Stephen Fietta is the principal and founder of Fietta, an international law firm based in London. He has practised at the forefront of public international law, both within government and private practice, for almost 20 years.
Stephen advises sovereign states and private clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious public international law and related dispute resolution issues, including: the protection of international investments under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, free trade agreements and concession contracts; treaty drafting and interpretation; state sovereignty over natural resources; land and maritime boundary issues; the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); transboundary pipeline projects and the Energy Charter Treaty; sovereign and diplomatic immunity; state succession over the property of dissolved states; state responsibility for the acts and omissions of public authorities and domestic courts; UN, EU and domestic trade sanctions regimes; international environmental law; and human rights.
Stephen regularly leads teams of lawyers representing clients before the world's leading public international law courts and tribunals. He has advised in connection with disputes at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and a multitude of ad hoc and institutional arbitral fora (including under UNCLOS, ICSID, PCA, ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL Rules). He has been particularly active over recent years as counsel for both claimants and respondents in investment arbitration proceedings pursuant to the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules.
Before moving back into private practice in 2002, Stephen was a lawyer at the ECHR in Strasbourg, France, where he worked on cases brought against states concerning, inter alia, confiscation of assets by state authorities, fairness of civil and criminal proceedings before domestic courts and tribunals, environmental matters and acts of state authorities during wartime. Stephen also worked for three years as a legal adviser to the UK government, where his responsibilities included advising in connection with proceedings before various national and international courts and tribunals.
Stephen has published widely on various public international law topics. Most recently, he co-authored (with Dr Robin Cleverly) A Practitioner’s Guide to Maritime Boundary Delimitation (OUP, published March 2016). His articles and commentaries have been published in leading international journals including the American Journal of International Law, International Legal Materials, the Journal of World Investment and Trade, the Journal of International Arbitration and the International Arbitration Law Review.
In 2015, Stephen was awarded the Smit-Lowenfeld Prize for best article in the field of international arbitration. The prize was awarded for his article, co-authored by Dr James Upcher (a consultant to the firm), “Public International Law, Investment Treaties and Commercial Arbitration: an emerging system of complementarity?”, published in Arbitration International. Stephen is a regular speaker at conferences around the world on topics of public international law, investment arbitration and international dispute resolution.
WWL says: The “fantastic” Stephen Fietta is an internationally renowned practitioner known for his proficiency in investment arbitration cases before ICSID.
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.