Picture of Pieter Bekker

Pieter Bekker

Head of Investment Arbitration Task Force

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP
Saltire Court
20 Castle Terrace
United Kingdom
Languages German, French, English, Dutch

Professor Pieter Bekker is a partner in the International Arbitration and Energy teams and Head of the CMS Investment Arbitration Task Force. A US qualified lawyer, he practises at the crossroads of international dispute resolution and energy. He combines practising law with a professorial appointment as Chair in International Law at the internationally renowned Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) within the University of Dundee in Scotland, having previously taught at Columbia Law School in New York.

Pieter focuses on dispute risk management and resolution, especially arbitration, and advice regarding issues of public international law, in which he holds a doctorate. In international arbitration matters, Pieter draws upon a particularly rich background: he was educated and has practised, in both Europe and the United States, in Civil law, Common law and public international law, the legal systems on which international arbitral law and procedure are based. He has experience with all the major arbitration procedures and institutions. He is listed on the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of International Arbitrators (Neutrals) and regularly sits as an arbitrator. He has been recognised in The Who’s Who in Public International Law and New York “Super Lawyers.”

Pieter also advises private and public sector clients on a wide range of issues relating to private and public international law, including issues of jurisdiction, immunity, enforcement, expropriation, the law of the sea, treaty law, and State responsibility. He has extensive experience in matters involving sovereign parties, including States, state-owned entities and international organisations before both domestic and international courts and tribunals.

A native of The Netherlands, Pieter was in private practice in Amsterdam before serving for nearly three years as a staff lawyer in the Registry of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations seated in The Hague. He has been involved in over 20 ICJ cases between sovereign States as well as several advisory proceedings.

Pieter has also represented a variety of corporate clients in cross-border commercial transactions and financings — especially in the maritime and oil & gas industries. He regularly counsels clients in the drafting of arbitration clauses for international contracts.

Pieter has been featured in The Times (as Lawyer of the Week), The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, the New York Law Journal and The Economist and he has been interviewed multiple times for American, British and Dutch TV and radio.

He has won the Burton Award for Legal Achievement (Excellence in Legal Writing) in 2005. 

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Relevant experience

  • The Government of an Eastern European country in a pending investment arbitration arising from an investment in the energy sector.
  • A respondent state in a pending contentious case before the International Court of Justice.
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development in the Global Mechanism Case before the International Court of Justice.
  • The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (17 Member States) in Case No. 21 before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg.
  • Saudi Aramco in its claims against the Republic of Iraq before the E2 Panel of the United Nations Compensation Commission (war reparation claims).
  • State of Ukraine in relation to the negotiation of an espousal treaty settling legal issues arising from the accidental shooting down of a Russian airliner over the Black Sea in 2001.
  • French and Polish contractors in construction arbitrations with Egyptian state entities.
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1994 - Ph.D. (Law), Leiden University, The Netherlands

1992 - US Qualified, New York

1991 - LL.M., (Fulbright grant), Harvard Law School

1991 - LL.B. (equiv.), Leiden University, The Netherlands


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Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

Commission on Arbitration and ADR of the International Chamber of Commerce

Founding Member, International Arbitration Club of New York

American Bar Association's Section of International (former Chair, International Courts Committee)

American Society of International Law (former Executive Council and Nominating Committee member)

American and Dutch Branches of the International Law Association (former Chair, Committee on Intergovernmental Settlement of Disputes)


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  • Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy—Essays in Honour of Detlev Vagts (Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN 9780521192521) (as chief editor, with Rudolf Dolzer and Michael Waibel)
  • The Legal Position of Intergovernmental Organizations – A Functional Necessity Analysis of Their Legal Status and Immunities (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/T.M.C. Asser Instituut, 1994, ISBN 0-7923-2904-X) (Foreword by ICJ President Sir Robert Jennings) (doctoral thesis) (mentioned as one of seven standard immunity works in a book review in 99 American Journal of International Law 730, n. 1 (2005))
  • World Court Decisions at the Turn of the Millennium (1997-2001) (Kluwer Law International, 2002, ISBN 90-411-1791-1) (Foreword by ICJ President Stephen Schwebel)
  • Commentaries on World Court Decisions (1987-1996) (Kluwer Law International, 1998, ISBN 90-411-0558-1) (Foreword by Prof. Abram Chayes) (as editor & principal author)

Plus chapters in a dozen books and over 100 articles and notes in: The American Journal of International Law (25 publications since 1993); ICSID Review—Foreign Investment Law Journal; American Society of International Law Insights; The International Lawyer; Leiden Journal of International Law; Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Journal; Stockholm Arbitration Report; Netherlands International Law Review; Harvard International Law Journal; The Yale Journal of International Law; Cornell International Law Journal; International Law FORUM du droit international; Chinese Journal of International Law; ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law; International Legal Materials; Project Finance International; American Diplomacy Magazine; Harvard Law Bulletin.

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