Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Professor Stavros Brekoulakis, LLB (Athens) LLM (London) PhD (London)


Professor of International Arbitration and Commercial Law

Email: s.brekoulakis@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8215
Room Number: Lincoln's Inn Fields


Stavros Brekoulakis is a Professor in International Arbitration and Commercial Law at Queen Mary University of London, as well as an attorney-at-law. He teaches courses in International Commercial Arbitration, International Construction Contracts and Arbitration, International Commercial Litigation and Conflict of Laws, International Commercial Law. His academic work includes the leading monograph on Third Parties in International Commercial Arbitration (OUP 2010), the book Arbitrability: International and Comparative Perspectives (Kluwer 2009) and numerous publications in leading legal journals and reviews. He is currently writing (with Audley Sheppard) a book on Public Policy and Mandatory Rules in International Arbitration: a Common Law Perspective (OUP 2016). He is the Director of the Institute for Regulation and Ethics at Queen Mary, and the Co-Chair (with Professor Rusty Park and Professor Catherine Rogers) of the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third-Party Funding, a member of the ICC Task Force on Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings and General Editor of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement.   

Brekoulakis has been involved in international arbitration for more than 17 years as counsel, arbitrator and expert. Having practiced commercial law, arbitration and litigation as an in-house counsel and private practitioner, he currently serves as arbitrator and expert. He is listed in the Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration and the Who’s Who: Arbitration—Future Leader 2017 and was nominated as the “Best Prepared and Most Responsive Arbitrator” Award of the Global Arbitration Review in 2016. Brekoulakis has been appointed in more than 25 arbitrations, as chairman, sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator and emergency arbitrator under the rules of the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the Danish Institute of Arbitration, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) as well as in ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. His professional expertise focuses on arbitrations in the context of international business and trade transactions, including construction projects, sales of goods, shareholders’ and distribution agreements, IP contracts, shipping and insurance contracts, financial transactions as well as sports disputes.

He holds an LLB degree from the National University of Athens, an LLM degree in International Business Law from King’s College London and a PhD degree in Arbitration and Conflict of Laws from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).


Research Interests:

Brekoulakis has been included in the QMUL submission for both REF 2008 and REF 2014 on the basis of recommendations from a number of dry runs and external reviews of his work.

His research focuses on a wide range of international arbitration and private international law topics including the role and relevance of third parties in arbitration, public policy, public interest and mandatory rules, decision-making and legal reasoning in private and public justice, arbitration and the rule of law, constitutional aspects of arbitration, third-party funding, procedural justice and international arbitration, value diversity in international arbitration, arbitrability and scope of jurisdiction of private tribunals.

His current research projects evolve around the following areas:

  • Policies, Public Policy and Public Interest in law
  • Consent, Third Parties and Non-Signatories in International Arbitration
  • Legal Reasoning, Decision Making and Impartiality
  • Third Party Funding
  • General Arbitration Scholarship.

Brekoulakis is currently leading a major interdisciplinary research project on Impartiality in Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). This is a three-year research project which employs a mix-empirical methodology (questionnaires, interviews, surveys) aimed at investigating accusations of lack of impartiality in ISDS. The primary academic outputs of the project will be a jointly authored monograph and at least four journal articles submitted to high-ranking journals. Papers on the interim and final research findings will be presented at two workshops and a final conference, and be published in an edited volume, including papers from the academics presented at the workshops and conference.


Publications within the REF 2021 period (for more publications, including from previous REF periods see academic CV under the Profile tab)


  • (To be considered for inclusion as part of the REF 2021 submission) Book, Policies, including Public Policy in English Arbitration Law (OUP forthcoming 2018). The book provides a doctrinal account and critical assessment of the policies, including public policy, underpinning English arbitration law.
  • Edited Book, The Evolution and Future of International Arbitration (Kluwer 2016) 520 pages which includes contributions from all major arbitration scholars and practitioners, as well as distinguished judges, including the UK SC President Lord Neuberger. The book offers an account of the remarkable evolution of international arbitration as an academic subject and as a distinct field of practice.
  • Textbook, on International Construction Contracts and Arbitration (Global Arbitration Review 2017). This is the only textbook that offers a detailed discussion and commentary on both substantive aspects of international construction contracts and the dispute resolution methods typically available in such contracts.
  • Textbook, International Arbitration Law and Theory (Hart forthcoming). Unlike most existing textbooks on the subject which tend to be practically oriented and aim to inform students as well as practitioners, this is the first textbook to take a theoretical approach international arbitration law.
  • Report of the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration (ICCA fothcoming 2018). A comprehensive study on legal issues surrounding Thrd-Party Funding in international arbitration (a draft can be assessed here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3037668.

Articles in referred journals

  • (To be considered for inclusion as part of the REF 2021 submission), Sole author, “Rethinking Consent in International Commercial Arbitration: A General Theory on Non-Signatories”, JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE SETTLEMENT,1(8) (2018) 1-34. The article is concerned with the role and relevance of non-signatories in international commercial arbitration. The article challenges the efficacy and coherence of the existing arbitration law in this area, and questions whether the traditional concept of consent for arbitration can be reconciled with complex commercial reality and nonsignatories today. Instead, the article submits that a general theory on non-signatories is needed, and proposes that the theoretical basis for finding that non-signatories have rights or obligations in arbitration be shifted from the concept of consent to the concept of dispute. Dry run assessments so far have rated this article 4*.
  • (To be considered for inclusion as part of the REF 2021 submission) First Co-author, “Public-Private Arbitration and the Public Interest under English Arbitration” Law, MODERN LAW REVIEW, 80(1) (2017) 22-56. The article explores the public interest implications which may arise in arbitrations involving public entities. It argues that, due to the lack of a developed administrative law sphere in England and the historical development of arbitration as an exclusively private mode of dispute resolution, the current legal framework of arbitration in England has developed around the private law paradigm of a commercial dispute involving private actors, which cannot adequately account and protect the public interest. To that effect, the article submits an original proposal for the amendment of English arbitration law. Dry run assessments so far have rated this article 4*.
  • (To be considered for inclusion as part of the REF 2021 submission) Sole author, “The concept of public policy and judicial function in English law: The potentially far-reaching effects of the supreme court decision in Patel v Mirza”. The article has been submitted for publication to a leading UK law review. Taking a historical and doctrinal approach, the article aims to first, clarify the concept of public policy in English law and the appropriate limits of judicial function, and secondly, to critique the majority decision of the SC in the Patel Dry run assessments so far have rated this article 4*.
  • (To be considered for inclusion as part of the REF 2021 submission) “Transnational Public Policy in International Arbitration.” The article has been submitted for publication to a leading UK law review. The article examines the legal function of transnational public policy. It challenges the predominant view in scholarship and in arbitral case law that transnational public policy is a fluid concept that accords arbitrators wide discretion to decide on the basis of non legal standards such as “morals,” “values” or “principles of universal justice”. By contrast, it is suggested, transnational public policy is a legal doctrine which cannot include anything other than legal norms, in the form of either legal rules or legal principles. Dry run assessments so far have rated this article as 3* and 4*.
  • (To be considered for inclusion as part of the REF 2021 submission). The Evolution of the Policy in English Law Favouring Arbitration”. The article is currently being finalised and will be soon submitted for publication to a leading UK law review. The article provides a historical account of the development of a clear policy in English law favouring the resolution of commercial disputes by private arbitration.

Public Policy and Public Interest

  • Article, “Public-Private Arbitration and the Public Interest under English Law”, with Margaret Devaney, Modern Law Review (forthcoming 2017)
  • Book, Policies, including Public Interest in English Arbitration Law, co-author (Oxford University Press forthcoming 2017)
  • Chapter, “Transnational Public Policy in International Arbitration”, in Ortino & Schultz, Oxford Handbook in International Arbitration (Oxford University Press forthcoming 2017)

Consent, third Parties and non-signatories in international arbitration

  • Monograph, Third Parties in International Commercial Arbitration (Oxford University Press 2011)
  • Article, “Rethinking the Concept of Consent in International Commercial Arbitration: A New Theory on Non-Signatories”, Journal of International Dispute Settlement (forthcoming 2017)   
  • Chapter, “The Various Features of Consent in Arbitration” in Bjorklund, Ferrari and Kroll, Cambridge Compendium of International Commercial and Investment Arbitration (Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2017)
  • Article, “The Relevance Of The Interests Of the Third Parties In Arbitration: Taking A Closer Look At The Elephant In The Room”, 113 Penn State Law Review, (Summer 2009) pp. 1165-1187
  • Article, “The Effect of an Arbitral Award and Third Parties in International Arbitration: Res Judicata Revisited”, (2005) 16(1), American Review of Int’l. Arbitration (Columbia University) pp177-209.

Third, Legal Reasoning, Decision Making and Impartiality

Third Party Funding

  • ICCA-QMUL Task Force Report on Third Party Funding, co-author with Rusty Park and Catherine Rogers (forthcoming 2017)
  • Article, “It’s All About the Money: The Impact of Third-Party Funding on Costs Awards and Security for Costs in International Arbitration”, with Jonas von Goeler (Austrian Yearbook for International Arbitration forthcoming 2017)

General Arbitration Scholarship  

PhD Supervision

Current PhD students

  • Ahmed El Far: Abuse of Process in International Arbitration
  • Bihter Kayzat Eker: The Modern Role of the 1958 New York Convention.

Public Engagement

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