Year of call: 2014 (Solicitor 2010)
E: gchalfoun@3vb.com

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Georges is an experienced commercial practitioner. Prior to transferring to the Bar, he qualified as a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (2008-2010) and practised as an associate in the firm's international arbitration group (2010-2014) where he acted and advised in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations in the financial, oil & gas, pharmaceutical and telecommunications sectors. He also spent time on secondment to the legal team of ExxonMobil Corporation.

Since joining 3VB, Georges has quickly established a commercial and financial practice. He is currently instructed by Akin Gump, Vinson & Elkins and Bird & Bird in a number of large-scale arbitrations in the energy sector, both for and against oil majors and/or state-owned companies. He also has recently been led respectively by David Head QC, Sonia Tolaney QC and Christopher Harris, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills, Brown Rudnick and Bracewell Law in large banking and energy disputes in the High Court (BP Gas Marketing v Sonatrach [2016] EWHC 2461; Re TPD Investments Limited/Destiny v TH Holdings & Ors [2017] EWHC 657 (Ch); the RBS Rights Issue Litigation) and the Court of Appeal (Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander v UBS AG [2016] EWCA Civ 319).

Georges also takes instructions as sole counsel for small matters in the County Court and the High Court, recently including instructions to prepare particulars of claim and an application for summary judgment, an application for pre-action disclosure, a two-days trial arising out of unpaid invoices for professional services and a one-day trial for unpaid professional invoices.

Throughout his career, Georges has been involved in a large number of pro bono matters, including advising Oxfam, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Democratic Progress Institute and the Aga Khan Foundation. He is a member of the Asylum Support Appeals Project, and regularly represents appellants on a pro bono basis at appeal hearings before the Asylum Support Tribunal in London.

Georges is currently co-teaching the Seminars on the Practice of International Arbitration to Masters of Laws students at the London School of Economics with Constantine Partasides QC (Three Crowns LLP) and Jean Paul Dechamps (Freshfields).


International Arbitration

Acting for a large national oil company (instructed by Akin Gump, led by Ali Malek QC) defending claims of over US$ 150 million relating to the sale and marketing of base oil in UNCITRAL proceedings.

Acting for an agent (instructed by Vinson & Elkins, led by Christopher Harris) in a large claim for commission arising out of an oil and gas infrastructure project.

Acting for a middle-eastern state (led by Ali Malek QC) in a large UNCITRAL commercial arbitration arising out of alleged expropriations.

Acting for an oil & gas company (sole counsel, instructed by Bird & Bird) in a large UNCITRAL commercial arbitration relating to the re-development of mature oil and gas fields.

Instructed in a potential ICC arbitration arising out of an agency and consultancy contract in the oil & gas sector (sole counsel, instructed by Bird & Bird).

Commercial litigation

Acting for the Sixth Defendant (instructed by Brown Rudnick, led by David Head QC) in a claim by a minority shareholder alleging unfair prejudice, fraud and breach of contract in relation to the restructuring of a bank finance and dilution of a minority interests in a substantial UK hotel group holding structure (Re TPD Investments Limited/Destiny v TH Holdings & Ors [2017] EWHC 657 (Ch)).

Acting for UBS (instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills, led by Sonia Tolaney QC) in the Court of Appeal, successfully defending UBS in a substantial claim brought by Kaupthing in relation to a payment made by mistake (Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander v UBS AG [2016] EWCA Civ 319).

Instructed by RBS in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation.

Advising an international development bank (instructed by Bird & Bird, sole counsel) in considering a High Court claim and a summary judgment application for payment under a performance bond.

Acting for Sonatrach (instructed by Bracewell Law, led by Christopher Harris) in a dispute arising out of a Joint Shippers Agreement for LNG heard over 7 days in the Commercial Court (BP Gas Marketing v Sonatrach [2016] EWHC 2461).

Advising for a large pension fund (instructed by Eversheds, led by Sonia Tolaney QC) in a potential claim for professional negligence against its investment advisors, including consideration for a Beddoes application.

Regularly instructed as sole counsel, appearing in the county court on a variety of commercial matters, including an application for pre-action disclosure, a two-days trial arising out of unpaid invoices for professional services, a one-day trial fur unpaid professional invoices and an application for a charging order against property.

Acted for a leading investment bank in a €400 million ICC arbitration arising out of a project financing.

Acted for a major multinational pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration arising out of a licensing agreement relating to one of the "blockbuster" drugs of the 21st century.

Acted for a Luxembourg investor in a multi-billion dollars investment treaty dispute against the government of Algeria relating to an investment in the telecommunications sector.

Acted for a multinational chemical producer in a US$ 200 million London seated ICC dispute arising out of a long term chemical supply contract with a state-owned European counterpart.

Advising multiple oil majors on the effects of the EU, UK and UN sanctions regimes on their operations in Libya, Syria, Iran and Russia.

Acting as ad hoc secretary to a Court of Arbitration for Sport tribunal in a dispute relating to the governance of the World Chess Federation.

Advising a number of oil major, mining majors, and international charities as the structuring of investments to benefit from bilateral investment treaty protection, and/or as to the merits of contemplated international arbitration proceedings in relation to, amongst others, investments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Mozambique.

Co-teaching the Seminar on the Practice of International Arbitration to Masters of Laws students at the London School of Economics

"Mass proceedings before ICSID; life after Abaclat and Ambiente Ufficio", Practical Law Company, 3 Sept 2013.

Presentations to Freshfields' corporate, finance and dispute resolution teams on bilateral investment treaty structuring, arbitration clauses and the basics of international arbitration, including delivering the bi-annual arbitration training for newly qualified solicitors in corporate and dispute resolution, 2011 to 2014.

LSE - Entrance scholarship (2006)

Ottawa - Merit Scholarships (2003, 2004, 2005)

Ottawa - Dean's List of the Law Faculty (2003, 2004, 2005)

Ottawa - Highest overall average in first year (Jean Martineau Award)

Ottawa - Highest overall average for the first three semesters (Ogilvy Renault Award)

Ottawa - Highest overall average in second year (Brouillete Charpentier Award)

Ottawa - Highest aggregate average in Civil Law classes (Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg Award)

Ottawa - Highest aggregate average in Commercial Law classes (Desjardins, Ducharmes Stein Monast Award)

Ottawa - Top mark in Employment Law (Gaston Descoteaux Award)

Ottawa - Top mark in Criminal Law (Carswell Award)

Ottawa - Top mark in Civil Procedure (Wilson & Lafleur Award)

Lincoln's Inn

COMBAR

International Bar Association (IBA)

YIAG - LCIA

Young ICCA

Bilingual French