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 200 commercial institutional and/or ad hoc arbitrations as well as in over 50 investment arbitrations under foreign investment laws and/or bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, arising from a broad spectrum of issues and industries, including oil and gas, mining, military ordnance and defense, telecommunications, media, aviation, agency agreements, shareholder agreements, partnerships, distribution, sales, mergers and acquisitions, construction (including all types of design contracts and engineering projects), duty free, hospitality, real estate, cryptocurrency, advertisement, wood and derived products, pharmaceutical, waste management, utilities, water treatment plants, sanctions as well as sport related disputes involving commercial, disciplinary, and doping aspects.

He has been appointed on the Panel of ICSID Arbitrators (Kingdom of Cambodia), 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 all major panels, including DIAC, SIAC, and CAS.

Dr. Gharavi teaches investment arbitration in the Master program “Droit International Économique” at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. He has published extensively, including books and articles in the main arbitration 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 counsel for France Chambers record that “Hamid has a larger-than-life personality and is personable and hard-working,” and describes 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 (now Dentons) in Paris after having started his career at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP in New York.


Experience as counsel

Dr. Gharavi has secured as counsel landmark victories both for investors and Sovereign States.

This includes for States 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 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); 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).

And for investors, a BIT award finding of political expropriation and over EUR 200 million in damages in favor of Iranian State Banks against Bahrain (Bank Melli Iran (Iran) and Bank Saderat Iran (Iran) v. The Kingdom of Bahrain, PCA Case No. 2017-25); 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 US investor Charles Lemire finding adverse 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); as well as 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 political policy (Mohammad Reza Dayyani, et al. v. The Republic of Korea, PCA Case No. 2015-38); and 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).

Counsel to Sovereign States 

Counsel to investors

Experience as President and co-Arbitrator


Experience as counsel

Experience as President, Sole or co-Arbitrator

Sports Arbitration CAS


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)




“Conspiracy of Separating Bahrain from Iran – an analysis based on secret documents of the British Foreign Office”, Sanglaj Publications, 2022 – written en Farsi

“There must be another way”, in “Arbitration and beyond… Une forme de vie” – Liber Amicorum pour Yves Derains, Éditions A. Pedone, 2021, p.67

Paris Court of Appeal annuls OIC award for irregular tribunal constitution via MFN procedure - DS Construction FZCO v State of Libya OIC - LexisNexis UK - 14/04/2021, Hamid Gharavi and Nada Sader

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

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