Professor Higgins QC;
    – Slovakia Hungary for Slovakia working with Professor Higgins QC,
    – East Timor (Portugal Australia) for Portugal working with Professor Higgins QC.
  • European Court of Human Rights: Nak Naftogaz Ukrainy UK, App. 62976/12 (for UK: £27 million case brought by Ukraine’s national gas supplier against the UK).
  • UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (anti-terrorism): Prosecutor v. Ayyash et. al., 2012, STL-11-01/PT/TC (for UN Prosecutor).
  • Elgin Marbles – Parthenon Sculptures: Greece v. UK (for UK: case relating to Greek claims for the return of the Elgin Marbles: involved State succession/UNESCO treaties).
  • Economic sanctions: Sanctions cases in international and English courts; and a broad advisory practice advising clients on a range of sanctions matters under UN, EU, and UK sanctions regimes imposed against States including Belarus, Russia, Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Sudan.
  • Law of International Organizations (IOs): advised and represented 15 IOs on a broad range of legal issues including, e.g.: constituent treaties; drafted two treaties on privileges and immunities; drafted three headquarters agreements; economic sanctions; laws of France, India, South Africa, UK and US relating to IOs; dissolution of IOs; contractual disputes and arbitrations (UNCITRAL and ad hoc); advocacy for four IO secretariats before plenary organs comprised of Member States; advocacy for five IOs in international employment disputes (involving ILOAT and ad hoc dispute systems), including drafting of appeal systems; and representing IOs in domestic courts (see section below).
  • Boundaries, State succession, Law of the Sea, and Environmental Law: advised and represented States and corporations in matters involving land and maritime boundaries and baselines; oil and gas concessions; State succession issues and related boundary questions in several international cases & arbitrations involving the former Soviet Union, the SFRY, the FRY, and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro; UN Convention on Law of the Sea; costal States rights; IMO treaties; and environmental law. Examples include:
    – Advised Chad on territorial boundaries in Chad v. Libya ICJ case with Prof. Higgins QC (later President of the ICJ).
    – Advised the UK on its UK maritime boundaries and baselines
    – Advised a SE Asian State on boundary issues relating to delimitation of its territorial sea and continental shelf; and Exclusive Economic Zone (“EEZ”) issues.
    – Advised the State Attorney-General of Sarawak on the scope of Sarawak’s territorial sea and continental shelf; and associated petroleum exploration rights of the State.
    – Advised a southern African State on its land and maritime boundary claims and associated treaty issues.
    – Advised a north African State on its land boundary claims.
    – Advised an East African State on territorial boundaries, EEZ, and oil & gas concessions.
    – Represented a private client in an ad hoc shipping arbitration: involving, e.g., the EEZ regime established by UNCLOS, and the content of the State’s rights within the EEZ.
    – Re-drafted Terms of Business for Port of Salalah: involved commercial and environmental law and 14 maritime treaties (UNCLOS and IMO Conventions).
    – Advised a multinational corporation on the UNEP Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste.
    – Advised Slovakia in Slovakia v. Hungary ICJ case with Professor Higgins QC: international environmental law and the law of treaties.

PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW IN DOMESTIC COURTS:

  • UK Supreme Court: (1) R (Miller) UK [2018] AC 61; (2) Taurus v. SOMO [2017] UKSC 64 (for SOMO, Iraq’s Oil Ministry); (3) Rahmatullah v Secretary of State for Defence [2013] 1 AC 614 (for UK Government); and (4) “Maduro Board” of the Central Bank of Venezuela (“BCV”) v. “Guaido Board” of BCV (ex parte The Bank of England), Supreme Court case heard in July 2021 (recognition of foreign Heads of State under international and UK law).
  • English Court of Appeal: (5) Benkharbouche v. UK SoS (FCO) and Janah v. Libya [2016] QB 347 (for Libya in landmark State immunity case: the Court of Appeal (affirmed by UK Supreme Court) changed UK State immunity law to permit Embassies to be sued by their employees); (6) Taurus SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42 (for SOMO in landmark State/Central Bank immunities case); (7) R (BAT) v. SoS (Health) [2018] QB 149 (for BAT in this multi-billion pound case against UK “plain packaging” cigarette packaging regulations where the challenge involved, inter alia, WTO law); (8) The Central Bank of Venezuela case [2021] WLR Civ 1 (CA) and before the Commercial Court [2020] EWHC 3317 (Comm)).
  • English High Court (HCt) / UK Employment Tribunal (ET): (9) three judgments in Heiser & Others Iran (HCt) [2019] EWHC 2074, [2019] EWHC 2073, and [2012] EWHC 2938 (for deceased/injured US military personnel and families seeking to enforce US Judgments worth c.$US775 million against Iran’s commercial assets; key State immunity case); (10) Webster v. USA (ET) [2019] 10 WLUK 500 (State immunity case for USA relating to a US military base in the UK: employment claims dismissed); (11) London Borough of Barnett v. AG & Others (SoS (FCDO) Intervening) [2021] EWHC 1253 (Fam) (leading diplomatic and State immunities case refusing declaration of incompatibility sought by Local Authority against Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 based on European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on Rights of the Child); (12) Wright v. USA (ET) [2019] 10 WLUK 500 (State immunity case for USA relating to a US military base in the UK: employment claims dismissed); (13) Harrington v. USA (ET) 180 ILR 454 (2015) (State immunity case for USA relating to a US military base in the UK: employment claims dismissed); (14) Swan v. USA (ET) (2019) 3330976/2018 (State immunity case for USA relating to a US military base in the UK: employment claims dismissed); (15) Houghton v. USA ET Judgment Case No. 3321306/2019 (State immunity case for USA: successfully resisted application relating to service of process under State Immunity Act); (16) Chambers v. USA (ET) (2020) (State immunity case for USA: ongoing); (17) case for EBRD in UK ET employment dispute (international organization immunity case settled on confidential basis); (18) Hard v. Kuwait Investment Office (ET) (State/diplomatic immunity case for KIO: ongoing); (19) Locke v. Kuwait Investment Office (ET) (State/diplomatic immunity case for KIO: ongoing); (20) Taylor v. Kuwait Investment Office (ET) (State/diplomatic immunity case for KIO: ongoing); (21) Vithlani v. Kuwait Investment Office (ET) (State/diplomatic immunity case for KIO: ongoing); (22) Theognosia v. Turkey (SoS (FCO) intervening) (HCt) (intervened on behalf of UK to obtain the discharge of freezing orders against 47 bank accounts of a foreign Embassy; State immunity case); (23) The Central Bank of Venezuela case (Commercial Court) [2020] EWHC 3317 (Comm)); (24) A v. B (a State) (HCt) [2018] 5 WLUK 366 (enforcement of UNCITRAL award against a State); (25) Progas v. Pakistan (HCt) [2018] EWHC 209 (for Progas: challenge to UNCITRAL award; third party funding); (26) Ben Rafael v. Iran (HCt) [2015] EWHC 3203 (for family of diplomat killed in bombing of a US Embassy: seeking to enforce US Judgment c.$US75 million against Iran’s commercial assets; State immunity case); (27) Taurus v. SOMO (HCt) [2014] 1 All ER 942; (28) Gard v. IOPC Fund 1971 (HCt) [2014] 2 CLC 699 (international organization immunity case for IOPC headquartered in London resisting imposition of £60 million freezing order); (29) Gard v. IOPC Fund 1971 (HCt) [2014] EWHC 3369 (international organization immunity case obtaining discharge of claims/£60 million freezing order); (30) Congo (DRC) v. Blemain Finance (for Blemain: State/diplomatic immunity issues regarding DRC Embassy/Ambassador’s residence); (31) Wokuri v. Kassam (HCt) [2013] Ch 80 (diplomatic immunity case for Ambassador Kassam, Uganda: obtained eventual dismissal of employment claim); (32) Croatia v. Serbia (HCt) [2010] Ch 200 (for Serbia: State properties/SFRY succession); (33) Serbia v. Imagesat International (HCt) [2010] 2 All ER 571 (for Serbia: challenge to ICC Award).
  • Hong Kong: (34) FG Hemisphere Congo [2011] HKCFA 41 (landmark State immunity and constitutional case involving China – Hong Kong relationship post hand-over).

In parallel with his litigation and advisory services, Dan is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford (since 2006) and a Senior Research Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford. He has taught graduate courses in International Dispute Settlement, WTO Law, Public International Law, and the Law of International Organizations/United Nations Law at Oxford University, and previously at University College London and the LSE.

Dan has four books: International Organizations and Their Exercise of Sovereign Powers (OUP) (2005), The United Nations and the Development of Collective Security (OUP) (1999), Responsibility and Remedies for the Actions of International Organizations (Hague Academy/Brill, 2014), and Issues of State Responsibility before International Judicial Institutions (2004). These books were awarded the American Society of International Law Prize twice (2001 and 2006), 1999 Swiss Guggenheim Prize, and 2006 US Myres McDougal Prize.

He is General Editor and author with former ICJ Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood of Oppenheim’s International Law (forthcoming: 10th ed., OUP); and has authored over 50 articles/chapters, including the 125 pp. co-authored chapter with Judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins (former ICJ President) entitled “Institutional Modes of Conflict Management”.

He delivered the Hague Academy of International Law (HAIL) lectures on “Immunities of States and International Organizations in National Courts” in 2018, being prepared for publication in HAIL’s Recueil des cours. He served previously as Director of HAIL’s Centre of Research (English & French) in 2011, and as Director of Studies, HAIL, 2005.

World Trade Organization Law

Professor Dan Sarooshi Q.C. was appointed in 2006 as a Member of the WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists (jointly nominated by the UK and EU). He has taught WTO Law at the graduate level since 1997 both at the University of Oxford where he is Professor of Public International Law and previously at University College London, University of London. He has represented and advised States and FTSE 100 companies as leading or joint counsel in a broad range of WTO/regulatory disputes and matters including:

  • Advised the UK Government on:
  • Proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiated by the EU and the USA;
  • Proposed EU Regulations and Directives aimed at preventing future crises in financial markets and evaluating their compatibility with the EU/UK’s obligations under the WTO;
  • The scope and application of the WTO Subsidies Agreement in various contexts;
  • The scope and application of the Aircraft Sector Understanding in various contexts; and
  • The OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credit.
  • Advised British American Tobacco in its regulatory dispute with the Australian Government in relation to the WTO case: Australia – Certain Measures Concerning Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging, 28 June 2018, WT/DS435/R, WTO Panel Report (888 pages).
  • Advised, and represented, British American Tobacco in the regulatory/WTO case R (British American Tobacco) v. SoS for Health (Court of Appeal) [2018] Q.B. 149.
  • Advised Reuters using WTO law on its WTO/regulatory disputes:
  • With a State using the WTO GATS and competition law; and
  • With a State that subsequently led to amendment of a draft Financial Services Reform Bill.
  • Advised Tesco plc on its WTO/regulatory disputes:
  • With a State that was preventing the opening of 42 retail stores; and
  • With a State that had imposed a “surcharge tax” on its operations.
  • Advised Roche on its regulatory dispute with the European Commission and EMA.
  • Advised a global telecommunications corporation in its regulatory and competition disputes with three separate WTO members using the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), Telecoms Agreement, and competition law.
  • Advised another global telecommunications corporation in its regulatory dispute with a WTO member State using the GATS and the GATT.
  • Advised the UN World Food Programme on a WTO member State’s obligations under the WTO subsidies agreement and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.
  • Advised a large steel exporter to a State in South America on a dispute relating to application of the State’s anti-dumping law.
  • Advised the Commonwealth Secretariat on the GATS and Annex on Financial Services and their relationship with standards from the OECD, FATF, and Basel Committee.
  • Advised the government of Albania on the WTO compatibility of its proposed sale and privatisation for 120 million Euros of Albtelecom (the State-owned telecoms provider).
  • Advised a large steel exporter to a State in South America on a dispute relating to application of the State’s anti-dumping law.
  • Advised Hitachi (with Slaughter & May) on a regulatory investigation conducted by a multilateral development bank.
What Others Say

Dan Sarooshi QC is highly recommended by the independent legal directories – Chambers & Partners (“C&P”), Legal 500 (“L500”), and Spears 500 – and is included in Best Lawyers in the UK. Client quotes, and commentary, in these directories are as follows:

Spear’s 500 – 2021: “Top Recommended”:
“A specialist in public international law, treaty arbitration and constitutional law, Dan Sarooshi boasts a client list including 18 states, 15 international corporations, and an impressive spread of blue-chip corporations. This, says one grandee of the legal profession, reflects his superior skill and creativity as an elite advocate in the field of public law.His recent cases include acting for the UAE in the ICJ case of Qatar v UAE (a dispute stemming from alleged discrimination against Qatari nationals), successfully representing the USA in four separate cases relating to US military bases in the UK, and acting for the UK in the Elgin Marbles/Parthenon Sculptures dispute.”

Public International Law: client quotes and commentary from C&P and L500:

  • A go-to silk on all matters of public international law and investment law.” (2020)
  • A dream to work with”, “He has an excellent record of representing governments, international organisations and FTSE 100 companies”, and “A stellar barrister and a well-rounded public international lawyer”. (2021)
  • “Considers the legal and strategic issues in great depth and builds the authorities and arguments to present them most compellingly. Excellent with clients.” (2021)
  • ‘A skilled advocate’ with ‘a keen sense of strategy and excellent litigation instincts’” (2020)
  • A strong advocate whose articulation of public international law is second to none.” (2019)
  • His written and oral advocacy is exemplary. It was superb and won the day. He is a natural and easy leader of a team. Clients trust him with bet-the-country/company cases.” (2018)
  • An extremely bright advocate.” (2017)
  • Clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law” (2016)
  • has a wealth of experience of appearing before international and domestic courts, including the ICJ and the English High Court. ‘He offers a rare combination of intellectual rigour and practical focus.’” (2016)
  • Brings his thorough knowledge of PIL to bear on a caseload rich in environmental law and immunity cases. He has considerable experience in the oil and gas sector and is recognised as an expert on WTO disputes. ‘He’s extremely knowledgeable and has a very good understanding not just of the law but also of the frameworks and what happens at the governmental level.’ Acted in Taurus Petroleum v Iraq’s State Oil Company, Shell and Credit Agricole in a dispute concerning garnishee orders and bank immunity.” (2015)
  • an esteemed counsel and professor who ‘can bring to bear knowledge of a wide range of areas of PIL,’ including boundary disputes, diplomatic and sovereign immunity, investor-state cases and WTO matters.” (2015)
  • ‘A precious commodity’, ‘At the top of his game’, ‘combines immense intelligence with practical experience before international courts and tribunals’” (2014)
  • he impresses commentators with his mastery of core PIL issues such as boundary disputes and diplomatic and sovereign immunity. He is also an expert on investment treaty and WTO matters. ‘A dynamic, up-to-date thinker, very much in touch with current developments in the field.’ ‘A resourceful advocate, he offered answers and avenues of recourse in situations where other UK counsel could offer none. He is very responsive and collaborative.’” (2014)
  • His deep expertise in WTO matters also draws praise from commentators, and is exemplified by his recent work advising BAT on a trade-related dispute with a state. He also acted as junior to Lord Pannick QC in the highly significant FG Hemisphere Associates v Democratic Republic of the Congo and Others in Hong Kong.” (2013)
  • “‘encyclopaedic knowledge and also takes a very pragmatic approach with clients – he is solution-oriented and will deliver on accelerated timelines.’ He is particularly well respected for his WTO work.” (2012)
  • “‘an invaluable source of knowledge’ who ‘masters his brief very quickly and applies public international law in a practical fashion’.” (2012)

International Arbitration: client quotes and commentary from C&P and L500:

  • He has a well-earned reputation to be counted among the finest in London.” (2020)
  • Another highlight was Progas Energy Limited & Others v Republic of Pakistan, in which Dan Sarooshi QC faced David Foxton QC [now Mr Justice Foxton].” (2020)
  • As good as they come.” (2019)
  • [H]as a great command of public international law fused with practical advice.” (2016)
  • ‘Very intelligent and a concise and persuasive draftsman.’” (2014)
  • the ‘very knowledgeable, careful and thorough’ Dan Sarooshi is particularly noted for his expertise in major ICSID arbitrations.” (2013)
  • His ‘very broad knowledge of PIL and investment treaty arbitration law’ garners him particular acclaim.” (2013)
  • commended for his specialist expertise in WTO law, and his demonstrable knowledge of international law and international arbitration. During his career he has represented both states and private investors, and is well regarded for his BIT work.” (2013)

Administrative & Constitutional Law: client quotes and commentary from C&P and L500:

  • Impressively knowledgeable in public and constitutional law claims. He is particularly renowned for his work at the intersection with international law, including regular instructions for various governments and international organisations in a wide range of cases. Shows very good judgment in his advice to clients & is exceptionally easy to work with.” (2021)
  • He had good judgment and deep understanding of the relevant law.” (2021)
  • “‘He’s a specialist on anything with a constitutional aspect.’ ‘He has encyclopaedic legal knowledge, very good judgment, and is extremely hard-working.’ ‘Incredibly well thought of and very clever.’ Instructed for the British Virgin Islands Government in its high-profile challenge to the UK Foreign Secretary’s plans to introduce a publicly accessible register of beneficial company ownership.” (2020)
  • Innovative in his thinking, which is always based on legal principle.” (2020)
  • Super bright and very hard-working. A superb lawyer. He is particularly renowned for his work at the intersection with international law, including regular instructions for various governments and international organisations in a wide range of cases. Advised Sir Philip Green in his attempt to constrain action by various MPs and the Chair of the UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee”. (2019)
  • Impressively knowledgeable in a wide range of public and administrative law claims. [I]nstructed in high-profile constitutional, commercial and regulatory challenges. Advised the lead claimant Gina Miller in the landmark constitutional case relating to Parliament’s role in the process of triggering the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.” (2019)
Career

2020          Appointed by UK & EU to list of arbitrators to decide Brexit disputes.

2020          Called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI)

2018          Silk

2013-18’   Counsel to the Crown (Public International Law)

2013-18’   Counsel to the Crown (Commercial & Constitutional Law)

2017          Called to the Bar of The Bahamas (ad hoc basis)

2012          Senior Research Fellow, The Queen’s College, Oxford

2011          Called to the Bar of Hong Kong (ad hoc basis)

2009          Called to the Bar of The Bahamas (ad hoc basis)

2006          Appointed as Member, WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists.

2006          Member, Essex Court Chambers

2006          Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford

2005          Called to the Bar of England & Wales.

2004-06’   Ass. Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford

2003-04’   Herbert Smith Lecturer, University of Oxford

2001-04’   Of Counsel, City of London firm Tite & Lewis (with Ernst & Young)

2002-03’   Associate Professor, University College London, London University

1997-02’    SeniorLecturer (before that Lecturer), UCL, London University

Personal and Education

Dan grew up in Australia and obtained a law degree (LLB) and economics degree (BCom) from the University of NSW. He came to the United Kingdom from Australia at the age of 23 to study, and subsequently obtained an LLM (Kings College London) (1992), PhD (LSE: under the supervision of Judge Dame (previously Professor) Rosalyn Higgins QC) (1997), and an MA (Oxford) (Hon). He joined the Law Faculty at the University of Oxford in 2003 and was in 2006 promoted to full Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford.