Kevin Lee acts as counsel and adviser in public international law, international arbitration, litigation and commercial dispute settlement.
He has represented and advised States, international organisations, private entities and individuals across a wide range of issues in complex and high stakes disputes (particularly those involving multi-jurisdictional and cross-border aspects), and he has acted as counsel in both international litigation and non-contentious contexts.
Kevin has particular expertise in international disputes, and frequently acts in matters involving public international law and disputes involving States. He has acted in State-to-State and investor-State disputes before a variety of international courts and tribunals, from the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He has also acted as legal advisor to a sovereign government in an inter-State mediation occurring in parallel with International Court of Justice proceedings. In this capacity, his practice spans the full spectrum of international law issues, including law of the sea, treaty obligations, immunities, law of international organizations, international investment law, territorial and maritime boundaries, state responsibility, dispute settlement procedures, and human rights. He also has a particular interest in issues involving the interaction of international and domestic law, and has experience advising on the application of international law in domestic courts.
In parallel with his practice in public international law, Kevin has particular expertise acting in international arbitration matters. He has specialist experience at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, having previously worked at the PCA in the Peace Palace, The Hague, as Fellow and Assistant Legal Counsel. He has also been involved in a significant range of investment treaty, contract, and commercial disputes under PCA, ICSID, SIAC, UNCITRAL, ECT and ad hoc arbitration frameworks. In recent work, he is counsel in an investment treaty dispute between a European MNC and an African State arising out of the construction industry. He is also counsel in an arbitration between an ASEAN investor and an Asian State concerning a breach of investment treaty arising from a USD 1.17 billion dollar share transaction.
Complementing his litigation and arbitration experience, Kevin is regularly instructed in an advisory capacity. From 2017-2018, he was engaged by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation as Expert Adviser on public international law and arbitration matters for the South Asian States (Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). Prior to that, in 2016, he was appointed by the Council of Europe as Expert Consultant on international arbitration and legal reform of arbitration legislation for the Republic of Armenia. Most recently, Kevin has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Singapore as Young Amicus Curiae to assist the Court on complex cases and novel points of law.
In addition to his counsel work, Kevin has lectured internationally on topics in his areas of specialization. He presently holds an Adjunct Lectureship at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he teaches a course on public international law and investment arbitration. He has also conducted lectures on various aspects of public international law and international arbitration for students and programs of the London School of Economics, Tilburg University, American University of Armenia, California Maritime Academy, University of Naples Federico II, and the Centre for Defence Studies of the Italian Armed Forces.
Kevin is dually qualified as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and as a Barrister of England and Wales, and he was Editor of the UK Supreme Court Yearbook from 2015-2017. An NUS LL.B. alumnus and Jessup mooter, Kevin holds a first class LL.M. from the University of Cambridge.
Kevin is comfortable working as a member of a team of counsel, as specialised counsel on particular areas or points of law, as a junior to lead counsel, and as sole counsel. He is experienced at collaborating across jurisdictions, and has frequently acted as co-counsel in teams with international law firms, firms local to the State of the dispute, State clients and in-house counsel.
SELECTED LEGAL EXPERIENCE (As Counsel, Legal Advisor, and/or Advisor to the Tribunal)
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW
- The Enrica Lexie Arbitration (Italy v. India) (Annex VII UNCLOS Arbitration,
Permanent Court of Arbitration, Peace Palace, The Hague): Counsel to the Italian Republic in a law of the sea dispute.
- International mediation of an inter-State dispute occurring in parallel with International Court of Justice proceedings
(confidential): Acting unled as Counsel / Legal Advisor to a sovereign Government.
- The “Enrica Lexie” Incident (Italy v. India), Provisional Measures, (International Tribunal
for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg, Germany): Counsel to the Italian Republic before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
- Expert Advisor to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on public international law,
international arbitration and international dispute settlement matters for the South Asian States
(India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka).
- Advising foreign counsel on legal and strategic issues of
international law and international arbitration arising in 8 domestic proceedings before a foreign Supreme Court
- The Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration (Bangladesh v. India) (Annex VII UNCLOS Arbitration, administered by the
Permanent Court of Arbitration): Law of the sea dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary
between Bangladesh and India.
- The Indus Waters Kishenganga Arbitration (Pakistan v. India) (Arbitration pursuant to the
Indus Waters Treaty, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration): Assistant to the tribunal
(in the Award interpretation phase).
INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW
- Advising an MNC on international investment protection
matters in respect of several investments in Nigeria in excess of USD 100 million.
- Investment treaty dispute between a European MNC and an African State
arising out of the construction and infrastructure industry (confidential): Counsel to the Claimant
- Investment Treaty Arbitration pursuant to the USA-Ecuador BIT (Permanent Court of Arbitration):
Dispute concerning rights under a contract between Ecuador and a consortium of oil companies for exploration in the Amazon,
vis-à-vis Ecuador’s amendment of its hydrocarbon laws.
- Investment treaty dispute between an ASEAN investor and an Asian State (confidential)
- Investment Treaty Arbitration pursuant to the Russia-India and Cyprus-India BITs:
Dispute arising from the withdrawal of licence approvals by India in relation to a multi-million dollar
investment in India’s telecommunications industry.
- Two investment treaty disputes pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty and relating to multi-million dollar investments in the
oil industry (confidential)
- Investment Treaty Arbitration pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty (Permanent Court of Arbitration): Dispute
rising from the termination of long-term power purchase agreements relating to investments in Hungary’s electricity generation sector.
- Investment Treaty Arbitration pursuant to the Hong Kong-Australia BIT and arising in the tobacco industry.
- Investment Treaty Arbitration pursuant to the China-Laos BIT: Dispute arising from the
termination of licences in relation to a property development and gaming venture.
COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION AND LITIGATION
- Expert Consultant to the Council of Europe on legal reforms to the laws of arbitration of the Republic of Armenia.
- Counsel in an SIAC arbitration between a global apparel brand and its distributor.
- Junior counsel in acting for a listed company in seeking a stay of proceedings in the Singapore High Court in favour of
- Junior counsel in representing a listed company in a Singapore-seated international arbitration
(administered under SIAC Rules) relating to a breach of a joint venture agreement.
- Supporting the Appointing Authority (Secretary-General of the PCA) in relation to an arbitrator
challenge in a dispute between two Asian MNCs (international arbitration seated in Singapore and administered under UNCITRAL Rules).