Professional practice

C&P 2017

Professor 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, constitutional law, and commercial litigation. He is described by the independent legal directories – Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 – and client quotes as being “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 “clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law”, has “an excellent track record of representing governments, international organizations and FTSE 100 companies”, and “has a wealth of experience of appearing before international and domestic courts, including the ICJ and English High Court”. 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”, and is “very efficient and quick to grasp and identify solutions to complex issues”. He “takes a very pragmatic approach”, “offers a rare combination of intellectual rigour and practical focus”, “delivers on accelerated timelines”, and is “inspiring for his clients”.

Top-ranked in Public International Law in Chambers and Partners (C&P) (2017) and in Legal 500 (L500) (2017). Highly recommended in International Arbitration (L500) (2017) and Constitutional Law (C&P) (2017). Clients: 13 States (e.g. UK and USA), 15 intergovernmental organizations, Royal Families, and corporations (e.g. Tesco, Exxon Mobil, BAT, Reuters, Hitachi, and Roche).

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

  • Successfully acted in the UK Supreme Court for lead claimant Gina Miller in the Brexit case.
  • Successfully acted for the UK in relation to the Elgin Marbles (Parthenon Sculptures) dispute.
  • Acted in Supreme Court in Taurus v. SOMO: key commercial, State & Central Bank immunity case.
  • 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 UK in Naftogaz v. UK in the case brought by Ukraine’s national gas supplier before the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Successfully acted for the UK (intervening) in Theognosia v. Turkey to obtain the discharge of freezing orders made previously against 47 UK bank accounts of the Turkish Embassy.
  • Acted for BAT in BAT v. SoS for Health, the multi-billion pound judicial review of the Government’s “plain packaging” tobacco sales regulations.
  • Successfully acting in ongoing UK cases representing deceased/injured US military personnel and families to enforce US Judgments worth c.$US775 million against Iran’s commercial assets.
  • Acted in Benkharbouche v. Sudan/Janah v. Libya for Libyan Embassy which changed UK law to allow Embassies in London to be sued by their employees.
  • Successfully acted in STB & Bacon v. AG of Bahamas: Bahamian Government held in breach of Constitution and Minister fined $150,000 for reading out private emails in Parliament.
  • Successfully acted for the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund in Gard v. IOPC to obtain the dismissal of a US$60 million claim.
  • Acted in FG Hemisphere v. Congo in Hong Kong’s top court concerning the China-HK constitutional relationship post-handover.


Commercial Litigation
  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraq Oil Ministry [2017] UKSC 64 (Supreme Court); [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 42 (Court of Appeal); and (Comm) [2014] 1 All ER 942 (LCs, situs of debt, & third party debt orders).
  • UCP v. Nectrus [2018] EWHC 380 (Comm) (trial of case to be heard later in 2018).
  • Progas v. Pakistan [2018] EWHC 209 (Comm) (s. 68 challenge; third party funding issues).
  • Theognosia v. Turkey (SoS for FCO) 2016 (Comm) (discharge freezing orders).
  • Gard v. International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1971 (Comm) [2014] EWHC 1394.
  • Gard v. IOPC Fund 1971 (Comm) [2014] 2 CLC 699 (Comm) (freezing order).
  • Heiser & Others v. Iran [2012] EWHC 2938 (ongoing enforcement of $720M US Judgments).
  • Westpark v. Kingfisher Airlines [2009] EWCA Civ 526 (CA); & [2008] EWHC 3233 (Comm).
  • Serbia v. Imagesat [2010] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 324 (Comm) (s. 67 challenge to ICC Award).
  • Cruz City v. Unitech [2015] 1 All ER 305 (Comm) (discharge of “Chabra” freezing order).
  • Hardy Exploration and Production v. India (Comm) (ongoing enforcement of arbitral award).
  • PAO Tatneft v. Ukraine (Comm) (ongoing resisting enforcement of arbitral award).
Constitutional and Public Law Cases in the UK and Commonwealth
  • The Brexit case: R (Miller) v. SoS for Exiting the EU (Supreme Court) [2017] UKSC 5.
  • Benkharbouche v. SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs and Janah v. Libya [2017] UKSC 62 (Supreme Court), [2015] 3 WLR 301 (CA) (for Libya: State Immunity Act disapplied).
  • R (British American Tobacco Ltd) v. SoS for Health (CA) [2016] EWCA Civ 1182 (for BAT in this multi-billion pound judicial review of the Government’s “plain packaging” regulations).
  • SoS (FCO) and SoS (Defence) v. Rahmatullah (Supreme Court) [2013] 1 All ER 574 (for UK: judicial review, habeas corpus, and separation of powers).
  • AG of Bahamas v. STB & Bacon (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 and AG of Bahamas 2007/PUB/con/00028 (Sup Court) (regulatory/telecoms).
  • FG Hemisphere v. Congo & Others [2011] HKCFA 41 (Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal) (case on constitutional relationship between China and Hong Kong post-handover).
  • Advising the UK Government on the multi-billion pound expansion of Heathrow airport.
International Investment Law and Arbitration

Dan is equally adept at leading a team, or slotting seamlessly into a team within a firm, to prepare and implement a successful 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:

  • 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 and 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.
Public international law

Public International Law in UK Courts:

  • Taurus v. SOMO, Iraqi Ministry of Oil [2017] UKSC 64 (Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and Commercial Court) (for SOMO in leading decision on State and Central Bank immunity).
  • Benkharbouche v. Sudan & Janah v. Libya [2015] 3 WLR 301 (CA) (for Libya: SIA disapplied).
  • Heiser & Others v. Iran [2012] EWHC 2938 (QBD) (for 122 US military personnel who seek to enforce US Judgments against Iran’s commercial assets in the UK).
  • Theognosia v. Turkey (SoS for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs intervener) (Comm) (for UK intervening to obtain discharge of freezing orders against Turkish Embassy bank accounts).
  • Wokuri v. Kassam [2012] 2 All ER 1195 (QBD) (for Ambassador Kassam (Ugandan Deputy High Commissioner) against an employment claim that was eventually dismissed by the Court).
  • Croatia v. Serbia [2010] Ch 200 (for Serbia re. properties under SFRY succession agreement).
  • Harrington v. USA 27 March 2015 (UK ET) (for United States to obtain dismissal of claims made against US Armed Forces relating to the operation of a US military base in the UK).
  • Serbia v. Imagesat International [2010] 2 All ER 571 (Comm) (for Serbia in this challenge to an Award involving issues of waiver to arbitration, State succession, and non-justiciability).
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo v. Blemain Finance Limited (for Blemain Finance: issues of State/diplomatic immunity in relation to the DRC Embassy & Ambassador’s residence).
  • For the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development in a UK employment dispute.

Public International Law in International Courts:

  • European Court of Human Rights: Nak Naftogaz Ukrainy v. UK, App. No. 62976/12 (for UK).
  • International Court of Justice (“ICJ”):
    – Selected by President of Colombia to serve as ad hoc ICJ Judge in Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia), though the case settled before his formal appointment.
    UK v. Libya (Provisional Measures) (Lockerbie Bombing/terrorism case) for UK working for Prof. Rosalyn Higgins who later became ICJ President;
    – Chad v. Libya for Chad working for Prof. Higgins;
    – Slovakia v. Hungary for Slovakia working for Prof. Higgins,
    – East Timor (Portugal v. Australia) for Portugal working for Prof. Higgins.
  • 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 priceless Elgin Marbles (State succession, UNESCO treaties, and general international law).
  • Asset tracing and economic sanctions: significant experience of economic sanctions and asset tracing, asset freezes and other legal techniques to recover monies: e.g. Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, State in South America, and using legal regimes of UK, US, and other States.
  • Law of International Organizations/International Administrative/Employment Law (for cases in domestic courts see above): advising 15 international organizations on e.g., constituent treaties, privileges and immunities, headquarters agreements, and laws of France, India, South Africa, UK and US; employment disputes (ILOAT and ad hoc dispute systems, including drafting systems); dissolution of IOs; contractual disputes and arbitrations (UNCITRAL and ad hoc); insurance cover provided by CIGNA Healthcare; and advocacy on behalf of IOs in domestic courts and for secretariats before plenary organs comprised of Member States.
  • Boundaries, State succession, Law of the Sea, and Environmental Law: e.g., land and maritime boundaries; oil and gas concessions; UNCLOS; EEZ; coastal States rights; Continental Shelf; State succession (former USSR, SFRY, FRY, and State Union); environmental/IMO treaties; Chad v. Libya (boundaries) (ICJ) and Slovakia v. Hungary (environmental law) (ICJ).
  • World Trade Organization/Regulatory Law: 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.

London Court of International Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), ASIL, British Institute of International & Comparative Law, Society for International Economic Law, and International Law Association.


Publications on international organizations, international law, investment arbitration, and constitutional law: four books International Organizations and Their Exercise of Sovereign Powers (OUP) (2005), The UN and the Development of Collective Security: the Delegation by the UN Security Council of its Chapter VII Powers (OUP) (1999), Responsibility and Remedies for the Actions of International Organizations (Hague Academy of International Law/Brill, 2014), and Issues of State Responsibility before International Judicial Institutions (2004); and over 50 articles/chapters, including 125 pp. co-authored chapter with Judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins entitled ‘Institutional Modes of Conflict Management’. He is co-editing with Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood QC, Oppenheim’s International Law (forthcoming: 10th ed., OUP).

His books have been awarded the 2006 American Society of International Law (ASIL) Book Prize, 2006 McDougal Prize by the American Society for the Policy Sciences, 2001 ASIL Book Prize, and 2000 Guggenheim Prize by the Swiss Guggenheim Foundation.


Apr. 2018-present    Counsellor to American Society of International Law (having previously served as a Member of ASIL’s Executive Council, 2008-2011).

Feb. 2018-present   Queen’s Counsel.

2006-present            Member, Essex Court Chambers, London.

2006-present            Professor of Public International Law, Faculty of Law & Queen’s College, University of Oxford (full Professorship at the age of 38).

2006-present             Member, WTO Dispute Settlement System list of Panellists (nominated: UK/EU).

2014-2018                 Member, Attorney-General Panel of Counsel for 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.

2003-2006                 Associate Professor, Faculty of Law & Queen’s College, University of Oxford.

2001-2004                 Of Counsel, City of London law firm Tite & Lewis, associated with Ernst & Young.

1997-2003                 Reader, before that Senior Lecturer and Lecturer, University College London.