Firm / Organisation

Volterra Fietta

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Number of partners: 2 (and 1 counsel)
Number of associates: 15
Number of other fee-earners: 5

Areas of Practice
Public International Law:
Investment Treaty Arbitration (Investors and States): 35%
State-to-State Disputes:
Public International Law Advisory (including Boundary Negotiations; Treaty Drafting; International Organisations): 20%
Commercial Arbitration: 10%
Business & Human Rights:

Volterra Fietta is an elite law firm that is specialised entirely in public international law. On its foundation, Volterra Fietta was the first and only practice focused exclusively on this field of law. The firm remains the largest dedicated public international law practice in the world. It offers States, international organisations and commercial clients a unique blend of expertise and practical experience.
The firm’s lawyers are leading practitioners in the field. Each Volterra Fietta lawyer combines at least one graduate degree in public international law with extensive practical experience in law firms, companies, governments and international organisations. Many of the firm’s senior lawyers are recognised globally as thought-leaders in the practise of public international law and international dispute resolution. Volterra Fietta consistently leads in the development of public international law. The firm organises the regular London International Boundary Conference and its team is already regarded as a leader in international dispute resolution matters arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm practises, teaches and writes at the highest level. Recognising this, the global directories for legal services have consistently ranked Volterra Fietta in the top tier.

Volterra Fietta advises States, international organisations, private entities and individuals on a wide range of public international law matters.

Notably, Volterra Fietta is one of only a handful of law firms in the world that regularly represent governments in State-to-State disputes before the International Court of Justice (the “ICJ”), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (the “PCA”) and tribunals constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In the last year alone, Volterra Fietta was involved in six cases before the ICJ and provided advice in relation to a number of additional State-to-State disputes in every continent.

The firm also has one of the world’s largest investor-State arbitration practices. It represents both States and foreign investors alike before the main international arbitration institutions, including the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”), the PCA and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. In addition, the firm regularly represents clients in commercial arbitration proceedings under the rules of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration and various other arbitration rules. Likewise, the firm represents States and private entities on the application of public international law by the domestic courts of the United Kingdom and numerous other jurisdictions. The firm has extensive experience representing clients in domestic proceedings concerning the enforcement of arbitration awards and sovereign immunity matters.

The firm also is recognised as one of the leading law firms globally practising in the area of business and human rights. Companies consult Volterra Fietta about the human rights implications of their operations and supply chains. Funds and financial institutions seek the firm’s advice about their investments in countries that have experienced human rights and rule of law problems. Governments consult it about their legislation and international obligations in relation to companies and human rights.

The firm is consulted on every aspect of public international law, including: bilateral and multilateral investment treaties; land and maritime territorial and boundary disputes; the law of treaties and treaty interpretation; property rights and expropriation; the Energy Charter Treaty; oil concessions; air and water rights; treaty negotiations and accession; State responsibility; choice of law, jurisdiction and enforcement proceedings; international maritime law; sovereign and diplomatic privilege and immunity; project-specific international agreements between host States; offshore oil and gas (and other resources); straddling resources; trans-boundary pipelines; international human rights law (including its relevance to transnational business enterprises and transnational litigation); State succession issues; international environmental law; sovereign debt; energy, mining and infrastructure projects; international trade law; foreign corrupt practices; the laws of war and economic sanctions.

Based in London, the firm has a global reach, acting for States, private entities and international organisations in contentious and advisory matters all over the world.

The majority of the firm’s work is highly confidential. However, recent highlights of the firm’s international work that is in the public domain include: representing the Republic of Colombia, the United Arab Emirates and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in various proceedings before the ICJ; representing Malaysia in its sui generis treaty dispute with the Republic of Singapore before an ad hoc tribunal under the aegis of the PCA; representing the Republic of Croatia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Lithuania and the Federal Republic of Nigeria in ICSID arbitrations; representing Barbados in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings; representing various subsidiaries of US companies Owens Illinois Inc. and Koch Industries Inc. in a number of ICSID arbitrations and annulment proceedings; and representing the United States of America before local courts in relation to sovereign immunity matters.

In addition to English, French, Spanish and Arabic, the firm advises its clients in Cantonese, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak and Swedish.