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 150 commercial ad hoc and institutional arbitrations, including over 30 investment arbitrations under foreign investment laws and bilateral and multilateral treaties, in relation to a broad spectrum of industries, ranging from oil and gas, mining, M&A, military ordnance and defense, telecommunications, media, and aviation, to agency, distribution, sales, construction, poultry, duty free, hospitality, real estate, wood and derived products, pharmaceutical, and sports, as well as investments in general.

Dr. Gharavi has secured as counsel landmark cases both for investors and Sovereign States, including the first award ever 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); an award in favor of a Turkish State-controlled investment vehicle for expropriation of its 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); 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); an award on jurisdiction in favor of the Republic of Turkey dismissing the largest ICSID claim ever (19 billion USD) 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.

Dr. Gharavi has had a comparable success in commercial cases as counsel for claimants or respondents, and similarly balanced appointments as counsel or arbitrator by investors/businessmen or commercial companies and Sovereign States or public entities thereof as counsel or arbitrator in commercial and investment cases.

He has been appointed to the Panel of ICSID Arbitrators, to the Court of the Istanbul Arbitration Centre, to the Court of the LCIA (from 2008-2012), the Commission on Arbitration of the ICC as well as to other panels, including DIAC, SIAC, TRAC, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Dr. Gharavi teaches investment arbitration in graduate studies at University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas.  He is the author of a book entitled “The International Effectiveness of the Annulment of an Arbitral Award,” published by Kluwer Law International and publications in all the main arbitration law reviews, and a regular speaker at international conferences

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

Chambers praises him as “He is viewed as a ‘very talented counsel’ and is known for appearing in high-profile investment cases.  Clients appreciate his straightforward communication style” and Legal 500 as ‘absolutely brilliant’ with “a busy practice as counsel in cases but 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: 

Counsel for sovereign States

Investment Arbitration: 

Counsel for investors

Commercial arbitration


Investment arbitration

Commercial arbitration
Sports Arbitration
  • Co-arbitrator in an arbitration under the auspices of CAS between a group of Russian athletes and the International Olympic Committee (‘IOC’) arising out of disciplinary sanctions imposed on the athletes by the IOC (see “Court of Arbitration for Sport Media Release – Sochi” on the TAS-CAS website)
  • Representing a French sports federation in an ICC arbitration in Paris against a foreign company for breach of broadcasting rights of a major sport event.
  • Co-arbitrator in an arbitration under the auspices of CAS 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.
  • Co-arbitrator in an arbitration under the auspices of CAS between an International Football Federation and a national football league arising out of the selected dates of a major competition.


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)



"Effectiveness and the arbitrator's initiative" in "Arbitrators' initiative: when, why and how should it be used?", ASA Special Series no. 45, 2016, p.31.

"Effectiveness and the Arbitrator’s Initiative”, ASA Bulletin Special Series, to be published

“Quand la France convole avec l’Iran”, Esprit (Actualités), 22 April 2016

“The Advantages of the ICC over ICSID in Investment Arbitrations, International Arbitration under Review”, Essays in honour of John Beechey, ICC publication No. 772 E, 2015

"L’expropriation indirecte dans les conflits entre contractants extractifs" in Le contentieux extractif, Chambre de Commerce Internationale 2015

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