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Public International Law

We have one of the world’s most-preeminent public international law practices. Our lawyers have represented more than 33 sovereign States and various international organizations, and acted in more inter-State proceedings than lawyers at any other law firm in the world.

Members of our group appear regularly before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and have also advised on matters before international criminal tribunals, international human rights bodies, and other courts and specialized bodies.

We also have a strong advisory practice, supporting our clients in navigating complex public international questions and developing strategies to protect their interests, be those governmental or business-related.

Our team’s experience includes working on:

  • Boundary disputes and sovereignty issues
  • The law of the sea
  • Inter-State arrangements for sharing resources
  • Statehood and recognition of governments
  • The law of treaties
  • State responsibility
  • International environmental law
  • International criminal law
  • International humanitarian law
  • International human rights law
  • Transboundary infrastructure (including pipelines and power and communications cables)
  • The law of international organizations
  • Space law
  • Immunities
  • The interaction between public international law and national law

We also have a market-leading practice advising on international investment treaty law and arbitration.


Our publishable public international law work from the last year alone includes:

  • Guatemala – Representing in proceedings against Belize before the ICJ concerning the delimitation of the states’ land and maritime boundary, and sovereignty over islands.
  • Colombia – Representing in proceedings before the ICJ against Nicaragua concerning claims that Colombia’s naval forces had interfered with Nicaragua’s sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone, and counterclaims including, inter alia, a claim that Nicaragua’s system of straight baselines was unlawful under customary international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Colombia – Representing in proceedings before the ICJ against Nicaragua concerning Nicaragua’s claim to an extended continental shelf beyond 200 nautical meters.
  • Bolivia – Representing in proceedings before the ICJ against Chile concerning international watercourses. The case also raised environmental issues relating to a State’s obligation to prevent significant transboundary harm as a result of possible pollution to a river, and whether provisions of the 1997 Watercourses Convention constitute customary international law.
  • Former president of Kosovo – Representing in his trial for alleged war crimes against humanity before a specialized war crimes court known as the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.