Michelle Bradfield

Michelle-Bradfield

Michelle Bradfield

Partner

London | 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, UK EC4V 4QQ
+44 20 7184 7825 | +44 20 7184 7001

| vCard | PDF

Michelle Bradfield is a Partner in Dechert’s International Arbitration practice group. She has over 15 years of experience as counsel focusing on public international law. She advises and represents states, private entities and international organisations on a diverse array of both contentious and non-contentious matters. The key areas of her practice include boundary disputes between States, maritime disputes, investment treaty arbitration, treaty interpretation, state secession, international commercial arbitration and enforcement of awards. She has acted as counsel in matters before: the International Court of Justice; PCA tribunals; ICSID tribunals; UNCITRAL tribunals; ad-hoc tribunals; and the English courts. 

Ms. Bradfield has been ranked as a highly regarded lawyer for more than a decade. The Legal 500 recently listed her as a "Leading Individual," stating that her public international law "pedigree is among the best in London" and that she is "very professional, with excellent knowledge" of public international law. She is "highly rated" in commercial arbitration and known for her "persuasive" advocacy. Ms. Bradfield has also been named a "rising star" by Legal Week

Ms. Bradfield lectures on boundary disputes and investment treaty arbitrations at King's College London, in both postgraduate and undergraduate courses. Her writing has been published widely, appearing in publications such as Investment Treaty Arbitration Review, The International Arbitration Review, ICSID Review Foreign Investment Law Journal, Private Equity in Sub-Saharan Africa, Litigation International Investment Disputes: a Practitioner's Guide, Legal Week, Judicial Independence in Context, International Bar Association and International Law Reports.

Prior to working in London, Ms. Bradfield was a Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge for five years.

Experience

Public International Law

  • Sultanate of Oman: Advised the Government on its submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
  • Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission: Assistant to the President of the Commission, which delimited and demarcated the entire boundary between the two States.
  • Malaysia: Acted for Malaysia in its dispute with  Singapore over the sovereignty of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, which was heard by the International Court of Justice. 
  • A sovereign wealth fund: Acted for the fund in negotiations with a State in connection with a proposed multi-billion dollar infrastructure project, which involved the State relinquishing sovereignty over its territory.
  • A State: Provided advice to a State on the public international law issues between Cyprus and Northern Cyprus.
  • Self-autonomous area: Advised a self-autonomous area on boundary issues and recognition.
  • Government of Barbados: Advised the Government on its dispute with the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, which related to the delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelves of both States.
  • Government of Barbados: Advised the Government on its Outer Continental Shelf entitlement and prepared its submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
  • Numerous States and companies investing in Iran: Advised on public international law issues arising from investing in Iran and the possibility of the snapback of sanctions.
  • Various oil companies: Advised in connection with maritime delimitation, outer continental shelves and deep-sea mining issues.
  • Major oil company: Represented the company with its substantial investment into an African State by negotiating and drafting the agreement with the Government, which included drafting the Government’s implementation legislation. 
  • World leading hotel chain: Advised a hotel chain on the implications under public international law of investing in Northern Cyprus.
  • African State: Drafted investment legislation for the State. 

Investment Treaty Arbitrations

  • Sudapet Company Ltd v. Republic of South Sudan: Acted for the Claimant in a US$3 billion ICSID arbitration against South Sudan in relation to the expropriation of its interests in various oil blocks in South Sudan. This case was the first investment treaty case to examine an expropriation arising out of the creation of a new state. 
  • Silver Ridge Power B.V. v. The Republic of Italy: Acted for the Claimant in an ICSID arbitration against Italy that was initiated pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty and concerned the Government's change in policy towards the solar industry.
  • Philip Morris Asia Ltd v. Commonwealth of Australia: Advised the Respondent in an UNCITRAL arbitration which related to Australia's plain-packaging tobacco legislation.
  • Group of investors: Advised companies on potential claims against Cyprus.
  • OI European Group v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: Acted for the Claimant in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela, which related to the expropriation of glass manufacturing plants.
  • Karmer v. Republic of Georgia: Acted for the Claimant in an ICSID arbitration against Georgia, which related to the construction of a highway and the operation of a hotel and casino.
  • Dutch company v. Republic of Turkey: Acted for the Claimant in an ICSID arbitration against Turkey concerning an expropriation of an electricity generation concession agreement.
  • Favianca and OldV v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: Acted for the Claimant in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela, which was brought under the Dutch-Venezuelan bilateral investment treaty.
  • Major private company from a GCC member State: Acted against a GCC member State under a multilateral treaty.
  • Adria Beteiligungs v. Republic of Croatia: Acted for the Respondent in an UNCITRAL arbitration, under the aegis of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which related to an expropriation of a gaming concession agreement and considered issues of the breakdown of the former Yugoslavia. 
  • Laskaridis Shipping et al. v. Ukraine: Acted for the Claimant in an UNCITRAL arbitration, under the aegis of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which related to an expropriation of a shipyard and boatbuilding contract.
  • U.S. energy company v. Venezuela: Acted in an expropriation case against Venezuela.
  • Eastern European country: Represented a State in settlement discussions with an investor. 

Commercial Arbitrations

  • U.S. private medical research university: Acted for the Claimant in an LCIA arbitration relating to a groundbreaking investment in Asia. The case was governed by English law and involved issues of breach of contract and misrepresentation.
  • International investment bank: Acted for the Claimant in an ICC arbitration against Polish developers. Also represented the client in the enforcement proceedings in Poland and advised on several satellite claims commenced by the Respondents in the Polish courts.
  • Azerbaijan developer: Acted for the Respondent in an ICC arbitration, which related to the construction of a large development in Baku. The dispute was governed by Azerbaijan law and involved allegations of breach of contract.
  • Aircraft company: Represented the Claimant in an LCIA arbitration relating to the leasing of planes. The dispute was governed by English law and involved allegations of breach of contract.
  • Chinese client: Acted for a Chinese client in resisting the enforcement of an ICC Award in the English courts.
  • Large Spanish company: Acted in an ICC arbitration that related to the construction of a power plant in Russia. The dispute was governed by Russian law.
  • Multinational oil and gas company: Represented one of the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies in an arbitration regarding onshore and offshore pipelines. The value of this dispute was in excess of US$500 million. The arbitration was under UNCITRAL Rules and governed by Nigerian law.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

Education
  • University of Cambridge, LL.M., 2004, British Chevening-Cambridge Australia Trust Scholarship
  • Queensland University of Technology, LL.B., 2001, Tom Cain Trophy for Outstanding Achievement, President of the Law Society, sole student representative on the Law Faculty Governing Board
  • Queensland University of Technology, BBus, Dean’s List for Highest Achievers, Scholarship to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, International Masters of Business, founder of the University’s Business Society, 2001
Admissions
  • Australia
  • England and Wales
Speaking Engagements
 
  • International Arbitration - Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Washington, D.C. (October  16, 2019)
  • How Will Brexit Impact Businesses With International Operations? Are You Prepared, Deal or No Deal? – Dechert Brexit Seminar, New York, NY (October 10, 2019)
  • Lecturing at King's College London since 2009 on both investment treaty arbitration and boundary disputes.
  • "Current Developments in Valuation & Quantum in Investor-State Arbitration," British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Investment Treaty Forum (October 2016)
  • "Investment Arbitration Strategy – Pragmatic Moves and Manoeuvres," British Institute of Interatnional and Comparative Law, Investment Treaty Forum (November 2016)
  • "International Energy Investments and the Energy Charter Treaty – a Focus on Investments in Renewables," International Chamber of Commerce, Milan (April 2016)
  • “Key Legal Updates for Energy Lawyers”, Global Energy Summit (2014/ 2015/ 2016)
  • "Human Rights in Business", Legal Update seminar, London (November 2015)
  • "Lifting the veil on the general silence that permeates remedies in investment arbitration," International Bar Association: Investment Arbitration, , Tokyo (2014)
  • Private Equity seminar: formulating the best acquisition structure for your transactions in Africa, London and Lagos (June 2014)
  • "Political risk insurance and how you can benefit from international investment treaties", Lloyds of London (2014)
  • "The fight for justice in Pakistan," British Institute of Interatnional and Comparative Law (Lecture and debate)
  • "Rule of law and separation 4  of powers: Pakistan as a case example," Bi-annual meeting of the Canadian Bar, Cambridge.