Skip to main content

Investor-State Arbitration

Our lawyers have been involved in numerous investor-State disputes around the world, representing both States and investors

Investor-state arbitration is a dispute resolution mechanism that allows foreign investors to bring claims against host States for alleged breaches of obligations under investment treaties or contracts. Typically, investor-state arbitration involves the following:

  1. A foreign investor initiates arbitration against the host State, alleging that the state has violated one or more of its obligations under a treaty or contract (e.g., fair and equitable treatment, guarantees in the event of expropriation). The investor may seek compensation for damages suffered as a result of the breach.
  2. The arbitration is conducted before a panel of arbitrators, who are usually appointed by the parties or by an arbitral institution. The panel hears evidence and arguments from both sides and makes a binding decision on the dispute, which can be enforced in accordance with the ICSID, New York or other international conventions.
  3. The decision of the arbitral panel is typically final and binding, and the losing party must comply with the award.

Investor-state arbitration is often used in disputes involving large infrastructure projects, such as oil and gas pipelines, mining operations, or power plants. It can also be used in smaller disputes involving retail, transportation or other sectors.

We have advised investors and States on cases under the world’s major institutional arbitration rules (including ICSID, ICSID Additional Facility, UNCITRAL, SCC, LCIA and ICC rules). We have acted in investor-State disputes involving a wide range of economic sectors and industries, including energy, natural resources, trade and retail, manufacturing, communications, and media.

Our lawyers’ experience in investor-State disputes includes:

  • Advising a government in Central Europe on ICSID arbitration arising out of a privatisation project and alleged breach of an international investment treaty, including the preparation of counterclaims against the investor
  • Advising a major United States oil company in a multimillion-dollar dispute under UNCITRAL arbitration rules against a former Soviet Union State arising out of a product-sharing agreement
  • Consulting a consortium of international energy companies in a multimillion-dollar tax dispute against a State in Central Asia under UNCITRAL arbitration rules
  • Advising governments around the world on reforms of investment protection legislation and international investment agreements, including as a part of a project funded by the World Bank and other major international donors
  • Acting for a major Turkish construction company in a USD 400 million dispute against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia arising under the Saudi Arabia-Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty in relation to a project for the construction of schools in Saudi Arabia
  • Acting for Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Minerals Limited, subsidiaries of Acacia Mining plc, in a multibillion-dollar mining arbitration against the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania seated in London under the UNCITRAL Rules
  • Advising an Italian helicopter design and manufacturing company in relation to a potential arbitration proceeding against the government of India
  • Acting for a Spanish natural gas and electrical energy utilities company in an investment-treaty claim against Colombia
  • Acting for a group of oil & gas companies in commercial and investment-treaty arbitrations against an African state

Our lawyers regularly speak at events devoted to investor-state arbitration and participate in the UNCITRAL Working Group III: Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform.

We can offer competitive rates compared to bigger city law firms and put together a team including barristers to fit the needs of your case.

Information about Keidan Harrison’s practice related to enforcement procedures and post-award challenges can be found here.

Marc Keidan is a force of nature: irrepressibly energetic; absolutely determined to find the right strategic solution; hugely client focused and ever sensitive to the client's commercial (and cost) needs. He is also hugely knowledgeable about misselling claims against banks.

Luke Harrison is a first class tactician, always obtains the best result for his clients. He is incredibly hard working and seems to never run out of energy

Marc Keidan is a charming and charismatic partner. He inspires confidence in his clients.

Luke Harrison is very insightful and has an ability to read into what the other side are thinking, and he has an uncanny ability to know how they will react. He has a fine analytical mind and he is highly respected amongst his peers.

Marc Keidan - truly experienced, fearless and fantastic to work with.

I am always amazed and impressed by Luke Harrison's energy and enthusiasm in respect of each and every case. He always has time for both clients and counsel and always goes the extra mile.

Marc Keidan is well known for knowing pretty much everything that is going on in the litigation arena at any one time. He is a real brain box. He is pragmatic and extremely bright.

Luke Harrison is an inspirational leader and very well known in the market and admired for what he has done.

Meet our specialist team: Investor-State Arbitration

Professor Yarik Kryvoi
Prof Yarik Kryvoi

Of Counsel

Marc Keidan
Marc Keidan


Luke Tucker Harrison
Luke Tucker Harrison

Partner & Solicitor Advocate

Srishti Jain
Srishti Jain

Managing Associate

Professional associations

Our lawyers are members of the following professional associations:

News & Insights: Investor-State Arbitration

Undisputedly different.


We take pride in not being the same as every other City law firm. We use our differences to make a big difference to you and your business.

Find out how