Public International Law in Europe

Debevoise’s European Team Includes One of the World’s Leading Public International Law Practices


In Europe, the profile, volume and wide range of mandates undertaken by the public international law team, which includes lawyers in London and Paris, make it one of the most prominent practices in the world. The group advises sovereigns, multinationals, corporates, high-profile individuals, leading political figures and international organizations.

The team is unique in the market, made up of lawyers with backgrounds geared directly towards resolving complex public international law disputes. The team has wide prior experience at the most senior levels of business, government, the diplomatic service and international organizations. The team is led by Lord Goldsmith QC, former UK Attorney General, and includes two former government Foreign Office legal advisers and former law clerks in the International Court of Justice. Senior members regularly lecture on public international law, and are approached to speak and comment on evolving political-legal crises.

The team also includes a deep bench of experienced practitioners who have successfully acted in cases before the ICJ, the International Criminal Court, the ECHR, ICTY, ICTR and SCSL, and extensively before arbitral tribunals around the world.

The perspectives gained through these experiences enable the team to assist in the highest-level diplomatic and political negotiations, and provide discreet and effective advice and representation in the most intricate and unconventional disputes.

The PIL team excels particularly in jurisdictions with high political risk where traditional legal and commercial avenues have often been exhausted. In such circumstances, the team creates solutions rooted in its deep understanding of public international law, commercial law, public law, constitutional law, criminal law and human rights law. Indeed, Chambers UK says of the team that they are “true experts in international law. They are able to move around the different disciplines effortlessly and seamlessly.”

Through following this approach, the team has acted on cases that have shaped the nature of arbitration; protected tens of billions of dollars’ worth of international investment; represented states in disputes on key diplomatic issues; and defended clients against violations of human rights.