Senior arbitration talent departs Matrix Chambers for 3 Verulam Buildings in London

Professor Zachary Douglas KC’s move marks second major silk exit from Matrix Chambers in the past month

Professor Zachary Douglas KC Image courtesy of 3 Verulam Buildings

International arbitration specialist Professor Zachary Douglas KC has joined 3 Verulam Buildings (3VB) in London from Matrix Chambers, marking the latter’s second major silk exit since the start of last month. 

Douglas, who combines his arbitration practice with counsel work and a role as professor of international law at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, is highly regarded for his work in commercial and sports law arbitrations and investor-state dispute settlement across all significant tribunals. He is also a leading scholar and noted advocate in public international law. 

Douglas brings substantial experience before the International Court of Justice and other such tribunals as counsel, alongside London appearances at trial and appeal, especially in the higher courts and common law jurisdictions in cases with a public or private international law element. 

That was the bedrock of his practice at Matrix Chambers, where he took silk in 2015 having joined the set in 2006 as an academic member. Earlier he was a professor in Paris and at Cambridge University. 

3VB’s joint heads of chambers, Ewan McQuater KC and Adrian Beltrami KC, said: “Zac is an outstanding lawyer with vast and wide-ranging experience. His acquisition adds unquestionable depth to our growing reputation as leaders in international arbitration and public international law.”

3VB also saw the arrival of Can Yeginsu from 4 New Square in February. Like Douglas, Yeginsu combines academic interests with strong media law, human rights and international arbitration practice. 

Douglas’s move is the second major silk departure for Matrix Chambers recently after Professor Phillippe Sands KC, one of the set’s founding members, joined leading commercial, employment and public law specialists 11 King’s Bench Walk at the start of last month. 

Matrix Chambers’ chief executive, Rachel Holmes, said: “Matrix members and staff have enjoyed working with Zac Douglas as a colleague and friend over the last 16 years. We wish him every continued success in the future.” 

With Douglas’s departure, Matrix will have two members working from its Geneva office – professors Laurence Boisson de Chazournes and Andrew Clapham. It also recently welcomed two new employment juniors, Edward Kemp and Anirudh Mathur, from Littleton Chambers.

Douglas’ was not the only senior arbitration move to mark November; Twenty Essex, one of 3VB’s chief rivals in public international law, welcomed Dr Rishab Gupta as a tenant in London yesterday.

Gupta has joined the set from prominent Indian firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM), where he was a partner and led the firm’s arbitration practice in Mumbai. Before that he spent a several years at Allen & Overy in London and Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. Twenty Essex said he would continue to collaborate with SAM on current and future matters. 

Gupta was Twenty Essex’s sixth new arrival within the past year. Among the others were international arbitration lawyers Baiju Vesani and Sarah Grimmer, who joined in London and Singapore respectively, Grinner after completing six years as secretary-general of Hong Kong’s International Arbitration Centre. 


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