Professor Zachary Douglas QC has a substantial practice before international courts and tribunals as counsel, arbitrator and expert witness, and also frequently appears before the English courts and the courts of other common law jurisdictions in cases with an international law element. He is a Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and was formerly a member of the Faculty of Law of Cambridge University. Zachary is recognised as a leading specialist in public international law and arbitration by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 and received the award for International Arbitration at the 2011 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards. He is listed in the Chambers and Partners’ Top 100 UK Bar and as a Band 1 Silk in Public International Law and Arbitration (International) in the Chambers and Partners Global 2015. He is also listed as one of 16 individuals world-wide in Public International Law: Most in Demand Arbitrators.
Zachary has been instructed by States in relation to proceedings in the International Court of Justice and the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He has acted as counsel in investment treaty arbitrations and commercial arbitrations under the ICC, LCIA, SCC, UNCITRAL, Swiss and ICSID Arbitration Rules and has served as an arbitrator in more than seventy cases under the LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL, Swiss and ICSID Rules, including as chairman and as sole-arbitrator in half of those cases.
Zachary has acted as counsel in cases before the English courts and other municipal courts relating to state immunity, human rights and humanitarian law, state succession, constitutional law, challenges to investment treaty awards and money laundering. He has represented individuals and companies in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights. He has also acted in dozens of cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, having formerly represented the International Olympic Committee.
In addition to contentious matters, Zachary has advised governments on issues of public international law (law of the sea, treaty law, international human rights, sovereign immunity, humanitarian law, state succession), arbitration legislation and constitutional reform. He has advised corporations on issues of corporate social responsibility.
Zachary is fluent in both Russian and French and has conducted bilingual arbitration proceedings in Russian and French. Zachary’s academic research is currently focused on investment treaty arbitration and the application of international norms in domestic legal orders. He is the author of one of the leading studies on investment treaty arbitration ‘The International Law of Investment Claims’ published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. Zachary was a Visiting Professor at the Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II in 2013 and a member of the Faculty for the Paris Arbitration Academy in 2014.
Zachary was formerly a Solicitor-Advocate at Freshfields in Paris until 2005.
Zachary accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.
Chambers and Partners Global 2015 ranks Zachary in Band 1 for Silks in Arbitration (International), Band 1 for Silks in Public International Law (“For international law he’s a one-man library, never mind an encyclopaedia. His knowledge is phenomenal.” “He’s a very good advocate and has a sense of priorities in terms of presenting persuasive arguments on the issues.”) and is one of 16 individuals world-wide listed in Public International Law: Most in Demand Arbitrators (“Standout individual”).
Chambers Top 100 UK Bar says that Zachary “has an exceptional talent for thinking outside the box, and is capable of developing
creative and compelling arguments when others might simply have given up without a fight. He is ever the gentleman, is good spirited and is a pleasure to work with.”
Legal 500 2014 says the “phenomenal” Zachary Douglas attracts praise for his “encyclopedic knowledge of international law, particularly around issues of state responsibility”.