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Twenty Essex

Public International Law: The English Bar

10 ranked barristersBand 1Global: Multi-JurisdictionalGlobal 2022 View ranking table
chambers review
Ranked Barristers
chambers review
Ranked Barristers

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Twenty Essex enjoys a sterling reputation in public international law, and houses a formidable bench of silks and juniors with immense knowledge of the field. The barristers are regularly to be found in the most momentous inter-state disputes taking place before the ICJ, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and other key international tribunals. The set has acted in numerous disputes on maritime limitation, such as Guatemala v Belize. Investor-state disputes form an additional area of strength, with some members exhibiting particular expertise in the relationship between BITs and EU law. Barristers from Twenty Essex also undertake significant advisory work for governments on international trade and human rights law.

Client service:

"The clerks are helpful and efficient." The clerking for PIL is led by Anthony Carroll, assisted by Rachael Osborne.

Strengths:

Belinda McRae
Belinda McRae possesses superb expertise spanning BIT arbitration, inter-state disputes and domestic litigation with international law elements. She has appeared in important cases on diplomatic immunity, the compatibility of BITs with EU law and other issues.
"She's super bright and helpful." "An experienced PIL barrister with great knowledge on damages."
Recent work: Defended the USA on the merits phase of a case before the ICJ. The dispute concerned whether the legislation that the USA passed to allow victims of Iranian terrorism to bring compensation claims in US courts violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity.

Strengths:

Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC
A benchmark to which others aspire, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC handles high-profile state-on-state, diplomatic immunity and BIT cases. He has strong ties to the FCO, and has vast experience of both counsel work and arbitral appointments.
"His mastery of international law and strategy is commendable and is unmatched."
Recent work: Represented the UAE in ICJ proceedings concerning the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Strengths:

Guglielmo Verdirame QC
Guglielmo Verdirame QC is active in a broad spectrum of PIL work, tackling cases dealing with international human rights, BITs and inter-state disputes. He is a noted academic in this area, and has appeared before UK courts and various international arbitration tribunals including the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
"A decisive thinker who is focused in his oral contributions and effective on paper. He has a thoughtful approach that gives clients great confidence." "He's knowledgeable and thoughtful."
Recent work: Advised on the PIL aspects of Family Court proceedings concerning the welfare of the children of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya of Jordan.

Strengths:

Kate Parlett
Well regarded for investment treaty arbitrations and inter-state disputes, Kate Parlett has appeared as an advocate before the ICJ in multiple cases concerning a range of PIL issues, including arbitration over terrestrial and maritime delimitation. She also teaches international law at both Cambridge and Geneva.
"Kate Parlett is diligent, hard-working and thorough." "A good advocate with a strong, analytical mind who is hands-on and diligent." "She is responsive and accurate."
Recent work: Acted for the Foreign Office in relation to the judicial review application concerning Anne Sacoolas's claim to diplomatic immunity.

Strengths:

Sir Michael Wood
Active in all areas of public international law, Sir Michael Wood has devoted a significant portion of his career to advising the FCO. He is well versed in complex land and maritime boundary disputes, and has enviable experience of appearing before international courts and tribunals.
"He has a terrific practice, and the quality of his work is top notch." "A superstar in PIL who is knowledgeable about case mechanics and sociopolitical issues."
Recent work: Defended Colombia in a case brought by Nicaragua concerning the delimitation of the continental shelf, and a claim concerning allegations of military and other violations of Nicaragua's maritime areas.

Strengths:

Monica Feria-Tinta
Monica Feria-Tinta focuses her practice on all aspects of PIL, having appeared before the full range of international courts and tribunals. In recent years she has acted in high-profile cases concerning international human rights, diplomatic immunity and bilateral investment treaty disputes.
"Monica is approachable yet also formidable. She has a broad knowledge of PIL and human rights law, and she brings a lot of passion and dedication to her work."
Recent work: Represented the family of Harry Dunn in their judicial review challenging the Foreign Secretary's acceptance that Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.

Strengths:

Penelope Nevill
Formerly a practising solicitor in New Zealand, Penelope Nevill advises on all aspects of PIL law. She regularly lectures on the topic at Cambridge University and King's College London, and attacks a wide variety of leading cases including heavy investor-state arbitration and work examining the jurisdiction of sovereign states in relation to foreign nationals.
"She analyses what really matters and is rock solid in the face of difficult questions." "She is knowledgeable, bright and practical." "An absolute fount of knowledge on international law."
Recent work: Represented the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in a case brought by six Portuguese children against Portugal, the UK and 32 other states. The claim concerned the defendant states' failure to meet their climate change commitments, particularly in view of catastrophic wildfires in Portugal.

Strengths:

Philippa Webb
Philippa Webb acts for states and non-governmental bodies, advising on a wide range of PIL issues including state and diplomatic immunities, as well as maritime, boundary and treaty disputes. She is Professor of Public International Law at King's College London.
"She's pragmatic and identifies the key issues in ICJ cases." "She's helpful, always available and gets back to you straight away." "She is knowledgeable about human rights and diplomatic immunity."
Recent work: Represented Belize in a boundary dispute with Guatemala before the ICJ.

Strengths:

Simon Olleson
Simon Olleson has a strong academic background in PIL and a keen interest in the law of state responsibility. He has recently advised on the PIL angles of environmental disputes and shown himself to be an expert in maritime delimitation cases and BIT arbitration. He has acted in ICJ, PCA, ICSID and ad hoc arbitration proceedings.
"He is fantastic in cases involving international waters." "He provides smart solutions with a high level of accuracy."
Recent work: Acted for the UAE against claims of a breach of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, brought by Qatar.

Strengths:

Wendy Miles QC
Joining the Bar from a prominent international law firm, Wendy Miles QC is a strong commercial public international lawyer who concentrates her practice on international arbitration, including BIT disputes. She represents claimant investors and other clients, and is in demand to act as both counsel and arbitrator.
"Wendy has great analytical skills and thinks through all the details." "She's collegial and accessible." "She adjusts her approach for those with different temperaments."
Recent work: Acted for a Ugandan railway company in a High Court set-aside proceeding concerning an investment arbitration with the state of Uganda.

Public International Law: The English Bar

Twenty Essex

firm
Location

20 Essex Street

London

Greater London

UK

WC2R 3AL

View Set Profile

Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

Global: Multi-Jurisdictional

Public International Law: The English Bar


Daniel Bethlehem QC
Star Individuals
Guglielmo Verdirame QC
Band 2
Wendy J Miles QC
Band 3

Juniors

Global: Multi-Jurisdictional

Public International Law: The English Bar


Belinda McRae
Band 3
Kate Parlett
Band 2
Michael Wood
Star Individuals

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