Partner, International Arbitration and Head of Investor State Disputes London, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Sarah Z. Vasani leads Addleshaw Goddard's Investor State Dispute Resolution Practice. Sarah is an experienced international arbitration lawyer specialising in both international commercial arbitration and investor state disputes. She is commended for providing "excellent client service" and has been described by her clients as a "strategic, energetic, tenacious and an incredibly capable counsellor and advocate". Who's Who Legal and Global Arbitration Review recognised Sarah each year between 2017 and 2020 as a "Future Leader in International Arbitration". WWL noted that Sarah "ranks prominently for her 'energy, enthusiasm and strong background in treaty claims' and is commended by peers who note, 'She goes from strength to strength." Sarah was also described by the publication as "a 'persuasive and effective counsel' who possesses particularly commendable expertise in energy". WWL recognised Sarah as "a skilled advocate with a thorough knowledge of public international law" who is "a smart and dedicated lawyer" boasting "a truly impressive roster of clients." Sarah was also recognised in The Legal 500’s inaugural International Arbitration Powerlist in 2019.
Sarah represents clients before key arbitral institutions including the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Singapore International Arbitration Court (SIAC), Hong Kong International Arbitration Court (HKIAC), Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and in arbitrations conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules, and under foreign investment laws. In addition to advocating for her clients' interests before international tribunals in hearings on procedural issues, interim measures, jurisdiction, and merits, and enforcement, set aside, and annulment proceedings, Sarah advises clients on investment (re)structuring, and on strategies, options, and tactics for minimising the prospects of full-blown disputes. Sarah is an adroit counsellor on managing and sharing the risks of arbitration through third-party funding, ATE insurance, and conditional-fee and damages-based agreements. She also sits as arbitrator.
Sarah has particular experience in energy, oil and gas, mining, and other large scale project disputes in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Latin America. She has represented clients such as Exterran, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, El Paso Corporation, Sempra Energy, Murphy Oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, PA Resources, and Madagascar Oil.
Sarah is a Visiting Professor at the University of Bedfordshire, where she teaches international investment arbitration. She has spoken and published extensively on topics relating to international arbitration and cross-border issues, including the resolution of energy disputes, collateral attacks on arbitration in national courts, improving efficiency in international arbitration, dispute resolution in the Middle East and Africa, arbitration with states and state entities, energy disputes in times of civil unrest, corruption, and diversity of arbitrator candidates in international arbitration.
Sarah is qualified in England & Wales, the District of Columbia, and Texas, and is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Higher Courts of England and Wales. She works in both English and Spanish. Prior to joining Addleshaw Goddard in 2016, Sarah spent a decade in the Houston, Washington D.C., and London offices of another international law firm.