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"A fantastic advocate and a respected arbitrator" - Chambers UK, 2014
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George Burn

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Burn, George


George Burn is a partner in the Vinson & Elkins International Dispute Resolution Group. He is based in the firm’s London office and has over 15 years’ experience representing companies, individuals and States in international arbitrations.

George is an experienced international arbitration advocate. His practice is evenly divided between Investor-State arbitration and commercial arbitration, and has involved the full range of arbitral rules and arbitral seats. The cases on which George works involve issues of public international law, private international law, English law and the law of numerous other jurisdictions (e.g., Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, France, Kazakhstan, South Sudan, Romania, etc.). George’s team was “Highly Commended” in the 2013 Legal Business Awards, in recognition of being the first to win an award that confirms jurisdiction for an Investor to bring a claim directly against a State under the Investment Agreement of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (Al-Warraq v Republic of Indonesia). That award is highly significant for anyone doing cross-border business amongst the 27 States that have ratified the Investment Agreement.

George has considerable experience of disputes in the technical and infrastructure fields (construction and engineering, energy, mining, rail and shipping), as well as experience in areas such as real estate development, shareholder disputes, finance, broadcast media, sports, insurance and pharmaceutical. He has particular strength in arbitrations coming out of projects in emerging markets, with clients from or working in regions including the Middle East, the CIS, Eastern Europe, Africa, South Asia, East Asia and the Caribbean.

As well as acting as Counsel, George regularly sits as an arbitrator, and has been appointed as Sole Arbitrator, Chair of the Tribunal and Co-Arbitrator. The cases on which he sits have been both commercial and investment treaty cases and have been under the rules of the ICC, the LCIA, UNCITRAL and the OIC Investment Agreement.

George is active in arbitral institutions, and currently serves on taskforces for the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration. He writes and speaks on issues relating to international commercial disputes on a regular basis, and he is a member of the Organising Committee for the International Arbitration Charity Ball.

Representative Experience
Investment Treaty Arbitration
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  • Acting for two Investors, one from the UK, one from Saudi Arabia, on their claims against a South-East Asian State in respect of claims regarding the expropriation and unfair treatment of them and their investments in the banking sector.  The cases involve complex issues of international criminal and human rights law, as well as investment protection law.  One arbitration has been brought at ICSID under a bilateral investment treaty (ICSID Case No ARB/11/13), the other in UNCITRAL arbitration under the Investment Agreement of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.  The OIC case included a precedent-setting decision confirming that Investors have a right of direct action against Member States
  • Acting for a Lithuanian Investor in respect of a bilateral investment treaty claim to be brought at ICSID in respect of the expropriation of a privatised heating supply facility (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/33)
  • Acting for a UK investor in a claim to be brought in respect of an upstream oil and gas project against an East European State under the terms of its foreign investment law
Commercial Arbitration - Energy & Mining
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  • Acting for Gibraltarian oil trading company in a dispute with an Iranian state-owned company, brought under the ICC Rules. Involves related litigation in multiple jurisdictions
  • Acting for UK oil development company in claim against State-owned oil company and the State itself in an African jurisdiction. ICC arbitration
  • Acted for Kazakhstan owners of oil business in defending claims brought in ICC arbitration by a Canadian company in respect of a failed joint venture
Commercial Arbitration - Construction & Engineering
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  • Acting for Ukrainian oilfield services company in dispute with Turkish shipyard over the construction of a new vessel. LCIA arbitration
  • Acted for Dutch construction contractor in dispute over a road project in West Africa
  • Acted for Azerbaijani conglomerate in relation to a hotel construction project, when ICC arbitration proceedings were initiated by the local subsidiary of an Austrian contracting company
Commercial Arbitration - Real Estate Development
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  • Acting for major investment bank in dispute relating to failed real estate investment project in Poland.  ICC arbitration
  • Advising hotel operator in dispute with hotel chain.  ICC arbitration
  • Acting for major real estate investor in dispute under ICC Rules with developer arising out of failed project in Romania
Commercial Arbitration - Other
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  • Arbitrator in dispute under LCIA Rules relating to a dispute between French and Swiss entities involved in the marketing of pharmaceuticals
  • Sole arbitrator in LCIA arbitration relating to a supply agreement dispute between a Danish shipping company and a French aggregates company
  • Sole arbitrator in ICC arbitration between a US risk management company and a British consumer debt collection company
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Education and Professional Background
  • University of Leeds, England, B.A., (Hons) Politics and Parliamentary Studies, 1992
  • The College of Law, Dip Law and Dip Legal Practice, Law, 1994
  • Admitted to practice: Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, 1997
Professional Recognition
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  • Legal 500 EMEA: Leading individual in Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2014
  • Chambers UK: International Arbitration, 2014
  • Legal 500 UK: Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2013
Activities and Affiliations
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  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • ICC Task Forces on the Revision of the ICC Arbitration Rules, Reducing Time and Costs in Complex International Arbitration and the Use of Technology in International Arbitration
  • IBA (Arbitration and International Construction Project Committees)
Publications and Presentations
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Solicitors and Registered Foreign Lawyers.  A list of partner names is available for inspection at CityPoint, One Ropemaker Street, London EC2Y 9UE.  Vinson & Elkins RLLP is a limited liability partnership formed under the laws of New York authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. 0079019). 

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George Burn
CityPoint, 33rd Floor
One Ropemaker Street
London EC2Y 9UE
United Kingdom

Tel  +44.20.7065.6055
Fax  +44.20.7065.6001


Dispute Resolution - International

Arbitration or Alternative Dispute Resolution

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"A fantastic advocate and a respected arbitrator" - Chambers UK, 2014