Derains & Gharavi International

Hamid Gharavi

Founding Partner


NATIONALITY: French and Iranian
LANGUAGES: French, English and Farsi
ADMISSION: Paris and New York

Dr. Hamid Gharavi has acted as arbitrator or counsel in over 250 institutional and/or ad hoc arbitrations, including over 40 investment arbitrations under foreign investment laws and/or bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, arising from a broad spectrum of issues ranging from sanctions to political takings, in as diverse industries as oil and gas, mining, M&A, military ordnance and defense, telecommunications, media, aviation, agency agreements, distribution, sales, construction (including all types of design contracts and engineering projects), poultry, duty free, hospitality, real estate, wood and derived products, pharmaceutical, as well as sport related disputes involving commercial aspects, disciplinary sanctions and doping.

He has been appointed on the Panel of ICSID Arbitrators, as member of the Court of the Istanbul Arbitration Centre (ISTAC since 2015), as member of the Court of the LCIA (from 2008-2012), as member of the Commission on Arbitration of the ICC (2005-2010), as the President of the Board of the Tehran Regional Arbitration Centre (TRAC) as well as on several other panels, including DIAC, SIAC, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Dr. Gharavi teaches investment arbitration in the Master program “Droit International Economique” at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. He is the author of a book titled “The International Effectiveness of the Annulment of an Arbitral Award,” published by Kluwer Law International, as well as publications in the main arbitration law reviews, and is a regular speaker at conferences.

Dr. Gharavi holds a PhD from the University of Paris II, and post-graduate degrees from the New York University School of Law and University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Both Chambers and Legal 500 rank him in Band 1 of arbitration counsels for France.  Chambers notably stated that “Hamid has a larger-than-life personality and is personable and hard-working,” and described him as “extremely dynamic, fearless in hearings and able to think out of the box.” Chambers also notes that Dr. Gharavi “earns considerable praise as an active and effective arbitrator in important cases. Interviewees note his valuable input during hearings, saying: ‘He always raises good questions that are material to the outcome of the case.’” In Legal 500, he is described as “absolutely brilliant” with “a busy practice as counsel in cases but [who] also has ‘impressive success attracting major appointments as arbitrator’.”

Before founding Derains & Gharavi, Dr. Gharavi was a partner at Salans in Paris after having started his career at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP in New York and as Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.


Investment Arbitration: 

Dr. Gharavi has secured as counsel landmark victories both for investors and Sovereign States, including the first ever award of moral damages in favor of an investor under a BIT (DLP v. Yemen, ICSID Case No. ARB/05/17); an award in favor of an investor finding public tender results to be in violation of a BIT (Joseph Charles Lemire v. Ukraine, ICSID Case No. ARB/06/18); three ICSID Awards for investors against Kazakhstan including two awards in favor of Turkish entities for deprivation of their shares by the host State’s judiciary for the benefit of a third private party (Rumeli/Telsim v. Kazakhstan, ICSID Case No. ARB/05/16 and Aktau Petrol Ticaret A.Ş. v. Kazakhstan, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/8) and a third for a US investor for political taking by Kazakhstan (Caratube International Oil Company LLP and Mr. Devincci Salah Hourani v. Kazakhstan, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/13); an award in favor of a French investor ordering for the first time specific performance (Mr. Franck Charles Arif v. Republic of Moldova, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/23); a decision on jurisdiction for Sudan finding for the first time ever that a foreign nationality of the investor was secured by fraud and thus ineffective (Michael Dagher v. Sudan, ICSID Case No. ARB/14/2); an award in favor of Iranian investors against the Republic of Korea for USD 68 million, holding that a governmental organ abused its sovereign capacity in intervening in the closing of the acquisition of a state asset, and this moreover on pretextual grounds, whereas the underlying reasons were due to a shift in the Republic of Korea’s policy towards Iran (Mohammad Reza Dayyani, et al. v. The Republic of Korea, PCA Case No. 2015-38); an award on jurisdiction in favor of the Republic of Turkey dismissing the largest ICSID claim ever (USD 19 billion) against a Sovereign State (Saba Fakes v. Republic of Turkey, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/20); and three awards for the Republic of Albania, the first dismissing for the first time ever a case based on a fork-in-the-road provision of a BIT (Pantechniki S.A. Contractors & Engineers v. Republic of Albania, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/21), the second dismissing the entire claim for lack of jurisdiction ratione materiae and personae, with full legal and arbitration costs (Burimi S.r.l. & Eagle Games Sh.a. v. Republic of Albania, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/18), and the third dismissing claims on the ground that the State measures were legitimate public measure safeguards compliant procedurally and substantively under international law (Mamidoil Jetoil Greek Petroleum Products Société Anonyme S.A. v. Republic of Albania, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/24).

Counsel for sovereign States

Counsel for investors

Commercial arbitration


Investment arbitration

Commercial arbitration
Sports Arbitration
  • Chairman of the Panel in two CAS appeal proceedings between the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and a MotoGP athlete, regarding an alleged anti-doping rule violation by the athlete (CAS 2020/A/6978, CAS 2020/A/7068).
  • Sole Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between a German citizen and a Chinese football club regarding the termination of the employment contract of the former (CAS 2019/O/6178).
  • Sole Arbitrator in the CAS appeal proceedings between two members of the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) and WAKO regarding the decision issued by the WAKO Arbitration Committee to dismiss such dispute (CAS 2019/A/6395).
  • Sole Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between a Greek company and a football club from an Arab State regarding performance of a football agent commission agreement.
  • Co-Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) regarding the non-compliance of the latter under the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories, and in particular the indication by RUSADA that it would dispute such non-compliance decision issued by WADA (CAS 2020/O/6689).
  •  Co-Arbitrator in the CAS appeal proceedings between the Russian Athletics Federation and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) arising out of disciplinary sanctions (CAS 2018/A/5921).
  • Co-Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between a rowing athlete from an Eastern European State on the one hand and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron (FISA) and the Anti-Doping Agency of an Eastern European State on the other hand, regarding an alleged anti-doping rule violation by the athlete (CAS 2018/O/5754).
  • Co-Arbitrator in the CAS appeal proceedings between a Thai weightlifting athlete and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) against the IWF’s decision imposing disciplinary sanctions upon the athlete (CAS 2019/A/6122).
  • Co-Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between a football Club of an Arab State and its former board member arising out of the termination of the mandate of the former board member as a result of the interference of the Arab State (CAS 2014/A/3570).
  • Co-Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and a national football league arising out of the selected dates of a major competition (CAS 2015/A/4021).
  • Co-Arbitrator in a CAS arbitration between a French football club and a European football body arising out of disciplinary sanctions (CAS 2017/A/5299).
  • Co-Arbitrator in 22 independent CAS appeal proceedings between Russian winter Olympic athletes in speed-skating, cross-country skiing and bobsleigh, and the International Olympic Committee against the International Olympic Committee’s decision for a life-ban exclusion of the athletes on the basis of a mass covert doping scheme allegations (CAS 2017/A/5502, CAS 2017/A/5440, CAS 2017/A/5441, CAS 2017/A/5505, CAS 2017/A/5506, CAS 2017/A/5504, CAS 2017/A/5503, CAS 2017/A/5380, CAS 2017/A/5436, CAS 2017/A/5439, CAS 2017/A/5423, CAS 2017/A/5428, CAS 2017/A/5424, CAS 2017/A/5437, CAS 2017/A/5379, CAS 2017/A/5427, CAS 2017/A/5446, CAS 2017/A/5438, CAS 2017/A/5426, CAS 2017/A/5425, CAS 2017/A/5445, CAS 2017/A/5422).
  • Co-Arbitrator in 7 independent CAS appeal proceedings between Russian cross-country skiing athletes and the International Ski Federation against the International Ski Federation’s decision on provisional suspension of the athletes (CAS 2018/A/5526, CAS 2018/A/5527, CAS 2018/A/5528, CAS 2018/A/5529, CAS 2018/A/5530, CAS 2018/A/5531, CAS 2018/A/5532).


Since 2009 Founding Partner, Derains & Gharavi
2000 – 2008 Partner (2005-2008), Salans – Paris
1999 Visiting Professor at Richmond University School of Law (international comparative law and arbitration) – Virginia
1996 – 1998 Associate, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP – New York


2000 Ph.D (University of Paris II)
1996 Master of Comparative Jurisprudence (New York University School of Law)
1995 D.E.A. Droit Nord Américain et Anglais des Affaires (University of Paris I)
1994 DESS Juriste d’Affaires Internationales (University of Paris V)
1993 Maîtrise (University of Paris II)


Representing the Republic of Togo in the ICSID annulment procedure only (i.e. not in the underlying arbitration that led to the challenged Award) (Togo Electricité and GDF-Suez Energie Services v. Republic of Togo, ICSID Case No. ARB/06/7 (annulment)) that wasdismissed


“Cocorico! – French approach to the OIC Treaty gives cause to crow”, Global Arbitration Review (GAR), 21/02/2020.

"Discord over judicial expropriation", ICSID Review, Vol. 33 n°2 - Spring 2018, pp. 349-357 (2018)

“Discord Over Judicial Expropriation”, ICSID Review – FILJ, Vol. 33 (2018)

“Le financement par un tiers dans l’arbitrage d’investissement”, Revue belge de l’Arbitrage, 2017/1, p. 67

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