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Simon Olleson

Call 2002
Olleson4

Simon specialises in public international law; his practice includes advice and advocacy in relation to traditional inter-State disputes (including before the International Court of Justice), investment protection disputes, international human rights law, issues of sovereign immunity, State succession and the law of the sea, as well as litigation before the English courts involving issues of public international law.

Simon has appeared as counsel before the International Court of Justice, as well as before arbitral tribunals operating under the auspices of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He has also acted as secretary or clerk to the tribunal in a number of international investment protection disputes, as well as acting as clerk to the tribunal in a multi-million dollar commercial arbitration in relation to a failed tourism infrastructure project.

In addition to his work in public international law, Simon also has experience in domestic practice, advising and providing advocacy in general chancery and commercial law (including in particular arbitration matters). He has appeared in the County Court, as well as in the High Court (Chancery Division, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court and Mercantile Court).

He publishes regularly in the field of public international law, including contributing to the ‘International Relations Law’ title of Halsbury’s Laws of England (5th ed., 2010; vol. 61) (6th ed., forthcoming 2017). He has also provided commentary for television on questions of international law, and has been invited to speak at academic conferences in the UK, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine.

In May 2009, at a ceremony in Bucharest hosted by the President of Romania, Simon was made Cavaler (Knight) of the Ordinul National “Serviciul Credincios” of Romania (National Order “Faithful Service”) in recognition of his work on behalf of Romania in the Case Concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine) before the International Court of Justice.

Simon is recommended as a Leading Junior (Band 3) for Public International Law in Chambers and Partners UK 2016.

He has previously been recommended in Chambers and Partners UK since 2008: described variously as “fantastic”, a “good all-round general international lawyer”  “clear and level-headed”, “an excellent junior” and “extremely intelligent, astute and very practical”.

  • What the directories say
    • Leading Junior Band 3

      Simon is described as having “a strong PIL practice spanning inter-state disputes, investment treaty arbitrations, Law of the Sea and state immunity issues”, and as being “superb at getting things done in a timely way and good with demanding clients”.

      Chambers & Partners UK 2016
    • Simon is described as “fantastic" , having “a practice that spans the full spectrum of the field” and an “in-depth understanding of matters concerning state responsibility”

      “an experienced performer in international human rights and environmental law”.
      Chambers & Partners UK 2015
  • Cases of interest

    Certain Activities in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua); Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica), International Court of Justice, judgment of 16 December 2015: counsel for Costa Rica in joined disputes before the International Court of Justice concerning, inter alia, the military occupation of territory, the causing of environmental damage, and the obligation to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments.

    Railway Land Arbitration (Malaysia/Singapore) (PCA Case MY-SG 70514), Award of 30 October 2014: junior Counsel for Malaysia (led by Professor James Crawford AC SC) in relation to a dispute relating to the interpretation of a bilateral treaty.

    The “Arctic Sunrise” (Kingdom of the Netherlands v. Russian Federation) (Annex VII UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal, PCA-administered); submission of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Greenpeace International (with Professor Philippe Sands QC).

    Advising Greenpeace International in relation to the making of an application to the European Court of Human rights against the Russian Federation in respect of the arrest and detention of the crew and others on board the “Arctic Sunrise” (“Arctic 30”).

    The “Arctic Sunrise” (Kingdom of the Netherlands v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures, Order of 22 November 2013 (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea); submission of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Greenpeace International (with Professor Philippe Sands QC).

    X Ltd and others v. State Y (UNCITRAL ad hoc arbitration); advising the respondent on a potentially ground-breaking claim relating to the closing of a regional international court. Complex issues of jurisdiction and of State responsibility for the conduct of an international organization.

    Advising a provider of a leading international currency trading platform as to a potential claim against a State for losses caused as a result of the conduct of a Central Bank; issues of jurisdiction, State succession.

    Advising on the possibility of bringing a challenge to the award of an arbitral tribunal operating under the UNCITRAL Rules as to its substantive jurisdiction under a bilateral investment treaty under s. 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

    Deutsche Bank AG v. Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (ICSID Case ARB/09/2); Junior Counsel for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in its Application for Annulment of the Award of 31 October 2012 (ongoing).

    AES Corporation and Tau Power BV v. Republic of Kazakhstan (ICSID Case No. ARB/10/16), Award of 1 November 2013 (not public); junior Counsel for the Respondent (claims totalling approximately US$1.3 bn under a BIT and the ECT in relation to an investment in the electricity generation sector).

    ECE Projektmanagment International GmbH and another v. Czech Republic (PCA Case No. 2010-5): Assistant/Secretary to the Tribunal in PCA administered arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules concerning claims of breach of a bilateral investment treaty in relation to a property development project.

    Junior Counsel for the Respondent State in a dispute before the International Court of Justice involving claims of violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and breaches of international environmental and human rights law.

    Deutsche Bank AG v. Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (ICSID Case No. ARB/09/2), Award of 31 October 2012; Junior Counsel for the Respondent in relation to claims by an investor of wrongful interference by the State with a hedging contract entered into by a State-owned oil company.

    Republic of Croatia v. Republic of Serbia [2009] EWHC 1559 (Ch.); [2010] Ch. 200, [2010] 2 WLR 555, [2010] 1 P. & C.R. 5, [2009] All ER (D) 30 (Jul) (Briggs J, 2 July 2009); junior counsel for Croatia in a successful appeal against a decision of the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry. The appeal related to the entry of a restriction under the Land Registration Act 2002 against title to property registered in the name of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; issues of State succession and non-justiciability.

    Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine) ICJ Reports 2009, p. 61 (judgment of 3 February 2009); Junior Counsel and Advocate for Romania before the International Court of Justice in its dispute with Ukraine relating to the delimitation of their respective Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelves.

  • Education

    B.A. (Hons) and M.A. (Cantab); LL.M. (NYU); Dip. Int. Law. (Cantab)

  • Languages

    Italian (fluent); French (fluent); German (basic)

  • Publications

    Selected publications:

    • “Attribution in Investment Treaty Arbitration” (2016) 31 ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal (in press)
    • “Chapter 5: International Investment Agreements and the General Body of Rules of Public International Law; Section III: The Application of the Rules of State Responsibility”, in M. Bungenberg, J. Griebel, S. Hobe and A. Reinisch (eds) International Investment Law: A Handbook (Nomos/Beck/Hart Publishing, 2015), pp. 411-441 (with J. Crawford)
    • “A Summary Assessment of the 1950 Advisory Opinions of the International Court of Justice on Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania“, in B. Aurescu (ed.) Romania and the International Court of Justice (Editura Hamangiu, Bucharest, 2014), pp. 102-133
    • “The Character and Forms of International Responsibility”, in M.D. Evans (ed.), International Law (4th ed.) (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014), pp. 443-476 (with J. Crawford) (previously also 1st ed. (2003); 2nd ed. (2006); and 3rd ed. (2010) (as “The Nature and Forms of International Responsibility”));
    • “Internationally Wrongful Acts in the Domestic Courts: The Contribution of Domestic Courts to the Development of Customary International Law Relating to the Engagement of International Responsibility”, Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 26(3) (2013), pp. 615-642;
    • “Article 8: Effect of Participation in a Proceeding Before a Court”, in C.J. Tams and R. O’Keefe (eds), The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013), pp. 124-136 (with S. Borelli);
    • “Article 9: Counterclaims”, in C.J. Tams and R. O’Keefe (eds), The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013), pp. 137-151 (with S. Borelli);
    • Co-editor (with J. Crawford and A. Pellet), The Law of International Responsibility (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010);
    • “Countermeasures: Obligations Relating to Human Rights and Humanitarian Law” in J. Crawford, A. Pellet and S. Olleson (eds.) The Law of International Responsibility (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010) (with S. Borelli)
    • Contributor of the parts on “International Responsibility” and “Diplomatic Protection and Consular Assistance” to the International Relations title of Halsbury’s Laws of England (5th ed.) (Lexis-Nexis, London, 2010); contribute to the 6th ed. (fortcoming 2017)
    • Contributing editor for entries relating to public international law to D. Greenberg (ed.) Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2010);
    • “A Summary Assessment of the ICJ Judgment of 3 February 2009 in the Case Concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Revista Română de Drept Internaţional [Romanian Journal of International Law], vol. 8 (2009), p. 104 (with J. Crawford, V. Lowe, A. Pellet, and D. Müller);
    • “The Continuing Debate on a UN Convention on State Responsibility”, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 54 (2005), p. 959 (with J. Crawford);
  • Memberships
    • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (CIArb)
    • Member, European Society of International Law (ESIL)
    • Member, British Branch of the International Law Association (ILA),
    • Member, ILA’s Committee on Baselines under the International Law of the Sea.
    • Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of International Dispute Settlement
    • Member of the drafting group for the SHARES ‘Commentaries on the Law of International Responsibility’ project (Amsterdam Centre for International Law (UvA)).
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