Laurie Achtouk-Spivak’s practice focuses on international arbitration and litigation, with a particular emphasis on public international law.

Laurie represents investors and sovereigns in investment treaty arbitrations before ICSID as well as other arbitration institutions. She has also represented clients in several commercial arbitrations including some involving sovereigns and often provides companies with investment structuring advice. 

Laurie joined the firm in 2006 and became counsel in 2016.

Notable Experience

  • OJSC Tatneft in an UNCITRAL arbitration under the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty arising out of a raider takeover of Ukraine’s largest refinery, in which OJSC Tatneft was a shareholder. The arbitral tribunal rejected all of Ukraine’s jurisdictional and admissibility defenses and found Ukraine liable for breach of the Russia-Ukraine BIT in July 2014, awarding damages to Tatneft.

  • The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in an ICSID arbitration brought by Wise Solutions CDI, SA arising out of a dispute related to a concession contract for waste management services in Abidjan.

  • The Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration commenced by Poštová banka a.s., a Slovak bank that purchased interests in Greek sovereign bonds, and its Cypriot shareholder, Istrokapital SE., under the Hellenic Republic-Slovak Republic and the Hellenic Republic-Cyprus bilateral investment treaties, challenging measures taken by the Hellenic Republic in 2012 to address its financial crisis. In April 2015, the arbitral tribunal dismissed all of the claims for lack of jurisdiction.

  • The Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration brought by Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd under the Cyprus-Hellenic Republic bilateral investment treaty arising out of measures taken by the Hellenic Republic in 2012 to address its financial and sovereign debt crisis.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration under the US-Egypt bilateral investment treaty brought by H&H Enterprises Investments relating to an investment in an Egyptian resort. In May 2014, the arbitral tribunal dismissed all claims for lack of jurisdiction or on the merits.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration under the Spain-Egypt bilateral investment treaty brought by Unión Fenosa Gas, S.A. relating to an investment in Egypt’s largest liquefied natural gas plant.

  • The Republic of Austria in an ICSID arbitration under the Austria-Malta bilateral investment treaty relating to an investment in an Austrian bank.

  • The French Republic in an ICSID arbitration commenced by a Turkish investor under the French Republic-Turkey bilateral investment treaty.

  • DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under a concession agreement for the development and operation of the South Pier of the Port of Callao and the UK-Peru bilateral investment treaty. The claims concern DP World’s exclusion from the tender for the concession for the operation of the North Pier and the impact of the terms of the North Pier concession on DP World’s operation of the South Pier terminal.

  • The Russian Federation in three parallel UNCITRAL arbitrations commenced by one Isle of Man and two Cypriot companies, in their capacities as former majority shareholders of Yukos Oil Company, alleging unfair treatment and expropriation in violation of the investment provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty. With damage claims totaling more than US$100 billion, the arbitrations are thought to be the largest ever in terms of the amount in dispute.

  • The Republic of Iraq in the successful dismissal of an arbitration brought by a German State-owned company under the Austrian Chamber of Commerce Rules concerning claims under financial arrangements in violation of the financial sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on the Saddam Hussein regime.

See More

Selected Activities

  • ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR (Member)
  • Lecturer at the University of Poitiers (Investor-State dispute settlement)

  • Lecturer at the Ecole de formation professionnelle des Barreaux de la Cour d’Appel de Paris (international arbitration)
  • Peer Review Board, ICSID Review (Member)
  • Transnational Dispute Management (Associate Editor)
  • I. Fadlallah/ Ch. Leben team editing a yearly chronicle on “International Investment and Arbitration” in the Cahiers de l’arbitrage (Member)
  • Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage, ASA Below 40 (Member)
  • LCIA Young International Arbitration Group, YIAG (Member)
  • Comité français de l’arbitrage, CFA 40 (Member)
  • ICDR Young & International (Member) 


African States Launch the Operational Phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement , Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, with B. Faye, J. Garaud, S. Schröder, C. Moore, J. Norris-Jones and N. Tarawali (July 2019)

ICSID Awards, The Guide to Challenging and Enforcing Arbitration Awards - First Edition, pp. 136-152, with C. Annacker and Z. Bouraoui (June 2019)

Dual Citizenship of Individual Investors: The Debate Continues, Cahiers de l’arbitrage (2019)

Bridgestone Arbitral Tribunal Rules That Trademarks and Trademark Licenses May Constitute Protected Investments, Oxford Business Law Blog(May 2018)

Thorny Questions for IP Rights Under Investment Treaties, Law360 (March 2018)

Procédures multiples et abus de droitabuse of process »), (Multiple procedures and abuse of process) vol. 4 Cahiers de l’arbitrage 628-634 (2017)

Reasserting Control Over State Consent to Investment Arbitration – Some Recent Trends in Treaty-Making, The European Arbitration Review 2017, pp. 20-26 (with P. von Mühlendahl)

Compétence des tribunaux arbitraux d’investissement et différends fiscaux : quelques développements récents, (Jurisdiction of investment treaty arbitral tribunals and tax disputes: some recent developments) vol. 4 Cahiers de l’arbitrage (2016)

Mélanges offerts à Charles Leben, Droit international et culture juridique, ouvrage collectif, 2015, éd. Pedone, 592, vol. 1 Cahiers de l’arbitrage (2016)

Cautio judicatum solvi et arbitrage d’investissement: développements récents et perspectives, (Cautio judicatum solvi and investment arbitration: recent developments and perspectives) vol. 4 Cahiers de l’arbitrage 697-703 (2015)

Le droit applicable dans l’arbitrage d’investissement (Applicable Law in Investment Arbitration), in Charles Leben (ed.), Droit International des Investissements et de l’Arbitrage Transnational (2015) pp. 813-860

Les voies de recours contre les sentences en matière d’investissement (Post-award Remedies in Investment Arbitration), in Charles Leben (ed.), Droit International des Investissements et de l’Arbitrage Transnational (2015) pp. 885-940

Reconnaissance et exécution des sentences arbitrales en matière d’investissement (Recognition and execution of arbitral awards in investment arbitration), in Charles Leben (ed.), Droit International des Investissements et de l’Arbitrage Transnational (2015) pp.999-1026  (with A. Ben Mansour)

Landmark Sovereign Debt Restructuring Award, Opinio Juris, available at (with P. Barker) (2015/4)

Interprétation des traités et consentement de l’Etat (Treaty Interpretation and State Consent), Cahiers de l’arbitrage 697 (2014/4)

Droit pénal et droit de l’investissement (Criminal Law and Investment Law) Cahiers de l’arbitrage 74 (2013/4)

Consentement à l’arbitrage et lois d’investissement (Consent to Arbitration and Investment Laws) Cahiers de l’arbitrage 893 (2012/4)

Notion de siège social et protection des traités d’investissement (Notion of Seat and Investment Treaty Protection) Cahiers de l’arbitrage 1032 (2011/4)

Article 41(5) du règlement d’arbitrage CIRDI et objections préliminaires à la compétence (Article 41(5) of the ICSID Arbitration Rules and Preliminary Jurisdictional Objections), Cahiers de l’arbitrage 1034 (2010/4)

Infrastructure in the Mediterranean Basin: PPPs, InfraMed and Treaty Protection, IBA Conference Paper, available at (with C. Annacker and D. Hashish)

Entités infra-étatiques et consentement à l’arbitrage sur le fondement de traités d’investissement (State Entities and Consent to Investment Treaty Arbitration), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 30 (2009/4)

L’affaire Pantechniki ou la renaissance de la clause electa una via dans l’arbitrage d’investissement? (The Pantechniki Case or the Rebirth of the Fork-in-the-Road Clause in Investment Arbitration) Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 24 (2009/4)

La réparation du préjudice moral dans l’arbitrage sur le fondement de traités d’investissement: premiers développements, premiers désaccords (Reparation for Moral Damages in Investment Treaty Arbitration: First Developments, First Disagreements), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 48 (2008/4)

Arbitrage en matière d’investissement et crise argentine (Investment Arbitration and the Argentina Crisis), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 55 (2007/4)


Banking and Financial Investment Arbitrations: Past, Present and Future Post-Achmea and Opinion 1/17, The New Challenges Raised by Investment Arbitration for the EU Legal Order, ECB Legal Colloquium, Frankfurt, June 26, 2019

Arbitration of Banking & Financial Disputes, 4th ICC Africa Conference on International Arbitration, Lagos, Nigeria, June 18-19, 2019

Protecting Energy Investments, ASA Below 40 Spring Seminar on Energy Arbitration, Geneva, May 9, 2019

Debate: Arbitrators should no longer by appointed by the parties, but by arbitral institutions, AIA-ArbIt-40 Inaugural Event: Selection of Arbitrators in International Arbitration, Milan, April 11, 2019

Provisional Remedies in International Arbitration (Paris Arbitration Week), Queen Mary University and the Revue de Droit des Affaires International, Paris, April 4, 2019

Arbitration and Competition Law: Follow-on Damages and State Aid Actions (Paris Arbitration Week), Paris, April 3, 2019

Regional Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation, hosted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Minsk, December 5, 2018

Fifth International Conference for a Euro-Mediterranean Community of International Arbitration, UNCITRAL/OECD /MCA, November 19-20, 2018

What Does Diversity Bring to Arbitration?, Cleary Gottlieb and ArbitralWomen, November 6, 2018

A Conversation on Transparency in International Arbitration, ICSID, Madrid, July 3, 2018

Workshop on Investment Dispute Management and Prevention in Egypt, OECD, Cairo, June 28, 2018

Investment Dispute Management and Prevention, OECD-EU-MENA Conference at CRCICA, Cairo, June 26-27, 2018

Party Non-Participation in Investment Arbitration, ICC YAF, Vilnius, October 12, 2017

The EU Permanent Investment Court Proposal – Will it Be Fit for Purpose?, GAR Live Frankfurt, June 29, 2017

Reshaping The Investor-State Dispute Settlement System, University of Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris, March 14, 2017

Shareholders’ Claims And Denial Of Benefits: Where Do We Stand?, 6th Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference, Prague, October 13, 2016

Representing States: Challenges and Strategies, Young Arbitrators Forum Investment Arbitration In Practice: A View From the Inside, Geneva, September 26, 2015

Corporate Nationality Planning in the Context of Investment Protection: International and Turkish Perspectives, Workshop, Istanbul, January 27, 2015

Conflicting Decisions in International Commercial Arbitration, ICDR Y&I Conference, Sciences-Po Paris, November 12, 2013