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 described by the independent legal directories – Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 – and client quotes as being “as good as they come”, “an extremely bright advocate” and a “precious commodity” who is “at the top of his game”. “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 is “a skilled advocate who has an excellent record of representing governments, international organisations and FTSE 100 companies.” He “is a resourceful advocate” who “offered answers and avenues of recourse in situations where other UK counsel could offer none”, “combines immense intelligence with practical experience”, is “very efficient and quick to grasp and identify solutions to complex issues”, and “is also very responsive and collaborative”. 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, and is “inspiring for his clients”.

He is highly ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 in the three areas of Public International Law; International Arbitration; and Administrative & Public (Constitutional) Law:

  • 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”; “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”; “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”; “very responsive, knowledgeable, creative and hard-working”.
  • International Arbitration: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.
  • Public International Law: Clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law”; “A precious commodity on the public international law scene”; “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.”

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 acting (to date) in on-going Heiser v. Iran representing families of deceased US military personnel to enforce Judgments of c. $US775 million against Iran’s assets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has had 4 books and over 50 articles published on international law, international organizations, investment arbitration, and constitutional law. His books have been awarded the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Book Prize (twice); Swiss Guggenheim Prize; and US Myres McDougal Prize. He is co-author and co-editor with Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood GBE of Oppenheim’s International Law (forthcoming: 10th ed).

He is ASIL Counsellor (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 Director of Studies, HAIL, 2005.

 

Commercial Litigation
  • 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).
  • CruzCity 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
  • 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 this 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 UK 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 as the high profile businessman involved in ABC v. Telegraph Group.
  • 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).
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 Law and Arbitration

Dan Sarooshi Q.C. 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. 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
  • International Court of Justice (“ICJ”):
    • Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates), Request by the UAE for the Indication of Provisional Measures, for the UAE. The oral advocacy by Professor Sarooshi Q.C. in the ICJ can be viewed on UN TV by clicking on the following link (and then by clicking on the video on the front page): Link here.
      For the rebuttal by Professor Sarooshi Q.C. of Qatar’s case in the ICJ, see the video on UN TV by clicking on the following link and then going to the time at 40:19: Link here.
    • UK v. Libya (Provisional Measures) (Lockerbie Bombing/terrorism case) for UK working with Professor Rosalyn Higgins Q.C. who later became ICJ President;
    • Chad v. Libya for Chad working with Professor Higgins Q.C.;
    • Slovakia v. Hungary for Slovakia working with Professor Higgins Q.C;
    • East Timor (Portugal v. Australia) for Portugal working with Professor Higgins Q.C.
  • 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 e.g., 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 IOs in domestic courts and for secretariats before plenary organs comprised of Member 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; 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); representing the USA in three on-going employment claims; 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).
  • 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.
  • Boundaries, State succession, Law of the Sea, and Environmental Law: e.g., land & maritime boundaries; oil & gas concessions; UNCLOS; EEZ; coastal States rights; Continental Shelf; State succession (USSR, CIS, & SFRY/FRY/State Union); environmental/IMO treaties; Chad v. Libya (boundaries) (ICJ); & Slovakia v. Hungary (environmental law) (ICJ).
  • World Trade Organization/Regulatory Law: e.g., advising the UK on US TTIP, EU law to prevent future crises in European financial markets, and various WTO and OECD agreements; British American Tobacco on regulatory disputes with two WTO States; Hitachi on a regulatory investigation conducted by a MDB; Reuters on regulatory disputes with two WTO States; Tesco on regulatory disputes with two WTO States; Roche on a regulatory dispute with the EC/EMA; global telecoms corporation on its regulatory disputes with three WTO States; and Commonwealth Secretariat on WTO/OECD financial services standards and FATF.
Appointments/Calls to Bar
  • 2005-present: Called as a Barrister (Bar of England and Wales: Q.C. since Feb. 2018).
  • 2006-present: Professor of International Law, University of Oxford. Previously: UCL & LSE.
  • 2006-present: Member (UK/EU nomination), WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists.
  • 2014-2018: Member, Attorney General (“AG”) Panel of Counsel for Public International Law to represent the UK in “the most complex public international law cases in various courts”.
  • 2013-2018: Member, AG Panel of Counsel for Constitutional and Commercial Law.
  • 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.