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Ben Juratowitch QC

Partner

Disputes, litigation and arbitration

... combines an excellent legal mind with a very strategic and practical approach

Legal 500, 2016

Profile details

About Ben Juratowitch QC

Ben Juratowitch QC is a partner in our international arbitration group.

He appears before international courts and tribunals in:

  • disputes between states; 
  • disputes between foreign investors and states; and
  • disputes between commercial parties.

He has been counsel for a broad range of states, corporations, international organisations and individuals in disputes before:

  • the International Court of Justice; 
  • the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea;
  • the European Court of Human Rights;
  • arbitral tribunals constituted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration; and
  • arbitral tribunals constituted under treaties and commercial contracts applying the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Ben teaches an annual course of seminars on international dispute settlement at the University of Paris Descartes and has been a visiting fellow in the Faculty of Law at the London School of Economics.

Recent work

Examples of inter-state cases

  • Counsel for Belize before the International Court of Justice in the dispute concerning Guatemala's claims to territory and maritime areas.
  • Counsel for Chile before the International Court of Justice in a case brought by Bolivia claiming that Chile was under an obligation to negotiate with it concerning granting it sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. Read more about this in our case study.
  • Counsel for Italy in a dispute with India under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning the exercise of jurisdiction over two Italian Marines, in provisional measures proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and in an arbitration administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • Counsel for Belize in the proceedings before the International Court of Justice on the request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.
  • Counsel for Slovenia in a case against Croatia before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the treatment of a state-owned Slovenian bank by Croatian authorities.
  • Counsel for Chile in its case with Peru decided by the International Court of Justice concerning their maritime boundary.

Examples of cases between foreign investors and states 

  • Counsel for investors in the submarine natural gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel in arbitrations against Egypt arising from the termination of gas supply from Egypt to Israel during the Arab Spring: 
    • under the bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and the United States; and
    • under the bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and Poland.
  • Counsel for the Republic of South Africa when foreign investors claimed that implementation of its black economic empowerment policies in its mining sector contravened investment protection treaties.
  • Counsel for Romania in the Micula v Romania case, both in the arbitration and the annulment proceedings, concerning Romania’s repeal of customs duty exemptions in order to join the European Union, and the relationship between Romania’s obligations under the European Union treaties and its obligations under its bilateral investment treaty with Sweden.
  • Counsel for Romania in a case arising in the petrochemical industry involving allegations of breach of the Energy Charter Treaty. 
  • Counsel for the Republic of Kenya in an arbitration concerning the withdrawal of a licence to exploit geothermal energy.
  • Counsel for Swisslion against North Macedonia in a case concerning privatisation of a food production company.
  • Counsel for Latvia in annulment proceedings focused on whether the arbitral tribunal had stated reasons for how the conduct in breach of the treaty had caused the losses for which compensation was awarded. 

Examples of commercial arbitrations

  • Counsel for East Mediterranean Gas in a tripartite arbitration also involving the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and the Israel Electric Company seated in Geneva and arising from the repudiation of a contract between them governed by English law and concerning the supply of gas from Egypt to Israel.
  • Counsel for a multinational energy company in a commercial arbitration against the Government of an Asian state concerning a dispute between them under a contract stabilising taxation obligations and governed by English law.
  • Counsel for a European energy company in a dispute with its supplier concerning competition law and the mechanism for determining the price of gas under a long term contract.
  • Counsel for East Mediterranean Gas in an arbitration against the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company governed by English law and seated in Cairo concerning the repudiation of the gas supply agreement between them.
  • Counsel for an international inter-governmental organisation in four consolidated commercial arbitrations concerning disputes arising under contracts for the provision of goods and services to it.
  • Counsel for a pharmaceutical company in a dispute governed by French law concerning contractual rights to payment for intellectual property.

Examples of cases before domestic courts

  • Counsel for Stans Energy Corporation before the High Court of England and Wales defending a challenge brought by the Kyrgyz Republic to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal seated in London and hearing claims under the Kyrgyz Foreign Investment Law.
  • Counsel for the Attorney General of Belize before the Caribbean Court of Justice and subsequently the Supreme Court of Belize on issues of constitutional law connected with the enforcement in Belize of an arbitral award in favour of Belize Bank Limited.
  • Counsel for the Government of Slovenia in proceedings before the Austrian courts concerning the distribution of funds deposited by the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • Counsel before the Paris Court of Appeal for a commercial party resisting a challenge to an arbitral award.
  • Advisor to the South African Minister of Mineral Resources in a case concerning whether changes to legislation regulating mineral resources were contrary to the South African Constitution.
  • Counsel for the Central Bank and Minister of Finance of Belize in a case before the Supreme Court of Belize concerning revocation of an international banking licence.
  • Counsel for the Attorney General of Belize before the Court of Appeal of Belize in a case concerning the evaluation of expert evidence on quantification of compensation for expropriation of land. 

Examples of advisory work

  • Advising energy companies on investments affected by disputes as to which state has jurisdiction over a particular area, or whether an entity granting rights is a state, or which group should be regarded as the government of a particular state. 
  • Advising financial institutions on issues of state immunity and compliance of projects they are considering financing with relevant rules of international law, including human rights law.
  • Advising Hapag Lloyd on its acquisition of the United Arab Shipping Company, which was an entity established by multilateral treaty.
  • Advising on a wide range of issues, including sovereignty over territory, delimitation of boundaries on land and at sea, arrangements to share infrastructure or natural resources that straddle boundaries or are in disputed areas, the law of the sea, disputes concerning rivers, rights of free transit, control over airspace, international environmental law, state immunity, international trade law, treaty law including the negotiation, interpretation, termination and effect of reservations to treaties, investment treaty disputes and cross-border commercial disputes.

Examples of pro bono work

  • Submitting complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on behalf of individuals who have suffered breaches of their human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Counsel to a coalition of nongovernmental organisations intervening in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights on issues of freedom of expression. 
  • Assisting REDRESS in making an amicus curiae submission requested from it by the International Criminal Court concerning the approach to reparations to victims to be adopted following convictions for international crimes.
  • Advising the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on issues of public international law.
  • Advising the International Service for Human Rights on a wide range of issues of international human rights law.

Qualifications

Education

  • Doctorate and Masters in law from the University of Oxford, studying as a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Bachelors degrees in international relations and law from the University of Queensland, winning the University Medal for law.

Professional qualifications

  • Queen’s Counsel, England and Wales
  • Appointed by the Attorney General of the United Kingdom to his ‘A panel’ of counsel for public international law matters
  • Member of the Paris Bar (Avocat à la Cour)
  • Attorney-at-Law, Belize
  • Registered to appear before the Singapore International Commercial Court 

Publications