Professional practice

C&P 2017

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has a track record of achieving success in high stakes litigation. He is a highly regarded advocate who litigates in the areas of public international law, investment treaty arbitration, commercial litigation, and constitutional law. He also represents States and international organizations in international and domestic employment cases.

His clients include 14 States (e.g., UK and USA), 15 international organizations, corporations (e.g. BAT, Exxon Mobil, Hitachi, Roche, and Tesco), and Royal Families/Billionaires.

He is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford (since 2006); and taught previously at UCL and LSE. He was also appointed in 2014 by the UK Attorney General (“AG”) to the AG Panel of Counsel for Public International Law to represent the UK in “the most complex public international law cases in various courts”; and appointed in 2013 to the AG Panel of Counsel for Constitutional and Commercial Law.

He is highly ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 in the areas of Public International Law; International Arbitration; and Administrative & Public (Constitutional) Law. He is described in these areas by the independent legal directories – Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 – and client quotes as follows:

Administrative & Public (Constitutional) Law: Super bright and very hard-working”; “A superb lawyer“; “Impressively knowledgeable in a wide range of public and administrative law claims. He is increasingly instructed in high-profile constitutional, commercial and regulatory challenges”; “Incredibly well thought of and very clever“; “He’s a specialist on anything with a constitutional aspect“; “He is a very impressive international lawyer who also specialises in EU law and public law. He has encyclopaedic legal knowledge, very good judgment, and is extremely hard-working“; “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”; “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”; “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”; “Advised Sir Philip Green in his attempt to constrain action by various MPs and in particular the Chair of the UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee”; “Innovative in his thinking, which is always based on legal principle”; “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”; and “very responsive, knowledgeable, creative and hard-working”.

International Arbitration:He has a well-earned reputation to be counted among the finest in London”; “an extremely bright advocate”; “as good as they come”; “very knowledgeable, careful and thorough; “very efficient and quick to grasp and identify solutions to complex issues”; “has represented both states and private investors, and is well regarded for his BIT work”; “successfully acted for the State Oil Company of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil in resisting the enforcement of an arbitral award”; “very intelligent and a concise and persuasive draftsman”; “particularly noted for his expertise in major ICSID arbitrations”; and “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 and Iain Quirk.

Public International Law: Clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law”; “A precious commodity on the public international law scene”; “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”; “a resourceful advocate” who “offered answers and avenues of recourse in situations where other UK counsel could offer none”, “a go-to silk on all matters of public international law and investment law”; “A strong advocate whose articulation of public international law is second to none“; “Combines immense intelligence with practical experience before international courts and tribunals”; “At the top of his game;has a wealth of experience of appearing before international and domestic courts, including the ICJ and the English High Court”; encyclopaedic knowledge” in a wide range of areas of PIL, including boundary disputes, diplomatic and sovereign immunity, investor-state cases and WTO matters”; “A thought leader in his field and very much a trusted adviser on his matters”; “a skilled advocate who has an excellent record of representing governments, international organisations and FTSE 100 companies”; “An eminent specialist in public international law with a keen sense of strategy and excellent litigation instincts”. He “takes a very pragmatic approach with clients”, “offers a rare combination of intellectual rigour and practical focus”, “is solution-oriented, delivers on accelerated timelines, is “inspiring for his clients”; and “is particularly well-respected for his WTO work”.

High profile cases in domestic courts (UK, Hong Kong, & Bahamas), International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, WTO, ICC, UN Tribunals, & arbitrations (ICSID, ECT, NAFTA, ICC, UNCITRAL, & LCIA). Domestic court cases include (for international cases/arbitrations see below):

  • Successfully acted in UK Supreme Court for lead claimant Gina Miller in the Brexit case.
  • Acted in Supreme Court in Taurus v. SOMO: key commercial & State immunity case.
  • Successfully acted for the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1971 (IOPC) in Gard v. IOPC to obtain the dismissal of the US$60 million claim brought by a P&I Club.
  • Successfully acted for the UK Government in Theognosia v. Turkey to intervene and obtain the discharge of freezing orders against 47 bank accounts of a foreign Embassy in London.
  • Acted for the Libyan Embassy in the landmark joined cases (Janah v. Libya; Benkharbouche v. Sudan) that led the Supreme Court/Court of Appeal to change UK law on State immunity to allow Embassies to be sued by employees.
  • Successfully acted for the UK in the Parthenon Sculptures (Elgin Marbles) dispute.
  • Successfully acted for the USA in Harrington v. USA to obtain the dismissal of claims made against US Armed Forces relating to the operation of a US military base in the UK.
  • Successfully acted for the USA in Webster v. USA leading to the dismissal of the case on grounds of State immunity.
  • Successfully acted for the USA in Wright v. USA leading to the dismissal of the case on grounds of State immunity.
  • Acting 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 ABC v. Telegraph Media Group.
  • Successfully acted for the UK in Naftogaz v. UK in the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Acted for BAT in the Court of Appeal in the multi-billion pound judicial review of the Government’s “plain packaging” regulation of cigarette sales R (BAT) v. SoS for Health.
  • Successfully acted in Bahamian Supreme Court: the Government held in breach of the Constitution and a Minister fined $150,000 for reading out private emails in Parliament.
  • Acted in the landmark case in Hong Kong’s top court that decided on the constitutional relationship between China and Hong Kong post-handover.
  • Acting in two on-going cases representing families of deceased US military personnel to enforce Judgments of c. $US775 million against Iran’s assets for Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist attacks: Heiser v. Iran [2012] EWHC 2938; Ben Rafael v. Iran [2015] EWHC 3203.
  • Acting for the BVI Government in its ongoing judicial review challenge against the UK Government who seeks to impose a publicly accessible register of beneficial interests on the BVI.

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has had 4 books and over 50 articles published on international law, international organizations, investment arbitration, and constitutional law.

 

Commercial Litigation

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has extensive experience of commercial litigation. His cases include:

  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2017] UKSC 64 (Supreme Court) (award enforcement, LCs, situs of debt, & ITPDOs).
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42 (CA) (State & Central bank immunity; award enforcement, LCs, situs of debt, & ITPDOs)
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry and (Comm) [2014] 1 All ER 942 (State & Central bank immunity, award enforcement, LCs, situs of debt, & ITPDOs).
  • UCP v. Nectrus [2018] 1 W.L.R. 3409 (Comm).
  • A v. B [2018] 5 WLUK 366 (Comm) (relief from sanctions).
  • Progas v. Pakistan [2018] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 287 (challenge to award, third party funding).
  • Heiser v. Iran [2012] EWHC 2938 (ongoing enforcement of $720M US Judgments).
  • Ben Rafael v. Iran [2015] EWHC 3203 (ongoing enforcement of $75M US Judgments).
  • Theognosia v. Turkey (SoS for FCO) 2016 (Comm) (discharge of freezing orders).
  • Cruz City v. Unitech [2015] 1 All ER 305 (Comm) (discharge of “Chabra” freezing order).
  • Gard v. IOPC Fund [2014] EWHC 3369 (Comm) (loans, indemnities, and immunity).
  • Gard v. IOPC Fund (Comm) [2014] EWHC 1394 (Comm) (discharge of freezing order).
  • FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (enforcement of arbitral award).
  • Serbia v. Imagesat [2010] 2 All ER (Comm) 571 (challenge to award, waiver, State succession, and non-justiciability).
  • Croatia v. Serbia [2010] Ch 2000 (property and 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 & Ambassador’s residence).

 

 

Constitutional and Public Law Cases in the UK and Commonwealth

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. is highly ranked by the independent legal directories in the area of Constitutional and Public (Administrative) Law. His cases include:

  • The Brexit case for lead claimant Gina Miller: R (Miller) v. SoS for Exiting the EU (UK Supreme Court) [2018] AC 61.
  • R (British American Tobacco) v. SoS for Health (CA) [2018] Q.B. 149 (for BAT in multi-billion pound judicial review of the Government’s “plain packaging” regulations).
  • Benkharbouche v. SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs and Janah v. Libya [2016] QB 347 (CA), [2015] 3 WLR 301 (for Libya: State Immunity Act disapplied).
  • SoS (FCO) and SoS (Defence) v. Rahmatullah (UK Supreme Court) [2013] 1 AC 614 (for UK: judicial review, habeas corpus, and separation of powers).
  • Acting for the BVI Government in its judicial review challenge against the UK Government who seeks to impose a publicly accessible register of beneficial interests on the BVI.
  • Advising the UK Government on potential judicial review regarding the multi-billion pound expansion of Heathrow airport.
  • AG Bahamas v. STB & Bacon (Bahamas Supreme Court) (Government held in breach of the Constitution and Minister fined $150,000 for reading out private emails in Parliament).
  • Acted for Sir Philip Green in response to his being named by Lord Hain in the House of Lords in contravention of the injunction in ABC v. Telegraph.
  • Advised Sir Philip Green in response to statements by various MPs and the Chair of the UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee.
  • SRG v. PUC & AG, 2007/PUB/con/00028 (Bah. Sup Court) (regulatory/telecoms).
  • FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal) (constitutional relationship between China and Hong Kong post-handover).
Employment Disputes
  • Representing and advising four international organizations in international employment disputes: ILOAT and ad hoc dispute systems, including drafting of appeal systems.
  • Successfully represented the USA in Harrington v. USA, UK Employment Tribunal Judgment dated 27 March 2015 (obtained dismissal of employment claims against the USA relating to its military base in the UK).
  • Successfully represented the USA in Webster v. USA leading to the dismissal of employment claims.
  • Successfully represented the USA in Wright v. USA leading to the dismissal of employment claims.
  • Represented EBRD in employment dispute before UK Employment Tribunal (case settled).
  • Represented Ambassador Kassam in Ugandan Embassy to the UK in Wokuri v. Kassam [2013] Ch. 80, [2012] 2 All ER 1195 (obtained eventual dismissal of employment claim).
English Court Litigation Relating to Arbitration

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has particular expertise in English court litigation relating to challenges to arbitral awards (ss. 67, 68, and 69 of the Arbitration Act) and the enforcement, and resisting of enforcement, of awards. Cases include:

  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2017] UKSC 64 (Supreme Court) (resisting enforcement of UNCITRAL arbitral award, LCs, situs of debt, & third party debt orders).
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42 (English Court of Appeal).
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2014] 1 All ER 942 (Commercial Court).
  • A v. B (Comm) [2018] 5 WLUK 366 (enforcement of UNCITRAL arbitral award, relief from sanctions).
  • Progas v. Pakistan [2018] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 287 (challenge to UNCITRAL Award, third party funding).
  • Cruz City v. Unitech [2015] 1 All ER 305 (Comm) (resisting enforcement of LCIA Award, discharge of “Chabra” freezing order).
  • FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (enforcement of ICC Award).
  • Serbia v. Imagesat [2010] 2 All ER (Comm) 571 (challenge to ICC Award, waiver, State succession, and non-justiciability).
International Investment Arbitration

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. is highly ranked by the independent legal directories in the area of International Arbitration. He is equally adept at leading a team, or slotting seamlessly into a team within a firm, to prepare and successfully implement a case strategy, and to provide outstanding oral and written advocacy as needed. He has acted as Counsel or Expert in more than 25 investment arbitration proceedings under ICSID (also ECT & AF), NAFTA, ICC, UNCITRAL & LCIA Rules. His 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

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. is highly ranked by the independent legal directories in the area of Public International Law. He has authored two books and edited two books on Public International Law and these have been awarded the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Book Prize (twice); Swiss Guggenheim Prize; and US Myres McDougal Prize. He is also co-author and co-General Editor with Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood GBE of the leading work Oppenheim’s International Law (forthcoming: 10th ed).

He was elected as a Counsellor to ASIL (2018-), having also served on ASIL’s Executive Council (2008-2011); delivered the Hague Academy of International Law (HAIL) lectures on “Immunities of States and International Organizations in National Courts” in 2018; and served as Director of HAIL’s Centre of Research (English & French) in 2011, and as Director of Studies, HAIL, 2005. His international cases include:

International Court of Justice (“ICJ”):

European Court of Human Rights: Nak Naftogaz Ukrainy v. UK, App. 62976/12: Counsel acting for UK in this £27 million case brought by Ukraine’s national gas supplier.

UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (anti-terrorism): Prosecutor v. Ayyash et. al., 2012, STL-11-01/PT/TC (for UN Prosecutor).

Greece v. United Kingdom: for the UK Government in relation to Greek claims for the return of the Elgin Marbles-Parthenon Sculptures (State succession/UNESCO treaties).

Law of International Organizations: advising 15 international organizations on a very 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); and advocacy for IO secretariats before plenary organs comprised of Member States and advocacy for IOs in domestic courts (e.g., successfully representing the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1971 (“IOPC Fund”) in English High Court cases in resisting the £60 million claim by the Gard insurance company: Gard v. IOPC Fund [2014] EWHC 3369; and Gard v. IOPC Fund (Comm) [2014] EWHC 1394).

Boundaries, State succession, Law of the Sea, and Environmental Law: advising and representing 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 former Soviet Union, SFRY, FRY, and State Union of Serbia and Montenegro; UN Convention on Law of the Sea; costal States rights; IMO treaties; and environmental law. Examples include:

  • Selected in 2013 by the Republic of Colombia to serve as an ad hoc Judge of the International Court of Justice in Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia), although the case settled before his formal nomination and appointment took place.
  • Working with Professor Rosalyn Higgins (later ICJ President and Judge) in 1994 to represent Chad in the Chad v. Libya case before the ICJ: advising on territorial boundaries.
  • Advising the United Kingdom Government on issues relating to the UK’s maritime boundaries and baselines.
  • Advising the government of a State in southern Africa on its land and maritime boundary claims and associated treaty issues.
  • Advising the government of a State in northern Africa on its land boundary claims and associated treaty issues.
  • Advising the government of a State in east Africa on boundary issues, Exclusive Economic Zone issues, tax issues and oil and gas concessions.
  • Representing 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-drafting the Terms of Business for Salalah Port Services Company which runs the Port of Salalah: involved consideration of relevant commercial and environmental law and 14 maritime treaties (UNCLOS and IMO Conventions).
  • Advising a multinational corporation on the UNEP Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste.
  • Working with Professor Rosalyn Higgins in 1994-1995 to represent Slovakia in the Slovakia v. Hungary case before the ICJ: advising on international environmental law and the law of treaties.

World Trade Organization/Regulatory Law: Dan Sarooshi Q.C. was appointed in 2006 as a Member of the WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists, having jointly been nominated by the UK and EU. Has also represented and advised States and FTSE 100 companies on a broad range of WTO/regulatory issues including for example:

  • Advising 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 the World Trade Organization (“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.
  • Advising British American Tobacco on its large-scale regulatory dispute with the Australian Government in relation to the WTO case: WTO Panel Report (888 pages) in Australia – Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging, 28 June 2018, WT/DS435/R, WT/DS441/R WT/DS458/R, WT/DS467/R
  • Advising British American Tobacco on its large-scale regulatory dispute with the UK Government, including making WTO arguments in the English Court of Appeal case R (British American Tobacco) v. SoS for Health (CA) [2018] Q.B. 149.
  • Advising (with Slaughter & May) Hitachi on a regulatory investigation conducted by a multilateral development bank.
  • Advising Reuters on its (i) regulatory dispute with a WTO member State using the GATS and competition law; and (ii) regulatory dispute with a WTO member State that subsequently led to the State amending its draft Financial Services Reform Bill.
  • Advising Tesco plc on (i) its regulatory dispute with a WTO member State that was preventing the opening of 42 retail stores; and (ii) the incompatibility of a surcharge tax being imposed by a WTO member State with its WTO obligations.
  • Advising Roche on its regulatory dispute with the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency.
  • Advising a global telecommunications corporation in its regulatory and competition disputes with three WTO members using the WTO GATS, Telecoms Agreement, and competition law.
  • Advising the Commonwealth Secretariat on the WTO GATS and Annex on Financial Services and their relationship with standards from the OECD, FATF, and Basel Committee.
  • Advising a UN Specialized Agency on a WTO member State’s obligations under the WTO subsidies agreement and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.
  • Advising 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).

Asset tracing and economic sanctions: significant experience of economic sanctions and asset tracing, asset freezes etc to recover monies: e.g. Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, State in South America, and using legal regimes of UK, US, and other States.

International Administrative/Domestic employment Law: representing and advising four international organizations in international employment disputes: ILOAT and ad hoc dispute systems, including drafting of appeal systems; successfully represented the USA in Harrington v. USA, UK Employment Tribunal Judgment dated 27 March 2015; successfully represented the USA in Webster v. USA, UK Employment Tribunal Judgment dated 21 October 2019; successfully represented the USA in Wright v. USA, UK Employment Tribunal Judgment dated 21 October 2019; represented EBRD in employment dispute before UK Employment Tribunal (case settled); and represented Ambassador Kassam in Ugandan Embassy to the UK in Wokuri v. Kassam [2013] Ch. 80, [2012] 2 All ER 1195 (obtained eventual dismissal of employment claim).

Call to Bars
  • 2005-present: Called as a Barrister (Bar of England and Wales: Q.C. since Feb. 2018).
  • 2017: Call to the Bar of The Bahamas (ad hoc basis)
  • 2011: Call to the Bar of Hong Kong (ad hoc basis)
  • 2009: Call to the Bar of The Bahamas (ad hoc basis).
Personal and Education

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. grew up in Australia and obtained LLB and B. Comm (Ec) degrees in 1991 from the University of NSW. He came to the United Kingdom from Australia at the age of 23 to study, and subsequently obtained his LLM (Kings College London) (1992); PhD (LSE: under the supervision of H.E. Judge Dame (previously Professor) Rosalyn Higgins Q.C.) (1997); and MA (Oxford) (Hon.). He joined the Law Faculty in the University of Oxford in 2003 and was in 2006 promoted to full Professor of Public International Law in the University of Oxford.