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Will Thomas KC

Partner, Head of Public International Law

Energy | ESG and sustainability | International arbitration | Technology | Telecommunications |

a first-class lawyer ... clients love him ... an excellent advocate"

Chambers UK, 2024

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About Will Thomas KC

Will specialises in international commercial arbitration, investment arbitration and public international law. He has particular expertise in the energy, extractives, TMT and projects sectors, with a focus on disputes in the Middle East and Africa.  He is Global Head of our PIL Group.

Will has acted as counsel and advocate in numerous institutional and ad hoc arbitral proceedings, including under ICC, LCIA, CAS, ICSID and UNCITRAL rules. As regards inter-State disputes, he has represented parties before both the International Court of Justice (Qatar v Bahrain and Oil Platforms) and the Iran-US Claims Tribunal (Cases B1, B61 and A15).  He has also advised in respect of claims before the European Court of Human Rights.  Alongside his disputes work, Will’s non-contentious practice includes advising on a wide variety of international law issues, as well as assisting clients with front-end risk management options on their international projects.  Will’s clients include private multinationals, States and State entities.

Recent work

  • Acting for a multinational trading house in a tax-related investment treaty arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules.
  • Successfully defending a government ministry in commercial arbitration proceedings arising in relation to an offset contract in the defence sector.
  • Acting for a telecoms company in a $500 million arbitration arising under a foreign investment law.
  • Succesfully representing a major telecoms operator in an investment treaty arbitration concerning the cancellation of a satellite spectrum lease agreement.
  • Successfully defending an oil major in LCIA arbitration proceedings arising in relation to a post M&A tax warranty dispute.
  • Representing a mining company in ICC proceedings arising in relation to disputed purchase agreements for precious stones.
  • Acting for an oil and gas company in a $13 billion dispute arising under a long term gas supply agreement, ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitral proceedings.
  • Representing a Middle Eastern energy company in ICC arbitration proceedings concerning a $1 billion price revision dispute under a gas pipeline supply agreement.
  • Successfully defending an international telecoms company in a $600 million ICC arbitration arising under a shareholder agreement.
  • Successfully defending a Middle Eastern State in the first ever BIT case brought against it, concerning a GSM telecoms licence tender process.
  • Advising multinationals in claims against a State before the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Representing Iran before the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in the three remaining State to State proceedings: Cases B1, B61 and A15.
  • Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v USA), International Court of Justice.
  • Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain (Qatar v Bahrain), International Court of Justice.



  • Queen’s Counsel, 2021, England and Wales
  • Solicitor - Advocate (Higher Courts Civil), England and Wales
  • CEDR Accredited Mediator
  • MA, Cambridge University

Additional responsibilities

  • Regular conference speaker roles (including ICC, SIAC, IBRU, IFLOS).
  • Visiting international law lecturer at King’s College, London University and Sciences Po, Paris.