Professional practice

C&P 2017

Dan Sarooshi QC is an advocate specialising in public international law, investment treaty arbitration, and public and constitutional 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. In the area of international law alone he has argued 14 cases in the past three years as advocate in international and domestic courts for States, international organisations, and corporations.

His clients include 15 States (e.g., UK and USA), 15 international organizations, and corporations (e.g. BAT, Exxon Mobil, Hitachi, Roche, and Tesco). He served on the UK Attorney General A-Panel of Counsel for Public International Law from 2014-2018; and on the AG Panel of Counsel for Constitutional and Commercial Law from 2013-2018.


Constitutional and Public Law Cases in the UK and Commonwealth
  • R (Miller) v. SoS for Exiting the EU [2018] AC 61 (UK Supreme Court) (for Gina Miller in the Brexit case: whether it is Parliament or the Government who is lawfully able to terminate UK membership in the EU).
  • R (British American Tobacco) v. SoS for Health [2018] Q.B. 149 (CA) (for BAT in this multi-billion pound judicial review of the Government’s “plain packaging” regulation of cigarette sales).
  • Benkharbouche v. Sudan (SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs intervening) and Janah v. Libya (SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs intervening) [2016] QB 347 (CA), [2015] 3 WLR 301 (for Libya in the Court of Appeal (upheld by Supreme Court) which changed the law on State immunity to allow foreign Embassies to be sued by their employees.)
  • SoS (FCO) and SoS (Defence) v. Rahmatullah [2013] 1 AC 614 (UK Supreme Court) (for UK in decision on constitutional law: judicial review, habeas corpus, and separation of powers).
  • Attorney General of the Virgin Islands v. Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs (for the BVI Government in its ongoing constitutional and judicial review challenge against the UK Government who seeks to impose a publicly accessible register of beneficial interests on the BVI).
  • STB and Bacon v. AG Bahamas (Bahamas Supreme Court) (Government held in breach of the Constitution and a Minister fined $150,000 for reading out private emails in Parliament).
  • SRG v. PUC & AG, 2007/PUB/con/00028 (Bahamas Supreme Court) (regulatory/telecoms).
  • FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal) (case on the constitutional relationship between China and Hong Kong post-handover).
  • Acting as UK legal expert for Grenfell Tower victims and their families in the US proceedings against the manufacturers of the cladding used on the Tower: Kristen Behrens et al. v. Arnonic Inc et al. (US District Court, Pennsylvania).
  • Advising the UK Government on potential judicial review proceedings regarding the multi-billion pound expansion of Heathrow airport.
  • Acted for Sir Philip Green in response to his naming by Lord Hain in 2018 in the House of Lords as the high-profile businessman in the NDA case of ABC v. Telegraph Media Group.
  • Advised Sir Philip Green in response to statements by various MPs and the Chair of the UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee.
Court Litigation Relating to Arbitration and General Commercial Litigation
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2017] UKSC 64 (enforcement of UNCITRAL arbitral award, LCs, situs of debt, third party debt orders, and State and Central Bank immunities) in Supreme Court.
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42 (Court of Appeal).
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2014] 1 All ER 942 (Comm).
  • A v. B [2018] 5 WLUK 366 (Comm) (enforcement of UNCITRAL arbitral award and relief from sanctions).
  • Progas v. Pakistan [2018] 2 All E.R. 287 (Comm) (challenge to UNCITRAL Award and first arbitration court case to deal with third party funding).
  • UCP v. Nectrus [2018] 1 W.L.R. 3409 (Comm).
  • Heiser and 132 others v. Iran: litigation over 7 years relating to enforcement of c.$775M US Judgments against Iran’s commercial assets in the UK: [2019] EWHC 2074, [2019] EWHC 2073, & [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 v. Turkey (SoS for FCO) 2016 (Comm) (discharge of freezing orders).
  • Cruz City v. Unitech [2015] 1 All ER 305 (Comm) (resisting enforcement of LCIA Award and discharge of “Chabra” freezing order).
  • Gard v. IOPC Fund [2014] EWHC 3369 (Comm) (loans, indemnities, and immunity).
  • Gard v. IOPC Fund [2014] EWHC 1394 (Comm) (discharge of freezing order).
  • FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (enforcement of ICC awards).
  • Serbia v. 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 v. Kingfisher Airlines [2009] EWCA Civ 526 (CA); [2008] EWHC 3233 (Comm).
  • Democratic Republic of Congo v. Blemain Finance Limited (for Blemain Finance: State/diplomatic immunity in relation to the DRC Embassy and Ambassador’s residence).




Employment Disputes
  • Successfully representing and advising four international organizations in international employment disputes: ILOAT and ad hoc dispute systems, including drafting of appeal systems.
  • Currently representing the USA in two ongoing UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) cases: Webster v. USA; and Wright v. USA.
  • Currently representing the USA in the ongoing UK Employment Tribunal (“ET”) case of Chambers v. USA.
  • Successfully represented the USA in four ET cases by obtaining the dismissal of a variety of employment claims against the USA relating to its military bases in the UK: Harrington v. USA 180 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.
  • Represented Libya in the case that led the Court of Appeal (affirmed by the Supreme Court) to change UK law to permit foreign Embassies to be sued by their employees: Benkharbouche v. Sudan (SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs intervening) and Janah v. Libya (SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs intervening) [2016] QB 347 (CA), [2015] 3 WLR 301.
  • 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 Embassy to the UK) in Wokuri v. Kassam [2013] Ch. 80, [2012] 2 All ER 1195 (obtained eventual dismissal of employment claim).
  • Advised a foreign State on whether the judgment of its Constitutional Court given against the UK Embassy in relation to an employment claim can be enforced by the English courts against HMG.
International Investment Arbitration

Acted as Counsel or Expert in 28 investment arbitration proceedings under ICSID (also ECT & AF), PCA, NAFTA, ICC, UNCITRAL & LCIA Rules. Non-confidential cases include:

  • Gold Pool JV Ltd v. Republic of Kazakhstan, PCA Case No. 2016-23.
  • Safa v. The Hellenic Republic (Greece), ICSID Case No. ARB/16/20.
  • MNSS and RCA v. Republic of Montenegro, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/12/8.
  • Imagesat International v. Republic of Serbia, ICC arbitration.
  • Murphy Oil v. Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/4.
  • Sempra Energy v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/02/16.
  • Bernhard von Pezold v. Republic of Zimbabwe, ICSID Case No. ARB/10/15.
  • Border Timbers v. Republic of Zimbabwe, ICSID Case No. ARB/10/25.
  • Mobil v. Canada, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/15/6 (NAFTA).
  • KS Invest GmbH & TLS Invest GmbH v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/25.
  • Advising the UK on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty.
  • Advising the UK on potential investment claims regarding the multi-billion pound expansion of Heathrow airport.
  • Advising a large bank on its investment claims against a State in South East Asia.
Public International Law

Extensive experience in Public International Law cases in international courts and tribunals, and in domestic courts.

Authored two books, and edited two books, on international law, international organizations, and international dispute settlement. The authored books were awarded the American Society of International Law Prize twice (2001 and 2006), 1999 Swiss Guggenheim Prize, and 2006 US Myres McDougal Prize. Co-author and co-General Editor of Oppenheim’s International Law (forthcoming: in preparation) (10th ed, OUP) with former ICJ Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood GBE QC; and long co-authored piece with former ICJ President and Judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins GBE QC and P. Webb entitled “Institutional Modes of Conflict Management” (2015).


  • European Court of Human Rights: Nak Naftogaz Ukrainy v. UK, App. 62976/12 (for UK: £27 million case brought by Ukraine’s national gas supplier against the UK).
  • World Trade Organization/Regulatory Law: Dan was appointed in 2006 as a Member of the WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists (nominated by the UK and EU). He has represented and advised States and FTSE 100 companies in a broad range of WTO/regulatory matters including:
    • For British American Tobacco in its regulatory dispute with the Australian Government in 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).
    • For British American Tobacco in its regulatory dispute with the UK Government and arguing using WTO law in R (British American Tobacco) v. SoS for Health (Court of Appeal) [2018] Q.B. 149.
    • Advised the UK Government on (i) proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated by the EU and the USA; (ii) proposed EU Regulations and Directives aimed at preventing future crises in European financial markets and evaluating their compatibility with obligations of the EU and UK under WTO Agreements; and (iii) the scope and application of the WTO Subsidies Agreement, the Aircraft Sector Understanding, and the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credit.
    • Advised Reuters in its regulatory dispute with two WTO member States (i) using the GATS and competition law; and (ii) to secure a State’s amendment of its draft Financial Services Reform Bill.
    • Advised Tesco plc on (i) its regulatory dispute with a WTO member State that was preventing the opening of 42 retail stores; and (ii) the WTO incompatibility of a surcharge tax being imposed by a WTO member State.
    • Advised a global telecommunications corporation in its regulatory and competition disputes with three WTO members using the WTO GATS, Telecoms Agreement, and competition law.
    • Advised Hitachi (with Slaughter & May) on a regulatory investigation conducted by a multilateral development bank.
    • Advised the Commonwealth Secretariat on the WTO GATS and Annex on Financial Services, and their relationship with standards from the OECD, FATF, and Basel Committee.
    • 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 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 American in relation to a dispute relating to application of the State’s anti-dumping law.
  • 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 courts and in the 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. For example, represented the UAE in a case before the International Court of Justice arguing over sanctions imposed by the UAE on Qatar in response to Qatar’s alleged $1 Billion contribution to the financing of terrorism; represented US clients against Iran in the English High Court arguing that US sanctions should preclude the English Court from ordering costs to be paid to the Government of Iran; represented a company in an LCIA arbitration concerning the scope and application of the EU asset freeze regime imposed in relation to Belarus (including issues relating to shareholders agreements and the continued operations of companies); advised a UN agency on various UN, EU, and UK financial sanctions regimes; and advised a 250 year-old UK plc on UN, EU, and UK economic sanctions against Iran.
  • Law of International Organizations: advised 15 international organizations (IOs) on a broad range of legal issues including for example: constituent treaties; privileges and immunities; 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 IO secretariats before plenary organs comprised of Member States; advocacy for four international organizations 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 Professor Higgins QC.
    • 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.
    • 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 boundary issues, EEZ issues, tax issues and oil and gas concessions.
    • Represented a private client in an ad hoc shipping arbitration: involved, inter alia, the Exclusive Economic Zone regime established by UNCLOS, and the content of the State’s rights within this Zone.
    • Re-drafted Terms of Business for the Port of Salalah: involved consideration of relevant 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.


  • UK Supreme Court: (1) R (Miller) v. UK (SoS Exiting EU) [2017] UKSC 5 (for Ms. Miller on whether Parliament or Government could terminate the UK’s membership in the EU); (2) Taurus v. SOMO [2017] UKSC 64 (for SOMO, Iraq’s Oil Ministry in leading State immunity case – property and Central Bank immunity); and (3) UK (SoS (FCO) and SoS (Defence) v. Rahmatullah [2013] 1 All ER 574 (for UK Government).
  • English Court of Appeal: (1) Benkharbouche v. UK SoS (FCO) and Janah v. Libya [2015] 3 WLR 301 (for Libya: the Court of Appeal (affirmed by UK Supreme Court) changed UK law to permit Embassies to be sued by their employees); (2) R (BAT) v. SoS (Health) [2016] EWCA Civ 1182 (for BAT in this multi-billion pound case against UK “plain packaging” cigarette packaging regulations); and (3) Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42 (for SOMO).
  • English High Court / UK Employment Tribunal: (1) three judgments in Heiser & Others v. Iran [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.$US775 million against Iran’s commercial assets); (2) Ben Rafael v. Iran [2015] EWHC 3203 (for family of diplomat killed in bombing of an Embassy seeking to enforce US Judgment c.$US75 million against Iran’s commercial assets); (3) Theognosia v. Turkey (SoS (FCO) intervening) (for UK to intervene and obtain the discharge of freezing orders against 47 bank accounts of a foreign Embassy); (4) Croatia v. Serbia [2010] Ch 200 (for Serbia: State properties/SFRY succession); (5) Serbia v. Imagesat International [2010] 2 All ER 571 (for Serbia: challenge to ICC Award); (6) Congo (DRC) v. Blemain Finance (for Blemain: issues of State/diplomatic immunity regarding DRC Embassy/Ambassador’s residence); (7) A v. B (a State) [2018] 5 WLUK 366 (enforcement of UNCITRAL award against a State); (8) Wokuri v. Kassam [2012] 2 All ER 1195, [2013] Ch. 80 (for Ambassador Kassam, Uganda: obtained eventual dismissal of employment claim); (9) Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2014] 1 All ER 942; (10) UCP v. Nectrus [2018] EWHC 380; (11) Progas v. Pakistan [2018] EWHC 209 (for Progas: challenge to UNCITRAL award; third party funding); (12) Westpark v. Kingfisher Airlines [2008] EWHC 3233; (13) Cruz City v. Unitech [2015] 1 All ER 305 (enforcement of LCIA Award); (14) Gard v. IOPC Fund 1971 [2014] 2 CLC 699 (for international organization headquartered in London resisting imposition of £60 million freezing order); (15) Gard v. IOPC Fund 1971 [2014] EWHC 3369 (discharge of claims/freezing order on basis of international organization immunity); (16) Chambers v. USA (2020) (for USA in ET: case ongoing); (17) Webster v. USA [2019] 10 WLUK 500 (for USA in ET: obtained dismissal of claims against US Armed Forces relating to operation of a US military base in the UK); (18) Wright v. USA [2019] 10 WLUK 500 (for USA: State immunity); (19) Swan v. USA (2019) 3330976/2018 UK ET (for USA: State immunity); (20) Harrington v. USA 180 ILR 454 (2015) (for USA: State immunity); and (21) Represented EBRD in employment dispute before UK ET (case settled on confidential basis).
  • Honkg Kong: FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (State immunity, the constitutional relationship between China and Hong Kong post hand-over, and enforcement of ICC Award).
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 MA (Oxford) (Hon). He joined the Law Faculty in Oxford in 2003 and was in 2006 promoted to full Professor of Public International Law in the University of Oxford.

What Others Say

Public International Law:

A go-to silk on all matters of public international law and investment law.” (Legal 500 (“L500”) 2020)

‘A skilled advocate’, ‘He has an excellent record of representing governments, international organisations and FTSE 100 companies’, ‘a keen sense of strategy and excellent litigation instincts’” (Chambers & Partners (“C&P”) 2020)

A strong advocate whose articulation of public international law is second to none.” (C&P 2019)

An extremely bright advocate.” (C&P 2017)

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.’” (C&P 2016)

Clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law.” (L500 2016)

‘A precious commodity’, ‘At the top of his game’, ‘combines immense intelligence with practical experience before international courts and tribunals’” (L500 2014)

‘A resourceful advocate, he offered answers and avenues of recourse in situations where other UK counsel could offer none.’” (C&P 2014)

International Arbitration Counsel: 

He has a well-earned reputation to be counted among the finest in London.” (L500 2020)

Another highlight was Progas Energy Limited, Progas Holding Limited, and Sheffield Engineering Company Ltd v Republic of Pakistan, in which Dan Sarooshi QC faced David Foxton QC [now Mr Justice Foxton].” (L500 2020)

As good as they come.” (L500 2019)

“‘He has a great command of public international law fused with practical advice.’” (L500 2016)

Administrative & Public (Constitutional) Law:

Impressively knowledgeable in public and constitutional law claims. ‘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.(C&P 2020)

Super bright and very hard-working. A superb lawyer.” (C&P 2019) 

instructed 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.” (L500 2019)