Elise Edson is counsel in the International Arbitration and Public International Law practices. She is also a member of the Firm’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), Energy Innovation, and Global Sanctions teams.
Elise has over a decade of experience representing and advising individuals, companies and governments in international commercial and investment arbitrations under all major arbitration rules. Her experience covers a range of industries and sectors, with a focus on energy (oil & gas, power, nuclear, and renewables), and mining & metals. Elise has particular expertise in disputes with a Russian nexus. She notably acted for the majority shareholders of the Yukos Oil Company in proceedings against Russia under the Energy Charter Treaty, which resulted in a $50 billion arbitral award for the Firm’s clients—the largest arbitral award on record. Elise also regularly advises on international investment protection matters, as well as issues arising out of sanctions.
Elise additionally specialises in public international law, international human rights law, and business & human rights. She is co-lead of the Shearman & Sterling team collaborating with UK charity Human Rights at Sea on the Human Rights at Sea Arbitration project, which seeks to develop a system for the arbitration of complaints concerning human rights abuses at sea. Elise has also acted pro bono for clients in preparing submissions to international human rights bodies, and applications for refugee status and resettlement under the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Elise is featured in the inaugural Legal 500 Arbitration Powerlist 2023: France, which highlights the leading practitioners working in the country. She is also recognised in Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration – Future Leaders 2023, and in The Best Lawyers in France since 2023 for Public International Law.
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, and corporate investigations. Elise also clerked for the Hon. A. Besanko, Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, interned with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kathmandu, Nepal, was a research assistant to a member of the International Law Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, and taught the subjects of Public International Law, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law at two Australian law schools.