Elise Edson is counsel in the International Arbitration and the Public International Law practices.
She represents States and companies in international arbitrations under the auspices of the ICC, SCC, LCIA and ICSID, as well as in proceedings conducted in accordance with the UNCITRAL Rules, with a focus on investment disputes as well as arbitrations related to the energy sector in Eastern Europe.
Elise is a member of Shearman & Sterling’s Human Rights at Sea Arbitration team. A collaboration between Shearman & Sterling and UK-based charity Human Rights at Sea, this innovative project seeks to develop a system for the arbitration of complaints concerning human rights abuses at sea.
International arbitrations on which Elise Edson has worked include the representation of:
- A large energy multinational in a complex construction dispute worth over $1 billion with a contractor in connection with a megaproject for an oil and gas facility in Central Asia. The dispute includes issues of delay and defects. English law applies.
- Ukraine, Respondent in an SCC arbitration in Stockholm brought by VEB.RF. The dispute relates to sanctions and other measures allegedly targeting Russian banks in Ukraine after 2014. The claims are brought under the 1998 Ukraine-Russia bilateral investment treaty.
- Two subsidiaries of a North American mining and metals company in seven LCIA arbitrations in London against a European trading firm. The dispute relates to the performance of various contracts for the sale and purchase of metal concentrates. English law applies.
- A Middle Eastern business man in an ICC arbitration in Geneva related to the dissolution of a long-standing family partnership. The law of a Gulf State applies. Billions of dollars are at stake.
- Ukraine, Respondent in an ICSID arbitration initiated by Emergofin B.V. and Velbay Holdings Ltd. under the Netherlands-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/35). The dispute relates to measures allegedly targeting an aluminum and alumina production company, including sanctions issued against the Claimants and their ultimate Russian owner.
- The Republic of Lithuania, Claimant in an SCC arbitration in Stockholm against Russian State-owned company Gazprom in relation to Gazprom’s obligations to supply gas based on fair prices under the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement between Lithuania and Gazprom as well as Gazprom’s breaches of its obligations under the Shareholders’ Agreement, resulting in overpayments in excess of €1.54 billion.
- The Republic of Lithuania, Respondent in arbitration proceedings commenced by Russian State-owned gas company Gazprom in relation to Lithuania’s unbundling of gas transmission from gas production and supply in the Lithuanian gas distribution company Lietuvos Dujos, in compliance with the EU Third Energy Package and in particular Directive (EC) 2009/73. The proceedings were brought under the 1999 Russia-Lithuania BIT and were conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
- The majority shareholders in the former Yukos Oil Company in proceedings initiated in multiple jurisdictions in relation to the setting aside and recognition and enforcement of the $50 billion awards rendered in the arbitrations against the Russian Federation.
- The majority shareholders in the former Yukos Oil Company, Claimants in a series of three UNCITRAL arbitrations in The Hague against the Russian Federation in relation to the expropriation of their investment in the company. The claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty. The Tribunal ordered the Russian Federation to pay over $50 billion in damages to our clients, the largest award ever rendered by an arbitral tribunal. The Tribunal also ordered the Respondent to reimburse to our clients 75% of the legal fees they had incurred in these proceedings, as well as 100% of the arbitration costs.
- A French-German consortium in an ICC arbitration in Stockholm against a Finnish utility company. The dispute arose from an agreement for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Finland. Finnish law governed. Over €6.1 billion was at stake.
- A European contractor, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Paris regarding the construction of a chemical industrial facility in a Latin American country. The dispute related to claims for extensions of time and additional payment. The Respondent had counterclaimed, seeking damages in respect of deficient and untimely construction works performed by the Claimant. The law of the Latin American country applied.
Columbia University School of Law
LL.M., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
University of Adelaide
LL.B., First Class Hons, Diploma in Language, French
- Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, Australian semi-finalist
Universidad de Salamanca
Diploma in Hispanic Studies
Bachelor of International Studies, Diploma in Language, Spanish
Osaka International University for Women
Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Level 2
- High Court of Australia
- Supreme Court of South Australia
- Member, ICC Australia
- Member, Arbitral Women
- Member, British Institute of International & Comparative Law (BIICL)
- Part-time lecturer and tutor, Public International Law and Constitutional Law, The University of Adelaide Law School, 2007–09
- Part-time lecturer and tutor, Administrative Law and Constitutional Law, University of South Australia Law School, 2008–09
- Research Assistant, New York Convention Guide Project (www.newyorkconvention1958.org)
- “A new initiative for the arbitration of human rights abuses at sea,” International Bar Association Arbitration Committee Newsletter, June 2021 (with A. Marcopoulos)
- “Jurisdiction of the Centre – Article 25(1),” in The ICSID Convention, Regulations and Rules – A Practical Commentary 102 (J. Fouret, R. Gerbay, G.M. Alvarez eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019) (co-author)
- “Section 51(xxix) of the Australian Constitution and ‘Matters of International Concern’: Is There Anything to Be Concerned about?,” 29 Adelaide Law Review 269 (2008) (author)
“Enforcement of arbitral awards in the time of sanctions,” ICCYAF: Arbitrating East-West Disputes in the Time of Sanctions, Helsinki, 7 April 2016
Prior to joining Shearman & Sterling, Elise practiced as an associate in the litigation group of an Australian firm, representing parties in complex commercial, corporate governance and national and cross-border bankruptcy disputes. She also clerked for the Hon. Anthony Besanko, Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.