John Branson acts in complex, high-value matters with a focus on commercial and investment arbitrations. He represents clients in cross-border disputes across a range of industries, and his experience includes representing foreign sovereigns in international investment disputes.

    John’s experience includes advising clients and appearing as counsel in arbitrations under most of the leading institutions (e.g., ICSID, PCA, SIAC, Swiss Rules, LCIA, ICDR), as well as ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL Rules. He also regularly defends and prosecutes claims before federal and state courts.

    Prior to beginning his legal career, John served as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps and attained the rank of Captain before leaving the Corps. He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and, for his service in Afghanistan, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor distinction.

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    Investment Arbitration

    • Lead counsel in investment arbitration on behalf of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic against an alleged US$600 million claim under multiple investment treaties, each consolidated for administration under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
    • Representing the government of Turkmenistan in an ICSID arbitration arising out of a dispute over telecommunication rights. The claims for expropriation and violation of the FET Standard are valued at more than US$1.5 billion.
    • Represented a foreign sovereign against multiple claims arising out of five investments in the host state. All claims, alleged to be valued at US$1 billion, for expropriation, denial of justice and breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard, were dismissed and costs were awarded to the government. The ad hoc arbitration followed the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

    International Commercial Arbitration

    • Prosecuted a breach of contract case and defended against counterclaims valued by Respondents at US$468 million. The client was made whole, recovering more than US$40 million in damages and costs, while every counterclaim was dismissed. The case fell under the auspices of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
    • Representing a state-owned entity in prosecuting breach of contract claims for US$911 million arising out of the development and construction of an underground mine and mineral processing facility. The arbitration is seated in Stockholm and administered by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC).
    • Represented a respondent in intellectual property and contractual dispute in commercial arbitration seated in Zurich and administered by the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI).

    Discovery in International Proceedings

    • Experience in multiple districts with the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to obtain discovery from persons/entities in the US for use in foreign proceedings, to include international arbitrations and criminal investigations.


    • King’s College London, LL.M.
    • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., cum laude
    • University of Maryland, B.S.


    • New York
    • North Carolina

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Director, Charlotte International Arbitration Society (CIAS), 2015-2017
    • Member, International Bar Association
    • North Carolina Rising Stars, Super Lawyers, 2018-2020

    • Speaker, “Illegality and Bad Faith, A New Standard in Investment Arbitration,” Houston International Arbitration Club, September 2019.
    • Speaker, “The Magic Words: Language Translation in Litigation and Arbitration,” American Bar Association webinar, July 2019.
    • Panel Chair, “Cultural Issues in Commercial Arbitration: Asia and Australia,” 7th Annual AtlAS Conference, November 2018.
    • Panel Chair, “Pending Reforms in Investment Arbitration,” 10th Biennial Arbitration Symposium, Salzburg, Austria, June 2018.
    • Speaker, “Threshold Issues in Investment Arbitration,” Union Internationale des Avocats Congress, Toronto, Canada, 2017.
    • Author and Speaker, Tenth Annual Juris Conference on Investment Treaty Arbitration, May 2016.
    • Arbitrator, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Hong Kong, March 2016.
    • Guest Speaker, “Recent Developments in International Arbitration,” Wake Forest University School of Law, International Law Society, November 2015.
    • Author, “Damages in Investment Arbitration—a Revolutionary Remedy or Reward for Rich Corporations at the Expense of the World’s Poor? A Fundamental Examination of Chorzow’s Children,” The Journal of Damages in International Arbitration, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1, 2016.

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