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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 is a partner in V&E’s London office. He is highly experienced in international arbitration, recognized by both Chambers and Legal 500. His practice is evenly divided between commercial arbitration and Investor-State arbitration, covering both private and public international law issues. He has appeared as adviser, advocate and counsel in cases in London, Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Stockholm, Dubai, Washington DC, Singapore and Auckland, and under a variety of arbitral rules, including those of the ICC, LCIA, ICSID, SCC, UNCITRAL, CIArb, LMAA and GAFTA.

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 (energy, construction and engineering, 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 CIS, Eastern Europe, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, the Caribbean, and Western Europe.

George also sits as an arbitrator in international commercial arbitration matters, either as a sole arbitrator or as one of a panel of three, in cases that are either administered (LCIA, ICC etc) or ad hoc (UNCITRAL etc).

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 a claim regarding the expropriation and unfair treatment of their investments in the banking sector.  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, including 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 privatized heating supply facility (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/33)
  • Acting for an Investor, The Rompetrol Group NV, against Romania (ICSID Case No ARB/06/3) in a claim under the Dutch-Romanian BIT and the Energy Charter Treaty.  The claim relates to allegations of mistreatment of a foreign investor working in the downstream oil industry
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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  • 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
  • Acted for Indian supplier of cables for major infrastructure project in Brazil in dispute with Spanish main contractor.  Case involves injunctive relief proceedings in England (Section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996) and India, the substantive dispute to be resolved in ICC arbitration
  • Acted for a municipality of a Central Asian state in defending a US$3.5 billion claim brought by US contractor. ICC arbitration pursued in respect of an aborted transport infrastructure project
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
  • "Indonesia cancels Dutch investment treaty," Global Arbitration Review, Friday, 21 March 2014 (Quoted)
  • "Einstein Was Right: You Can Be in Two Places at Once," V&E's International Dispute Resolution E-communication, December 2013
  • George has written on a range of topics, including the role of national courts in relation to investment treaty awards; developments in English arbitration law; the future of arbitration in India, Pakistan and Eastern Europe; and confidentiality, privilege and insolvency issues in international arbitration
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

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International Dispute Resolution

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