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Emma Lindsay

Club Member

Partner, Withers LLP


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Emma leads Withers’ international arbitration and public international law teams in the United States.

Originally trained as a barrister in London, Emma has practiced international law in New York for more than fifteen years after stints in Geneva and The Hague. She specializes in investor-state arbitration, international commercial arbitration and public international law. She represents corporations, governments, individuals and organizations around the world and across a wide range of industries, including energy, infrastructure, insurance, pharmaceuticals, technology, tourism, hospitality and financial services. She also appears in U.S. courts in international litigation matters involving the application of international law through the U.S. Constitution, the Alien Tort Claims Act, the Federal Arbitration Act and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, among other sources. In addition to her work as counsel, Emma sits as an arbitrator. She is a member of the Roster of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association, the Panel of International Arbitrators of the Arbitration and Mediation Court of the Caribbean and the List of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.


Emma’s experience spans disputes throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She is ranked in Who’s Who Legal where she has been described as “a top advocate in international commercial and investment arbitration” and “a great public international lawyer” who “gives clients a great sense of security, that they are opting for the best available step as proceedings advance”. Clients praise her “practical and creative strategies and deep substantive expertise” and say she is “versatile, pragmatic, solution-oriented and when she takes the floor she commands attention”. She has been selected repeatedly as one of Latin America’s Top 100 Female Lawyers by Latinvex for her practice involving the region. She regularly advises clients in connection with transactional matters, including investment risk mitigation, treaty protection planning and the drafting of dispute resolution clauses in international contracts.


As part of her international practice, Emma represents and advises states, corporations, individuals, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations on public international law matters including the negotiation, interpretation and application of treaties, sovereignty over territory, land and maritime boundaries, sanctions, state immunity, international investment law, international human rights law and the law of the sea. She has particular expertise in matters before the International Court of Justice.


Emma has an active pro bono practice encompassing representation and advice in matters at the state, federal, regional and international levels, including proceedings before the United States Supreme Court, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (the Khmer Rouge Tribunal) and various United Nations bodies.


Prior to entering private practice, Emma served as a researcher at the British Institute of International & Comparative Law and as a law clerk to the Presiding Judge at the International Court of Justice. She has taught international arbitration and public international law to students at New York University School of Law, Columbia Law School and the New School University, among others. She publishes and speaks widely in the fields of international arbitration and public international law.


Emma holds an honors degree in law from Balliol College, University of Oxford and an LLM in international law from New York University School of Law, where she served as a graduate editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics.