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Public International Law

Allen & Overy advises national and international corporations, financial institutions, international organisations, governments and States on all contentious and non-contentious aspects of public international law. Our market-leading practice includes specialists in environmental law, regulatory compliance and risk management, dispute resolution, anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, public law, human rights and sanctions.

A&O’s public international law advisory work includes:

  • The drafting and interpretation of international treaties and conventions
  • Maritime, territorial and boundary rights
  • State succession
  • International sanctions regimes
  • Privileges and immunities of States and international organisations
  • Recognition of States and State succession
  • Title to natural resources and international environmental law
  • Use of force and international humanitarian law
  • Space law
  • Trade law

We also advise on contentious Public International Law matters, including State-to-State disputes under public international law, including boundary disputes, and have a market-leading investment treaty arbitration practice. 

Our experts have acted as counsel before international courts and special tribunals, such as the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, and advised states on out-of-court strategies for dispute resolution, including before UN fora. We are also one of only a handful of law firms with experience of contentious World Trade Organisation proceedings.

News & insights

Publications: 21 March 2022

International Law considerations for foreign investors with business interests in Russia

International law considerations for foreign investors with business interests in Russia As a result of international sanctions and reputational concerns, many foreign investors with interests in…

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Publications: 25 February 2022

EU and UK sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine

In response to the Russian Federation’s formal recognition of two regions in Eastern Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent states, earlier this week the EU and the UK adopted an initial…

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Publications: 21 February 2022

Webinar: International sanctions update 2022

Sanctions developments are grabbing headlines around the globe with the spotlight recently focused on Russia and Ukraine and the media dubbing the USA’s potential response “the mother of all…

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Publications: 01 November 2021

Court of Justice of the European Union says ad hoc submission to arbitration of dispute between EU Member State and EU investor under BIT is against EU law

On 26 October 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court) delivered its judgment in Case C‑109/20, Republic of Poland v PL Holdings S.á r.l. (PL Holdings).

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Awards and achievements

  1. Tier One, Public International Law, Legal 500 UK 2019
  2. Band 1, Dispute Resolution, Global-wide, Chambers Global 2019
  3. International Arbitration Firm of the Year, Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Awards 2019
  4. Best Arbitration Team of the Year in Spain and Portugal, 2019 


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International Arbitration Review

Recent developments and emerging trends in international arbitration law and policy