Simon Olleson (PDF)
Year of Call: 2002
Education: B.A. (Hons) (Cantab) (2000); LL.M. (NYU); Dip. Int. Law. (Cantab)
Languages: French (fluent); Italian (fluent); German (basic)
Areas of practice
Simon specializes 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.
He is recommended by Chambers and Partners UK 2012 as a Leading Junior (Band 3) in public international law, where he is described as " quickly establishing a reputation as an 'excellent junior' for a wide array of PIL matters" and as having "supported many of the leading silks in the field on investment protection disputes, international human rights law cases, and issues of sovereign immunity, state succession and the law of the sea". He has previously been recommended by Chambers and Partners UK since 2008, described variously as having "a growing practice in a wide range of PIL matters, including maritime delimitation, [ICSID] cases and immunity/succession matters" (Chambers and Partners 2011); as handling "all aspects of PIL" and as "held in high regard by his peers” (Chambers and Partners UK 2010), and as “extremely intelligent, astute and very practical,” (Chambers and Partners UK 2009).
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. 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 international law work, Simon also has a broad domestic practice, advising and providing advocacy in general chancery and commercial law. He has appeared regularly in the County Courts, as well as in the High Court (Chancery Division, Queen's Bench Division and Commercial Court).
Prior to coming to the Bar, Simon was a Research Associate and subsequently Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law of the University of Cambridge, with which he still retains links. He acted as assistant to Professor James Crawford, Special Rapporteur on State Responsibility, in the summer of 2001 during the International Law Commission’s final consideration and adoption of the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and accompanying commentaries. Previously, he also acted for a time as an external legal adviser to the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, New York.
Simon was a Visiting Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from February to August 2007, during which time he undertook a research project, partially funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, investigating reliance on the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility by international and domestic courts and tribunals. He has also provided commentary for television on questions of international law.
In May 2009, at a ceremony in Bucharest hosted by the President of Romania, Simon was made Cavaler (Knight) of the Ordinul Naţional “Serviciul Credincios” (National Order “Faithful Service”) of Romania 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.
He is a member of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) and the British Branch of the International Law Association (ILA), and is a Member of the ILA’s Committee on Baselines under the International Law of the Sea.
Notable cases and recent work
- Junior Counsel for the Respondent State in an ongoing dispute before the International Court of Justice involving issues of international environmental and human rights law;
- Advising (with leading Counsel) in relation to an anticipated inter-State arbitration before the Permanent Court of Arbitration;
- Junior Counsel for the Respondent State in an ICSID claim arising out of the application of domestic competition law to an investor in the electrical energy sector (BIT and Energy Charter Treaty);
- Junior Counsel for the Respondent in an ICSID claim brought by an international bank arising out of a hedging contract;
- Secretary/Assistant to the Tribunal in an arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, under a bilateral investment treaty;
- Republic of Croatia v. Republic of Serbia  EWHC 1559 (Ch.) (Briggs J, 2 July 2009); junior counsel for Croatia in a successful appeal against a decision of the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry in relation to the entry of a restriction under 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 (judgment of 3 February 2009); Junior Counsel and Advocate for Romania before the International Court of Justice;
- Asian Village Antigua Limited v. Government of Antigua and Barbuda, Award of 28 September 2007; clerk to the tribunal in a multi-million dollar commercial arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules administered by the LCIA, relating to a failed tourism infrastructure project;
- Barmek Holding v. Republic of Azerbaijan (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/16); counsel for the claimant in a claim relating to the claimant’s investment consisting of contracts for the management of electricity distribution networks in Azerbaijan, including an application for Provisional Measures (decision of 9 September 2007);
- Advising a rebel group in relation to a peace settlement;
- Advising (with leading counsel) a prominent multi-national company on the prospects of bringing a claim under a bilateral investment treaty;
- Advising (both alone and with leading counsel) on a number of other matters under bilateral investment treaties and under NAFTA;
- Advising an international telecommunications company on matters relating to the International Telecommunications Union;
- Alstom Power Italia S.P.A and Alstom S.P.A. v. Republic of Mongolia (ICSID Case No. ARB/04/10); junior counsel for the Claimant
- “Gómez Paquiyauri Brothers” v. Peru, Inter-Am.Ct.H.R., Series C, No. 110, (judgment of 8 July 2004); joint submission (with Professor J. Crawford) of an amicus curiae brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on issues of State responsibility in a case involving torture and extra-judicial killing byState agents; issues of reparation.
- 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);
- Contributing editor for entries relating to public international law to D. Greenberg (ed.) Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2010);
- (with J. Crawford), “The Nature and Forms of International Responsibility”, in M.D. Evans (ed.), International Law (3rd ed.)(Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010), p. 441 (also 1st ed., 2006; 2nd ed. 2006);
- (with J. Crawford, V. Lowe, A. Pellet, and D. Müller), “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;
- “The Kadi and Yusuf Cases before the Court of First Instance — Jus Cogens and Review of Security Council Resolutions” INTERIGHTS Bulletin, vol. 15 (2006), p. 135;
- (with J. Crawford) “The Continuing Debate on a UN Convention on State Responsibility”, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 54 (2005), p. 959;
- "Killing Three Birds With One Stone"? The Judgments of the International Court of Justice in the Legality of Use of Force Cases", Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 18 (2005), p. 237;
- (with J. Crawford), “Responsibility, State” in Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (Macmillan, New York, 2004);
- (with J. Crawford and J. Peel) “The ILC’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts: Completion of the Second Reading”, European Journal of International Law, vol. 12, (2001), p. 963.
- (with J. Crawford) “The Exception of Non-performance: Links between the Law of Treaties and the Law of State Responsibility”, Australian Yearbook of International Law, vol. 21 (2001), p. 55.
- (with C.D. Gray), “The Limits of the Law on the Use of Force: Turkey, Iraq and the Kurds”, Finnish Yearbook of International Law, vol. XII (2001), p. 387.
- The Impact of the ILC’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (monograph, forthcoming).
- (with S. Borelli) “Contre-mesures: Obligations relatives aux droits de l’homme et au droit humanitaire” in J. Crawford and A. Pellet, Manuel de la responsabilité internationale (Pedone, Paris, forthcoming 2011)]