Merryl Lawry-White is member of the International Dispute Resolution Group based in London.

Ms. Lawry-White has particular experience across different areas of public international law, including years of practice advising clients in investor-state disputes brought under bilateral investment treaties and investment laws, and on issues related to transitional justice. Ms. Lawry-White is the co-lead associate in London on Debevoise’s Business Integrity Initiative. She is also a member of the Justice Rapid Response Roster of Experts that may be deployed to assist in the investigation, analysis and reporting of human rights, international humanitarian law and international criminal law violations. Ms. Lawry-White has an active pro bono practice, most recently advising the interveners on questions of state responsibility and international humanitarian law in R (Campaign Against Arms Trade) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills, and on an amicus brief relating to reparation under international law for sexual violence against girls in schools.

Prior to joining Debevoise, Ms. Lawry-White was a Juriste Adjointe at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, where she worked as the Legal Officer to the Former Vice-President of the Court, and, upon his retirement, to his successor. In this capacity Ms. Lawry-White worked on cases implicating general rules of public international law (treaty interpretation, interrelationship of different bodies, state responsibility and consequent obligations, succession, etc.), international environmental law, international human rights law, international criminal law, maritime delimitation, law of the sea, land boundaries, use of force, reparations and remedies, and, jurisdiction, admissibility, interim measures, and other procedural questions. Ms. Lawry-White holds degrees from Cambridge (MA) and New York University (LL.M.), where she was a transitional justice scholar.

Prior to working at the Court, Ms. Lawry-White was an associate in the Public International Law and International Arbitration Group of a leading international law firm, where she acted on arbitrations brought under the auspices of ICSID, the LCIA, the ICC, under the UNCITRAL Rules, as well as the rules of three arbitration centres in the Middle East. Most of these matters arose under treaties or investment laws and related predominantly to the telecommunications, financial services or energy/extractives sectors. Ms. Lawry-White also had an active advisory practice, frequently advising state and commercial clients on issues of jurisdiction, conflict of laws, enforcement of arbitral awards, drafting arbitration clauses, as well as advising governments on issues of international law, transitional justice and treaty drafting.

Ms. Lawry-White has also worked with a human rights NGO in Nepal, advising on the international law aspects of two strategic litigation projects; with a leading transitional justice NGO in New York; and as the Project Coordinator of an HIV/AIDS Prevention Project in Rwanda.

Ms. Lawry-White frequently presents at conferences on issues of international law, transitional justice, business and human rights and commercial arbitration, including at BIICL and the ILA. She has also published articles and book chapters on similar issues, including in the ICLQ, the JWIT, and in Arbitration International (co-authored with Bernardo Sepulveda-Amor). She has contributed a chapter to “The United Nations Convention Against Corruption: A Commentary,” an Oxford University Press publication. Other recent publications include “International Race Discrimination,” Law Society Gazette (February, 2019); “Participation, Reparation, and Redress: Draft Article 12 of the ILC's Draft Articles on Crimes Against Humanity at the Intersection of International Criminal Law and Human Rights Law,” Journal of International Criminal Justice (September, 2018) and “Victims of Environmental Harm during Conflict: the Potential for 'Justice',” Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace (November, 2017).

Ms. Lawry-White is admitted to practise as an Attorney in New York (New York Bar) and as a Solicitor Advocate in the UK. She speaks French and Spanish.


  • New York University, LL.M.
  • Nottingham Law School, GDL
  • Nottingham Law School, L.P.C.
  • University of Cambridge, M.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Solicitor, England & Wales
  • New York